Agriculture’s Amazing Evolution
I know many of us enjoy looking at pictures and paintings of agricultural settings from days gone by. Those depictions show life as it used to be lived, crops that were grown, equipment used, and the nostalgic memories that we hold so dear to our hearts.
The challenge is that, while we cherish our past, we must make sure others know how much that picture of agriculture has changed and probably will continue to change. We have the responsibility to be artists for today’s agriculture and paint the evolving picture for the world to see.
What makes this a greater task today versus yesterday is the pace at which agriculture is changing. Consider the contents of this very issue of Landscapes. It spotlights a few of the many Farm Credit customers from New Mexico to Alabama who have begun to find new ways other than traditional agriculture to bring harvest to the table. Greene Hill Farms, for example, is highlighted as a local Alabama Ag Credit customer and grower of organic produce.
Others in this magazine have started vineyards and wineries, established agribusiness companies or sought out new, innovative marketing channels for their crops. As demands of consumers have changed over the years, the people involved in agriculture have changed too. Agriculture continues to expand as farmers and producers work to meet those demands across the world and in their local markets.
Today, agriculture is a diverse industry that encompasses research and development, processing and marketing, traditional and nontraditional products, and operations large and small. New technology opens doors and creates opportunities for operations that years ago may have just been a dream.
The loan portfolio here at Alabama Ag Credit reflects these dynamics as well. We have loans tied to what many people call traditional products, such as crops, cattle, poultry, timber and equipment, while also servicing loans to fruit and vegetable growers — including hydroponic and organic growers — aquaculture such as catfish farms, nurseries and sod farms, and agribusinesses, like sawmills, just to mention a few.
At Alabama Ag Credit, it is not our job to pick winners or losers in agriculture. Rather, our mission is to finance the full breadth and depth of it in all its forms, today and tomorrow. Our customers make us better artists for agriculture, and together, we will paint the picture of agriculture, in all its forms, for the world to see.
Chief Executive Officer