U.S. Federal Export-Import Bank president visits Air Tractor

OLNEY, TX (KAUZ) - Air Tractor in Olney had a big visitor Wednesday afternoon.
Chairman and President of the U.S. Federal Export-Import Bank, Fred Hochberg, came to tour the business.
He was encouraged by what he heard and saw.
Air Tractor is one of EX-IM's star exporters.
    "Here's a company that went from 10 to 12 percent exports to now half of their sales being exports," President Hochberg said. "We support about half of those sales, about 25 percent of the sales of the company."
That is part of the reason why it was so important for President Hochberg to visit the facility before his eight-year term ends next week.
The day began with a meeting to get caught up on the challenges and success Air Tractor has recently faced.
    "We went through the companies products in terms of the size of the airplanes, the effectiveness of using technology, like GPS to more pinpoint fertilizer and crop dusting," President Hochberg said.
Along with the jobs that have been created.
    "Employment here ranges around 250-275," President Hochberg said. "That's a good portion of this town's population."
He toured the facility and then met with all the employees to thank them for their hard work.
    "This is the epitome of why I think we have great export prowess and why this is an excellent country to export from," President Hochberg said.
EX-IM bank is an independent federal agency that supports and maintains U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing.
Air Tractor is considered a key EX-IM client.
Since 2012 EX-IM bank has supported close to $172 million of Air Tractor's exports.
President Hochberg said he is optimistic because there are now more people to feed and clothe, and farming has become more efficient.
    "The size of farms is growing," President Hochberg said. "And with a larger farm and a larger footprint, you need the right equipment. The equipment that Air Tractor makes is part of putting that equipment in the hands of farmers so they can have more productive farms. As a result, it will create more jobs here at home."
He said despite his term being up in a week, he is optimistic about the future of Air Tractor and exporting these planes all around the world.
President Hochberg believes the more we export as a country, the more jobs we will be able to support.
He added that he wants everyone to know that a good part of trade is exporting.

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