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Alabama Ag Credit Celebrates FFA Members During National FFA Week

Montgomery, Ala. — Agriculture is part of our daily lives – from the food we eat to the clothes we wear. This week, more than 649,000 FFA members across the U.S. are celebrating the role agriculture plays in our lives while sharing the message of agricultural education as part of National FFA Week.

Alabama Ag Credit is proud to support several local chapters as they host a variety of activities to raise awareness about the role the National FFA Organization plays in the development of agriculture's future leaders and the importance of agricultural education.

The National FFA Board of Directors designated the weeklong tradition, which began in 1948, in recognition of Washington's legacy as an agriculturist and farmer. A group of young farmers founded FFA in 1928, influencing generations that agriculture is more than planting and harvesting – it involves science, business and more. The organization's mission is to prepare future generations for the challenges of feeding a growing population.

Today, FFA continues to help the next generation rise up to meet new agricultural challenges by helping members develop their own unique talents and explore their interests in a broad range of career pathways. Because of this, Alabama Ag Credit recognizes the value of supporting the activities of many South Alabama FFA chapters.

FFA chapters use National FFA Week to share agriculture with their fellow students as well as their communities and Alabama Ag Credit is partnering with several of these chapters to help with this mission.

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 649,355 student members who belong to one of 7,859 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization is also supported by 225,891 alumni members in 1,934 alumni chapters throughout the U.S.


Alabama Ag Credit Celebrates, Embraces and Serves at TU's Annual Farmers Conference

Representatives from Alabama Ag Credit gathered with hundreds of farmers and agricultural specialists at Tuskegee University's 125th Annual Farmers Conference. Originally called the "Peoples Conference," this conference is often cited as the oldest event of its type in the nation.

This Annual Farmers Conference exists today as a two-day educational forum featuring tours, panel discussions, interactive demonstrations and workshops covering topics like "Sustainable Practices for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers" and "Youth in Agriculture." The theme for this year's conference is "Celebrating the Legacy, Embracing the Opportunity, Serving the Needs."

Alabama Ag Credit was a diamond-level sponsor of the conference and showed additional support by educating attendees about rural and ag financing opportunities through its exhibit on display at the event. For more information, visit the Annual Farmers Conference website.


Alabama Ag Credit Stockholders Participate in 2016 Farm Credit Young Leaders Program

Brent and Dana Parkman with Stan Ray

Brent and Dana Parkman of Montgomery, Ala., attended the 2016 Farm Credit Young Leaders Program on behalf of Alabama Ag Credit. They celebrated the completion of the program in Washington, D.C., with Stan Ray, right, Farm Credit Bank of Texas chief administrative officer and Tenth District Farm Credit Council president.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Brent and Dana Parkman of Montgomery, Ala., recently saw firsthand how Farm Credit's cooperative structure and unique funding mechanism enable it to help rural communities and agriculture thrive. The Parkmans, member-borrowers of Alabama Ag Credit, were among 22 agricultural producers who attended the 2016 Farm Credit Young Leaders Program in New York City and Washington, D.C.

The 11th annual program began with visits to a Wall Street brokerage firm and the Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation. There the group learned how the sale of highly rated Farm Credit notes and bonds to investors provides a steady stream of funding that local lending cooperatives put to work in rural communities. Nationwide, Farm Credit provides more than $242 billion in financing to farmers, ranchers, rural homeowners, agribusinesses and other eligible borrowers.

Next the group traveled to the nation's capital to exchange ideas with Acting Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse, members of Congress and congressional staff. The five-day program also included a visit to Mount Vernon, George Washington's innovative farming and milling operation.

"Helping agricultural producers of all ages and experience levels be successful in a complex and capital-intensive business is an important part of Farm Credit's mission," said Stan Ray, president of the Tenth District Farm Credit Council, which hosts the Young Leaders Program. "These impressive participants were chosen by their local lenders for this opportunity to learn about Farm Credit and discuss policy issues that are important to farmers and ranchers."

Brent and Dana Parkman operate Parkman Livestock Inc., a stocker cattle operation, and own Stocker Supply Inc., which provides animal health supplies and pharmaceuticals throughout the southeastern United States. They have three children.

This year marks the centennial of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of borrower-owned lending cooperatives that support rural communities and agriculture. The Tenth District Farm Credit Council is the regional member of the national Farm Credit Council, the trade association that works on behalf of System institutions and member-owners.


Wish Granted for Magic Moments Candidate

Magic Moments group photo

Dothan, Ala. — Alabama Ag Credit and Magic Moments recently surprised 17-year-old Sequoia with the news of her magic moment trip to Disney World with her family. Sequoia, diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder in March 2016, learned she is getting her magic moment from none other than Santa and Mickey Mouse.

Sequoia thought she was going out for a family lunch at her favorite restaurant; however, she was in store for much more! Sequoia was surprised by Santa who welcomed Mickey Mouse of the big announcement — her dream of traveling to Disney World is coming true.

Alabama Ag Credit (AAC) partnered with Magic Moments this holiday season as part of their Moment of The Month campaign. AAC employees raised funds during November and December to give Sequoia her dream trip to Disney World through Magic Moments. AAC employees were present to meet Sequoia and her family and to see Sequoia's reaction as she received the news of this gift, made possible by their hard work and generosity.

"There is nothing more emotionally fulfilling than seeing the impact of your gift to Magic Moments firsthand. As we are devoted solely to the children of Alabama, we rely on the generosity and commitment of wonderful volunteers such as the employees of Alabama Ag Credit to give the gift of joy to children in our state who are struggling with the pain of a chronic life threatening illness. This will be a very special Christmas for Sequoia and her family!" Joyce Spielberger, Magic Moments Executive Director, said.

Magic Moments is the only wish-granting organization dedicated exclusively to children in Alabama suffering with chronic life threatening diseases. Founded in 1984, Magic Moments has granted over 4,500 magic moments to children in all 67 counties of Alabama. Magic Moments establishes lasting relationships with the families they serve that don't end once the magic moment has been fulfilled. Magic Moments goes Beyond the Moment with programs such as their annual Family Camp and regional programs for their children and families throughout the year. Magic Moments works to create a caring support network for its families by not only connecting them to the organization, but to each other. For more information, visit Magic Moments.

Check out the full story on WDHN and WTVY below:
Christmas Wish Comes Early for Dothan Teen
Northview Teen Granted Christmas Wish


Alabama Ag Credit Donates $5,000 to 4-H Foundation

Montgomery, Ala. – Alabama Ag Credit is committed to supporting youth in agriculture. Recognizing the value organizations like 4-H play in the future success of Alabama agriculture, the Association again presented $5,000 to the Alabama 4-H Foundation recently. This contribution, combined with additional sponsorships for the year, total nearly $8,500 in 2016 giving to the Alabama 4-H club organization.

“We’re honored to be a part of Alabama Ag Credit’s philanthropic commitment to the youth of Alabama 4-H,” extension director Dr. Gary Lemme said. “Support like this will have a direct impact on the future of our youth and will help fund program activities.”

Lemme said the gift will fund a variety of activities such as leadership travel to events like National 4-H Congress and National 4-H Conference, and state and national competitive events like National 4-H Livestock Quiz Bowl and 4-H’s Poultry Project, Chick Chain.

“We value our relationship with both Alabama Ag Credit and appreciate all they do for 4-H,” Lemme concluded.

Alabama Ag Credit staff with 4-H Foundation representatives.

Alabama Ag Credit (AAC) and Alabama Farm Credit (AFC) each presented $5,000 to the 4-H Foundation recently. Pictured from left are AFC loan officer Andrew Pinyan, AFC marketing director Wendy Tysinger, Alabama 4-H development officer Seth Tuttle, Alabama 4-H extension director Dr. Gary Lemme, AAC marketing director Grace Ellis and AAC president and CEO Doug Thiessen.


Alfa Annual Meeting, Another Great Success

Alabama Ag Credit participated in the Alabama Farmers Federation’s (ALFA) Annual Meeting Dec. 4-5 in Montgomery, Ala. Over the two-day event Alabama Ag Credit employees enjoyed visiting with some of the state’s most successful farmers. Additionally, the Association presented the Outstanding Young Farm Family a John Deere Gator and runners up cash awards of $500.

The Association was well represented at the premier farm organization’s largest meeting. Alabama Ag Credit employees enjoyed participating in the tradeshow where hundreds of Alabama farmers dropped by to inquire about rural and ag financing and to collect giveaways.

Young Farmer events have continued to grow in popularity at ALFA’s Annual Meeting, and Alabama Ag Credit is a proud participant in those events like the annual Young Farmer business session and banquet.

The highlight of the annual meeting is the presentation of the Outstanding Young Farm Family (OYFF) award and this year's winner is the McGill family of Madison County. Stewart and Kasey McGill farm cotton, corn, soybeans, wheat and pumpkins on their 600-acre farm. Additionally the couple take an active role in the family’s agritourism business - Tate Farms Cotton Pickin’ Pumpkins which hosts 50-60,000 guests annually.

Doug Thiessen and Ben Gore, president and CEO of Alabama Ag Credit and Alabama Farm Credit, respectively, presented a new John Deere Gator to the McGill Family. The Associations also presented $500 as cash awards to runners up John and Hannah Bevel of Marshall County and Lance and Stephanie Miller of Blount County.

Pictured, from left, are Alabama Farm Credit marketing director Wendy Tysinger, Alabama Ag Credit president and CEO Doug Thiessen, the McGill family - Kasey and Stewart and children Peyton, Reece and Allie, and Alfa president Jimmy Parnell.

The McGill family with John Deere Gator

Association Supports Tuskegee University's Future Agriculturalists

Tuskegee, Ala — Alabama Ag Credit is proud to support future agriculturalists and this year the association again demonstrated that by providing $5,000 in conjunction with Farm Credit Bank of Texas to students in Tuskegee University's College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences. Alabama Ag Credit's president CEO Doug Thiessen presented the check to Dr. Walter A. Hill, dean of the College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences. This donation marks the fifth year Alabama Ag Credit has provided financial support to Tuskegee University students, an action the association intends to continue.

"Alabama Ag Credit is here to serve agriculture both today and tomorrow," Thiessen said. "We recognize investing in future farmers and agriculturalists is pivotal to the success of our industry and we're proud to continue that tradition at Tuskegee University."

This donation culminates a total of $16,000 the association has given Tuskegee University in 2016.

Pictured below are AAC marketing director Grace Ellis, TU associate professor Dr. Olga Bolden-Tiller, TU student Bryant Allen, AAC president and CEO Doug Thiessen, TU College of Ag dean Dr. Walter Hill, TU assistant professor Dr. Tasha Hargrove.

Tuskegee University group photo

Monroeville Branch Celebrates Opening of New Office

Alabama Ag Credit Celebrates New Monroeville Office

Monroeville, Ala. — Alabama Ag Credit celebrated the opening of its new office building in Monroeville Friday, Sept. 23, 2016. The office was open for visitors and nearly 100 gathered to see the new space. Alabama Ag Credit employees provided tours of the building to customers and friends.

At 10:30 a.m. the group held a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by Alabama Ag Credit regional president Ed Boyd and the Monroeville chamber of commerce.

Branch manager Michael Williams said the new facility provides more space for employees and revitalizes one of Monroeville's well-loved downtown buildings.

"This building has been a cornerstone of Monroeville for many years," Williams said. "We're proud to bring new life to it. Its space and character offer an excellent work environment for our employees. We're grateful to call it our new home."

Regional president Ed Boyd said he was encouraged by the area residents' response to the new facility.

"We are overwhelmed by the support of our community," he said. "Seeing such a great turnout to our ribbon cutting is a wonderful reminder of the importance of our role in being a partner to our customers and pillar in our community."


Alabama Ag Credit Serves as Title Sponsor of Alabama FFA Convention

"I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds..." This is the opening line of the FFA Creed and at Alabama Ag Credit, we too believe in the future of agriculture. We're proving it by again sponsoring the state FFA convention where more than 2,000 high school students will gather to compete in contests, celebrate the year's accomplishments, develop leadership skills and take advantage of outstanding networking opportunities.

Alabama Ag Credit, along with Alabama Farm Credit, is proud to again serve as the title sponsor of the event to be held June 8-10 at the Montgomery Performing Arts Center and Renaissance Hotel in Montgomery.

Alabama FFA staff members have selected nationally-known speakers and entertainment thanks in large part to the support of Alabama Ag Credit. State leaders are also able to incorporate state-of-the-art staging and lighting, creating an unforgettable experience for all attendees.

Additionally, through its sponsorship, Alabama Ag Credit is doing its part to increase participation in Career Development Events, which are competitions that demonstrate the connections between agriculture-related classroom instruction and real-life scenarios. These contests help prepare students for careers in the agriculture industry.

"The FFA organization offers opportunities to develop the next generation of agriculturalists and rural businessmen and women. We're committed to supporting this outstanding group of young people, and we'll continue that support as they have future lending needs," said Douglas Thiessen, CEO of Alabama Ag Credit.


Agribusiness Leaders Elected to Alabama Ag Credit Board of Directors

Montgomery, Ala. — Elections for Alabama Ag Credit's board of directors were held April 21, 2016 at the stockholder's annual meeting in Montgomery, Ala. Those elected were Larry H. Gibson, Jr. of Aliceville, Ala. and Mark D. Platt of Fruitdale, Ala.

Gibson, who was reelected after the expiration of his three-year term on the board, has served as vice chairman to the board. Gibson is president of Gibson Forest Management, a forestry consulting firm, and owns approximately 1,500 acres of timberland where timber and wildlife are the primary commodities. He manages approximately 55,000 acres of timberland for clients in West Alabama and East Mississippi where he provides complete forest management services. Gibson has served on the board since 2010.

Newly elected Platt, a full-time farmer for the past 16 years, operates 850 acres of poultry, cotton, peanuts, feed grains, cattle and timber. Additionally, he has served two years as county commissioner for Washington County. Platt also serves as board member for the Deer Park-Vinegar Bend Water Board, the Fruitdale Volunteer Fire Department, Washington County Soil and Water Conservation District, Washington County Farmers Market Committee and Washington County Farmers Federation.

About Alabama Ag Credit:

Alabama Ag Credit provides financing for farms, timber and forestry operations, agribusinesses, recreational land and other rural property in 40 counties in southern Alabama. The financing co-op operates offices in Demopolis, Dothan, Enterprise, Montgomery, Monroeville, Opelika, Selma, Spanish Fort and Tuscaloosa.


Alabama Ag Credit Distributes Record Patronage

Montgomery, Ala. — Alabama Ag Credit, a rural lending cooperative serving central and southern Alabama, recently distributed a $7.4 million cash patronage to its customers. This record amount was based on the co-op's solid 2015 earnings, and was approved by the association's board of directors.

As a member of the Farm Credit System, a network of rural lending cooperatives, Alabama Ag Credit has a long history of sharing earnings with its customers. The co-op has returned more than $51 million in cash since 2006.

"This is a significant return of earnings to our borrowers," said Jimmy Bassett, chairman of the cooperative's member-elected board of directors. "This patronage program is evidence the cooperative system works and is a great example of our commitment to meeting the mission of enhancing the quality of life for the people of rural Alabama."

This patronage payment highlighted outstanding 2015 year-end financial results. Loan volume at Dec. 31, 2015 was over $861 million. 2015 net income totaled just over $15 million, and credit quality remained strong.

Alabama Ag Credit provides financing for farms, timber and forestry operations, agribusinesses, recreational land and other rural property in 40 counties in central and southern Alabama. The financing cooperative is headquartered in Montgomery and operates offices in Demopolis, Dothan, Enterprise, Monroeville, Montgomery, Opelika, Selma, Spanish Fort and Tuscaloosa.


Alabama Ag Credit Supports Tuskegee's Annual Farmers Conference

Tuskegee, Ala. — For 124 years Tuskegee University has been home to what has been called the oldest event of its type in the nation — The Farmers Conference, originally called the "People's Conference." February 18–19, the university again hosted the conference where about 300 farmers and producers from across the nation gathered for the two-day educational event featuring workshops, panel discussions and interactive demonstrations.

Alabama Ag Credit was proudly a diamond level sponsor of this year's conference, themed "100 Years after Booker T. Washington, A Century of Agriculture and Education in the South." The conference addressed topics pertinent to small farmers, farm families and rural communities like "Sustainable Practices for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers" and "Effective Marketing Tools for Agricultural Products."

Find more information on the Annual Farmers Conference.

Annual Farmers Conference