illinifarmradio.com Archives for 2018-02

Farm Credit Launches FreshRoots: Young & Beginning Farmers Program Supports Next Generation

Farm Credit Illinois introduced an initiative to support new farmers during two young and beginning farmer forums, attended by more than 250 farmer participants in Springfield and Effingham this week.

Farm Credit Illinois’ Steve Witges announces the FreshRoots program during the young and beginning farmer forum in Effingham Wednesday.

The FreshRoots young and beginning farmers program provides lending assistance and learning incentives to farmers up to age 40 or in their first 10 years of farming. Eligible borrowers receive loan pricing discounts for five years on up to $1 million in farm real estate loans and $500,000 in operating loans. Participants earn up to $2,000 in FreshRoots stipends for attending learning workshops and can apply for one of the $5,000 Directors Cup awards, which annually recognize farmers demonstrating personal growth and professional development. 

“Our members and Board of Directors voiced their desire for FCI to help equip today’s young and beginning farmers for a healthy start in their farming careers,” says Tom Tracy, FCI President & CEO. “As a member-owned and driven cooperative, we heard their requests and specifically tailored a FreshRoots program dedicated to Helping the Next Generation of Farm Families Succeed.”

“The FreshRoots learning incentives motivate participants to embrace an attitude of lifelong learning and offer an opportunity to see firsthand how beneficial half-day workshops are for their growth and development in their young farming careers,” says Steve Witges, FCI regional vice president. “Participants can use what they learn in the workshops when submitting a farm balance sheet and business plan with their loan application. We want to guide young and beginning farmers to evaluate their business, set goals, and create action plans as they start growing FreshRoots.”

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Farm Credit Supports Local FFA

The Farm Credit Illinois Red Bud regional office recently supported the Christ Our Savior and Red Bud FFA chapters, awarding $250 to each. The donations are part of the financial cooperative’s ongoing support of rural communities and agriculture.

Above: Members of the Christ Our Savior FFA chapter accept the gift from Jacob Fishbein (FCI)

Above: Members of the Christ Our Savior FFA chapter accept the gift from Jacob Fishbein (FCI)

In 2017, FCI invested more than $235,000 in youth, community, and ag literacy initiatives throughout its 60-county marketplace.

Above from L to R: Zacary Michels, Alec Hahn, Logan Cowell, Blake Durbin, Treyton Jones, Laura DuFrenne (FCI), Joe Goeddel, Matt Wiegard, Patrick Sondag, Caleb Crain, Dylan Falkenhain, Joseph Kingsley, Dominick Liefer, Vance Schmidt, Katie Davis, Madilyn Hoock, Micheal Chausse, Nicole Boyke

The funds will be used to build raised garden beds for each chapter’s greenhouse. The Red Bud regional office annually supports local FFA chapter initiatives which further agricultural and youth development in rural communities.

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 About Farm Credit Illinois

Farm Credit Illinois is a farmer-owned and directed agricultural lending cooperative serving 8,500 farm families, agribusinesses, and rural landowners in the southern 60 counties of Illinois with competitive and flexible financing and crop insurance expertise. The Association manages a $4 billion loan portfolio, provides 1.4 million acres of crop insurance coverage, and employs 210 staff based in the Mahomet central office and 14 regional office locations. The U.S. Farm Credit System supports rural communities, farm families, and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services today and tomorrow.

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