The Glenn County Fair was last week in Orland and students involved in Future Farmers of America and 4-H programs had been working to prepare their market animals and learn showmanship in preparation for judging and the sale of their animals.

These students were selling their animals during the Junior Livestock Auction on Saturday, according to a press release from the Colusa-Glenn Farm Credit. The sale helps the students find their college dreams and teaches them the benefit of hard work and the reward of financial success.

The market steers, sheep, goats and swine that they raise have some financial reward for the students but in some cases, they also come at a great expense to the student’s family. 

According to the press release, Colusa-Glenn Farm Credit developed a Youth Lending Program as a means to support these programs that can help develop for future farmers and ranchers.

The Youth Lending Program provides capital for FFA and 4-H participants at no cost to them. Students apply for zero interest loans, along with a cosigner, which are approved based on their budget and repaid after the animal sells at the Junior Livestock auction. 

“Our association’s mission is to serve Glenn and Colusa counties and our Youth Lending Program is a critical part of that success,” said Tim Elrod, CEO of Colusa-Glenn Farm Credit, in the press release. “Helping students with their projects contributes to the future of agriculture. These students will remember lessons learned through this process forever. Our Youth Lending Program teaches them how to apply for a loan, the importance of budgeting and managing finances throughout a project, critical elements of a career in agriculture.”

Many of the students are repeat borrowers, according to the press release. But there are a few that are borrowing for the first time. This year, more than 80 applications were received from students wanting to show at the Glenn County and Colusa County fairs.

“The Youth Lending Program provides (a) unique opportunity for students to pursue agriculture and it is rewarding to see them achieve their goals through this program,” said Natalie Massa, loan officer at Colusa-Glenn Farm Credit who supervises the Youth Lending Program, in the press release.

Colusa-Glenn Farm Credit has offices in Willows and Colusa (headquarters). The association is governed by a board of local farmers and ranchers who know the importance of youth being involved in agriculture.

“The association is committed to not only teaching students the importance of good financial management through the Youth Lending Program but also enabling young and beginning farmers to pursue their dream,” said Mike Doherty, board chairman. 

Colusa-Glenn Farm Credit is a financial cooperative, serving farmers and ranchers in Glenn and Colusa counties. 

For more information on the Youth Lending Program, call 934-7086.

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