A bank headquartered in the heart of Pennsylvania apple country is ramping up efforts to serve the region’s farmers.
ACNB Bank has created an agribusiness lending function that specializes in products like farm real estate loans, farm equipment loans and working capital lines of credit, ACNB announced Friday.
The Gettysburg-based bank has 22 branches throughout southcentral Pennsylvania, with plans to add seven in northern Maryland through its acquisition of New Windsor State Bank. The region where it does business has a strong agricultural economy and is especially known for its fruit production.
Although the bank has offered services for farmers in the past, it is sharpening its focus on them with the hiring of a senior vice president president and agribusiness lending manager, Wayne Steinour.
Steinour has worked in the banking industry for 33 years, with 26 years dedicated to agribusiness lending. Before ACNB, he most recently served as vice president and agribusiness team leader at M&T Bank.
The addition makes ACNB one of several financial institutions in the region to expand its offerings for farmers. Dauphin County-based Centric Bank opened a loan production office in Lancaster County earlier this year to cater to the agribusiness industry, and Mid Penn Bank, also headquartered in Dauphin County, recently credited some of its growth to its expanded agricultural lending capabilities.
“Banks are looking for ways to grow, and this is an area that has always been one that is such a specialized industry that banks have not jumped into it as much,” Steinour said of the recent interest in farm-specific products.
While agribusiness lending has a lot in common with other types of commercial financial services, farmers benefit from working with a banker who knows the uniquely cyclical nature of running a farm or orchard, Steinour said.
That expertise is what ACNB hopes to add to its agribusiness-specific offerings, and it started that process when Steinour joined the bank at the end of October.
Steinour, an Adams County native, has never farmed for a living, but he grew up helping neighboring beef and crop farmers, he said. He has also grown to know what he described as the region’s tight-knit farming community through his years working in the area, including an earlier stint as a commercial lender for ACNB.
He is also president of the Adams Rescue Mission board of directors and a member of the Adams County Economic Development Corp. board of directors.
“Wayne is highly regarded in the local agricultural community for his professionalism and understanding of the challenges often faced by farmers,” ACNB Bank President James Helt said.
Steinour is sharing his agribusiness expertise with other lenders at the bank to help them expand their agricultural services and is looking to hire one agribusiness-specific lender in the near future.
“I love working with farmers because I have a huge amount of respect for them,” he said, noting they have to know not just their crops or livestock but also computer, equipment maintenance and other skills.”I just love to be able to sit down and pick their brains.”