Florida’s three Farm Credit associations have joined forces to contribute $50,000 toward the new Florida FFA headquarters building in Gainesville to benefit the next generation in agriculture. The building will provide a permanent home for Florida FFA headquarters with funding opportunities open to FFA members, industry supporters, local FFA chapters and other interested parties.
“We are extremely pleased that Farm Credit has taken this bold step in securing its future and the future of nearly 17,000 FFA members by investing in the Building Our Legacy Campaign,” said Gary Bartley, Executive Director of the Florida FFA Foundation.
“As an agricultural lending cooperative, we believe FFA is training our next generation of agricultural leaders today and we want to help foster the close relationship we have maintained over the years,” said Rick Bitner, President and CEO of Farm Credit of Northwest Florida.
“This contribution is tangible evidence of Farm Credit’s continued commitment to cultivating Florida’s young, beginning and small farmers. FFA is one of our country’s premier training grounds, utilizing agriculture as a teaching tool to develop this nation’s leaders of tomorrow,” said Richard Terry, Chairman of the Board of Farm Credit of Northwest Florida.
The new building is located on the campus of Florida Farm Bureau in Gainesville, and the design allows for several meeting rooms, state officer living quarters, a board room and office space.
The National FFA Organization (previously known as Future Farmers of America) has more than 587,000 student members preparing for more than 300,000 exciting careers in agriculture, agribusiness and related industries. The FFA mission is to prepare students for successful careers and a lifetime of informed choices in global agriculture, food, fiber and natural resources.
The three Farm Credit associations in Florida are part of the nationwide Farm Credit System created in 1916 to serve American farmers, ranchers, growers and rural homeowners. Farm Credit members share in their Association’s profits through a patronage refund program. Since 1988, the refunds for Florida Farm Credit associations are approaching $500 million, and have significantly lowered members’ overall borrowing costs.