COLEMAN, Texas — John and Myia Stewardson of San Saba, Texas, recently got an inside look at how Farm Credit supports rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services. The Stewardsons, member-borrowers of Central Texas Farm Credit, were among 25 young agricultural producers who attended the 2015 Farm Credit Young Leaders Program.
This is the 10th consecutive year that the program has shown young borrowers how Farm Credit’s cooperative structure and unique funding mechanism enable it to help rural communities and agriculture thrive. Participants are selected by Farm Credit lending co-ops across a multistate region.
The program began in the New York City area, where the group visited a Wall Street brokerage firm and met with Tracey McCabe, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation. There they learned how investors’ purchase of highly rated Farm Credit notes and bonds supplies the capital that Farm Credit lending cooperatives put to work in rural communities. Nationwide, Farm Credit provides more than $227 billion in financing and financial services to farmers, ranchers, rural homeowners, agribusinesses and other eligible borrowers.
Next the group traveled to Washington, D.C., to discuss policy issues with U.S. Department of Agriculture officials, Senate Appropriations Committee and House Agriculture Committee senior staff, and agriculture industry leaders. The five-day program also included a visit to Mount Vernon, President George Washington’s Virginia plantation, where participants learned about our nation’s heritage of agricultural innovation.
"For a decade now, each year’s participants have demonstrated that the future of agriculture is in good hands," said Stan Ray, president of the Tenth District Farm Credit Council, which hosts the Young Leaders Program. "As part of our mission to serve rural America, Farm Credit has a strong commitment to helping young people in agriculture be successful."
The Stewardsons have an operation that includes a cow-calf herd, stockers, wheat and hay production. They also are part owners in the ranch operated by John’s family, which has ranched in San Saba County since 1946. Graduates of Tarleton State University, John holds a bachelor’s degree in animal industries and Myia holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in ag services and development. John also sells liquid feed, and Myia is a fifth-grade science and social studies teacher. They have two sons.
The Tenth District Farm Credit Council is the regional member of the national Farm Credit Council, the trade association representing the legislative and regulatory interests of the Farm Credit System. The System is a nationwide network of cooperatively owned rural lenders that have provided financing and financial services since 1916.
About Central Texas Farm Credit
Founded in 1916, Central Texas Farm Credit is dedicated to providing a reliable source of financing for agricultural producers, agribusinesses, and recreational property. Member-owned and part of the Farm Credit system, Central Texas Farm Credit maintains a portfolio of 2,700 loans for over $430 million in a 20 county area in central and west Texas. It is headquartered in Coleman, Texas and has branch offices in Brownwood, Texas; San Angelo, Texas; Comanche, Texas; Brady, Texas, and Haskell, Texas. For more information, please visit http://www.ranchmoney.com/ or call 877-229-0221.