Producing Excellence shares compelling stories of American farmers and ranchers, both newcomers to agriculture and producers who span generations. AgTexas has three profiles in the compilation. Currently featured is Danny Klinefelter. We invite you to read his profile below and see others at http://www.farmcreditnetwork.com/producingexcellence/profiles/all.

Picture of Danny Klinefelter
Danny Klinefelter is a director of AgTexas Farm Credit and a long-time professor of ag economics.

DANNY KLINEFELTER

Bryan, TX
Professional Affiliation: Professor of agricultural finance, Texas A&M University
Farm Credit Affiliation: Ag Texas Farm Credit Services
Years Serving on Farm Credit’s Board of Directors: 12

Few people have as comprehensive an understanding of agricultural finance as Dr. Danny Klinefelter – raised on a family farm and currently partners with his brother on a continuing operation, former Farm Credit and commercial bank employee, master’s and doctorate in agricultural finance, and current professor in Agricultural Finance at Texas A&M University and director on the AgTexas Farm Credit Services board. Along the way, Danny also founded The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers, or TEPAP, which has helped nearly 2,000 farmers and ranchers improve the financial and business management of their operations. He also sits on multiple advisory boards to advise agricultural entrepreneurs and help share best practices.

“I like to see people improve themselves,” says Danny. “It’s an economic reality that if you’re not continuously improving your management as fast as the leading-edge of your competition, you’re not going to be successful in the long run.”

He finds a similar attitude in the attendees at TEPAP each year, who learn about financial management as well as develop a comprehensive skill set ranging from human resources to risk management, succession planning to technology. “Success in the future will depend on these skills and leaders who have the vision to implement them,” says Danny. “The really good managers are doing this already, but more and more, these skills sets are going to be essential.”

Danny also appreciates this mindset in the AgTexas board of directors and management, which recently concluded a merger with another Farm Credit organization. “The leadership of AgTexas is committed to continuous improvement, actively seeking better ways of doing things,” Danny says. “The directors are all good businesspeople and bring different perspectives to the table, and the senior management team is very progressive.”

This approach to business will be critical to Farm Credit continuing to serve agriculture and rural America, Danny believes, especially as financial organizations within and outside of Farm Credit continue to consolidate. He also believes that both Farm Credit and commercial banks will continue to be needed to serve the high capital needs of agriculture. “The industry needs the competition between, and the access to, both Farm Credit and commercial banks, and farmers and ranchers need to have the choice of who they work with,” he says.

Regardless of what changes the agricultural industry or agricultural finance will face, it’s a safe bet that Danny will be working to help those committed to improvement achieve their goals. “There’s a saying I hold dear,” he says. “’The purpose of life is to count, to matter, to have it make some difference that you lived it at all.’”