Aaron and Jennifer Martinka, of Buckholts, Tex., recently saw firsthand how Farm Credit uses money raised on Wall Street to support agriculture and rural communities. The Martinkas, member-borrowers of Capital Farm Credit, were among 27 agricultural producers who were selected for the 2018 Farm Credit Young Leaders Program in New York City and Washington, D.C.
"Aaron and Jennifer are great representatives for the Farm Credit System," said Ben Novosad, chief executive officer of Capital Farm Credit. "They are leaders in their community and are strong advocates for agriculture and rural Texas. We're proud they are members of Capital Farm Credit."
The 13th annual program began with visits to a Wall Street brokerage firm and the Federal Farm Credit Bank Funding Corporation. There the group learned how investors' purchase of highly rated Farm Credit notes and bonds provides steady funding that local lending cooperatives like Capital Farm Credit put to work in rural communities. Together, Farm Credit's customer-owned co-ops provide more than $261 billion in financing to farmers, ranchers, rural homeowners, agribusinesses and other eligible borrowers nationwide.
Next the group traveled to the nation's capital to exchange ideas with public officials. While on Capitol Hill, the Martinkas discussed policy issues with Sen. John Cornyn, Rep. Filemon Vela and congressional staff. That same day, the Senate passed its version of the farm bill, setting the stage for a compromise bill of this vital agricultural and food legislation.
At the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Business–Cooperative Service Administrator Bette Brand and others talked with the group about USDA programs tailored for young ag producers.
The five-day program ended with a visit to Mount Vernon, George Washington's innovative farming and milling operation.
Pictured: Aaron and Jennifer Martinka of Buckholts, Texas celebrated the completion of the program in Mount Vernon, Va., with Stan Ray, right, Farm Credit Bank of Texas Chief Administrative Officer and Tenth District Farm Credit Council President.