me sauna J ournai aunaay, February 2, 1986 Page S36 Impact of sagging farm economy is being felt in the retail sector ByBRENTBATES StaH Writer Salinans like Max Redding and Herman Dauer are becoming an endangered species. Redding and Dauer both own farm machinery dealerships. Two years ago, there were six businesses that sold farm implements in town. Today, there are just two — Redding's and Dauer's. "People just are not spending money," said Dauer, part-owner of Dauer Implement on south Highway 81, a Case International dealership. "Farmers don't have the money to spend. It's been coming a lot over the last five years. It's just getting worse." "When wheat was $5 a bushel, I had guys out there lined up in chairs (waiting to buy new equipment)," said Redding, who says sales at his Midwestern Farm Implement, 614 E. Pacific, have slipped 50 percent in five years. Now he and a full-time salesman have to beat the bushes in the county, trying to convince farmers to replace their machinery, which in many cases is now old and in disrepair. During the past two years, the doors were closed at Salina Implement, 3637 S. 9th, a John Deere dealer, and Salina Tractor Co., 1050 E. Pacific, which sold the Massey- Ferguson line. Case Power and Equipment on West North was bought out by Dauer, the local International Harvester dealer, after the Case and International Harvester manufacturers merged. Sisco Inc., 628 N. Broadway, ceased selling Ford tractors and equipment but remains in business selling cranes, forklifts and other industrial equipment. Sisco also continues as a service center for Ford and other farm implements as well as industrial machinery. A decline in farm commodity and farmland values has had a deathlike like grip on the farm economy, pushing it in a downward spiral. The effects, most harshly felt in rural areas where farmers have been forced off the farm and main street Scon Williams Salina Implement Company closed its doors in 1985. Agriculture businesses and banks have closed, are inching into larger cities, like Salina. "It does obviously have an effect, but I can't tell you what degree," said Gerald Cook, president of the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce. "There's simply not as many spending dollars floating around the farm sector as (during) good years in the past." Steve Stotts, a revenue analyst for the state Department of Revenue, said looking at the state's sales tax collections as an indicator of retail sales, the farm economy has had some effect on retail sales in the state. "Sure it has some effect, but nobody really has taken a look at (how much)," Stotts said. "Growth statewide has been about 4% percent. That's fairly sluggish, in part due to the farm economy. How much, nobody really knows." Merchants agree that it's hard to pinpoint the impact the poor farm economy has on retail trade in the county. But some retailers say it has made a difference. "The way the farm economy around the area is, they don't have Merger creates one-stop center for farm borrowers the money and they're not spending," said Joe Recker, assistant manager of K mart. "Used to be when they came to town, they would spend a lot of money. Now they don't come to town as often and spend as much as they used to." Sales at Plainsman Supply Co., which carries farm supplies, were only 70 to 80 percent of what they were 2 to 3 years ago, said Paul Rohleder, manager. But Rohleder is still optimistic. "I think we'll tighten up and pull together," Rohleder said. "That's what we have to do. Overall, we'll get through it." Rohleder, Redding and Dauer all said businesses are going to have to make some changes in order to roll with the punches. At Plainsmen, Rohleder said they have widened their lines to attract more off-the-farm customers and to become a one-stop shop for their farm customers. Sawmill built on river The first attempt at manufacturing in Saline County was a sawmill erected in Salina on the Smoky Hill River. Built by William A. Phillips, the founder of Salina, the mill kept busy sawing native timber into lumber for building purposes. By LINDA MOWERY-DENNING Great Plains Editor After months of debate, many farmers and ranchers in Kansas and three other states this year saw the Farm Credit Banks of Wichita offer a plan to consolidate traditionally independent Production Credit Associations and Federal Land Bank Associations. Supporters of the merger said the action was needed so the district — which covers Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico — could pool its capital, thus helping financially weaker members stay afloat during the worst depression agriculture has experienced since the 1930s. Critics said the consolidation was unnecessary and would only weaken local control of the two borrower- owned lenders. In the end, however, 15 PCAs and 21 FLBAs in the four-state area approved the merger. Another 17 PCAs and 16 FLBAs rejected the proposal. For farmers and ranchers in the Salina area, the consolidation means the establishment of a one-stop Farm Credit Center to house a PCA — a short-term lender, and an FLBA — a long-term lender. In the past, Salina had a PCA office, but borrowers drove to Concordia, more than 50 miles to the north, if they wanted an FLBA loan. SaUna's new Farm Credit Center is expected to be housed in the PCA Office at 1321W. Crawford. The merger proposal came during a time of deteriorating economic conditions in the country. Those conditions have almost forced the Farm Credit System — the nation's largest lender to agriculture—to the brink of financial crisis. In one month last year, the system reported that a record number of bad loans had pushed third quarter losses to $522 million, a figure substantially higher than predicted just six months before for all of 1985. A good share of those losses came from the Wichita district, where one of the system's 12 regional banks is located. In the first nine months of 1985, the Federal Land Bank of Wichita suffered $111.6 million in losses. The Federal Intermediate Credit Bank, which supplies money to the district's Production Credit Associations, had $2.4 million in losses. The district's only bright spot was its Bank for Cooperatives, which by the end of the third quarter had logged earnings of $7.5 million. Don Caviness, the Wichita district's assistant vice president for public and member affairs, said even more losses are expected "unless there's a miraculous recovery in the farm economy." Farm experts agree there is little chance of that happening in the near future. Indeed, representatives of the farmer-owned, federally-chartered Farm Credit System in September appealed to Congress and the Reagan Administration for $6 million in federal assistance. But the request, one of the last considered by lawmakers before the session ended, was rejected in favor of legislation designed to restore confidence in the $70 billion lending network, which holds roughly one- third of the nation's $212 billion farm debt. The system raises capital by selling securities on Wall Street. The bill, which was signed by President Reagan on Dec. 30, gives new powers to the Farm Credit Administration, the system's federal regulator, and centralizes some of the loosely linked system's finances to make aid more available to troubled member banks. The consolidation plan of the Wichita district became part of the debate in Washington, D.C., when Sen. David Boren, D-Okla., threatened to hold up a proposed PCS aid package because of the merger. That package would have given $3 billion in loan guarantees to the system. Because the financial aid was denied, however, Monte Reese, the Wichita district's vice president for public affairs, said an agreement with Boren to stall the merger was invalid. At the same time, he said officials had tried to address Boren's chief concern — loss of local control — by making local stockholders' committees part of the consolidation plan. The proposal also raised questions about the financial stability of several unidentified PCAs in the four- state area. Officials said a vote against the consolidation proposal could mean liquidation for some. Having a PCA ordered liquidated by the Farm Credit Administration is the equivalent of a bank closing. Reese said several of the district's ailing PCAs voted against the merger, but he doesn't think they will fold because of that decision. "Some of the weaker PCAs are not in the consolidated association and maybe the association is made stronger by their absence," he said. "But I sure don't think any liquidations are imminent and surely I don't envision any in Kansas.'' The consolidation plan was supposed to be in place by Jan. 2. But because of the debate surrounding the proposal, the implementation date was postponed to Feb. 1. Curriculum ^ In addition to the basic subjects of Religion, English, Reading, Mathematics, Science and Physical Education, students are encouraged to pursue activities in art, drama, music, sports and other areas of personal interest. Special Programs St. Mary's School also participates in Special Ed Programs, including programs for the Learning Disabled, Gifted, Speech Therapy, Remedial Math and Reading. Our Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Program is based on a Developmental Learning. A readiness test is given to 4 and 5 year olds in the Spring of the year prior to placement. ' Staffing St. Mary's Grade School is accredited by the State of Kansas. The faculty of St. Mary's are fully certified. Currently the staff is made up of 17 teachers, including a PE, Health, Music teacher and Librarian. Along with volunteer classroom aids, there are para-professionals. The current student- teacher ratio is 22-1. Our volunteer program has over 100 volunteers in assistance to the staff in curriculum and supervision. The Administration and the ability to meet state certifications. Extended Day Program St. Mary's School also participates in an Extended Day Program for single or working parents. The program offers a variety of after school activities every day after school. St. Mary's School 304 East Cloud Salina, Kansas 67401 (913) 827-4200 Education is a service...a service to provide knowledge to grow and respond to the needs of the individual and the needs of all ro live together in society. St. Mary's School is proud to be part of the educational service to the Salina community. We open our hands to all of Salina in hope to continue to provide a service to parents, church and community. 558* People in Northwest and Central Kansas Make Up THE SALINA JOURNAL'S WINNING TEAM! . All Day, Every Day. -plSalina T i 1 he Journal •Full & Part Time Employees, Motor Carriers & Carriers.
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