Wednesday, May 02, 2012
Farm Credit Associations of Kansas, CoBank Announce Investment in Kansas Agricultural Education
Janet Barrows, Farm Credit Associations of Kansas (785) 776-6955 x 2802
Kerry Wefald, Kansas FFA Foundation, Inc. (785) 410-2576
Financial gift provides matching funds for upgrades to the
Kansas State Fair Agricultural Education Building
MANHATTAN — Farm Credit Associations of Kansas and CoBank today announced their intent to match up to $10,000 in donor pledges made toward the expansion of a new agricultural education building at the Kansas State Fairgrounds.
“We’re proud to partner with Farm Credit Associations of Kansas to support this important project that will help today’s students become tomorrow’s leaders in agriculture,” said Amy H. Gales, Executive Vice President of CoBank’s Regional Agribusiness Banking Group. “We believe in giving back to the communities where our customers and our employees live and work, and we’re excited to watch this program develop for the youth of Kansas.”
“Farm Credit of Southwest Kansas joins with the other Farm Credit Associations of Kansas and CoBank in supporting Kansas FFA and the Kansas State Fair with this exciting opportunity,” said Mark Anderson, CEO of Farm Credit of Southwest Kansas located in Garden City, Kansas. “Farm Credit believes in and has a vested interest in the future of agriculture in Kansas and we are thrilled to partner with our Kansas FFA youth whenever there are opportunities to enhance agricultural education in Kansas.”
This winter the Kansas State Fair and Wick Buildings presented an opportunity to Kansas agricultural education programs and FFA chapters. The challenge was to raise funds necessary to increase square footage of a proposed new Wick 36X50 Smart Building, replacing the current agricultural education facility located by Gate 5. The initial challenge resulted in funds to build the larger building, plus finance educational displays that will really maximize the effectiveness of the new facility.
“The Fair is excited for this opportunity for Kansas FFA. Not only will it enhance the current FFA exhibits, but it will also provide an avenue for FFA to showcase and grow its offerings,” said Denny Stoecklein, Manager of the Kansas State Fair.
To date sixty-three groups and individuals have made a financial commitment to this project.
“We expect this building to become a gathering place for agriculture education students and showcase not only traditional agriculture but the diversity and science of today’s modern agriculture. A portion of the building is similar to what we have had... this shows the "traditional" idea of agriculture,” said Harmon Bliss, Hodgeman County agricultural educator and building campaign chair. “The second part of the building is where we can showcase the diversity and science of agriculture through our educational pathways, post-secondary options in our state, and even career exploration. We are truly thankful to Farm Credit Associations of Kansas and CoBank for their investment into the future of Kansas agricultural education.”
The Kansas State Fair Grand Drive animals will also be on display in the new building and cared for by Kansas agricultural education students in early September.
About Farm Credit Associations of Kansas:
The Farm Credit Associations of Kansas are patronage-paying associations, serving more than 15,000 shareholders. Farm Credit has a rich tradition in Kansas for 95 years. The Farm Credit System is comprised of borrower-owned financial institutions serving farmers, ranchers, agribusiness and rural communities. The six Farm Credit Associations of Kansas are: Farm Credit of Western Kansas, Farm Credit Services of Southwest Kansas, Farm Credit of Ness City, High Plains Farm Credit, American AgCredit, and Frontier Farm Credit. More information is available at www.farmcredit.com.
CoBank is a cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. CoBank is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture and the nation's rural economy. In addition to serving its direct retail borrowers, the bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated Farm Credit associations serving more than 70,000 farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states around the country. Headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, CoBank serves customers from regional banking centers across the U.S. and also maintains an international representative office in Singapore. For more information about CoBank, visit the bank's web site at www.cobank.com.
About the Kansas FFA and Kansas FFA Foundation, Inc.: The Kansas FFA Association, www.ksffa.org, formerly known as the Kansas Future Farmers of America, is a youth organization of 8,000 members in 165 local FFA chapters in Kansas. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The Kansas FFA Foundation, Inc. enables Kansas Agricultural Education and FFA programs to empower future leaders and their passions. The Kansas FFA Foundation will do this by developing and sustaining collaborative relationships resulting in financial support and service opportunities. For more information visit www.ksffafoundation.org and follow us on Facebook.