CHICO, Calif. — The return to in-person Junior Livestock Auctions at California County Fairs is a sign of opportunity for many agricultural students who plan to raise and sell animals and Golden State Farm Credit (GSFC) plans to take part as a buyer and sponsor at seven county fairs.
Amy Stroing wrote in her buyer’s letter to GSFC for the Tehama County Fair, “I am currently attending Shasta College and I am hoping to attend Oklahoma State in 2023! In February, I competed in the Superior Region FFA Proficiency contest with my Entrepreneurship Beef Production project, and I was a regional winner.” Stroing requested add-ons to the price of her steer, Sarge, as a donation to her future college aspirations.
In 2021, to bridge the gap during COVID-19, GSFC cancelled all its advertising and donated nearly $300,000 to nonprofit organizations. Its primary goal in distributing the money was to support farming organizations and youth involved in agriculture, The return on investment was so successful, in 2022, GSFC plans to continue with the donations. This year, GSFC estimates Junior Livestock Actions will receive more than $60,000 of these funds.
“Our business is about deepening relationships; there is no amount of advertising that could make the impact that our investment in our communities made, especially after a pandemic,” said Rob Faris, GSFC President and CEO. “It’s a great feeling to support the farmers of tomorrow and buy an animal that a student raised for the fair.”
Kathy Bartels, CEO of the Glenn County Fair raved about Faris and his investment in the agricultural community, “Golden State Farm Credit’s support of the Glenn County Fair has grown significantly in the last couple of years. The generosity and what they contribute is now on another level; it makes it easy to do amazing things for the kids with Golden State Farm Credit as our partner.”
During the pandemic, “virtual” livestock auctions and cancelled local fairs severely affected 4-H and FFA youth livestock projects, leaving many students with animals and no outlet to sell them. The transactional process of purchasing and selling farm animals provides young people the opportunity to learn essential life skills such as communication, cooperation, responsibilities, and food production. The money they receive from the sale of their animals also covers the cost of raising these animals, which can be a substantial financial investment.
GSFC will participate in these local County Fairs’ Junior Livestock Auctions:
Tehama District Fair – April 30th, Red Bluff
Glenn County Fair – May 21st, Orland
Silver Dollar Fair – May 28th, Chico
Kings Fair – June 11th, Hanford
Butte County Fair – August 27th, Gridley
Tulare County Fair – September 17th, Tulare
Fresno Fair – October 15th (date not confirmed), Fresno
“We believe the future of agriculture rests in the hands of the next generation of farmers and ranchers,” said Kris Costa, Community Outreach manager for GSFC, who is responsible for donating the funds and working with fair organizers. “The added benefit to partnering with county fairs is the chance for our lenders to get out in their local community, talk with customers, and make a kid’s day by purchasing their animal.”
Golden State Farm Credit finances young, beginning and small (YBS) farmers, ranchers and producers or harvesters of aquatic products with a tailored program designed to fully meet the needs of YBS applicants, to the extent of their creditworthiness.
Golden State Farm Credit is committed to helping young farmers face challenges through our YBS and Tomorrow’s Farmer loan programs. For many farmers and ranchers, GSFC was the first, and often the only lender when they began their farming operation. Many of farmers continue to use GSFC for all their agricultural financing needs.
Golden State Farm Credit continues to look for ways to strengthen our rural communities while being a financial source of funds for local farmers and ranchers.
Golden State Farm Credit (GSFC) is a lending institution of the Farm Credit System with offices in Northern and Central California that service the counties of Butte, Glenn, Tehama, Shasta, Trinity, Fresno, Kings and Tulare. The GSFC administrative office is located at 3013 Ceres Avenue, Chico, CA 95973. The Farm Credit System (System) is a nationwide network of borrower-owned lending institutions that provides loans, leases, and related services to farmers, ranchers, rural homeowners, agribusiness, agricultural and rural utility cooperatives, and Young, Beginning and Small Farmers nationwide. Congress established the System in 1916 to provide a reliable source of credit for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
For more information about Golden State Farm Credit, call (530) 895-8698 or visit us online at www.goldenstatefarmcredit.com.
–Golden State Farm Credit