I had the opportunity to visit the new Ag Credit facility recently, which is right across the street from the new Superior Auto store. I had read the article in the Advertiser-Tribune from 11/30/2013 about the opening of the office, and I wanted to see it for myself. Jon Orians, Assistant Vice President for Ag Credit, gave me the grand tour and talked to me about Ag Credit and the 8 employees stationed at the Tiffin location.
Per the website, Ag Credit is a “a member-owned agricultural lending cooperative serving the needs of farmers, agribusinesses, and homeowners and buyers. We’re part of the nationwide Farm Credit System, created by Congress in 1916 to provide rural America with a dependable source of funding for agriculturally-related enterprises.” They cover 18 counties in northwest Ohio and have 15 locations. What I was impressed with was that they are doing about $1.4 billion per year in loans.
Although they’ve been in the community for more than 30 years, they needed a bigger space, and this 5,000 square foot former church and original Cactus Steakhouse fit the bill, allowing them to create conference and training rooms that can accommodate up to 75 people. They purchased the building at 2500 W. Market for a quarter of $1M and then worked with local builder Clouse Construction to invest more into it than the purchase price. The result – a beautiful facility that continues the retail development momentum on the west side.
Particularly noteworthy to me on this project was the City’s flexibility and business-friendly approach to signage, which made a big difference to Ag Credit. The Street, Sidewalk, and Sewer Committee approved the creation of a law which allowed Ag Credit to place a sign in the right of way. It is a clear demonstration that the City wants to roll out the red carpet for retailers and do whatever it takes to make it easier for them to establish new and better operations in the City. This, in addition to the sizable investment and renovation of Ag Credit, makes this a Seneca Success story.