Damon and Roger Deas
For the Deas Brothers, farming has been a lifelong career, and a rewarding one at that.
"We have been farming all our lives. We actually started farming with our dad right out of high school," Roger Deas said.
Although row crops had always been their main focus, they discovered along the way that they both shared a passion for the cattle industry.
In 1998 they decided to take a chance on a new venture, one that at the time very few people were doing. The Deas brothers began raising and selling quality replacement heifers to south Florida ranchers.
"We have always been in the cow business but in 1998 we changed from a cow calf operation to raising quality replacement heifers and selling them," Damon Deas said. "We have built our business model on offering a top quality bred commercial replacement heifer that has a high rate of getting bred back. We cater mainly to ranchers in south Florida who need quality bred replacement heifers that can stand the tough conditions."
Starting this new business venture was not always easy. With a cattle market that can be extremely volatile at times, buying cattle for the market price and re-selling those same cattle 18 months later can have the calmest person in the world sitting on pins and needles. When the Deas brothers needed a lender that understood the business of agriculture, they went to Farm Credit.
"Farm credit seems to understand agriculture better than other lenders," Roger Deas said. "They have a better understanding of how cash flow works on a farm. Farm Credit knows that sometimes bad things happen and they are willing to work with you more than a traditional bank will."
Beyond understanding the industry, Farm Credit was more willing to offer capital to Deas Brothers when they needed to expand to stay profitable when other banks wouldn’t. On top of making the capital available, Farm Credit was able to save them money in the process through patronage dividends.
"Farm Credit made the capital available for us to expand our operation," Damon Deas said. "We started out with Farm Credit years ago and then we switched to a local bank, but moving back to Farm Credit saved us a lot of money, and they were the only ones willing to make available what we needed. Overall we are both extremely happy with the service we have received from Farm Credit and we would recommend them to anyone."