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Producing Excellence

Quentin Newhouse

Fannin County, TX

Products: Cotton and wheat

Size of Operation: 916 acres

In Business Since: 2008

Farm Credit Partner: Texas Farm Credit

Working with Farm Credit Since: 2011

Jimmy Newhouse farmed with his brother, Mark, for decades, but is now working to transition the family operation to Mark’s son Quentin, who will be the fifth generation to work the land. Quentin — with a lifelong love for the agricultural lifestyle, a sideline construction business and the backing of a dedicated Farm Credit lender — is determined to succeed in farming like his ancestors before him.

Quentin’s career started in high school, when he started working for Jimmy’s construction company. Following graduation in 1999, he assumed a larger role in the construction firm, eventually taking over the company. In 2007, seeking a more active role in the family farm, Quentin entered into a 50-50 partnership with Jimmy, now 68, and they began full-scale farming of the family land.

Quentin soon began to acquire secondhand equipment to use in his newfound operation. Buying used equipment — some of which was not fully operational — was one way he made the transition affordable. “With my metalworking skills, I was never afraid of buying equipment that needed some fixing,” he says, watching his 2-year-old son play with toy tractors in the dirt. “I figured if a plow was broken, I could weld on it and get it going again.” His strategy proved sound, as startup costs in farming can be prohibitive. Nationwide, the average initial investment for a 250-acre farming operation can be upwards of $1 million.

The Newhouse family has tried various enterprises and crops, but feral pigs taking a liking to some of their crops eventually led them to settle on wheat, and then market prices led them to cotton. “That first year we grew cotton, the weather turned out dry,” Quentin says. “But we still managed to make half a bale per acre.” Uncle and nephew persevered, and last year they had their best cotton crop yet. While they proved they can successfully grow the crop, getting it to market still remains a challenge. “The challenge of growing cotton is that there are no gins nearby,” Jimmy admits. “We have to take the cotton over 40 miles to the gin, and then it takes several months to get the cotton sold. It’s still been worth it, though.”

Jimmy and Quentin rely on Texas Farm Credit for their operating, land and equipment financing. For Jimmy, who once worked as a Farm Credit loan officer, it’s important to have a financial partner who is familiar with the local agricultural conditions and the challenges of farming and has found that ally in David Althof, senior loan officer with Texas Farm Credit.

In the four years he’s worked with Jimmy and Quentin, David says he has seen their strong work ethic and dedication to their farming operation translate into success. “As a lender, it is reassuring to see experience and enthusiasm being passed down from one generation to the next,” he says. “Young people like Quentin are the future of our industry.”

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