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AgFirst receives state chamber’s Excellence in Workplace Diversity award

AgFirst was presented the 2023 Excellence in Workplace Diversity award earlier this month by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce. The annual awards program recognizes companies in the Palmetto State that are leading the way in developing and implementing diversity initiatives.

 “Companies must build supportive and inclusive workplace cultures that can improve teamwork and a sense of belonging. The chamber is recognizing AgFirst for doing just that,” said the chamber’s Chief Diversity Officer, Cynthia Bennett. 

The chamber’s recognition is a testament to the Bank’s efforts to create a workplace that respects and values the differences that make us stronger. AgFirst remains committed to nurturing an environment where every individual can thrive and reach their full potential. The Bank received the award based on an array of diversity initiatives, including: 

HBCU talent acquisition 

As part of a Farm Credit System’s commitment to deepening engagement with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), AgFirst awarded $33,000 in scholarships this year to students attending South Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T University, Claflin University, Allen University and Benedict College. The Bank also supports HBCU career center activities and classroom events throughout the year in an effort to recruit students for career opportunities at the Bank. 

Mentoring program 

AgFirst’s mentoring program connects employees based on specific developmental goals, interests and experiences. This allows employees to tap into the knowledge of others to grow their skills, gain new perspectives and make sound career decisions while supporting a diverse, multigenerational workplace. 

Employee engagement 

The Bank’s Employee Engagement Committee creates programs that support diversity and inclusion, employee well-being and learning. Community impact programs also engage employees in supporting under-represented communities in agriculture. 

Diversity in agriculture

AgFirst partners with several organizations helping underserved communities to cultivate greater inclusivity in agriculture. This year, the Bank donated to groups serving and advocating for women in agriculture, Black farmers, veterans and Native American and Latino college students studying agriculture-related fields. 

“This award is a reflection of our core values and our dedication to fostering a workplace where diversity and inclusion are not just words, but are part of our daily practice,” said AgFirst Chief Human Resources Officer Darrick Paul. “We will continue our journey toward an even more inclusive future.”

AgFirst presented with diversity award