Summer - AgSouth Farm Credit
is published quarterly for stockholders and friends of AgSouth.
William P Spigener, Jr.
07/01/03 Billing Date - Small Grains, Onions, Nursery
07/15/03 Acreage Reporting Date - Soybeans
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jacob L. Davis, III, Chairman
Noel L. Riggins, Vice Chairman
Dolan E. Brown
Jimmy C. Carter, Jr.
Loy D. Cowart
Herbert A. Daniel, Sr.
Lee H. DeLoach
W. Lewis Duvall
George A. Hillsman
Eugene T. Jones
Jeffrey M. Knowles
A. Harvey Lemmon
Jimmy B. Metts
Ricky C. North
H. L. Page
Jerome G. Parker
L. L. Post
Charles C. Rucks
John R. Wells
David H. Womack
If you need crop insurance or have questions about AgSouth’s
crop or timber insurance products, contact Jimmy Dockery at 912-3843200 or 800-334-1224. You may also reach Jimmy by e-mail at
This notice is for informational purposes only. Policy provisions
Address changes, questions, comments or requests for copies of our financial
reports should be directed to AgSouth Farm Credit by writing Carolyn Jones
or calling 912-764-9091. Our quarterly financial report can also be obtained
on our website: www.agsouthfc.com. Contact us by email:
AgSouth Farm Credit does not endorse or accept responsibility for the
advertisements contained in this publication and is not responsible for any
misrepresentations contained therein, including misprints. Opinions and
statements contained in advertising and elsewhere in this publication are
those of the advertisers.
Advertise in the AgSouth Leader! Email Rhonda Uzzolino at
[email protected] or call at 912-682-5076. AgSouth reserves the right
to refuse publication of any advertising deemed inappropriate in the opinion of
AgSouth is Giving
Away Several Free
Trips to Young
AgSouth is co-sponsoring the Young Couples’ Cooperative
Conference, which will be held at the Ocean Creek Resort in Myrtle
Beach November 7-9, 2003. If you and your spouse are interested in
attending, please contact your loan officer. Nominations are due
September 1, 2003.
THANKS FOR YOUR COMMENTS!
We hope you’re enjoying your AgSouth Leader. Please thank our
advertisers and let them know you saw their ad in the AgSouth
Leader. Advertising pays for the cost of printing and mailing your
cooperative’s magazine. If you have any comments or suggestions
about AgSouth Leader articles, columns or advertisements, please
contact Rhonda Uzzolino at 912-682-5076 or
Support your Leader advertisers!
ON THE COVER
Field Corn by John R. Clark.
Check our website for a list of outstanding AgSouth checks which
have not been cashed or which have been returned because of an
address change. The money might be yours!
Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader | 3
When His Country Called,
The Whole Family Answered
By: Stacy Sikes, Vice President
Driggers Simmental Farm was founded by Jessie
Driggers 25 years ago on 62 acres in Tattnall
County, Ga. Jessie and his family raise Simmentals,
a very gentle, fast-growing breed. Jessie is very
interested in genetics, and each year he works
toward raising a stronger herd. All of the Driggers’
cows are bred through artificial insemination after
Jessie carefully selects which sires to use on the
herd. The farm currently has 35 mature brood cows
and 20 calves, along with yearling heifers and bulls.
4 | Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader
s if the farm isn’t enough to keep him
busy, Jessie also runs the Tattnall
Naval Satellite Tracking Station in
Glennville. In addition, Jessie and two
partners founded the Canoochee Forage Bull
Development Center in Glennville two years
ago. The Center gathers data on bulls raised
on forage versus feed. Their goal is to
establish proof that bulls raised strictly by
foraging have no loss of stamina as opposed
to those raised on feed. Canoochee Forage
Bull Development Center has 75 bulls on the
program and will have its second annual sale
on October 24, 2003. (Anyone wanting
information on the sale or program can
contact Chrissy Driggers or Danny Durrence
When Jessie’s not busy with cattle or
running the satellite station, he’s serving his
country. Jessie has been in the Air National
Guard for 20 years, where he is a Master
Sergeant in the 165th Airlift Wing based in
Savannah. This special wing was originally
founded as the 158th Fighter Squadron in 1946.
Jessie facilitates repairs on the avionic
systems needed to navigate and control C130s. Because of his expertise in the field of
avionics, Jessie was deployed to Oman earlier
this year, along with other members of the
165th. His unit hauls cargo to troops stationed
in and around the Persian Gulf, but his
primary duty is to repair the instruments the
pilots and navigators use to fly the planes.
Since his deployment in March, Jessie’s unit
has flown over 2,600 sorties in support of
Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Jessie’s absence has left the running of
the farm to his wife of one year, Chrissy, and
their blended family of “five wonderful
children,” according to Chrissy. Jessie’s
deployment has been hard on the whole
family, but they are persevering through faith
and joining together. Admittedly, they have all
had to take a crash course in farming. Chrissy,
especially, is feeling the toll, working doubleduty as a parent. “I tell Jessie that by the time
he returns, I will have mastered farming, but
it’s too bad there’s no way to master
teenagers,” jokes Chrissy.
LEFT TOP: The Driggers Family patiently awaits
Jessie’s return. LEFT BOTTOM: Jessie receives a
much appreciated care package from home.
Jessie at work on the base in Oman. Temperatures at the camp can reach 120 degrees.
The girls working with the cows.
Chrissy works full time for the Savannah
Economic Development Authority. Jason, 18,
is in the Air National Guard, just like his
father, and will be attending tech school this
summer to finish his training. Josh, 17, will be
a high school senior next year and hopes to
continue his education after graduation. Anna,
16, is a junior in high school and is a pro at
showing heifers from her many years in 4-H.
She hopes to one day have a career teaching
ag. Mindy, 13, also shows heifers, but her
greatest love is horses. She competes in barrel
racing and trail riding events whenever the
family’s busy schedule permits. The youngest
of the children, Ashley, 10, has a passion for
music and small animals and recently recorded
her very first CD as a special gift for Jessie.
But no matter what their secondary passions,
continued on next page
Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader | 5
Anna wants to teach agriculture. Ashley proudly displays a flag from one of the guards’ missions. Mindy’s greatest love is horses.
Driggers Family (continued)
while Dad is gone, the family’s primary focus
is maintaining the upkeep of the farm and the
unity of the family. Jessie is as proud of them
as they are of him.
Jessie’s deployment has forced the family
to utilize a strong work ethic in order to keep
up with their schools, jobs and farm
responsibilities. And there’s always plenty of
work to go around. Fortunately, all pitch in to
do their part. According to Chrissy, the whole
experience has brought them closer as a
family. Jessie gets up at 4:30 a.m. (8:30 p.m.
EST) each morning to chat on-line with his
family. They share details about their days,
discuss the farm happenings . . . the usual
exchange of information families have around
the dinner table. “This day-to-day contact
with Jessie keeps our spirits up and brings a
sense of normalcy to our lives,” says Chrissy.
An AgSouth member for the past five
years, Jessie came to AgSouth because
“AgSouth understands the farmer and his
needs much better than other lending
institutions. AgSouth is more user friendly to
the farmer and his family.”
AgSouth wishes Jessie, his unit, and all
other US troops a safe return home.
Serving Rural America
By: Mike Grimes, Vice President
he Randy Coggins family of Carroll
County, Ga., is deeply committed to
agriculture, community service and
The Coggins live on a 28-acre farm in rural
Carroll County, Ga., where they raise cattle and
hay. Randy was President of the Cattlemen’s
Association in 1999 and 2000 and still remains
active in the association. The Coggins are also
members of the Young Farmers Association
because, as Randy says, “I may be old, but I’m
not too old to learn new things.”
As long-time members of AgSouth, the
Coggins have a deep appreciation of
AgSouth’s commitment to agriculture and the
rural community. According to Randy,
“Having a lender
that’s dedicated to
for rural America is
important to us and
other members of
rural communities. In
today’s economy, it
helps to know that
business and will be
there for you.”
“Having a lender that’s dedicated to providing
financing for rural America is important to us
and other members of rural communities. In
today’s economy, it helps to know that your
lender understands your business and will be
there for you.”
Randy Coggins is a fireman with the City
TOP: The Coggins Family. RIGHT: Randy’s Japanese
hybrid non-astringent persimmon trees.
of East Point. As the Chief Commander of the
Fire Safety Education Department, he teaches
adults and children the importance of fire
safety. However, Randy’s dedication to public
service began long before he became a fireman.
He served his country in Vietnam for two years
and then served another two years as an aircraft
crash firefighter on the U.S.S. Constellation. In
2004, after more than 32 years as a fireman,
Randy plans to retire from his post.
Randy Coggins also works part-time as a
paramedic. He says that, “Sadly, a good
portion of my paramedic activities is spent
delivering babies to 13- and 14-year-olds. All
too often there is nothing for teenagers to do,
especially in small towns, and that’s when
teens get into trouble.” Randy and his wife
Elisabeth have two daughters and have always
been supportive of their daughters’ activities.
As active parents, they have spent their lives
trying to bring values to their own children, as
well as other children in the community.
Elisabeth Coggins, a county agent for
Carroll County, grew up on the family farm in
Fulton County. Between school, 4-H and farm
chores, there was always something to do and
little idle time for getting in trouble. Elisabeth
realized that if she were going to raise two
daughters, she’d better find activities to keep
them busy, and that’s just what she did.
When Sierra, the Coggins’ oldest
daughter, began her involvement with 4-H,
Elisabeth began volunteering her services to
support her daughter’s activities. After eight
years of volunteer service, the extension
service finally offered her a paying job. She
stays active with the 4-H and says that the
agricultural lifestyle has been very rewarding.
Although she spends as much time with
chickens and cows as she does with her
family, Elisabeth wouldn’t trade her extension
continued on next page
Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader | 7
By:Rhonda Uzzolino, Marketing Manager
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Cheyenne enjoys working with cows. Cheyenne displays one of her 4-H
awards. Cheyenne and her father, Randy, a true hero.
Part-Time Farmers (continued)
job for anything else. “I believe in 4-H. It
gives kids an outlet, keeps them together and
teaches them leadership,” she says.
Elisabeth also coaches a high school
judging team. “I’ve been working with some
of these seniors since they were in the fifth
grade. They’re like my second family,” she
Elisabeth and Randy’s youngest daughter,
Cheyenne, is a recent graduate of Central High
School in Roopville. Cheyenne also inherited
her family’s love of agriculture. She is
President of the Georgia Junior Cattlemen’s
Association and the local FFA. She is also a
member of 4-H, Beta Club, National Honor
Society and French National Honor Society.
Somehow she finds time to work two days each
week on G-Whiz Farm in nearby Buchanan and
is an active member of St. Margaret’s Episcopal
Church. Cheyenne says that her busy schedule
keeps her out of trouble. “Most days I’m up at
5:45, busy all day, and in bed by 11:00. On the
weekends I may sleep until 6:00 or 7:00 in the
This fall Cheyenne hopes to join her
older sister Sierra at Oklahoma State
University to study animal science with an
8 | Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader
emphasis on beef cattle reproduction. She will
be well prepared for her major, as she recently
helped birth a calf. “I enjoyed the experience
for the most part,” she laughs, “right up until
the time I found myself covered in manure.”
She looks forward to more rewarding
experiences working with cattle as she
continues her education.
Though free time is a rarity for the busy
family, each family member has a favorite
pastime. Elisabeth enjoys spending time in
her garden. She is a master gardener and
occasionally speaks on the subject throughout
Randy is a good cook who makes great
biscuits - his secret is in keeping the dough
“moist enough for sopping.” He also raises
produce and Japanese hybrid non-astringent
persimmons, which he sells at the Carrollton
Elisabeth says the family manages to get
everything done only through a lot of
cooperation. “Farming is fun and relaxing for
all of us, so if we have a choice between
housework and farm work, it’s the housework
that usually goes undone.”
Congratulations to Marilyn Howard, who
recently received a $1,200 college
scholarship co-sponsored by AgSouth.
Marilyn is a rising sophomore from
Morgan County, Ga., who is majoring in
agribusiness at the University of Georgia.
As dedicated to her studies as she is
to her community, Marilyn has a long list
of credits and honors to her name. After
graduating she hopes to work in public
relations with an ag-affiliated business.
According to Marilyn, “I know with
certainty that my career path will be in
Swap a Story for a Hat!
Whether you have a short anecdote or a
heartwarming story about growing up on a
farm, we’d love to hear it. And if you have
photos to go along with your story, that’s
Send your stories and photos to
Rhonda Uzzolino, 218 Clearmeadow Drive,
Columbia SC 29229 or email
[email protected] We will try to
ensure the return of all photos. Make sure to
include your name, address and telephone
number in case there are any questions.
Selected stories may be printed in
upcoming editions of the AgSouth Leader,
and everyone who submits a story, whether
or not it’s published, will receive an
AgSouth hat as a token of our appreciation.
Share your story with us, and then
share the AgSouth story with your friends!
[Editor reserves the right to edit stories
for space or content if necessary.
oster Fender, a timber farmer in
Atkinson County, Ga., has been a Farm
Credit member since the early 1980’s.
His love of land began as a boy, when his
father bought the 360-acre family farm for
$3.75 an acre. Fender, Sr., also a timberman,
taught his son the value of hard work and one
very important lesson that Foster never forgot:
Prudently invest in land and you’ll never have
to worry about your boss firing you.
At an early age Fender worked with his
father after school and on weekends. He
got his first “real” job at the age of 16,
leasing turpentine boxes and cruising timber.
With his reputation for hard work and
frugality, he was able to borrow $1,500 to
purchase his first house. He rented it out,
By: Jackie Spivey, Assistant Vice President
understanding of the
irregular income and
cash flow. AgSouth is
the only area lender
that has registered
foresters on staff
who understand my
applied the rent to the loan, and only owed
$54 on the home when he moved in with his
bride Francine several years later.
That purchase was a catalyst for Fender,
who set out to learn everything he could
about land ownership. At the local diner’s
“liar’s club,” a group of more experienced
landowners frequently gathered to discuss
local real estate sales and property values.
Fender sat in, listened and learned. When a
prime 125-acre tract of three-year-old planted
pines and farmland went on the market, 21year-old Fender looked at the property,
assessed its future income potential, and
borrowed $9,000 to purchase his first timber
tract. After working for months to clear the
10 | Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader
Fender showcases three-year-old pines.
discusses timber prices with loan officer Jackie Spivey. RIGHT: Foster and Francine Fender.
property, he leased the cropland to a neighbor
and sat back to watch his timber grow. Almost
50 years later Fender still receives income
from that tract.
Fender has invested in land throughout
his life by his “Rule of Three D’s”: discipline,
determination and durability. He says it takes
all three of these qualities to be a successful
timber grower and adds with a wink, “Timber
is not one of your faster-growing crops.
Without patience, a timber grower might as
well just gamble the money away.”
Growing timber is what Foster Fender
does best, and he’s one of the larger
landowners and timber farmers in Southeast
Georgia. He’s seen crops come and go
throughout his years, and says that timber is
the only crop that’s nonperishable and holds
its value, if you have the patience to hold out
for the right market. “If the price isn’t right
this year, the timber will keep growing and
will still be there next year, or the next, or the
next,” he says. He then adds, “To be
successful and happy in life, you’ve got to
first discover what you love, and then do it. I
love growing timber.”
Frugality is another key to this
unassuming man’s success. “Why put money
into a new car when I can use that same
money to purchase something that will
generate income?” he asks. “In five or six
years, the car will be worth nothing, but the
land . . . well, that’s a different story.” But
sometimes Foster’s frugality goes a bit too
far, especially as far as his wife is concerned.
Fender jokes that he and Francine would still
be living in his “$54 house” if she hadn’t
tricked him into moving.
Fender bought the family’s current home
about five years ago as an investment property.
continued on next page
He planned to remodel the 4,100 square foot ranch house and sell it for a
profit, but he made a crucial mistake by asking Francine to manage the
renovations. In the process of restoring the old house, she found herself
falling in love with the place. Rather than argue with her husband about
keeping it, the wily Francine waited until he was out of town and quietly
moved all of their belongings into the home. It may have been sneaky,
but Fender says if Francine hadn’t forced his hand they would still be in
that $54 house. It took some time for him to adjust to his new
surroundings, but once Fender got used to the new home, he fell in love
with it, too.
Fender likes working with AgSouth because “financing timber
requires an understanding of the wood industry’s irregular income and
cash flow. AgSouth is the only area lender that has registered foresters
on staff who understand my business.”
Fender’s advice to prospective timber growers and landowners is
to “get in when everyone else is getting out. The property value will
eventually come around . . . if you have the patience.”
Second-generation pine on Fender’s first tract. Georgia pines
scrape the sky.
12 | Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader
Cashing Out Your
401(k) Can be
By: Ron Washburn, CFP, American Express Financial Advisors, Inc.
and state income
taxes. If you are in the
27.5 percent tax
bracket, federal taxes
and penalties will add
up to a large bite $5,400 before- state
taxes out of your
mericans have become increasingly
concerned about job security - and
with just cause. Unemployment is on
the rise, and that means many people will
search for additional funds to help them get
through a financially uncertain period of time.
Some may choose to cash out their retirement
accounts early. However, this seemingly
simple choice carries a steep price.
The price you pay
Let’s take a look at a hypothetical
example of the cost of cashing out early. If
you have $15,000 in your 401(k) and decide
to take a lump-sum distribution after you
leave your job, you will lose the benefits of
tax deferral and the potential opportunity for
investment gains worth tens of thousands of
dollars. Assuming an eight percent annual
return, that same $15,000 could reach nearly
$70,000 in just 20 years.
Additionally, taking a distribution can
mean you’ll get socked with a 10 percent
early withdrawal penalty, as well as federal
To avoid such
rolling your 401(k)
over to an Individual
Retirement Account (IRA). Doing so will
likely give you increased investment options
and more control over your money. With an
IRA, you can invest your money in a number
of different ways, including stocks, bonds,
mutual funds and certificates of deposit
(CDs). As with a 401(k), your assets will still
grow tax-deferred, and as your investments
grow, you will still enjoy the benefits of
IRAs provide more flexibility for
distributions than a traditional employer plan.
Another benefit of an IRA is that you can
convert it to a Roth IRA. You’ll pay taxes on
the conversion amount, but you’ll be able to
enjoy the benefits a Roth IRA provides,
including the potential for tax-free growth, no
taxes on withdrawals once you reach age 591/2, provided that the funds have been there
for at least five years, and no minimum
When you leave your employer, you
potentially have several options for the money
in your 401(k) account. These may include:
Ron Washburn, CFP
American Express Financial
taking it and spending it; keeping it in your
former employer’s plan (if you have at least
$5,000 in the plan); transferring it to your new
employer’s plan; or rolling it over into an
IRA. Before choosing, consider the impact
your decision will have.
Where can you turn for
According to a recent report by Cerulli
Associates, more than half of Americans who
took a lump-sum distribution from a former
employer’s retirement plan chose not to roll
the funds into an IRA. Considering the recent
rise in corporate layoffs, literally millions of
Americans may be squandering their future
retirement assets when they get “pink
If you’d like to learn more about IRAs
and how to manage your retirement fund
dollars, consider consulting a professional
financial advisor. Recent (and future) tax law
changes may provide even more options for
rolling your money out of one retirement plan
into another. A qualified financial advisor can
answer your questions about a rollover IRA
and help you make the most of your
retirement funds. They can help you develop a
plan that’s in step with your current and future
goals and needs.
American Express Financial Advisors
Inc. Member NASD. American Express
Company is separate from American Express
Financial Advisors Inc. and is not a brokerdealer. 2002 American Express Financial
Corporation all rights reserved.
Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader | 13
Kingston Listens to the
Concerns of AgSouth Farmers
By: Jimmy Dockery, Vice President
“Thanks to the personal
farmers put into their
operations and the
Farm Credit loans, all
Americans are able to
enjoy the highest
quality food in the world
at a very low price.”
Congressman Kingston (r) and AgSouth Chairman of the Board Jay Davis of Pierce County, Ga., (l)
led the discussions.
ongressman Jack Kingston visited the
Douglas Branch of AgSouth recently
to meet with First Congressional
District Farm Credit members. Kingston
discussed agricultural issues of importance to
the district and listened to the concerns of
AgSouth’s Chairman of the Board, Jay
Davis, of Pierce County, Ga., along with other
AgSouth members, explained the importance
of Farm Credit to their lives.
According to Davis, “Farm Credit has
always been there to provide operating
capital, even when times were difficult.”
Davis went on to say that because AgSouth
operates as a cooperative, profits are returned
to its patrons - the farmers, rural homeowners
and ag-related businesses of rural America.
In addition to providing competitive rates for
agriculture, AgSouth gives America’s farmers
another advantage over borrowing from other
lenders by reducing their effective interest
rate through the patronage program. Les Post,
of Jeff Davis County, Ga., told the group that
in 2002 he received over $29 in AgSouth
patronage dividends for every $100 in interest
14 | Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader
part of AgSouth’s congressionally-mandated
he paid to AgSouth! (Since 1988 AgSouth
mission,” added McCall.
has returned more than $100 million in
Farm Credit, rural America’s partner,
patronage to its patrons in Georgia!)
helps farmers provide food and fiber for all
The discussion led to how Farm Credit is
Americans. AgSouth is proud to be a part of
benefiting people living in urban areas.
the Farm Credit System.
Thanks to the personal investments America’s
farmers put into their operations and the
availability of competitively priced Farm
Credit loans, all
Americans are able to
enjoy the highest
quality food in the
world at a very low
Van McCall outlined
program is provided
free to all interested
(L to R) AgSouth Director Jay Davis, AgSouth Vice President and
young, beginning and
farmer Jerri Lynn Taylor and Director Kenneth Bennett shared their
small farmers is just a
ideas and concerns with the Congressman.
Congressman Max Burns
By: Dewey Newton, Vice President
Farm Credit is as great today as it was in
1916, when the system was created.”
Being a farmer from Screven County, Max
Burns clearly understands the need for large
amounts of capital to pay for farms, equipment,
crop inputs and operating expenses. Max is one
of the dwindling numbers of farmers and truly
rural residents in Congress.
Burns serves on the House Agriculture,
Education & Workforce and the
Transportation & Infrastructure Committees.
“Farm Credit has been
there for us through
good times and bad.”
AgSouth Director Lee DeLoach (r) told Congressman Burns he believes that the need for Farm
Credit is as important today as it was when the System was created in 1916.
ongressman Max Burns visited
AgSouth’s Statesboro office for a
lunch meeting in April. During the
luncheon AgSouth’s members and staff
discussed how the cooperative helps improve
the quality of life in rural America. Topics
included everything from full-time farmer
issues to loans for non-farmers (rural home
loans and loans for farm-related businesses).
All of the discussions emphasized the need
for a strong Farm Credit System.
Mr. and Mrs. H.L. Page of Bryan County
shared the story of their first Farm Credit loan
back in 1956 at the Savannah PCA office.
According to Mr. Page, “During the past 49
years, Farm Credit has been there for us
through good times and bad. And since
AgSouth began paying patronage in 1988, the
benefits of doing business with my
cooperative have added directly to my
operation’s bottom line.”
AgSouth Director Lee DeLoach, of
Bulloch County, Ga., expanded on the theme
of AgSouth being rural America’s partner by
sharing a story about patronage. Mr. DeLoach
said his 2002 patronage from AgSouth was
sufficient to pay the real estate taxes on his
farm. DeLoach explained, “The need for
Based on his responses to questions from the
group, the Congressman is very well informed
about the issues and problems facing rural
America. Burns assured those attending the
meeting that he would do his best to represent
the people of the 12th District and would
continue to work for the rural community.
Mr. & Mrs. Hughlynn Page, the last full-time farmers in Bryan County, encourage young farmers to get into the farming business. BOTTOM: Max
Burns (center) along with Farm Credit staff and directors.
Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader | 15
The AgSouth Mortgages department has been busy hiring originators and support staff to
keep up with the demand for home loans.
Andrea Rhodes was recently hired as a mortgage originator for the Carrollton office. A
graduate of the State University of West Georgia, Andrea is a resident of Douglasville, Ga. She
will be servicing applicants from Carroll, Douglas, Haralson and Heard Counties.
Wanda Smith is a mortgage originator working out of the Griffin office. Wanda is a member
of Griffin’s Board of Realtors. She was previously the owner and president of Absolute
Mortgage Corporation in Zebulon, Ga. Wanda will be originating loans for applicants in Butts,
Clayton, Fayette, Henry, Lamar, Pike, Spalding and South Fulton Counties.
In the Baxley office, Annette Raulerson recently began originating home loans in Appling
and Bacon counties. Annette has an 18-year history in lending. Before coming to AgSouth, she
worked in Mobile, Alabama, as a manager with AmSouth Bank for 15 years and then as a
manager with Compass Bank for three years.
Stacy Anderson is a mortgage originator working out of the Blackshear and Jesup branches.
Stacy, originally from Nicholls, Ga., graduated from Georgia Southern University in 1993 with a
B.B.A. in Accounting. Prior to coming to AgSouth, he was a cost accountant for D.L. Lee &
Sons, Inc. in Alma, Ga. Stacy will cover Brantley, Camden, Charlton, Clinch, Pierce and Ware
Vernita Covington is the newest underwriter in the Madison office. Vernita graduated from
Commonwealth College with a B.A. in Business Management. She brings nine years of
experience in the mortgage industry to AgSouth Mortgages.
Jana Grove is Statesboro’s new customer service representative. Jana is a sophomore in the
Bell Honors Program at Georgia Southern University and is pursuing a degree in public relations.
Natashia Brack, a four-year employee, resigned in March, 2003, to accept a job closer to her
home. Natashia was the head processor of AgSouth Mortgages’ secondary market in Madison.
Jenni Blake, a loan assistant in Thomaston, resigned in May. Jenni, who was with the
association for a year-and-a-half, has relocated to Florida and will be working for Farm Credit of
Lane Godley, a customer service representative in Statesboro, resigned in June. Upon
receiving her B.A. in Finance from GSU, Lane returned to her hometown of Hinesville to pursue
a career in bank management.
16 | Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader
MBL FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC.
MBL Financial Services, Inc and AgSouth are proud to
announce that we are partnering to provide equipment lease
financing both directly to commercial customers and through
MBL has been servicing equipment vendors and leasing
customers since 1988, by creating transaction structures that
meet the specific needs of the lessee.
Through creative underwriting, extraordinary service and
professional integrity, MBL has developed long-term
relationships with many equipment vendors and equipment users.
For information on leasing, contact your local AgSouth loan
officer or call Kevin Pratt at MBL at 800-624-9042
(office) or 770-330-1009 (cell)
Visit our website: www.mblfinancial.com
Advantages of Equipment Leasing:
• Preserves liquidity
• Provides 100% financing (in most cases)
• Provides fixed payments
• Potential tax advantages*
*Customers should always consult their tax advisor
By: Mike Stewart, Vice President
18 | Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader
Keadle Lumber Enterprises, situated in Upson County, Ga., has been
manufacturing lumber for more than 55 years.
teve Keadle, president of the company,
is the second generation to run the
family business his father, Homer,
began in 1947. Homer continues to serve in
an advisory capacity as chairman of the
board. Steve has been the acting president
since 1997, having previously served as vice
president and general manager.
Today the company has 100 employees
and operates 24/7 at a modern facility situated
on 110 acres east of Thomaston. Keadle
produces 55 to 60 million feet of southern
yellow pine products and 150,000 tons of byproducts each year, which makes it one of the
largest independently owned lumber
operations in the Southeast. The company has
timber business, so I
don’t have to waste
time explaining my
come a long way from its humble beginnings,
when Homer traveled the counties
surrounding Forsyth, Ga., with his portable
sawmill, cutting green logs and selling the
lumber to planing mills for further processing.
As the business grew, Homer added a
planing mill and dry kiln. While still in
college, Steve assisted Homer in adding a
hardwood sawmill. In 1976 the Keadles
updated their pine sawmill with 1970’s
equipment and a computerized lumber sorter.
During the 1980’s Steve initiated growth into
other products by first establishing a pallet
mill, and later a pressure treating facility and
a steam-generating boiler to fuel the kiln. To
ensure the company’s continued success, a
Paul Batchelor (l) and Steve Keadle
(r) at the entrance to the sawmill.
The sawmill as it was in 1964.
few years ago Keadle re-established its own
logging operation, which provides Keadle
more security in maintaining log supply.
Earlier this year Keadle initiated a
contractual relationship with one of the largest
suppliers of pressure treated lumber in the
US. The result is that Keadle’s largest
customer is located on Keadle’s mill property,
and thus provides a conduit to Home Depot,
one of the largest buyers of lumber in the US.
Keadle’s wood procurement staff selects
only the best trees for their products, while
ensuring the prosperity of the forests by
adhering to Best Management Practices.
According to Steve, “We believe that the only
way to secure the continued prosperity of the
lumber business is to ensure the health and
maintenance of our forests.”
In order to remain profitable in such a
volatile industry, Keadle made major updates
to the sawmill beginning in 2000, and, of
course, turned to long-time lender, AgSouth,
to finance the changes. Steve and Homer
initiated the relationship with Farm Credit
more than 25 years ago. “AgSouth
understands the timber business, so I don’t
have to waste time explaining my needs,”
says Steve. The installation of a log
optimization package allowed the company to
get more lumber out of each log. “We don’t
produce more quantity than we did with the
old mill,” he says, “but now we’re able to get
more product from each log. This is a big
factor in the success of the company, since the
price of lumber has dropped 25 to 30 percent
to levels seen in the early ‘90’s, while log
prices as well as labor, supplies and
insurance, are currently 45% or more higher
than they were in 1992.”
Steve knows the lumber business from
continued on next page
Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader | 19
Keadle Lumber (continued)
the inside out. During high school and college
he worked in all areas of the mills. After
graduating from UGA in 1975 with a degree
in Business Administration, Steve came into
the business on a full-time basis, acquiring
ownership in the company shortly thereafter.
“My first priority was to establish personnel
policies and benefits in order to recruit and
retain personnel whom would be more
conducive to growing the company,” says
Steve. For the next several years he worked in
all phases of the family business. “I’ve
inspected and bought timber and land, cut
logs, operated the sawmill, sold the lumber,
accounting, finance . . . you name it. If a job
exists here, I’ve done it at some point.”
Having an owner who has first-hand
experience in all of the company’s operations
serving as president has helped the company
streamline processing and reduce expenses.
Steve is determined to keep the business
strong and productive. Keadle’s concerns for
the future are centered around an oversupply
of lumber due to competition from imports,
continued development of alternative lumber
products and environmental and
governmental regulations, which have
resulted in a decline in the market price of
finished products. But if the company’s 55year history is any indication, Keadle will
adapt to industry changes and do whatever it
takes to ensure the company’s success.
“To stand still is to go backwards,” says
Keadle. “We’re always on the lookout for new
products and processes, while striving to
improve efficiency and product quality.”
Charles H. Brown
Brown Rountree & Stewart
Do I Need a Will?
By: Charles H. Brown, Brown Rountree & Stewart
oing to see a lawyer to have a will
prepared is like going to see a
physician to have an annual physical
exam: “I will get around to that tomorrow.”
But, alas, we cannot plan our deaths. Persons
otherwise vigilant and responsible about
business affairs do not like to take the time or
to confront potentially difficult issues about
asset division, so will preparation is
oftentimes left to a tomorrow that never
comes. But failure to prepare a will can often
result in most unfortunate, unintended results.
Consider some examples:
• A young farmer and his wife drive a
substantial distance to attend a farm
association meeting and both are killed
in an automobile accident when a drunk
driver crosses over the centerline. The
couple leaves surviving two minor
children. Without a will, contentious
litigation results between paternal and
maternal family members about who
will serve as guardian of the children.
• An elderly farmer dies unexpectedly of a
heart attack, leaving a wife and four
adult children. The farmer’s intention
had been to prepare a will leaving all of
his assets available for the support of his
wife during her lifetime, but he never
got around to it. Under the Georgia
statutes on dissent and distribution
where no will exists, the wife receives
only one-third of his estate, while the
children inherit the other two-thirds,
leaving the wife without adequate
financial resources for her own
What can you do to avoid such
occurrences? Promptly make an
appointment with your attorney and draw a
will. Here are some of the benefits of doing so:
• You decide who gets your property and
how and when it will be distributed.
• With a will you can provide for extended
trust management of assets, meaning
that your assets can be professionally
managed to provide an income stream
to your beneficiaries.
• An attorney skilled in estate planning
can draft a will so as to substantially
reduce or even eliminate death taxes,
but if this planning is not done in your
lifetime, after your death little can be
done to avoid the taxation if your estate
exceeds tax exclusion sums.
• If you die without a will, an
administrator selected by the court, not
you, will be named to manage your
estate. But if you draw a will, you can
choose your own executor and trustee.
• Parents can name guardians for minor
• Charitable gifts can be made if you
wish, for example, to your church.
Some people are discouraged from
drawing a will because of what they anticipate
will be the undue complexity of the matter.
But that is an incorrect assumption. Unless
your estate is quite large, attorneys
experienced in drawing wills can likely
complete the process in no more than two or
three conferences and with no alteration of
your present financial arrangements or
ownership of assets.
So what do you do? Right now, pick up the
phone and make an appointment with your
attorney to discuss the preparation of a will. You
and the family members for whom you wish to
provide will be happy you made that decision.
This article does not constitute legal
advice. See your attorney to discuss issues
unique to your assets and family
Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader | 21
By: Rhonda Uzzolino, Marketing Manager
22 | Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader
Tommy Strickland tells the
story of a customer who
wanted to move a favorite
tree to a lot where she was
planning to build a house.
She called Future Trees,
which not only managed
to move the tree, but also
stored it until her new
home was complete and
ready for landscaping.
uture Trees, located in Bulloch County,
Ga., is owned by AgSouth patrons,
Tommy Strickland and John
Quattlebaum. With 90 acres in production,
Future Trees sells everything from young
seedlings to mature trees native to the
Southeast. The oldest trees for sale on the
farm are oaks and magnolias that were
planted in 1988.
Quattlebaum and Strickland began
operating the nursery in 1987. In 1993 they
moved to their current location South of
FROM TOP: Future Trees uses only the hardiest oaks for cloning stock. AgSouth Regional Vice
President Pat Calhoun (l) talks with Future Trees’ co-owner, Tommy Strickland (r).
“AgSouth has more
to meet our business’
needs than just
Statesboro, Ga., on property that has been in
John’s family for many years. Theirs is a
state-of-the-art operation that includes a
controlled temperature program that
safeguards small plants from Georgia’s
extreme temperatures. Future Trees uses a
massive irrigation system throughout the
nursery to distribute nutrients and water-based
fertilizers to produce rapid, sturdy growth and
development of the nursery stock.
John and Tommy have a section of the
nursery set aside just for the cloning stock.
Sprouts from these special trees are collected
continued on next page
Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader | 23
Future Trees (continued)
and taken to the greenhouse in the spring.
After the roots are developed and the young
trees are thriving, Future Trees either ships
them or plants them on the premises in predug holes. These holes are filled with a
special liner that facilitates easy ground
removal and shipping. The company typically
raises trees in special planters until they are
one year old and fully ready for transplanting.
According to Strickland, Future Trees is
the first company in the world to clone oaks
successfully on a commercial basis. It selects
only the sturdiest, straightest trees for cloning.
Clients prefer the cloned oaks because of the
predictability of the qualities and appearance
of the mature trees. When planting Future
Trees’ cloned oaks on a driveway, a client
realizes that in all probability the trees will
have uniformity of growth, form and color.
John and Tommy specialize in cloning Willow
Oaks and Hybeam® Overcup Oaks and know
what type of soil and conditions produce the
greatest probability of their survival.
Strickland points out that cloning plants
has been around for a while. However, Future
Trees was one of the first nurseries to clone
trees on a massive scale. He predicts
continued improvement in tree cloning as
more companies experiment in this area. Of
all the species of stock on the company’s 90
acres, cloned oaks are the company’s biggest
sellers. Because Future Trees is a pioneer in
the oak tree cloning industry, it is able to sell
the oaks to developers all over the country.
Because Future Trees manages many acres of
its own tree stock and also grows plants for
other nurseries, the operation requires a lot of
maintenance. Fifteen full-time employees
tend the nursery in the spring and summer,
and, as Strickland says, “you wouldn’t want
to pay our water bill.”
Strickland and Quattlebaum first came to
AgSouth for financing three years ago when
the company expanded and needed new
Magnolia trees are carefully contained until they are sold or transplanted. RIGHT: Future Trees plants
younger trees in special liners that facilitate easy removal and transplanting. Note the container liners
around the base of the tree.
24 | Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader
equipment. However, they were unaware that
AgSouth offered insurance for nurseries until
they talked to AgSouth Regional Vice
President Pat Calhoun. Now Future Trees
covers all of their crop insurance needs
through AgSouth. “Pat showed us that
AgSouth has more to meet our business’
needs than just loans. Thanks to AgSouth’s
crop insurance, I can sleep better at night
knowing that our inventory is solidly
protected, “says Tommy. In addition, both
Strickland and Quattlebaum recently took
advantage of the low interest rates to
refinance their individual homes through
Future Trees has not finished with its
innovations. John’s and Tommy’s future plans
for the company include a continued search
for desirable specimens that will adapt well to
for Your Pets
By: Dr. K.T. Blount, DVM
Stop External Parasites Before
Fleas, ticks and ear mites thrive in warm,
humid environments. Ask your vet about the
best preventative program for your pet.
Remember That the Streets
Don’t let your pets roam. Your pet is no
match for a car, and heat-ravaged animals are
more prone to fighting.
Pet Proof Your Yard
ith the Georgia summer upon us,
your pets need extra protection
against the heat and the diseases
that thrive in warm, moist environments. Many
owners enjoy outdoor activities and traveling
with their pets, but summer is the time of year
that pets have a greater risk of injury and heatrelated health problems. Here are some tips to
keep your pet healthy this summer:
Watch for Signs of Heatstroke
Rapid panting, hot skin, twitching muscles
and a dazed look. If you notice any of these
symptoms, wrap your pet in a towel soaked
with cool, not cold, water. In severe cases, place
your pet in a bathtub and contact your vet as
soon as possible. Heatstroke can be fatal.
Never Leave Your Pet in a
Not even if you crack the windows or
park in the shade. On a 70-degree day, the car
temperature can rise above 150 degrees in just
a few minutes. Leaving your pet in the car
even for a few minutes is extremely
dangerous, and is THE NUMBER ONE
CAUSE OF HEATSTROKE!
Provide Plenty of Fresh Water
Dogs can only sweat through the pads of
their feet and by panting. Evaporation from
the wet surfaces of their mouths and noses
helps lower body temperature.
Watch Out for Hot Pavement
Sensitive paws burn easily.
Find a Cool Spot
For indoor pets, keep the air circulating
with a childproof fan or air conditioner.
Provide shade for outdoor pets; and a gentle
sprinkle from a hose is always appreciated.
Watch the Exercise and Diet
Don’t encourage exercise during the
hottest part of the day, and allow your pet to
eat less. Overeating can lead to overheating.
Watch out for Sunburn!
It hurts. Shorthaired pets and those with
pink skin and white hair are especially
susceptible to the sun. Limit your pet’s exposure.
Be cautious of pesticides and herbicides.
Read the precautions for lawn chemicals
carefully and keep pets away from newly
treated yards. If your pet comes in contact
with chemicals, wash its feet, abdomen and
Brush Every Day
Frequent brushing provides early warning
of parasites and skin infections by lifting the
coat, permitting a view of the skin below.
Remember That it’s Allergy
Season for Pets, too
People sneeze; pets scratch. Common pet
allergies include fleas, pollen, grass and
weeds. If your pet scratches excessively or
chews at its paws, bring it in for examination.
Be Cautious Around Water
Animals in the water for the first time
should be eased in, never thrown in or chased
in. Don’t let your pet drink from pools,
streams or the ocean. If your pet swims, rinse
it off immediately with clean water. Salt and
minerals can damage a dog’s coat.
Dr. Kevin Blount is an AgSouth member and a veterinarian with The Animal Hospital in Waycross, Ga. If you have questions regarding this article,
please call him at 912-283-7760.
Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader | 25
Piedmont Area Poultry Association:
Innovative Producers Learning
and Working Together
By: Peyton Sapp, Greene County Extension Agent
eorgia poultry producers have been
providing consistent, quality poultry
products for a number of years.
Throughout the state evidence of poultry
production can be seen by the number of layer
and broiler houses scattered across the
countryside. Here in the rolling hills of the
Piedmont area, poultry production is the
mainstay of the area’s agricultural industry,
representing over $51 million in income to the
member counties of the Piedmont Area
The association is made up of broiler,
layer and quail producers from Greene,
Jasper, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Putnam and
Walton counties. The formation of the
association was led by county extension
agents in the area, who wanted to start a
formal group that would meet on a regular
basis to discuss and learn more about the
26 | Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader
issues that surround the poultry industry.
Area integrators, producers and others in the
poultry industry bought into the concept, and
in August of 1987, the group was formed.
The association’s board of directors
selects meeting topics, obtains speakers and
secures sponsors. The board is made up of
producers from each of the member counties.
Of course, without the sponsorship of
businesses like AgSouth, which typically
sponsors a meeting each year, the group
would not be as successful.
There are countless educational
opportunities for producers in the area. For
example, over the past couple of years,
environmental issues have surfaced as a topic
of discussion among producers. Greatly
supported by the Greene County ag agents,
the association has put together a number of
programs addressing these issues. As an
example, UGA poultry specialists presented a
step-by-step program on how producers can
develop their own poultry litter nutrient
management plan for their operations. These
plans are very comprehensive and actually
detail how much nutrients from poultry litter
farmers should put on their hay crops or
pastureland. The group has also hosted
speakers from the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency and the Georgia
Environmental Protection Division to talk
about confined animal feeding operations.
Another featured speaker, Abbitt Massey,
president of the Georgia Poultry Federation,
updated the group on upcoming legislation
that might impact the industry.
The Piedmont Area Poultry Association
also promotes youth involvement in agrelated activities. Every chapter is eligible for
an annual $100.00 educational grant from the
passing on a
The outdoor sports are some of our most cherished traditions.
association. Each year letters are sent out to
4-H agents and FFA advisors in the member
counties announcing the scholarship
availability. In order to receive the grant, the
advisor must send in a letter describing the
ag-related educational activity the money will
go to support. Agents and advisors have
received money for the purchase of egg
candling equipment, poultry judging manuals
and other poultry judging supplies.
There are many other activities and
issues that continue to be addressed by this
progressive group of poultry producers. No
matter what the issue, however, the thing to
keep in mind about the Piedmont Area
Poultry Association is that it is an association
that was founded to provide educational
opportunities. The reason this group is so
successful is that it keeps the emphasis on
improvement through education.
We pass our knowledge and skills on to our children and hope
that they will enjoy the natural world as much as we do. Along
with learning to hunt and fish, one of the most important things
we can teach our kids is to give something back to the resource.
For more than 65 years, hunters and others have been giving back
through their support of Ducks Unlimited. That support has led
to more than 10 million acres of wildlife habitat on the ground.
Help carry on a grand outdoor tradition.
JOIN DUCKS UNLIMITED TODAY.
Call 800-45-DUCKS or visit DU’s Website
at www.ducks.org to see how you can help.
Tips from the Pro
May the Chips Fall...
By: Walt Garvin
he greatest golfers in the world
(professionals) average hitting thirteen
greens per round in regulation. This
means approximately five times a round an
accurate chip shot is needed to save par. In
some cases, a chip shot may be needed to
save bogey. Whatever the case, let’s take a
look at how we can chip one in.
The following rule may apply to 80% of
all golfers: putt when you can, chip when you
can’t putt, and pitch only when you have to.
The overall meaning of this is that it is easier
to roll the ball than to loft it. Anytime players
have to lengthen their back swings, the
greater the chance of error.
The fundamentals of chipping stem from
a proper putting technique. Many great chip
shots are made from an extended putting
stroke. Remember, on a chip shot the ball
should have less airtime and more roll. The
following set-up and swing principles will
help you become a better chipper:
• feet closer together with stance opened
to the target, which enables the player
to sense the target and swing the club
down the target line;
• hands placed further down the grip for
better control of the club;
• emphasis of your weight will be on the
foot closest to the target;
• hands are slightly forward (toward the
target) and stay in front of the club
• ball should be struck just before the
lowest point of the swing (descending
• arms swing from the shoulders,
enabling you to have quiet wrists and
hands for the chip;
• ball is positioned in the center or
slightly toward the back foot.
Try these drills to improve your
chipping and may “your chips begin to fall.”
If you will spend 20-30 minutes three times a
week practicing these drills, you are sure to
see results in your short game. If you have
any questions regarding these drills or other
chipping techniques, contact your local PGA
Walt Garvin is the golf pro at Forest Heights
Country Club in Statesboro and a customer of
Diagonal Shaft Drill (Picture A&B). This drill is
designed to produce the proper swing arc for a chip
shot. Place a broken shaft in the ground at a 40° angle.
Your ball should be placed 6-8 inches in front of the
shaft. Your back swing should go up with the angle of
the shaft. Now follow through and “drive the tee in the
ground” so that your chips may fall.
Driving the Tee Drill. This drill is
designed to encourage you to
contact the ball with a descending
blow and drive the tee into the
ground after making contact with
the ball. This will produce a solid
hit and your chips will feel
effortless. To check yourself,
remove the tee, hit three chip
shots and check where your divot
is located. If your divot is in front
of where the ball lay before the
shot, you have successfully hit the
ball with a descending swing.
Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader | 29
Don't forget to browse our website for more items for sale. To add or delete something from AgSouth's Market, please
contact [email protected] If you find what you're looking for, contact AgSouth for financing!
Real Estate Wanted
6-10 acres in the Paulding/Bartow Counties. Contact
Dorothy or Cartess Ross @ 770-218-9730.
25 foot flat bed with ramps on back; 16 or 20 ft gooseneck
trailer. Contact Jay Cooksey @ 229-227-6760.
200 acres pasture in Piedmont Region of Ga. or SC
near state line. Prefer open, grassy land w/fencing, but
negotiable. Contact [email protected]
15+ acres of pasture north of I-20 with housing/living quarters
on the premises. Contact Alex @ 678-640-0426 or
200-300 acres in south Ga. Good water source (lakes or ponds) a
must. Old farmland desirable. Contact [email protected]
3-5 acres in Butts or Jasper County suitable for home site,
preferably near Oconee National Forest. Contact
30-150 acres suitable for a private airstrip in Harris,
Meriwether or Troup Co., Ga., or Chambers Co., Al. Doesn’t have to
be completely flat. Need at least 3500’ long plot. Might consider larger
acreage. Contact [email protected]
1-2 acre lot in Newnan on which to build a home. Contact
Real Estate For Sale
3.499 acres in Gay, Meriwether Co., Ga. Cleared for building
w/well, septic tank & power pole. The lot is in a small subdivision and
sits on top of hill that is wooded in the front w/privacy fence & large
gate. Contact [email protected]
Deep water lot on Tolomato Island, Darien, Ga. Breathtaking
easterly view overlooking intercoastal waterway facing Sapelo Island.
Beautiful live oaks and massive old cedar trees. 75’ marsh frontage.
Dock permit obtainable. $250,000.00. Contact
[email protected] or call (912) 269-8000.
42 acres in Glynn Co. Paved road access. 30 minutes to beaches
of St. Simons & Jekyll Islands. Huge old oaks. Good elevation. 3
sellable lots. Abundant wildlife. Large adjacent property owners.
Appraisal. Topo. 4.5 acre surface mine permit approved for a lake. A
rare find @ $185,000.00. Contact [email protected]
Equipment for Sale
72 Chicken house fans. 36” direct drive motors enclosed in
plywood and wire, Good to excellent condition. Contact Jimmy
Thompson @ (912)557-4310.
Ford 7700 tractor, $8,500. Contact Steve Mimbs at 706-647-8163
30 | Summer 2003, AgSouth Leader
Miscellaneous for Sale
30” Snapper riding lawnmower with new engine (13-1/2 hps
Tecumseh). Used one season. Good condition. Contact Milton Wade @
1987 Toyota Pickup, standard cab, a/c, tires & rims, 171,000
miles. Contact Milton Wade @ 912-632-6938.
AgSouth Farm Credit
P.O. Box 718
Statesboro, GA 30459