CoBank Commits $400,000 in Charitable Contributions to Support Wildfire Relief Efforts in Western US

DENVER (October 13, 2020) — CoBank, a cooperative bank serving agribusiness, rural infrastructure providers and Farm Credit associations throughout the United States, today announced a package of charitable contributions totaling $400,000 to support wildfire relief efforts in California, Oregon and Washington.

  • A $150,000 donation to the American Red Cross for their relief efforts in impacted states.
  •  A $110,000 donation that matches the in-kind contributions of CoBank customer Land O’ Lakes to food banks in impacted states.
  • A $100,000 matching fund for contributions made by any California Farm Credit association or other,  Caifornia-based CoBank customer.
  • A $10,000 donation to each of the following, in support of contributions made by Northwest Farm Credit Services:  the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, Oregon Farm Bureau, Washington Cattlemen’s Association and Washington Farm Bureau.

One after another, the major wildfires exploding across California, Oregon and Washington have added up to one of the worst fire seasons on record. As of October 9, at least 72 large fires — fueled by continuing dry conditions — had burned 4.3 million acres in the western U.S., according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

“Tragically, these wildfires have been particularly devastating for farmers and ranchers, many of whom have seen both their businesses and homes destroyed,” said Thomas Halverson, CoBank’s president and chief executive officer. “We are profoundly grateful to our board of directors and our partner organizations for their generous support of ongoing relief efforts in the region. We hope these contributions will help people to recover and rebuild.”

CoBank customer, Land O’ Lakes, has identified three food banks in the affected states that will receive in-kind donations of dairy products. The bank will match those donations with financial contributions totaling $110,000. Recipients of the Land O’ Lakes and CoBank gifts include the Central California Food BankOregon Food Bank and a yet-to-be-determined food bank in Washington.

“Hunger cuts across all demographics. As a farmer-to-fork cooperative, this is a really important issue for us,” said Morgan Kinross-Wright, executive director of the Land O’ Lakes Foundation. “With COVID-19 and the economic downturn, there are many people who have never experienced hunger before, and the wildfires across the West have really exacerbated this. We are proud to partner with CoBank to help strengthen our impact in some of the areas hit hardest by the wildfires.”

CoBank Matching Fund

The multiple wildfires currently burning in California have created one of the worst fire seasons in the state’s history. In response, CoBank is making $100,000 in matching funds available to any California-based Farm Credit association or other California-based customer for charitable contributions in support of western wildfire relief efforts. The fund is available through November 30, or the point at which the fund is fully exhausted. Matches will be offered on a first come, first served basis.

California-based customers may apply for a matching grant by completing the application form.

Questions about the program and/or completed applications may be directed to Sherry Johnson, director of Corporate Social Responsibility at sjohnson@cobank.com or 303-740-6518.

About CoBank

CoBank is a $152 billion cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. The bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated Farm Credit associations serving more than 70,000 farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states around the country.

CoBank is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retain lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U. S. agriculture, rural infrastructure and rural communities.

Farm Credit West Distributes Mid-Year Patronage

ROCKLIN, CA. — July 6, 2020 – In response to the significant hardship the COVID-19 pandemic and related closures have had on agriculture in California and Arizona, Farm Credit West’s Board of Directors recently resolved to distribute a mid-year patronage cash dividend to customer-owners. The association – a cooperatively owned lending institution servicing the agriculture sector – will be distributing a partial advance payment of the 2020 end-of-year distribution this summer.

“Farming and agriculture production is the very center of our communities,” Mark Littlefield, President and CEO of Farm Credit West said on Monday. “As these businesses have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a ripple effect that flows through every distribution channel, ultimately leading to empty shelves at grocery stores throughout the world. It is the mission of Farm Credit West to support the agriculture sector and today we are rising to the moment by providing cash liquidity when our customers most need it.”

Since 2002, Farm Credit West has distributed $828 million in patronage payments to customers and in 2019, increased the total distribution to equal 1% of average loan balances for the year prior. As a member-owned cooperative, the Association reinvests 100% of net income to its customer-owners, whether as retained earnings or cash dividends.

“It is during these tumultuous times that Farm Credit West looks for ways to support the agriculture industry,” said Mark Littlefield. “By distributing an advance patronage payment this summer, we are hopeful this unexpected return in earnings will be a relief to customers most impacted by the Pandemic.

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One of the West’s leading agricultural lenders, Farm Credit West and its wholly owned subsidiaries are cooperatively-owned lending institutions providing financial services to farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses. Our offices are located in Arizona and California’s Central Coast, Imperial Valley, South San Joaquin Valley, and Sacramento Valley. The corporate headquarters is located in Rocklin, California. The Farm Credit System is a nationwide network of borrower-owned lending institutions and specialized service organizations created by Congress in 1916. Visit www.farmcreditwest.com.

CoBank to Contribute $500,000 to Civil Rights Organizations

DENVER (June 19, 2020)

CoBank, a cooperative bank serving agribusinesses, rural infrastructure providers and Farm Credit associations throughout the United States, today announced it will commit $500,000 from its corporate social responsibility program to civil rights organizations dedicated to promoting racial equity and ending discrimination.

The board of directors unanimously approved the contribution at a special meeting on Wednesday, June 17. Money will be directed to four national organizations with proven records of accomplishment in the area of civil rights, as well as to establish two funds that will be directed by CoBank employees.

“We have all experienced the national outpouring of grief and anger in recent weeks about the persistent problem of race discrimination in America,” said Kevin Riel, chair of the CoBank board of directors. “Our board believes that CoBank has an opportunity to be part of the solution and that we should seize that opportunity. We look forward to working with each of these highly credible organizations to promote civil rights and social justice.”

CoBank’s $500,000 commitment will be implemented as follows:

  • $100,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. Founded in 1940, the fund is the nation’s oldest civil and human rights law organization, with a mission to achieve racial justice, equality, and an inclusive society.
  • $100,000 to the Equal Justice Initiative. EJI is a private, nonprofit organization working to end mass incarceration, excessive punishment, and racial inequality.
  • $100,000 to the Advancement Project. Established in 1999, the Advancement Project National Office is a next generation, multi-racial civil rights organization focused on public education, criminal justice, voting rights and related issues.
  • $100,000 to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. The mission of the fund is to provide support for America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs). CoBank’s contribution will be specifically directed to support scholarships for students pursuing careers in agriculture and related fields.
  • $50,000 employee matching fund. The bank will provide a 100% match for all contributions by its employees to nonprofit organizations working in the areas of civil rights and social justice.
  • $50,000 Associate Resource Group fund. The bank will set aside $50,000 to be directed by its Associate Resource Groups (ARGs), which were established to enable employees across the bank to come together and share experiences while also providing feedback and perspective to bank leadership. ARGs are a critical component of the bank’s broader diversity and inclusion strategy, which includes recruiting, retention, training, leadership development, employee engagement and corporate philanthropy programs. CoBank has ARGs for African-American, young professionals, Asian, Hispanic, veteran & military families, LGBTQ, women, and men employees, along with a Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council composed of division leaders from across the enterprise.

“The George Floyd tragedy in Minneapolis has created a widely shared moment of moral clarity for Americans of all races about the need to end discrimination in all of its ugly manifestations,” said Thomas Halverson, president and chief executive officer. “Personally, I have been overwhelmed by the depth of feeling that has been expressed on this issue, particularly from our employees. I greatly appreciate the generosity of the board and its willingness to commit resources from the bank to help address racial discrimination and build a more inclusive society.”

About CoBank

CoBank is a $158 billion cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. The bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated Farm Credit associations serving more than 70,000 farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states around the country.

CoBank is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture, rural infrastructure and rural communities. Headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, CoBank serves customers from regional banking centers across the U.S. and also maintains an international representative office in Singapore.

FARM CREDIT WEST AWARDS $24,000 IN COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS

Rocklin, CA – Farm Credit West recently announced the award of $24,000 in scholarships to sixteen high-achieving students enrolled full time in colleges this fall. The agriculture lending association joins with their local communities in celebrating these exceptional students, as they achieved academic excellence while navigating unprecedented challenges as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic and corresponding shut-downs.

“Our association is pleased to provide these students with the financial resources to help them continue achieving their academic goals,” said Mark Littlefield, President and CEO of Farm Credit West. “Our young people are the future of agriculture. As a cooperatively-owned lending institute, it is our mission to recognize and support the next generation of farmers and ranchers.

Scholars were selected through a competitive process to receive $1,500 to offset tuition expenses this fall. Successful candidates demonstrated dedication and significant contributions to their local agricultural communities. Recipients that maintain academic excellence throughout their college careers are eligible to renew their $1,500 scholarship for up to three years after their initial award, bringing the total award available to $6,000 per scholar. Since 1994, Farm Credit West has provided scholarships to 265 students and committed $995,500 to this program.

First-time Scholarship Winners

The following students were awarded with a Farm Credit West scholarship for the first time in the amount of $1,500 for the 2020/2021 collegiate school year.

Dolce Calandra of Kingsburg, CA plans to attend Fresno City College in the fall, majoring in Agribusiness.

Ethan Cardot of Fresno, CA is a first-year student attending the University of Arizona, majoring in Agribusiness Economics and Management.

Karly de Jong of Hanford, CA plans to attend Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in the fall with a major in Agricultural Communications.

Savick Dosanjh of Bakersfield, CA is a first-year student attending Fresno State, majoring in Agriculture Management.

Atticus Driver of Knights Landing, CA plans to attend the University of Michigan Ann Arbor in the fall with a major in Nuclear Engineering.

Lauren Dutra of Hanford, CA plans to attend Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo this fall with a major in Agriculture Business and Dairy Science.

Jacob Fernandes of Tulare, CA plans to attend Harvard University in the fall and major in Government & Linguistics.

Madelyn Fernandes of Tulare, CA will enter at Fresno State University this fall with a major in Agriculture Education.

Connor Hayes of Lompoc, CA is a second-year student at Reedley College and plans to attend Fresno State this fall with a major in Plant and Animal Science.

Brandon Lemstra of Templeton, CA is a third-year student attending Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo studying Dairy Science.

Travis Lemstra of San Luis Obispo, CA is a first-year student attending Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo studying Agricultural Environmental Plant Sciences.

Macy Paschoal of Winters, CA will attend Chico State this fall where she will study Agricultural Business.

Siena Rollin of Riverdale, CA will enroll this fall at Texas Tech University with the objective of obtaining an Agricultural Communication degree.  

Lauren Sannar of Clovis, CA plans to attend Brigham Young University this fall, majoring in Environmental Science.

Amy Swall of Tulare, CA plans to attend Fresno State University majoring in Agriculture Communications.

Wyatt Ward of Hanford, CA plans to attend Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in the fall, studying Agriculture Engineering. 

About Farm Credit West

One of the West’s leading agricultural lenders, Farm Credit West and its wholly owned subsidiaries are cooperatively-owned lending institutions providing financial services to farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses. Our offices are located in Arizona and California’s Central Coast, Imperial Valley, South San Joaquin Valley, and Sacramento Valley. The corporate headquarters is located in Rocklin, California. The Farm Credit System is a nationwide network of borrower-owned lending institutions and specialized service organizations created by Congress in 1916. Visit www.farmcreditwest.com.

Golden State Farm Credit and CoBank Donate $20,000 to Help Local Food Banks

Chico, CA – Community food banks are experiencing a heightened demand for meals due to the impact of COVID-19 and the job losses created by California’s “Stay at Home” order. In an effort to lend a hand, Golden State Farm Credit partnered with CoBank to donate a total of $20,000 to the following food banks: Central California Food Bank (CCFB), Kings Community Action Organization (KCAO), North State Food Bank, and the Salvation Army Redding Corps.

Photo supplied courtesy of CCFB

Since California’s Covid-19 “Stay at Home” mandate went into effect, the state’s food banks have seen a tremendous increase in demands. CCFB, which serves Fresno, Madera, Kings, Kern, and Tulare counties, normally serves 280,000 people a month. Currently, they are experiencing a 50 to 100 percent increase in demand. CCFB reports that 25 percent of recipients are first-time users of their services. In April, KCAO increased the number of distributions to Kings County from six deliveries per month to 18. The North State Food Bank, providing assistance to Butte, Glenn, Plumas, and Tehama counties has doubled the amount of food being dispersed and the Salvation Army Redding Corps is providing aid to twice the number of Shasta County residents than it served before the crisis.

Together, Golden State Farm Credit and CoBank donated $5,000 to each food bank for a total of $20,000. The donations will help sustain current food bank programs and allow these organizations to address the additional challenges that have arisen since the mandate was enacted.

“The contributions will provide relief to the local communities impacted by the pandemic,” states Rob Faris, Golden State Farm Credit’s president and chief executive officer. “All of the employees and volunteers at these organizations are amazing and creating positive change for those experiencing great hardship.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for communities across the country,” said Brendan Ronayne, regional president, CoBank. “Now more than ever it is important for organizations like ours to step up and provide assistance where we can. CoBank is proud to partner with Golden State Farm Credit in these efforts.”

Kym Dildine, chief administrative officer of CCFB, said “We are grateful for the support of Golden State Farm Credit, CoBank, and the greater agriculture community who continuously give of themselves to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in our communities.”

Photo supplied courtesy of CCFB

“KCAO is committed to serving the communities of Kings County and with the gracious support of Golden State Farm Credit and CoBank we are able to reach more families in this unprecedented time,” added Jeff Garner, executive director, KCAO.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our communities the Community Action Agency’s North State Food Bank will continue to serve the needs of families.  Golden State Farm Credit and CoBank have always been valued community partners and we appreciate their increased support during this crisis,” said Thomas Dearmore, community service manager for the Community Action Agency’s North State Food Bank.

Each of these organizations is putting forth tremendous effort to meet the needs of local residents. Golden State Farm Credit and CoBank are proud to support these ongoing efforts to fight hunger and care for those less fortunate.

Photos supplied, courtesy of CCFB.

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 Golden State Farm Credit is a premier employer and borrower-owned cooperative, dedicated to providing reliable credit and financial services to rural agricultural communities located in Northern and Central California. Golden State Farm Credit is focused on helping agriculturalist reach their goals with mortgage and commercial loans, competitive interest rates, equipment leasing, appraisal services, and a special lending program for Tomorrow’s Farmers. Find out more about Golden State Farm Credit at www.goldenstatefarmcredit.com/or call 800.834.8698.  

 

Golden State Farm Credit is Committing up to $60,000 towards the Purchase of 4-H and FFA Livestock in Virtual Auctions

Chico, CA – In an effort to help grow the next generation of farmers and ranchers, Golden State Farm Credit is committing up to $60,000, in an effort to support the sale of local 4-H and FFA livestock.

Due to the need for social distancing because of COVID-19, many counties have canceled their local fairs. The cancellation of these events has impacted 4-H and FFA youth livestock projects. The transactional process of purchasing and selling farm animals provides young people the opportunity to learn essential life skills such as communication, cooperation, responsibilities, and food production. The money they receive from the sale of their animals also covers the cost of raising these animals, which can be a substantial financial investment.

Fair organizers are taking advantage of virtual auctions as a replacement to the traditional onsite events. In order to ensure each participant’s animal is sold, Golden State Farm Credit will be distributing up to $60,000 towards purchasing, add-ons, and contributing to a pool of funds that will buy livestock that receive low or no bids.

Rob Faris, President and Chief Executive Officer at Golden State Farm Credit, states “We understand the importance of supporting our local youth as they are the farmers and ranchers of tomorrow. We are proud to contribute to the purchase of their livestock projects and continue our commitment to building a lasting legacy.”

Golden State Farm Credit will be taking part in the following county and local fairs – Tehama, Glenn, Porterville, Silver Dollar, Kings, Shasta, Butte, Intermountain, Tulare and Fresno.

“We are thankful to companies like Golden State Farm Credit, for the continued support of the junior livestock sale!  In a time of uncertainty one thing is for sure, our community always rallies around these kids.” said Mandy Staley, CEO, Tehama District Fair.

Golden State Farm Credit continues to look for ways to strengthen our rural communities while being a financial source of funds for local farmers and ranchers.

 

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Golden State Farm Credit is a premier employer and borrower-owned cooperative, dedicated to providing reliable credit and financial services to rural agricultural communities located in Northern and Central California. Golden State Farm Credit is focused on helping agriculturalist reach their goals with mortgage and commercial loans, competitive interest rates, equipment leasing, appraisal services, and a special lending program for Tomorrow’s Farmers. Find out more about Golden State Farm Credit at www.goldenstatefarmcredit.com/or call 800.834.8698.  

 

CoBank Again Named as One of the World’s Safest Banks by Global Finance Magazine

DENVER (October 7, 2019) — CoBank, a cooperative bank serving agribusinesses, rural infrastructure providers and Farm Credit associations throughout the United States, has been named to Global Finance magazine’s list of the world’s safest banks for 2019.

Global Finance, which covers the financial services industry, publishes its “World’s 50 Safest Banks” list annually. Banks are ranked using a methodology that includes total assets and an evaluation of long-term ratings from major rating agencies. This is the ninth consecutive year CoBank has been named to the list.

“We’re pleased to again receive this recognition, which reflects the financial strength and stability of CoBank as well as our membership in the Farm Credit System,” said Thomas Halverson, CoBank’s president and CEO.

Further information is available at the Global Finance website.

About CoBank

CoBank is a $139 billion cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides commercial loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. The bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated Farm Credit associations serving more than 70,000 farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states around the country.

CoBank is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture, rural infrastructure and rural communities. Headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, CoBank serves customers from regional banking centers across the U.S. and also maintains an international representative office in Singapore.

AMERICAN AgCREDIT AND FARM CREDIT SERVICES OF HAWAII ANNOUNCE COMBINATION

July 1, 2019, Santa Rosa, CA — American AgCredit (AAC) and Farm Credit Services of Hawaii (FCSH) have announced today the completion of their Plan of Combination. Under the Plan of Combination, AAC acquired all of the assets and liabilities of FCSH and each stockholder of FCSH has become a stockholder of AAC.  AAC now serves as the Farm Credit System association chartered to provide credit and related services to farmers, ranchers and rural residents in the state of Hawaii.  FCSH will be formally dissolved in the next few months.

Fred Dixon, FCSH Interim CEO says, “The combination with American AgCredit provides an exciting opportunity to strengthen and expand the service we offer to our customer owners and to the greater Hawaiian agricultural market.”

As members of the nationwide Farm Credit System, the largest single provider of credit to American agriculture, the combination of FCSH with AAC strengthens AAC’s ability to serve farmers and ranchers throughout the Western and Midwestern states, including Hawaii. 

The combination of the associations was approved by the Farm Credit Administration, the System’s regulatory agency, following a positive vote by the shareholders of FCSH.

“American AgCredit has had a presence in the Hawaiian market in conjunction with FCSH for more than 20 years,” says American AgCredit CEO Byron Enix. “The Hawaiian market provides additional diversification to our geographic and commodity base, and we are excited to expand our footprint and serve our mission to the agricultural community in Hawaii.”

Founded in 1916, American AgCredit specializes in providing financial services to agricultural and rural customers throughout California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico, Nevada, Kansas and Oklahoma, as well as to capital markets customers in all 50 states. We serve customers through 34 branch offices located throughout the Western and Midwestern states, with corporate headquarters based in Santa Rosa, California.

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https://www.agloan.com/aac-fcsh-announce-combination/

CoBank First Quarter 2019 Financial Results

CoBank, ACB has released its first quarter 2019 financial results. The news release is available on cobank.com under Corporate > Financial Information.

CoBank recorded solid financial performance in the first quarter of 2019. Though net income declined – primarily as a result of non-recurring items – lending increased across all three of our operating segments, and credit quality and capital remained strong. CoBank remains well-positioned to meet the financial needs of its customers and fulfill its mission of service to rural America.

CoBank is a $138 billion cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides commercial loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. The bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated Farm Credit associations serving more than 70,000 farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states around the country.

CoBank is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture, rural infrastructure and rural communities. Headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, CoBank serves customers from regional banking centers across the U.S. and also maintains an international representative office in Singapore.

American AgCredit increased Cash Patronage Distribution to a full 1% resulting in $86 million cash back to its customers

Reports Net Income of $169.4M and Total Assets exceeding $10.9B for 2018

April 15, 2019, SANTA ROSA, CA – American AgCredit increased its cash patronage distribution for 2018 to a full 1%,  resulting in a record $86 million cash back to our loyal customers, and $26 million more than last year. The nation’s fifth largest agricultural lending cooperative, American AgCredit also announced today a record net income of $169.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2018.

 “Our Association had an outstanding year in 2018—not just in our financial results, but in the significant progress we are making in positioning our company for competitive and sustainable success,” said Byron Enix, Chief Executive Officer. “Our focus on improving our internal efficiency set the stage for our record net earnings year along with our increase in cash patronage distribution.”

 2018 Results of Operations

The Association produced after-tax net income of $169.4 million in 2018, compared to $159.1 million in 2017 and $104.5 million in 2016. The $10.3 million increase in net income from 2017 was primarily due to a $12.6 million increase in net interest income as a result of strong organic loan growth and a $17.4 million increase in non-interest income.

 The 2018 net interest income was $267.7 million, compared to $255.1 million in 2017 and $212.5 million in 2016. The 2018 increase of $12.6 million represents a 4.9% increase over 2017 and was primarily due to strong growth in loan volume. Average earning assets grew by $663.0 million during 2018, representing an annual growth rate of 7.5%.

 “Our accrual loan growth rate of 7.5% enabled the Association to exceed $10.9 billion in assets,” added Chief Financial Officer Vern Zander. “Because of our efforts, we are able to share more profits than ever before.”

The Board of Directors approved an increase in cash patronage distribution to a full 1%, resulting in a record $86 million returned to American AgCredit customers.

 The American AgCredit Board of Directors approved an increase in its cash patronage distribution to a full 1%, resulting in a record $86 million returned to its customers.

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 About American AgCredit

 Founded in 1916, American AgCredit is part of the nationwide Farm Credit System, and is the nation’s fifth largest Farm Credit cooperative. American AgCredit specializes in providing financial services to agricultural and rural customers throughout California, Nevada, Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and New Mexico—as well as to capital markets customers throughout the country. Financial services provided by American AgCredit include production and mortgage financing, equipment and vehicle leasing, crop and life insurance, lines of credit, and the Young, Beginning and Small Farmer Program. In addition, the Association provides interest-free loans for qualifying 4-H and FFA AgYouth programs, as well as college scholarships to young people interested in agriculture. Learn more at www.AgLoan.com.