Imperial Valley Â â€” CoBank and seven affiliated Farm Credit associations that serve Californiaâ€™s agricultural sector announced today that they have committed $100,000 to alleviate hunger in drought-stricken and high unemployment farm communities throughout the state.
The associations together pledged $50,000, which CoBank matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis.
The seven organizations are American AgCredit, Farm Credit Services of Colusa-Glenn, Farm Credit Services Southwest, Farm Credit West, Fresno Madera Farm Credit, Golden State Farm Credit and Yosemite Farm Credit.
Â Together, these lenders serve as the single largest source of loans and financial services for Californiaâ€™s agricultural economy, including farmers, ranchers, growers and agribusiness cooperatives.
Funds from the joint contribution will be directed to food banks in rural areas hurt by the historic drought and high unemployment.
â€œWe are aware that the percentage of people in Imperial County with food insecurity is approximately 31.4 percent, the highest of any county in California. And, with the closing of National Beefâ€™s Brawley plant, additional strain is expected on the already burdened local food bank,â€ said Roger Becker, CEO of Farm Credit Services Southwest.
Â â€œWe hope this contribution will make a meaningful impact and help to reduce the level of hardship for farm workers.â€
The Farm Credit System is a nationwide network of banks and lending associations that provide loans, leases and other financial services to agriculture and other rural industries.
Â Farm Credit institutions are cooperatively owned by the farmers, ranchers, growers, cooperatives and other borrowers they serve, and governed by boards elected by their customer-owners.
CoBank and the seven Farm Credit associations serving California have aggregate loan portfolio totaling more than $17 billion and finance every sector of agriculture in the state, including citrus, nuts, vegetables, cotton, rice, livestock, wine and timber.
Â About Farm Credit
For nearly a century, Farm Credit has been a national provider of credit and related services to rural America through its cooperative network of customer-owned lending institutions.
Â Farm Credit provides nearly $200 billion in loans and leases to farmers, ranchers, rural homeowners, aquatic producers, timber harvesters, agribusinesses, and agricultural and rural utility cooperatives.
For more information about the Farm Credit System, please visit www.farmcredit.com.
Bill Collins, Senior Vice President
Farm Credit Services Southwest Imperial Valley Branch 760-355-0291 (office) Â