Since 1928, the California FFA has been encouraging high school students to pursue a wide range of careers related to agriculture through hands-on learning and leadership development. And throughout virtually all of FFA’s history, Farm Credit has been a proud supporter of the organization.
That support continues today, as Farm Credit associations in California together with CoBank, a national cooperative bank and member of the Farm Credit System, are collectively donating $250,000 over the four years ending in 2020. The grant will support the state FFA organization as it continues to expand its efforts and serve its more than 89,000 members.
“A large part of our collective success at the local and state level is due to industry leaders like Farm Credit that continue to invest in the next generation, said Katie Otto, development director for the California FFA Foundation, the fund-raising arm of the organization formerly known as the Future Farmers of America.
“They have been generous donors and, more importantly, partners. There are countless Farm Credit employees who are former FFA members and now sit on local FFA chapter booster, alumni and advisory committees. They have kids in local FFA programs, and support chapters in every aspect of what they do. That’s in addition to the generous financial support.”
Leili Ghazi, president of CoBank’s Western Region Agribusiness Banking Group, said Farm Credit supports FFA so strongly because FFA students really are the future of farming in the Golden State.
According to Otto, Farm Credit has contributed more than a half-million dollars directly to California FFA over the past 25 years and at least that much more in donations and assistance to the more than 330 local chapters in both urban and rural parts of the state.
Otto said Farm Credit support has been crucial to the success of numerous initiatives and programs, including:
- Increasing the number of students who can participate in programs – especially important as FFA’s membership has grown to an all-time high in recent years
- Keeping more than 50 leadership development conferences affordable for students, ensuring that despite family income, the students can attend and learn.
- And allowing FFA to construct a sign outside its 10-year-old headquarters in Galt, providing exposure to thousands of travelers a day passing by on Highway 99.
American Ag Credit, Farm Credit West, CoBank, Fresno-Madera Farm Credit, Golden State Farm Credit, Colusa-Glenn Farm Credit and Yosemite Farm Credit are cooperatively owned lending institutions providing agriculture and rural America with a dependable source of credit. We specialize in financing farmers, ranchers, farmer-owned cooperatives, rural utilities and agribusinesses. Farm Credit offers a broad range of loan products and financial services, including long-term real estate loans, operating lines of credit, equipment and facility loans, cash management and appraisal and leasing services…everything a “growing” business needs. For more information, visit www.farmcreditalliance.com
California FFA serves more than 89,000 California high school students and strives to make a difference in their lives by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through career technical education.