Frank Hunter, a life-long resident of Kyle, South Dakota, grew up in a ranching family on the Pine Ridge Reservation. And, that’s still what he’s doing today. Frank’s cattle operation consists of about 40 cow-calf pairs and some hay ground.
After banking in Gordon, Nebraska for 40 years, he recently began banking in Kyle at the Lakota Federal Credit Union, which is much closer to home.
“I changed over to Kyle because it is more convenient, and they’ve been treating me pretty fair so far,” he says.
Before the Credit Union opened its doors, there wasn’t a depository institution on the Reservation. Most people had to do their banking off the Reservation in neighboring towns, such as Martin and Philip, or Gordon just on the other side of the state line.
Frank explains, “I reduced my miles to the bank. I used to have to drive 50 miles before.”
With Lakota Funds launching our agricultural program a couple of years ago, Frank transitioned all of his lending activity closer to home as well. Between Lakota Funds and the Credit Union, Frank is able to handle all of his banking and financing needs.
Lakota Funds’ operating line of credit has become an integral part of growing his ag operation. Frank used it to purchase feed to sustain 38 bred cows through the winter, which was longer and colder than usual. The line of credit offered him the flexibility he needed to cover increased costs incurred because of the extreme weather.
In addition to the cows, Frank has about 20 head of heifers that he plans to breed.
“I’ll have about 60 head to feed next winter,” he says.
Although there will be more expenses associated with growing his herd, it’s a move that will dramatically expand his operation, and generate more income.