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Friday, January 21, 2011

2010 - A Good Year

In spite of the economy, 2010 was a good year for ArborOne Farm Credit. This is something I am always pleased to report. We remain well capitalized, experienced growth, achieved healthy profits and will again pay a strong patronage to our stockholders.

I believe the outlook for agriculture over the next three years is positive. In fact, we may be in the beginning of another golden age for agriculture. Rising world demand for our products insure a good year for row crops as well as stable farmland values all benefitting local farmers. The market is right for taking advantage of low long-term fixed rates for real estate, a way to bullet-proof your balance sheet for years to come. A word of caution: beware of "bubbles" in commodity prices. A great predictor of price is long-term average prices, and with that in mind, we are seeing prices on some commodities hit all time highs which over the long haul are not sustainable. Set a goal, employ a strategy, use hedging to protect your investment and never try to "time the market". Be sure to have an overall management plan in place. Keep risk management an integral part of it – whether it’s crop insurance, irrigation systems, storage bins or any other strategy available.

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