Congratulations to the 2019 Shining Star Honoree – American AgCredit
American AgCredit, the Santa Rosa-based farm lending cooperative that is the leading benefactor to 4-H, FFA and agricultural organizations in Sonoma County, is the recipient of the 2019 Shining Star Award for its efforts in cultivating the next generation of agriculture leaders.
The Shining Star Award, presented by the Youth Ag & Leadership Foundation of Sonoma County, annually recognizes a person or business that has made outstanding contributions in advancing the Foundation’s mission of empowering youth. The award will be presented at the Foundation’s annual BBQ fundraiser on August 24 at Richard’s Grove and Saralee’s Vineyard in Windsor.
American AgCredit not only provides scholarships to aspiring young people pursuing agricultural education but is a major sponsor of all Youth Ag & Leadership fundraising events. It donates supplies, time and talent to ensure the Foundation’s success.
Additionally, AgCredit is a top buyer of livestock raised by 4-H and FFA members at the Sonoma County Fair and offers interest-free loans to farm youth for their projects. AgCredit’s mentoring and internship programs prepare students for agricultural careers.
Byron Enix, president and CEO of American AgCredit, said it’s an honor to be recognized for supporting the young people who are the future of American agriculture.
“At our heart, American AgCredit is committed to serving the people who choose agriculture for their livelihood,” said Enix, who was a member of the 4-H and FFA while growing up in the Midwest. “We believe in doing everything we can to inspire young people to serve agriculture.
“They may turn out to be the future farmers and ranchers of America or they may pursue an education in ag finance or ag technology,” Enix said. “Whatever we can do to attract the youth strengthens the future of ag and ensures a healthy, sustainable industry we can leave behind as a legacy.”
Founded in 1916, American AgCredit is part of the nationwide Farm Credit System. It is the nation’s fifth largest Farm Credit cooperative, providing financial services to agriculture and rural communities throughout California, Nevada, Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico.
AgCredit has a rich heritage of giving back, both in time and money. Through the years American AgCredit has donated millions of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours to support the rural communities where it does business.
The cooperative recently started a formal Local Community Impact program, built on “pillars of giving” that focus on the cooperative’s philanthropic goals. One of the pillars is NextGen Ag, which supports young people in their agricultural pursuits.
A graduate of Oklahoma State University, Enix credits his 4-H and FFA experiences with making him a better leader and better person, which have enhanced the quality of his life.
“Those 4-H and FFA experiences helped my head to think more clearly, my heart to be more loyal, my hands to do greater service and my health to be strong for a productive life,” said Enix.