Over the past seven years, former farmworker Aldo Gonzalez has expanded his farm business from five to 44 acres, helped by annual operating loans from California FarmLink, an Aptos-based nonprofit that since 2013 has also operated as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).
In 1975, a group of women concerned about challenges to California agriculture got together to “speak on behalf of the busy farmer” and educate consumers and legislators about farming issues. Today, the CWA has become one of the largest all-volunteer advocacy groups in the nation, consisting of a diverse group of bankers, lawyers, accountants, marketing professionals and consumers – along with farmers and ranchers.
Agribusiness students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo will have additional funding for student projects in the years to come after Farm Credit donated nearly $255,000 this year to create an endowment fund for the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences.
For more than a quarter-century, the Center for Land-Based Learning has operated its successful FARMS Leadership Program, educating thousands of high school students about career opportunities in agriculture. And up through March of this year, the nonprofit had planned and implemented dozens of Field Day hands-on experiences throughout the state to get kids out of the classroom and onto working farms to learn more.
Latinos have been the largest ethnic group in California since 2014 and make up an even larger portion of the population in many of California’s farming regions. In fact, the fastest growing population of farmers throughout the state are Latinos transitioning from farmworkers to farmers.
The California Agricultural Heritage Club, established in 1948, recognizes the perseverance of the agriculture industry and the pioneers who made it possible. The mission of the club is to honor families, businesses, and special interests that have worked in agriculture for over 100 years.
Because so many farms have been in the family for several generations, many of them have a man’s name attached. But in 21st century California, women’s contributions to agriculture and their communities can’t be overstated.
Providing advice and feedback to the Board of Directors and the Management Team are members of the Local Advisory Committees (LAC) organized across all Farm Credit West’s territory. The Local Advisor Program is essentially another organizational tier between the Board and the stockholders, which provides an ongoing basis for maintaining and enhancing grassroots feedback from the stockholders.
Earlier this spring, Farm Credit West’s staff participated in the 2018 Ag Career Day at the International Agri-Center in Tulare, California. At this event, staff met with high school students, explained Farm Credit West’s unique business model and mission, and discussed ways for these students to align their skills and interests with career opportunities in agriculture.
Adults and high school students interested in careers in agriculture will have help reaching their goals thanks to a recent $15,000 donation by Farm Credit to the Center for Land-Based Learning, a non-profit that inspires, educates and cultivates future generations of California farmers and agricultural leaders.