Farm Credit of the Virginias Reports 2nd Quarter Earnings

Small-FarmCredit-Black-Green

Staunton, Virginia – Farm Credit of the Virginias, a customer-owned financial cooperative, reported second quarter 2014 net income of $7.5 million.  This brings the net income of the cooperative for the first six months to $16 million.  “We are pleased with our second quarter and year-to-date financial results, which reflect positive trends across most areas of our operations,” said David Lawrence, Chief Executive Officer of Farm Credit of the Virginias.  “We experienced increased loan demand across our markets, which resulted in the strongest quarterly loan growth we have experienced in several years.”

 

“We are also pleased to pay out our 2013 patronage dividend totaling $21 million in cash to our customer-owners during the second quarter.  This demonstrates how the cooperative model works by having our customer-owners share in the cooperative’s earnings,” said Mr. Lawrence.

 

Farm Credit of the Virginias’ loan portfolio increased $34 million during the second quarter and totaled over $1.528 billion at June 30, 2014.  Credit quality of the loan portfolio remained strong, with 95% of the loans classified as acceptable.  Improved profitability in the livestock, poultry and dairy industries and a strengthening of the general economy has helped the cooperative maintain the credit performance of its loan portfolio.

 

Farm Credit of the Virginias provides over $1.5 billion dollars in financing to more than 10,000 farmers, agribusinesses and rural homeowners throughout Virginia, West Virginia and western Maryland. Farm Credit is a cooperative capitalized largely through investments made by farmers, ranchers and the rural homeowners and businesses that borrow from them.  Farm Credit helps maintain and improve the quality of life in rural America and on the farm through its constant commitment to competitive lending,  expert financial services and for facilitating and sharing knowledge and resources through the Farm Credit Knowledge Center.   For more information, visit www.FarmCreditKnowledgeCenter.com or www.FarmCreditofVirginias.com.

 

Categories: General Information

Farm to Plate: Labor Day

 

Labor Day was established to recognize the efforts of American workers and their contributions to the country. As far back as 1882, the importance of these achievements was recognized and while the initial holiday was focused on laborers whose efforts had fueled the Industrial Revolution, today few people work harder or longer than America’s farmers and ranchers.

Here’s a look at what goes into raising just a few of the foods you may be enjoying this holiday weekend:

  • Dairy: From the milk in your morning coffee to the cheese on your burger, dairy is an everyday food for millions of Americans. The farmers who help bring milk to your table labor every day – weekends and holidays included – because cows need to be milked several times each day or they’ll stop producing. To streamline this daily routine, some farmers like Paul Meyer are moving to robotic milking systems that automatically milk the cows and track production. Of course, these systems don’t eliminate all the work: raising forage and feed crops, feeding the cows, monitoring their health, caring for their young and continuing to ensure food safety is an integral part of every dairy farmer’s day.
  • Produce: The colorful array of fruits and vegetables found in most grocery stores is only possible because of the hard work of the farmers who grow it. At Betteravia Farms, CEO Craig Reade has established a year-round process that starts with selecting the right seeds to plant in fields that have been properly prepared. Plants are monitored for health throughout their growth, with special attention to identify any insect infestations, diseases or fungal infections that can destroy a crop. Harvest is done by hand, and finding laborers willing to do this backbreaking work is a growing challenge.
  • Beef: How many different agricultural operations does it take to create a single hamburger? Quite a few, as it turns out. Much U.S. cattle starts off at a cow/calf operation like that run by the Bartaks, where female cows are bred and their calves sold once they’re weaned. The stocker operations who purchase the calves feed them until they reach a certain weight before selling them to a feeder operation, where the cattle continue growing before moving on to a feed lot. Loren Doll Incorporated is an integrated operation encompassing several companies that manage these different stages of growth. The company also includes one business that focuses on raising corn silage and forage crops to feed the cattle, although the ration at the feed lot includes higher calorie contents that are purchas

 

Categories: General Information

From the Field: 4-H CWF Builds New Generation of Ag Leaders

By Mikayla Bodey

 

 

Mikayla Bodey is currently a sophomore at The Ohio State University, pursuing a degree in public affairs with a concentration in nonprofit administration. Mikayla grew up on a small family farm in Ohio where she raised Clydesdale horses and market hogs during her time in 4-H and FFA. Find Mikayla on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.This summer, nearly 1,400 young people participated in Citizenship Washington Focus (CFW) – a week-long citizenship program at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center, just minutes outside of Washington, D.C. 4-H’ers are known for their supreme leadership and citizenship skills, and the CWF program allows these young people to hone and exercise these abilities in our nation’s capital. As a program assistant, I had the great honor of guiding and educating delegates the entire summer, as they participated in workshops, committees and field trips.

Delegates spend their week exchanging ideas and forming friendships with other 4-H youth from across the country. Valuable discussions regarding norms, regional differences, and 4-H traditions provide a new perspective for delegates as they return home. However, the hands-on learning experience within the historical backdrop of Washington, D.C. delivers real life lessons on leadership from memorialized leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and many more.

The informal learning environment of CWF begins with workshop groups in which delegates are charged with the task of writing a bill for relevant government topics. Once delegates have completed the bill writing process, they must present, debate and vote on the bills in our Congressional Session.  Learning first-hand the difficulties of creating and passing effective legislation leaves the delegates with a new appreciation for the job of Congress, democracy and teamwork.

This summer one of those topics was federal crop insurance through subsidies and direct payments. I had the opportunity to work with the delegates focusing on this topic. This issue was relevant to the youth for its connection to agriculture, but also helping the youth understand the role of government in agriculture. This helped delegates engage with their Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill Day, about agriculture and understanding the power of their voice.

Each week delegates receive a committee assignment, which encourages delegates to use their personal strengths. Committees include Healthy Living, Open-Mindedness, Government, Responsibility, Talent, and Communications, and each committee is focused on various topic-specific activities to inspire further positive growth in their areas of interest.

Farm Credit has played a pivotal role in the success of this year’s CWF program. Farm Credit’s support provided scholarships for 70 delegates and Cooperative Extension personnel from 1890 and 1994 land-grant universities from across the U.S. to attend CWF. Watching these delegates experience Washington, D.C. while broadening their knowledge and understanding of our federal government was rewarding and inspiring.

Technology has become a platform for young people to share their experiences, and Farm Credit also provided all of the 2014 CWF delegates the tools and training to do just that. Farm Credit donated 11 iPad minis at the beginning of the summer to encourage photography, blogging, and social networking among delegates during their time at CWF. As the Program Assistant heading up the Communications Committee, I used the iPads as a teaching tool when discussing social media best practices and pitfalls, and while helping delegates produce a weekly slideshow for our closing ceremony. Delegates also had the opportunity to participate in the #CWFHunt Social Media Scavenger Hunt on Twitter and Instagram during their week in D.C.

Because of Farm Credit’s commitment to positive youth development through CWF, countless young people have walked away with a greater sense of value and purpose. Understanding the importance of civic and social responsibilities at a young age prepares young people not only for the future, but helps them see the difference they can make now. 4-Hers have endless potential to better our country’s future. I couldn’t be more excited to see their successes long after their experience at CWF through online community building, social networking and connecting again at future events.

Categories: General Information

August 2014 Preview: Back to School, Farmers’ Markets, Peaches, and State Fairs

   Across much of the country, families are getting ready for the kids to go back to school, starting the 180-day school cycle for another year.  From pre-school to college, students are stocking up on the necessities, many of which are produced with help from American farmers and ranchers, including notebooks loaded with paper made from American-grown timber and new clothes made with American-grown cotton.

While the kids may not all be looking forward to another year of classes, here are some other things they can look forward to this month:

  • National Farmers’ Market Week is August 3 – 9, a great time to visit one of the 8,100 farmers’ markets across the U.S. Whether you try something new or stock up on some favorites, something is always in season at the farmer’s market – farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and cheeses, and packaged goods from salsas to soaps.  You can find your local farmers’ markets here.
  • August is National Peach Month, timed to take advantage of the fruit’s most concentrated harvest season.  Peaches are grown in 47 states, with California, South Carolina, Georgia – the Peach State – and New Jersey topping the production list. The two main peach varieties are clingstone and freestone, differentiated by whether the flesh of the fruit “clings” to the pit, or stone, or is “free” from the pit. Most cling peaches are processed, while freestone peaches are enjoyed fresh.
  • August also kicks off State Fair season, with 21 state fairs across the country delivering an abundance of food and entertainment this month.  From fairs in Indiana and New Jersey starting today to Eastern Idaho’s fair starting August 30, state fairs are lively celebrations of agriculture and community. If you’re able to attend your state fair, share a comment below, or post your fairest fair memory on Twitter with the hash tag #beststatefair. We’ll post your photos to our Best State Fair Pinterest board.

 

Categories: General Information

Farm Credit Marks 98 Years of Service to U.S. Agriculture & Rural America

I_BioStar_Farm_CreditJuly 17, 2014– Nearly 100 years after the U.S. Congress established Farm Credit www.farmcredit.com to serve as a reliable source of credit for the nation’s farmers and ranchers, Farm Credit of the Virginias and the entire Farm Credit System remain a sound and vital financial resource for rural America. Today marks the cooperative networks’ 98th anniversary.

 

“For 98 years, the Farm Credit System has served agriculture and rural America as a dedicated, reliable, competitive, customer-owned source of credit,” said Dave Lawrence, President of Farm Credit of the Virginias. “America’s agricultural producers and rural communities have benefited greatly from the vision and foresight that went into establishing the Farm Credit System.”

 

Today, about 40 percent of the dollar volume of outstanding loans to U.S. farmers and ranchers comes from Farm Credit. The federally chartered network is comprised of 82 privately owned institutions, including four wholesale banks and 78 direct lending associations that operate in every county in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

 

In support of its mission of service, Farm Credit System institutions also have programs specifically focused on meeting the needs of young, beginning and small farm and ranch operators. In 2013, more than 40 percent of new loans made by Farm Credit were to small producers, those with annual gross agricultural sales of $250,000 or less.

 

“Our cooperative model is designed specifically to ensure that our lending and related financial services are driven by the needs of our borrower-owners,” commented Dave Lawrence President of Farm Credit of the Virginias. “Our focus remains on the success of our owners rather than on achieving quarterly returns to impress stockholders.”

 

Farm Credit’s commitment to its borrower-owners is demonstrated further by the fact that associations share profits directly with borrowers through patronage dividends. In 2013, Farm Credit of the Virginias delivered twenty-one million in cash patronage, allowing borrower-owners to reinvest in their own operations and to further support rural communities through local spending.

 

”Today, Farm Credit celebrates its heritage as it continues to fulfill its mission to serve U.S. agriculture and rural America,” Barry Shelor, Farm Credit of the Virginas Chairman of the Board of Directors said. “Farm Credit was established as a permanent system of credit that is to be responsive to the needs of our nation’s agricultural sector, and we look forward to continued success and a bright future.”

 

Farm Credit of the Virginias provides over $1.5 billion dollars in financing to more than 10,000 farmers, agribusinesses and rural homeowners throughout Virginia, West Virginia and western Maryland. Farm Credit is a cooperative capitalized largely through investments made by farmers, ranchers and the rural homeowners and businesses that borrow from them.  Farm Credit helps maintain and improve the quality of life in rural America and on the farm through its constant commitment to competitive lending,  expert financial services and for facilitating and sharing knowledge and resources through the Farm Credit Knowledge Center.   For more information, visit www.FarmCreditKnowledgeCenter.com or www.FarmCreditofVirginias.com.

Categories: General Information

Homegrown by Heroes Certification Boost Veteran-Made Goods

Homegrown by HeroesFarm Credit of the Virginias, as part of the nationwide Farm Credit System, is proud to announce the national launch of the Homegrown By Heroes initiative. This program allows farmers, ranchers, fishermen and the like from all 50 states and U.S. territories who have served or are serving in any branch of the U.S. military, the ability to use the Homegrown By Heroes logo on their products—a way consumers can support our country’s farmer veterans.

This initiative was kick started with a donation from The Farm Credit system last November.  The Farmer Veteran Coalition, working with its partners at Farm Credit, American Farm Bureau Federation, and the National Farmers Union, are making their goal to have Homegrown By Heroes products household items in all 50 states.

Only 16 percent of America’s population lives in rural areas, yet 40 percent of the men and women who serve in the U.S. military come from those same rural communities. Veterans possess the unique skills and character needed to strengthen rural communities, and food production offers purpose, opportunity, and physical and psychological benefits to those veterans. At a time when Post-9/11 veterans are experiencing a 9 percent unemployment rate (compared to the national average of 6.3 percent), agriculture can be a meaningful solution for veterans returning home and looking to provide for their families. The Homegrown By Heroes label will afford consumers the opportunity to thank a veteran for their service by purchasing their farm products.

To qualify for the Homegrown By Heroes label, one must have served honorably or still be serving in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, and be at least 50 percent owner and/or operator of the farm business. Veterans of all eras are encouraged to apply. FVC staff assists applicants in developing food safety plans and, if needed, business plans. FVC is now accepting and processing Homegrown By Heroes applications, which can be completed at http://www.hgbh.org.

Farm Credit of the Virginias provides over $1.5 billion dollars in financing to more than 10,000 farmers, agribusinesses and rural homeowners throughout Virginia, West Virginia and western Maryland. Farm Credit is a cooperative capitalized largely through investments made by farmers, ranchers and the rural homeowners and businesses that borrow from them.  Farm Credit helps maintain and improve the quality of life in rural America and on the farm through its constant commitment to competitive lending,  expert financial services and for facilitating and sharing knowledge and resources through the Farm Credit Knowledge Center.   For more information, visit www.FarmCreditKnowledgeCenter.com or www.FarmCreditofVirginias.com.

 

Categories: General Information

From the Field: 2014 Citizenship Washington Focus

The 2014 Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) program is held throughout each summer at the National 4-H Center. Farm Credit is a proud sponsor of 4-H and the program through the National Contributions Program.

For more than 50 years, thousands of high school youth from across the nation have travelled to Washington, D.C. each summer to partake in the preeminent 4-H citizenship and leadership experience—Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF). These delegates are given an opportunity to strengthen their communication, leadership, and citizenship skills; understand the importance of civic and social responsibilities; exchange ideas, practice respect, and form friendships with other youth from diverse backgrounds; and, experience hands-on learning using the historical backdrop of Washington, D.C.

This week in Washington, several delegates who earned CWF scholarships through Farm Credit’s partnership with 4-H got a behind the scenes look at the legislative process. On Wednesday, June 25, a House Agriculture subcommittee hearing was held to examine the availability of essential credit to help finance the endeavors of rural America. MidAtlantic Farm Credit CEO Bob Frazee participated in a panel at the hearings, as did representatives from the Farm Credit Administration, the Farm Service Agency, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and commercial and community banks.

The delegates learned a great deal about the importance of keeping the business of agriculture financially viable. Frazee told the subcommittee about Farm Credit’s mission of service to rural America and the importance of making credit available to farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses with a growing need for capital.

“It should be of no surprise to the Committee that when you look across Farm Credit’s loan portfolio you will see represented in it the broad array of operations that are U.S. agriculture,” Frazee said. “The Farm Credit Act was designed to ensure that we can continue to meet the needs of agriculture, cooperatives and rural infrastructure as they have developed.”

In addition to attending the hearing, the CWF delegates had a chance throughout the week to hear from motivational speakers, attend educational workshops and assemblies, and participate in other exercises to increase their individual commitment to citizen involvement.

As the largest youth development organization in America, 4-H helps millions of our country’s young people develop leadership skills, embrace a spirit of community service and learn important life lessons. Farm Credit is proud of its long partnership with the National 4-H Council and the young leaders they help to develop.

“The financial support and numerous volunteer hours provided by Farm Credit have allowed us to help millions of young people learn leadership skills and embrace community service,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, CEO of National 4-H Council.

 

Categories: General Information
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 570 other followers