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Producing Excellence

Jerry Rankin

Boyle County, KY

Farmers Tobacco Warehouse

Products Raised or Grown: Tobacco and tobacco auction, row crops and Angus cattle

Size of Operation: 1,025 acres

In Business Since: before 1952

Farm Credit Partner: Central Kentucky Ag Credit

Working with Farm Credit Since: before 1952

Jerry Rankin has been a lifelong leader in central Kentucky agriculture, a farming career that has included both crop and cattle production. During the early years of his farm activity, Jerry focused on Burley tobacco production in partnership with his father, which they jointly expanded into a substantial tobacco auction/warehouse operation.

Jerry and his wife, Judy, farm just over 1,000 acres in central Kentucky, growing 100 acres of Burley tobacco, raising 250 purebred Angus, and selling bred heifers and herd bulls. Their cattle quality is so good that Jerry says, “we sell everything right off the farm.” They also produce corn and alfalfa hay, most of which is feed for the cattle, as well as wheat.

During the many years that Jerry and his father operated the Burley auction warehouses in Danville (Farmers Tobacco Warehouse No. 1 and No. 2), their business activity also involved services that were of benefit to both farmers and the community. Area farmers were often advanced money against crops to complete their harvest; both tobacco warehouses were used for civic projects; and the farm community viewed the warehouse operations as providing important regional financial stability in farming. Burley tobacco production and the companion tobacco auction business was the “king of cash crops” in Kentucky until the price support program disappeared in recent years.

Although he recently decided to sell Farmers Tobacco Warehouse No. 1 to a local university, Jerry is a strong example of the work ethic typical in farmers and ranchers across the country – in addition to continuing his farming and cattle operation, he’s now turning his efforts to improving Farmers Warehouse No. 2 to continue to provide auction and financial services to local growers, as well as exploring potential development of another site.

“I can’t say enough about Ag Credit,” says Jerry. “They have helped me and my family since dad bought 245 acres in the early 1950s. Every time we needed money, Ag Credit was there to help us.”