July 17, 1916.
That is the date in history when President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation creating the Federal Land Bank System, what we now know as the Farm Credit System.
One hundred years later, as we reflect on our past and consider the future, it is easy to see how times have changed. We have seen advances in technology, from medicine to cars, computers and more. Our homes and social lives have changed… moving at a faster pace, continually doing more with less. With so many transformations, it is nice to reflect on ‘simpler times,’ remembering American life that now seems so quaint. In fact, it is almost humorous to think that following President Wilson signing the Federal Farm Loan Act, the very first loan made was for just $4,691.66.
What seems like a small amount in today’s economy was enough back then to help a family farm, and lay the ground work for a system that now serves approximately 500,000 borrower-owners across the United States. Members who today, plant and nurture seeds, set country roots and raise families, toil land and maintenance equipment, raise and care for livestock, build barns and milking parlors, and expand storage, packing and processing facilities, all with the help of Farm Credit.
Focused on today and looking to the future, GreenStone is working to prepare the next generation of producers through initiatives like our Farm Forward Mentorship program, which will wrap up its first year this fall. Our young farmers tell us they have learned a wealth of information from their mentors, and are ready to continue the process of building and strengthening their own operations in the coming years. Young farmer Jeremy Brenner is mentored by Bruce Lewis. “I look forward to our meetings, so I can ask questions about many different things that pertain to the dairy industry,” said Jeremy “Bruce is a veteran of the industry and has been through the highs and lows of the industry. I look forward to hearing from Bruce about experiences that he has endured over the years.”
As we look to the 2017 program, GreenStone is seeking the next set of customers who see value in this opportunity – both mentees and mentors. If you are interested in participating in GreenStone’s Farm Forward Mentorship program, contact your local branch today to learn more!