Farm Credit institutions support Model Farm Program
With an annual economic impact of $52 billion, agribusiness has a profound impact as South Carolina’s largest industry. To increase the visibility that Black farmers play in agriculture and share best practices in the field, the National Black Growers Council (NBGC) held a dinner and farm tour in Orangeburg County, S.C., Sept. 7-8 to wrap up its annual model farm series event.
Supporting agriculture and rural communities is at the heart of Farm Credit’s mission, and AgFirst Farm Credit Bank and Farm Credit Bank of Texas were proud to sponsor the event, along with AgFirst partner Associations, AgSouth Farm Credit and ArborOne Farm Credit. The event supports NBGC’s mission to improve the efficiency, productivity and sustainability of Black farmers in America.
Each summer, NBGC hosts model farm field days where farmers come together to share insights and learn about a variety of topics, such as grain storage, marketing, farm financing and farm management. The farm tour in South Carolina marked the last stop of the series that spanned the Southeast this summer. The organization, a group of multigenerational producers, advocates for the best interests of Black row crop farmers on the local, state and national levels.
The reception dinner the night before the farm tour was hosted by Farm Credit Bank of Texas Chief Credit Officer and former NBGC advisory board member Isaac Bennett at his home in Orangeburg, S.C. This reception brought NBGC members, Farm Credit representatives, agriculture leaders and agriculture supporters together to network and collaborate.
"Farm Credit’s collaboration with the National Black Growers Council is an important step in empowering Black farmers and ensuring a strong future for agriculture,” said Isaac Bennett, Farm Credit Bank of Texas Chief Credit Officer. “Our recent gathering in South Carolina exemplifies our dedication to help foster leadership, provide essential resources, and create strong networks within the Black farming community. We are eager to assist the NBGC in helping its members excel.”
The tour was hosted by Antron Williams, a first-generation farmer and owner of Mahogany Farms, in Rowesville, S.C. Williams grows corn, cotton and soybeans, which are some of the top agricultural commodities in South Carolina. During the tour he discussed the production of these commodities and the conservation practices he employs.
AgFirst also partnered with NBGC last year to sponsor its annual meeting bringing more than 100 farmers together to network, collaborate and learn how to make their operations more successful.
“I am profoundly inspired by our partnership with the National Black Growers Council. This collaboration represents a shared dedication to fostering inclusivity and empowerment within our agricultural community,” said Jamie Bumgarner, AgFirst Chief Administrative Officer. “By working with NBGC, we continue to amplify the voices and contributions of Black farmers, celebrating their invaluable role in shaping agriculture, while advocating for their best interest.”