The South Florida Fair is built and stands strong through its deep and valued partners and sponsors.Farm Credit of Florida, sponsor of the AgriPlex Show Arena, has been an integral partner with the Fair for many years, and in this month’s newsletter edition, we celebrate them and say Thank You!
Here is our interview with Farm Credit’s Ashley Layson, Chief Marketing Officer, Senior Vice President.
Tell us what you and your company sponsor at the South Florida Fair?
Farm Credit of Florida is proud to be the Livestock arena sponsor at the South Florida Fair. This is an important sponsorship to us because supporting the agricultural community with financing is what we do. We offer financing for farms, land, and homes. As a part of the Farm Credit System we can provide localized financial servicing and decision making on our loans and we are governed by farmers and business professionals in our own communities.
What do you like best about the South Florida Fair?
Our goal at Farm Credit of Florida is to walk alongside our hard-working members and help make their dreams come true. The same is true for the South Florida Fair. The children that participate in the livestock shows have a dream that they have worked very hard all year long to achieve. Seeing how preparation, hard work and a dream all come together to create special moments in the show ring for these children is our favorite thing about the South Florida Fair.
Why do you sponsor with us?
We choose to sponsor the South Florida Fair because we believe in supporting our community and our local agriculture.
Why do you believe that the South Florida Fair is still important and relevant in our community?
The South Florida Fair is very important to our community. Sometimes the fair is the only link to the farm for some families. At the fair they can get up close to chickens, cows, horses, goats, and pigs. They can watch the miracle of a calf being born, witness how farm animals are fed, bathed, and cared for and share in the joy of a job well done rewarded with ribbons and accolade.
What type of equipment sales are the most popular here locally at your business? i.e. farm equipment? Landscaper equipment? Home, lawn, and garden equipment?
We do not sale equipment, we finance the sale of land, homes, farms, and equipment.
How many customers do you service company-wide, and is agriculture a big part of your business clientele?
Farm Credit of Florida has 13 branches across the state of Florida, and we service around 3200 members. Our mission is to support rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services today and tomorrow. We know ag, we love ag, we are ag!
Where are the locations of your businesses? Is this a family-owned business? How many employees do you have company-wide?
Our branches are in Alachua, Arcadia, Homestead, LaBelle, Lake Placid, Live Oak, Ocala, Okeechobee, Palatka, Trenton, Vero, Wauchula, West Palm Beach. We are a cooperative, which means we are owned by our member/borrowers and they share in our profits each year. This last year we returned $13.5 million in cash to our members in Florida.
How has your business changed over the last 10 years? Where you see yourselves in the next 10 years?
Farm Credit began in 1918 with the sole mission of providing financing for rural communities and agriculture. Today this is still our mission. The only thing that has changed is the technology we use to service these members more efficiently, thankfully the rates have changed (lowered) as well! In 10 years, even in 100 years we will still be serving our rural and agricultural communities. You cannot find another financial group that understands agriculture the way Farm Credit understands agriculture.