For decades, AgFirst has been a strong community partner in the Midlands, while also providing support to organizations that benefit from our ongoing commitment to the Farm Credit mission. We strive to make the agricultural and local communities stronger by investing our resources and time in organizations that make a difference in society. A sampling of how we contribute:
- Community Partnerships
AgFirst has a strong commitment to the United Way of the Midlands, which provides resources and large-scale solutions to pervasive community problems. Because of our enduring corporate and employee commitment, we were the proud recipients in 2022 of several awards from this partner for community impact, employee engagement and financial support.
We support this important community assistance organization through an annual employee giving campaign, an annual corporate donation, volunteer efforts and board and committee involvement.
Additional partnerships. AgFirst is proud to partner with additional community organizations through an annual donation, including:
- Columbia Museum of Art – Connects all Midlands residents through local and international art.
- South Carolina State Museum – Provides educational environment to enrich the lives of area residents.
- Historic Columbia – Preserves and promotes Columbia and Richland County’s historical and cultural legacy.
- Community Events
AgFirst is proud to participate in and offer support for a range of community events. Annually, we sponsor:
- The American Heart Association Midlands Heart Walk, which funds scientific research to support those fighting cardiovascular disease.
- Prisma Health Walk for Life, supporting the fight against breast cancer.
- March of Dimes “March for Babies.” This organization fights for the health of moms and babies through public education and research support, while also supporting families.
- Columbia Greek Festival, which brings together the Columbia community.
- Youth, Mentoring and Education
We believe that investing in our youth is the best way to build a brighter future. AgFirst is involved with several organizations that aim to give young people the skills they need for success, including:
- Columbia Urban League – AgFirst annually sponsors an Equal Opportunity Day Dinner for this organization, which provides economic empowerment and educational opportunities to those in need.
- Girl Scouts of South Carolina – Mountains to Midlands – Through an annual donation, we help this group accomplish their mission of providing skill-building programming, caring mentors and female role models for girls in the Midlands.
- Boys & Girls Club of the Crescent Region – AgFirst provides an annual donation that helps this group provide before- and after-school care for working families, including enriching programs and activities.
- Financial Stability, Housing and Hunger
Hunger and housing are two of the most critical needs for those in crisis. Addressing those issues often leads to financial stability. AgFirst is proud to help the following organizations find solutions for these societal issues:
- Transitions – To fight homelessness in the Midlands, for years AgFirst has generously supported the Transitions Homeless Center in Columbia, helping the organization provide for the many needs of its clients – from temporary shelter and daily meals to securing permanent housing and increasing job prospects. In addition to an annual corporate donation, you will find AgFirst employees serving on the board and serving in the lunch line.
- Oliver Gospel Mission – AgFirst gives an annual donation to this homeless shelter, which also provides addiction recovery and job training.
- Harvest Hope Food Bank – Through an annual donation, AgFirst helps this organization feed the hungry and address food insecurity.
- FoodShare – AgFirst supports this group with an annual donation, helping them provide discounted local produce boxes to address food insecurity.
- Home Works – Through an annual donation and an annual work day, AgFirst helps this organization provide home repair services to low-income homeowners.
Inclusivity in Agriculture
- Student Scholarships
As an extension of our mission, we continue to grant scholarships and other opportunities for deserving students through our partnership with organizations such as regional Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). In 2022, we were proud to be named S.C. State University’s Career Center Employer of the Year. We also annually provide four Native American and Latino scholarships to deserving students with a passion for serving agriculture and rural communities.
- Financial Contributions
AgFirst is also proud to support organizations that help underserved communities advance in their agricultural pursuits, including:
- National Black Growers Council (NBGC), whose mission is to improve efficiency, productivity and sustainability for Black farmers.
- Center for Heirs, which helps families protect and keep family land by offering education services, land management advice and assistance navigating the process of land ownership.
- Blue Ridge Women in Ag, an organization that connects food producers with communities in seven North Carolina counties and strives to ensure equitable access to high-quality local food.
Through an annual Red Cross donation and blood drive, we help emergency volunteers prepare to bring relief to those in crisis. When disaster strikes – in the form of a pandemic, weather event or other emergency – AgFirst mobilizes to provide funding and manpower to help communities recover, often partnering with other Farm Credit organizations to maximize donations.
Our employees are passionate about serving our community to make it a better place, from volunteering to pack food boxes and repair homes to serving on boards and committees that provide direction for making the most of resources.
To support their efforts, each year we donate to nonprofit organizations our employees support. These donations improve education, community development, and health and human services. Just some in a long list of such organizations include Sistercare, which provides resources and advocacy for domestic violence survivors; Make-a-Wish, which grants wishes to critically ill children; and Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands.
AgFirst is proud to support organizations making a difference. Donating to uplift and empower various communities will always be a part of who we are.