More than 82 Farm Credit Associations from across the nation are eligible for the Phelps-Martin Award for Community Service, along with their members and individual employees.
AgSouth received the award for its AGAware® program. Chief Lending Officer, Van McCall and Marketing Manager, Christy Smith created AGAware® as an advocacy program to educate the public and promote agriculture throughout the Association’
Since the implementation of the AGAware® program in 2012, AgSouth educated more than 300 attendees in six separate workshops in the areas of business finance, risk analysis, personal finance, technology, and marketing. The sessions were led by industry experts, including a certified public accountant, AgSouth employees, representatives from the Farm Service Agency, staff from the Georgia and South Carolina State Departments of Agriculture, and professors from the University of Georgia and Clemson University. Additionally, 30 presentations have been made by AgSouth staff speakers to meet the AGAware® mission to bring awareness to the importance of agriculture before an estimated audience of thousands.
AgSouth partnered with one of their Think Outside the Store grant recipients, the Peachtree Road Farmers Market, for the community project portion of the program. There the Association donated a bench and raised flower beds to the market in a dedication ceremony that featured Congressman David Scott and Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black. A highlight of this event featured a "demonstration farm" for children and their parents, where the children could "borrow" money to purchase and plant seeds, followed by instruction on how lending works.
In his acceptance speech, McCall thanked AgSouth’s employees and Board of Directors for "investing in AgSouth’s greatest tool for growth – marketing, teaching, and promoting the next generation of farmers" through the AGAware® program. He concluded, "We can all truly share and be proud of this national award for our Association."
Future workshops are being scheduled for this summer in both Georgia and South Carolina. For more information call Christy Smith at 912-764-9091.
About the Phelps-Martin Award
The annual awards were established by the Board of Directors of the Farm Credit Council in the memory of two Farm Credit employees, Steve Phelps, Farm Credit Council general counsel, and Marsha Martin, chairman of the FCA Board and former Texas district bank senior vice president, both of whom died of cancer in 2000. Each had been very active in service to their communities and in support of agriculture.
AgSouth Farm Credit is one of the strongest agricultural lending cooperatives in the Southeast. As of December 31, 2013, AgSouth had more than 8,100 members, $1.59 billion in assets and $285 million in capital and allocated accounts.
AgSouth Farm Credit provides loans for land, equipment and production agriculture;