If you want to move to the country, buy some recreational land or operate a commercial farm, there are few better places to go than Northern Louisiana. After all, this area of the world is known as a sportsman’s paradise. And for people who are looking to finance their dreams, they won’t find a better friend than Southern AgCredit’s Ruston branch manager, Devin Davis. Get to know our affable and skillful financing expert.
Where are you from, originally?
Devin: I was raised in the small town of Norphlet, Arkansas, a town of only about 800 people. I graduated from Henderson State University in 2011 and moved to Ruston, Louisiana, for a 30-day internship. I completed the internship and started looking for a job in cities nearby like Shreveport and Monroe. I ended up taking a job at a local bank in Ruston and worked my way up. Instead of staying in Ruston for 30 days, I never left. In 2015 I was offered the job of relationship manager at Southern AgCredit.
What is your family like?
Devin: I met my wife right after starting at Southern AgCredit. We have a son, Cameron, who is 8 years old, and a daughter, Andie Grace, who is 6 months old.
Oh, so she was born during the pandemic!
Devin: When the pandemic started you were only allowed to have one person with you in the hospital at a time. Our son stayed with my mother-in-law, and it was just my wife and me. The hospital was completely empty except for one other couple. My wife had high blood pressure, so we had to stay an extra day, but we were the only ones on the floor. Half the lights were out, and the floor was almost empty. It was like the first episode of the “Walking Dead” when he wakes up in the hospital and everyone is gone. It was a strange experience, but we made it through. We won’t forget it.
Is everyone good now?
Devin: Yes, all healthy, and my little girl is starting to crawl. By Christmas she’ll be getting into everything, including low-hanging tree ornaments.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Devin: I like to hunt and fish, and I play golf.
I actually took my 8 year-old hunting for the first time on Saturday afternoon. We got on the deer stand at 3 p.m., and at 3:39 he declared there were no deer in the woods. I’m trying to teach him to enjoy deer hunting, but he said it was pretty boring. It would have helped if we saw a deer but we didn’t. We did see three turkeys while we were hunting, so that was fun for him to see.
We recently listened to a podcast about Bigfoot, so my son was convinced we might see him while we were hunting. We didn’t [laughs] but it was funny to hear him bring that up.
What have you been watching during the pandemic?
Devin: I have never watched “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette” in my entire life, but my wife said she wanted us to watch “The Bachelorette” together. Our son could go to grandma’s house, and it would give us two hours of alone time.
I did not know how crazy that show is. I gave it three or four episodes, but I drew a line in the sand after “The Bachelorette” got married only after a few episodes. After I devoted that much time into that, I couldn’t stay with it.
We also watch “The Pioneer Woman”. Our kitchen is basically sponsored by the Pioneer Woman — pots and pans and ramekins, etc. I encourage my wife to make Pioneer Woman recipes like delicious waffle fries. My wife is an excellent cook, just like the Pioneer Woman.
“A lot of times, when people are looking to buy property, they’re not exactly sure where to begin. With a phone call to us, we can tell them what they need, how much it costs – and how we can make it work for them.”
What is Southern AgCredit’s Ruston office like?
Devin: At the Ruston office, there are only two of us – myself and a loan administrator. As the branch manager, I take the loan application, get the borrower’s financial statements organized and send over to one of our credit analysts. After it’s approved, I order the appraisals and title work from attorneys.
I used to go to all loan closings, but now we’re using e-signatures, and our customers are able to sign documents electronically. Having this option is excellent during the pandemic.
One of the things I’m most proud of is that when I first started at Southern AgCredit, we were just leasing an office in Ruston. In the past year, we’ve purchased and renovated a new office in downtown Ruston. It was a long process, but we’re extremely proud and blessed to have this new office space.
I wear many hats around here. I take loan applications and I also take out the trash and clean the windows [laughs]. I am not in charge of decorating the office. That goes to the loan administrator, Lexi. I’m not very good at that, but I will be responsible for putting the tree topper on the Christmas tree because she’s not tall enough to reach.
What has surprised you about working for Southern AgCredit?
Devin: The relationships I’ve built with our borrowers. I worked at a commercial bank for five years before I started working here, and I knew my customers, but just on a professional level. Now, my customers have my cell phone number and can call me at 7 p.m. at night or 11 a.m. on Saturday morning. We’ve become friends. It was something I was not prepared for, but it’s something that makes my job enjoyable and makes me like coming to work every day. I like helping my friends – people I know and care about – achieve their dream of enjoying life in the country.
A lot of times, when people are looking to buy property, they’re not exactly sure where to begin. With a phone call to us, we can tell them what they need, how much it costs, and how we can make it work for them. We explain the process, and we make it simple. Then borrowers have the confidence that getting a loan with Southern AgCredit won’t be a headache. Being able to help people navigate through that process is something we take pride in.
Why should someone get a loan with Southern AgCredit and not another lender?
Devin: My customers know me personally and have my cell phone number. We embody, as an association, a culture of building and maintaining those relationships through the life of the loan and afterwards.
Would you like to share any memorable success stories about borrowers?
Devin: We had a borrower whose husband passed away, and he had been in charge of their farm. After he passed, his wife said, “Devin, I don’t know anything about what I need to do in regards to the farm operation. What is the next step?” I was able to help her with next steps like speaking with her attorney and her CPA and try and help get things planned out for her. Today she’s running the farm. It’s wonderful to hear from her and know that she was able to adapt and I was able to help give her that confidence to keep going.
How have your customers been faring during the pandemic?
Devin: A sector of my portfolio in the Ruston office was hit hard by COVID-19. These businesses were having trouble keeping staff in place. Your bank notes still come due, and the businesses still had the same expenses. We are working with a lot of these kinds of customers to help them through this difficult time.
That’s one thing about Southern AgCredit – we stay in contact and find out what we need to do to help our borrowers when they need us. That’s something we take pride in. My customers can call me, and we’ll sit down and figure it out. We work with our borrowers.
Contact Devin Davis in Ruston
Do you need financing for recreational land, a country home or your agricultural business? Southern AgCredit offers attractive rates as well as experts like Devin to help you through the process.
The new and improved Ruston, Louisiana, office serves the parishes of Bienville, Claiborne, Jackson, Lincoln, Ouachita, Union and Webster.