AoR 113: Agricultural Financial Benchmarking with Megan Shroyer, AgWest Farm Credit

How does your agricultural business compare to similar operations in financial performance metrics? That's the question answered by benchmarking. Megan Shroyer is the president of Montana AgWest Farm Credit Services and she offers guidance on how to properly use benchmarking as one element of understanding and managing ranch financial health. Financial stress is usually what causes a ranch to call it quits. Even though society values the intangible ecosystem services provided by large landscapes, there are still few mechanisms to monetize these services. Megan describes the range of services offered by AgWest Farm Credit to help agricultural business thrive, including low-interest grants for beginning farmers and ranchers. 


>> Welcome to "The Art of Range", a podcast focused on rangelands and the people who manage them. I'm your host Tip Hudson, range and livestock specialist with Washington State University Extension. The goal of this podcast is education and conservation through conversation. Find us online at Welcome back to "The Art of Range". We are continuing our series on ranch financial health today with Megan Shroyer. She's the president of AgWest Farm Credit in Montana. And she's a rancher in Central Montana. And she understands the importance of economic viability in ranching better than most people. Megan, welcome.

>> Good morning. It's good to be here.

>> Well, I think I've mentioned a couple times before in other discussions we've had about key performance indicators, and ways of measuring ranch financial performance, that there's a term called "benchmarking" that I think, and I'm not an economist, I think benchmarking refers to the practice of comparing various performance metrics for an individual business to aggregate data, comparing yourself to other similar agricultural businesses in your region or in your demographic. And, you know, I -- one of the things that Stan Beaver has talked about was the importance of comparing yourself to yourself. And that's a good way to improve. But there's also some value in comparing yourself to other similar operations, just to see if there's various aspects of the operation where you're way different, and that could be an area of improvement. But because of the nature of the data, it's difficult to get a hold of it. In fact, when I talked with Stan Beaver, about whether or not he could talk about benchmarking, he said that it's been some time since he collected it, and was aware of a few universities that, at one time, I collected a fair bit of data. But that also people that collect the data, because it takes so much work to get it, tend to use it as, you know, one of the selling points for their program, or their consulting business, because it's information that they went through quite a bit of effort to obtain. So talk, I think I still have only a really limited understanding of what benchmarking is. And so why don't we start by you telling us a bit of your background? How did you come to be, essentially a financial advisor for agricultural businesses, from a ranching background? And then we'll get around to benchmarking.

>> Yeah, sure. Well, first off, thanks, Tip. I really appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the podcast. When you first reached out about potentially being in a conversation, I started listening. You're in my downloads now. So I'm all hooked. So I appreciate being here. A little bit about me, like you mentioned, Megan Shroyer, I've worked for AgWest Farm Credit the last 26 years, and in various different kinds of roles across the state of Montana. I was a relationship manager where I work directly with a customer, portfolio of customers. And, currently, I'm, as you mentioned, the state president. And as you also mentioned, my husband and I also own and operate our family ranch, which is irrigated hay and cow/calf operation in central Montana. So I do understand the struggles of keeping an operation going through all the cycles. And I just really appreciate the opportunity to talk about benchmarking because I do think it is a very important tool to help make better decisions.

>> Montana is a pretty big place. Remind me, again, where your operation is.

>> So Central Montana, we're in a little town called "White Sulphur Springs", Montana. So we're about 80 miles north of Bozeman. A lot of people know where Bozeman is lately.

>> Yeah. Well, it's a beautiful part of the country. And your family's been there for some time, I understand.

>> Yes, we actually, just this year, celebrated our 150 years. So my family is really good at keeping things, and apparently I have a talent for doing the paperwork side of it. So we did all the research. And so I'm fifth generation, on the place, and hopefully my kids will be sixth generation.

>> Oh, congratulations! That's good to hear. That's not easy to hold together. We've done in Washington State, and other, in part of the Northwest, we've done some, colleague of mine has done quite a few workshops using the "Ties to the Land" succession planning methodology. Then you find out pretty quick that it's, pretty often, money that causes one of these multigenerational large operations to eventually fall apart, and get sold off in pieces. And it's thrilling to hear of people that are able to make it work and continue.

>> It's tricky. It's there's a lot of conversations and a lot of decisions made. And, honestly, with the family, there truly is a lot of care and compassion. I was lucky, my brother's a doctor, and my sister's a nurse, so, and then I wanted to be the rancher, so it worked out.

>> Well, when I think about benchmarking, one of the things that makes me wonder about its usefulness is that my impression is that, cow/calf operations in particular, and in most of the Western US, are quite a bit different from each other. And maybe this is a misperception, but, you know, if you're a wheat farmer running on 15,000 acres in Central North Dakota, your operation may not look a whole lot different than your neighbor who's running on 17,000 acres of wheat in Central North Dakota. And I apologize to the North Dakota wheat farmers who take offense at that caricature. But at least in my part of Washington State, I feel like there's a lot of difference in operation size, in, you know, grazing resources, in the type of operation, in terms of how much is cow/calf, how much is yearlings, how much is selling breeding animals. I feel like there's not a lot of, I would be hard pressed to find two operations that look a lot like each other. And so it seems like that would make it challenging to find benchmarking data, where you could compare this operation to that operation, or this operation, your operation to, you know, 15 others that were similar. So let's jump in on benchmarking. You know, first, we keep using that term, or I keep using that term. What is "benchmarking"? And am I even describing it correctly?

>> Yeah, you're exactly right, Tip. So I would describe it, first of all, saying that benchmark is a pretty powerful tool. And how we use it is it really allows our customers, as you mentioned, to compare their performance of their ranch against data that we have from other successful producers. So it's important, just as you mentioned, that the industry peer group that we select is somewhat, or close in comparison to the customers' operation. And that can be a little bit of the art in the data for sure. Our database consists of other customers that we work with, so it's real. It's actual information, and then we average that. So by using an average, all that information is strictly confidential. But I also love that it's, you know, real and actual. And it's very pertinent information for our customers to use, just to kind of see or compare where they're at. So when I present this to a customer, I put in front of a customer, this data can really help them. And I keep using the word "customer", or others that are interested. Mostly we're working, you know, one-on-one with our customers. But it can really help them, the value of benchmarking, and it really can help them maybe in areas where they can see maybe where they want to make some tweaks, or changes, or where it'll be obvious where they want to make some overall improvements to their performance of the operation. Maybe that's in cost control, or maybe they have these aha moments around, you know, newfound efficiencies. I also think it's, right away, people go directly to the weaknesses, or things that they don't think that they're doing very well at. But I also think it's important to also celebrate the strength of the operation. So they can use this data as they compare to other operations, to show where they're real strong against the pure averages, and that maybe that they can lean on in cases down the road. But the main value that I would say our customers get out of benchmarking is that it can help our customers be real specific or direct their management efforts towards, you know, specific items that really can make their operation more profitable or more successful. And as they say, time is money. This evaluation can really make you more aware quickly.

>> Wow! That's a great introduction. And speaking of introductions, this is what I get for not having extensive interview notes this morning, I'm making a colossal assumption that most listeners know what AgWest Farm Credit is. Do I understand correctly that AgWest Farm Credit is what was previously "Farm Credit Services"? And as somebody, again, who's not an economist, and has not been a customer of Farm Credit, I think of Farm Credit Services as having been primarily an agricultural lender. So here's a chance for you to plug AgWest Farm Credit. What, because I really don't know, what all does AgWest Farm Credit do, or offer to farmers and ranchers.

>> Exactly. So we were just excited, we did go through a merger with another Farm Credit Services this year. We were "Northwest Farm Credit", or I worked for Northwest Farm Credit. And as a January 1, now we're excited to be AgWest Farm Credit. But we're still, we still have the same mission and purpose, and same people, just a different name. So I appreciate that. We are a cooperative, who, and I do think that that's a point that I want to stress. When I first probably started with Farm Credit, I didn't really appreciate the value of cooperative. I was right out of college, right out of Bozeman, and didn't understand that value. And now I look back, and I truly believe that's a significant value that we offer is we're a cooperative, who solely focuses on agriculture. That is all we do. That's all we focus on. So we specialize in financing and ensuring those farmers and ranchers and agribusinesses. When we, when I talk about our lending products, that probably includes our real estate financing. We do intermediate term loans and lines of credit. And one of the things that our customers really like that we offer is competitive fixed rate options. So we can lock rates in for a longer period of time. And so a lot of times that's leading our conversation. That's the first thing that customers are asking about. But we also have home loans, lot loans, all-in-one construction loans. So we do help if you want to live in the country, also. And then a lot of times the accountants are talking to our customers and sending them in, because they want to look at some leasing programs. So we do that. So that's all on the lending side. That's where I first started. And then I actually did some time over on the insurance side. I did both. Now, we have them completely separate. So we also offer, we have a team of experts, that's all they do day in and day out is focus on insurance. And that team offers our multi-peril insurance, or what we call "federal crop insurance". They do hail, revenue protection, dairy risk, livestock risk. They even have some range forage insurance that they offer. The one thing our customers perk up at is we -- they love our GPS mapping services. You got to love a map. So they really appreciate that service that we offer as well. And I should mention, some may know what a co-op is, some may not. But as a co-op, the nice thing that I alluded to at the beginning of this is that AgWest's profits are returned to our customer owners. So this is the fun part. We can offer a competitive rate upfront, and then we get to send them the patronage dividends at the end of the year of a job well done. So I think that can, you know, significantly reduce our borrower's costs. And I love that about my job.

>> Got it. And what is the geographic region covered by AgWest Farm Credit at this point?

>> So, yeah, so we're in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Alaska, parts of California, and Arizona. We'd like to call it "the West".

>> Yeah. Is there a different company, a different version of Farm Credit that operates in the Southwest?

>> Oh yeah.

>> Okay.

>> So the Farm Credit system is nationwide.

>> Right.

>> We're just one association that covers that territory.

>> Got it! Well, back to benchmarking, what are some examples of performance metrics in farm finance that are useful to look at? In the stuff that we've already talked about, with previous podcast guests, like Stan Beavers, and some folks that do ranch consulting, you know, I'm thinking of their they're talking about operational performance indicators, like, pounds weaned per exposed female, or, you know, revenue per breeding female, or -- those are the things that a little more financially-related. Those things obviously tie to money, because have a cost, but other things that are more, obviously financial, like operating expense as a percent of total revenue. What are some of the benchmark metrics that you have, that are useful for folks to look at?

>> Yes, and so the list can go on and on. We do have some priority ones that we looked at, of course, and I've listened to some of your previous podcasts and I know, they've talked about "bankers", quote/unquote. So, yes, I am one of those, and I did not take offense at all. But bankers always love to look at a balance sheet and an earning statement. And I know it's more to running a ranch than that. But those statements really help us look from like a liquidity perspective. So working capital, I do think is key, and, actually, king. So when you look at liquidity, we're looking at the actual dollar amount and the current ratio to compare. We also look at solvency numbers. And that can be either, you know, debt-to-asset, or an equity ratio. But we also want to look at debt coverage ratios. Those are very important. Debt service ratios. So, essentially, you're looking at the financial efficiency of an operation. We also, I know, on previous podcasts, you've described ROA and ROE. We like to look at those over time. So those are some main financial ratios that we look at. But we also look at, and we get probably more into the, on the AUM side when we specifically look at the cattle and the benchmarking. And I know we sell pounds, but it's just one way to look at it. And I actually listened where you were describing all the different ways to look at it. But we look at it on an AUM basis [inaudible].

>> That's a unit of comparison.

>> Correct. Yeah. And so we could look at that, you know, operating expenses per AU, you know, farm income per AU, fee costs. We can actually get specific on looking at just, you know, hey, so maybe that's an area that our customer wants to focus on, is we can look at feed costs, you know, veterinary costs. Labor; labor is a big one, and look at that. But, really, you know, I love to watch how our customers are, how they're holding liquidity, how they're using liquidity, how they're growing, how they're making decisions in their projections to use. Are they set up to have the right liquidity in their growth? So I know there's a whole list there that you can look at, and it really is no limit. It really depends on what that customer is trying to focus on.

>> Yeah. Yeah, that makes me wonder, can you characterize the ranchers who typically work with Farm Credit? Or I can imagine that there's not any typical operation, necessarily, but does it does it tend to be operations that are in trouble, or operations that are trying to expand, or people that are new to the business? Because I know there's some people that, you know, they've got enough working capital that they don't run lines of credit to buy hay for the winter. And they're in pretty good shape. They've got, you know, somebody who's part of the team, whether it's, you know, the owner operators, or somebody that they work with, that kind of has a handle on things, and they're in pretty good shape, and they don't have to go look for help. And I'm not trying to say that help is like a cry for help. These are, you know, useful risk tools that are used by, I think, businesses of all sizes. But, yeah, is there any way to characterize people who tend to work with Farm Credit?

>> Great question! We're here to help. I love that word that you just used, "help". We're here to help everyone in agriculture. So that is small operations, all the way to the vertically-integrated extremely large businesses, and everything in between. Those customers, just like you said, that's the fun part of my job is you can have two customers that are right next to each other, side-by-side, with similar resources, but all different types of challenges, or strengths, or management. And so every, every operation is different. And so whether they're looking at needing help with the year on an operating line to get so they can grow a product, and then sell it, and then pay the line off. And whatever's leftover is what we love to say is profit. So we help a lot of customers with their lines of credit. But maybe they have enough liquidity that they're self-funded, and they just need some help to expand and buy some more real estate. We have a program that is near and dear to our heart, one that we focus on. And that's our young beginning and small producers. And we have a specific program is called "Ag Vision". And that is really set up to help those customers with the specific challenges that they usually see, probably when they're starting up. And so whether that's helping them with reduced interest rates, and reduced costs, and additional one-on-one time to do things like benchmarking, they also are eligible for programs like rate-wise, which is one that I love. And it's a win-win. So if our customers go out, and they do any kind of education, they just have to log the education, and they bank credits. And then later on, those credits can be saved up to then be brought into when they do their new loan, or their new line of credit, they can actually reduce their overall interest rates. So that particular group is, you know, all of us here, or a lot of us here AgWest, well, all of us have a true passion for agriculture, and a lot of us grew up in ag, so we have this direct tie. And so helping those young beginning as small producers, is -- just tugs on our heart a little. So we really appreciate the opportunity to have some of those programs where we can really help them.

>> Yeah, you must have been reading my mind because I didn't send this question to you, but while we were talking earlier, I typed a note to myself, do you have low interest loans or access to federal programs that are for beginning farmers and ranchers? Because somebody just asked me this a couple of days ago, and I said, I'm not sure what's out there. But I feel like I've heard of a lot of stuff that is available now for beginning farmers and ranchers, that I think wasn't there, say, 20 years ago. And in a variety of ways, I'm pretty optimistic about the future of farming and ranching. And at the big picture scale, we have to have food. And so I suspect that there will always be farmers. But I also feel like the barriers to entry for beginning farmers and ranchers are lower now than they have been in the past. And I'm not sure if I'm accurate, in my perception of that, or if that's just a reflection of demographics, you know, where I live, where it looks like there are an increasing number of young farmers and ranchers. So you partly answered that question already about the Ag Vision Program. But I am curious, I think it'd be worthwhile to say a little bit more about what resources are out there for folks that are trying to start up. Because, historically, you know, if you have to buy land, and buy a herd of cattle, you know, somebody go find me the $3 million to get going. Yeah, say a little bit more about what's out there. And then your impressions, maybe of, of what the landscape looks like right now for people that are trying to get into farming and ranching, which I think is really cool.

>> Well, I'm exactly like you, Tip, I'm super excited about the future of agriculture and the new generation that are popping up in this particular industry. There is a lot of passion, and a lot of interest. And there is a lot of nuance, actually, some of the technology that's out there, or the farming practices are really drawing people's attention. So I have always been excited about that. I also believe in the people that decide to get into the business of growing our food, I think they're the most amazing people out there. And I believe you are who you hang with. And that's why I wanted to continue to hang with those farmers. But it is tough. It's extremely difficult if you are brand-new, and all of a sudden you wake up in the morning and you decide you want to be a farmer. But there's different programs. There's different opportunities out there. You know, you got to start out small. We actually, just now this year, offered a brand new grant program. It's called "The New Producer Grant". And is actually still open, where you can go onto our website and apply for a $15,000 grant to get started. It's a little help, and that might be able to, you know, reduce your line of credit or be able to, the cattle prices are now a little crazy. So I don't know any cows you can buy with that. But it all helps. What we do is we like to, again, sit down, collect those financials, that lenders usually collect, and go over options, and understand what the risk is. But this Ag Vision Program that I talked about, is opened to higher amounts of risk, knowing that the capital situation for a brand-new customer is going to be the weakest. But they probably have an amazing plan as far as the earning side goes, and the projection, and the hard work, and the ethics, and the management, and the risk mitigation. And maybe they have other networks or teams of people around them that can help as far as a lease situation, or using equipment. We also work with FSA on guaranteeing our loans, which it allows us to, as a co-op, I'm always looking out for our owners, and making sure that I'm making good decisions around the risks that we put on our books. And helping and working with our FSA offices allows me to put some more risk on the books, but reduce the risk with that guarantee. And so that's helpful. And then, again, we're always looking for ways to try to reduce those interest rates, reduce the fees and the cost. And spend time, one-on-one with those brand-new young and beginning and small farmers, to hopefully give them the best information to make the best decisions. Because when the risk is high that way, it just, and it feels like this lately, there's very little room, it feels like for making mistakes. And so that's what we try to help is try to avoid those mistakes. Because it just feels like they can, those mistakes, those decisions kind of linger more than they used to.

>> Right. In agriculture, a financial mistake is often large in magnitude.

>> Yes.

>> Well, Cathy Bartels, who's with AgWest Farm Credit out of Oregon, mentioned that you guys also have sort of some comprehensive farm planning resources. We've talked a little bit about that. But say more about somebody who's just wanting to do a kind of a whole farm evaluation, you know, what ought we to be doing? Is that something that's offered everywhere? And how many takers do you have for that kind of planning? And maybe another question is, you know, what is that? If somebody does not end up using a loan, which is a mechanism to pay you at -- with AgWest, you know, what's the, by what mechanisms do you guys get paid?

>> Great question. Most of the time, I feel that we're offering these services for existing customers. But as I mentioned before, if there's someone listening to this podcast, and they're, they want us to take a look, they want to bring in their books, and share that with us, we would love to do that and offer, you know, any kind of feedback that we can give them, as far as, you know, against the benchmarking, and help them make decisions. But I would say for the most part, it's customers that we already have some sort of relationship with. I think the important part of that is these -- this does take time. You know, completing a balance sheet or taxes, and looking at a projection, and bringing them in, and sitting down with us, that does take time. And so it's a commitment from the producer to say, you know, this is valuable for me, and I want to invest that time. And we are, we love to do that. The best part of our job is going out and sitting at the kitchen table, or being in the tractor with our customer, and really seeing the operation.

>> Right.

>> Because the most important part of this is really that one-on-one assistance, that that that our teams here at AgWest, you know, love to do. And like you mentioned, every operation is completely different. And so every conversation, every goal that our customer looks at, it's not going to be the same as their neighbor's goal. So as far as how we get paid, we're paid when you come in and do a loan with us, if you're a customer. And so we're going to try to do our hardest to win you over, to win your, you know, heart and mind, that says that you're going to be your next customer of AgWest.

>> Right. So we've talked about the diversity in customers. You've got people that are brand-new to the business that maybe want to buy animals. And then you've got somebody who owns tens of thousands of acres, maybe hundreds of thousands of acres, and they're using a line of credit because they want to use their working capital to invest in the stock market, instead of buying hay. And so they use a line of credit to buy hay, and everything in between with operation sizes, operation types. But give me an example, maybe a hypothetical situation with an example operation, where they're not quite sure what they're looking for. And they're wanting to know if they need to make some changes in the operation, whether they should be managing their money differently, and maybe use a line of credit to -- even if they don't need one. And like in - I love this question, because every nearly everything in the diverse world of range line ecology is: "Well, it depends." And of course, the expertise is to know what does it depend on? And if then, if this answer, you know, then then what? So that's a whole lot of question. But can you throw out just a hypothetical example of a customer, and the different directions you could go depending on how they answer these questions?

>> Yes, sure. So one that comes to mind, for example, is when a customer is looking at their liquidity, and say we're looking at their current ratio, which is current assets over current liabilities. And maybe that customer has just been through three years of drought, which is a real thing up here in Montana. This year, we have been very blessed. But the last three years have been pretty tough. So maybe that customer has been through several years of drought, or even a tougher-looking cattle market. Maybe we're in the other side of the cycle. And so when a customer looks at their financials, a great ratio for you, and in their mind, might be anything above one. Right? Because that means a breakeven. And you can basically just cover your short-term debt. And that customer may feel really good about this because the previous ratio was less than one. So their attitude towards one, or anything above one, is great. And so when you use the benchmarks, you're putting that operation, and comparing it against the average, or other peers that are similar. Again, that's the art of this, that is similar in maybe a similar location. What we do is we typically look at operations that have a similar number of cattle, if it -- a production. It can be similar in operation. Say it's a cow/calf operation. So we look at similar number of head. We also look at the percent of cattle income to the whole gross income, and try to keep that similar. We also try to find similarities, maybe in geography. So we work really hard to try to create some similar comparison. But maybe when you compare your operation, where you have a current ratio of one, maybe you look at that, and your peers are 1.75 to one. Well, then you can decide, what is my goal? Maybe your goal is a two-to-one current ratio, because you know you want to expand in the next three years, or you just want to build in resiliency, due to this everchanging, you know, volatility in our markets. Maybe you look at this, and you, maybe you came in at one and a half, and you actually think that you are setting yourself up where you want to use some of those assets in a more productive way. Because higher, in a current ratio, is not always better. I know I sleep at night knowing that. But higher is not always better. To some producers higher is good, but too high, might make some of our customers feel that their assets are not really properly being created enough of that revenue. So maybe they need to put more of their working capital to work. So just off of one ratio. There's a lot of depends answers. So like anything, it depends on the customer's goals, and, you know, comparing that operation. What is successful mean to them? And how -- and then then you step in, as someone that's looked at several of these, and asks the question: "Now, what actions can we put into play to help our customers reach our goal?"

>> Got it! Well, I'm impressed. And I feel good about having sent somebody your way, so to speak, the other day, when they asked about loans for beginning farmers. I thought the best thing they've could probably do was try to get a hold of their local AgWest Farm Credit agent. And maybe that's the next question is, what's the quickest way for listeners to find the closest AgWest office if they aren't already a customer, and don't have, have just heard about these programs?

>> Well, we're all over online. We actually have a beautiful website out there at So AgWest, F, as in farm; C as in credit, dot-com. And all of our resources are out there. We actually have, and there's maps out there to find your -- the local office nearest you. But we also have a lot of educational resources out there, where you can find when we're going to have our next podcast or our next seminar. We have knowledge industry information that we actually have employees across the whole association, who have a very strong passion for a certain industry. And we actually have a cattle industry team, for example. And we have a wine industry team, and a small grains team, and a dairy team. So on the cattle team, they meet regularly, and learn and talk about all things cattle. And they're just obsessed with it. And so that deep knowledge, that true, you know, it just builds a unique perspective of the cattle industry. And so our employees love working on them. But our customers really love the knowledge sharing and the deliverables that are available. All those deliverables are out there online as well. So it's a great way, you can actually go in there, I believe, and search "subscribe", and you can subscribe to that different information that's coming out from those different industries. The other thing that's out there, as well, on our website is opportunities for rural community grants. And this is a real front program. This is some of our stewardship that we do in our rural communities. It's up to $5,000, and it's very, very simple to fill out. And you just go on our website, and you look up "rural community grants". And it takes for less than a half hour to fill out and attach some information. But it can go to any nonprofit that is working on any project for a rural community. So also know that's out there. And that's all on our website.

>> Great. Now, somebody sent me to the education and resources, webpage a little while back, on preparing financial statements. And, yeah, it's impressive, a lot of information there. And we will put a link to probably some of those separately in the show notes.

>> Oh, wonderful! Another fun one that everybody gets a kick out of is the weather. So we work with Eric Snodgrass, and he does these weather insights. And so I have never, I've always been frustrated with the weather. But I have learned so much from Eric Snodgrass on just the dynamics of weather and what to look at. And so that is a video that he does, and it's pretty amazing. So I would tell you, that one's a fun one to listen to.

>> I will look that up. I haven't seen it yet, but I'm excited to see it. The weather never gets old.

>> It never gets old. And we're always talking about it.

>> Well, Megan, thank you for your time. This was really informative for me. And I think it will be useful to quite a few of the folks that are listening, especially those that are trying to get started. Because it can feel, it can be pretty daunting to try to figure out how to get started in a business that has, requires, seems to require a lot of capital to get going. But there's some pretty smart folks that have good ideas. And I think they can make a go of it. You just have to get off the ground. And this is, seems to be a pretty impressive resource to help folks do that.

>> Well, all we want is for our producers to be the best they can be. Everyone at AgWest just has passion around the industry and passionate for the people. And, you know, as I mentioned, some of the best people work in this industry, and we just want to help them thrive in all aspects of the business. And I really appreciate the opportunity. This is my first podcast tip. So I appreciate, and I appreciate the information you share, and the passion. I share that same passion for the industry and their success. So thank you so much! The information, you gathered, I know I have you downloaded. I'm listening to you in my car. So thanks again for --

>> Excellent!

>> -- for the conversation.

>> Thank you!

>> Thank you for listening to the "Art of Range" podcast. You can subscribe to and review the show through iTunes or your favorite podcasting app so you never miss an episode. Just search for "Art of Range". If you have questions or comments for us to address in a future episode, send an e-mail to For articles and links to resources mentioned in the podcast, please see the show notes at Listener feedback is important to the success of our mission, empowering range line managers. Please take a moment to fill out a brief survey at This podcast is produced by Connors Communications in the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University. The project is supported by the University of Arizona, and funded by the Western Center for Risk Management Education through the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

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