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James McJunkins

Letter from the CEO

James McJunkins

President & Chief Executive Officer
Farm Credit Midsouth

If ever there was a time to be optimistic about the future of agriculture, that time is now. After a steady decline, the number of farmers considered “young” rose just over two percent over the last five years. That factor, along with marked growth in ag-affiliated opportunities, is an important indicator that young adults are choosing careers in agriculture. Advancements in equipment, inputs, technology, marketing and communication have all contributed to the appeal of today’s ag environment.

As you are likely aware, Farm Credit Midsouth invests in young people in ag in several ways, not the least of which is the annual awarding of 14 scholarships. In addition, we support youth and community projects in the 13-county area we serve. We have even developed a loan product which FFA or 4-H members may use for the purchase of livestock, feed and other miscellaneous out-of-pocket expenses directly related to FFA or 4-H projects.

It is important that we continue to support the work of the FFA. The organization has been a strong and consistent presence in the lives of many of our Members and employees. My own family has been involved in FFA for three generations. The values and skills taught in FFA are not limited to agriculture, but are being used by leaders in school administration, executives in board rooms, ag professionals across America and many in between. It is both an honor and a privilege for us to profile in this issue a pillar of Arkansas’s FFA program for more than a half century, Mr. Marion Fletcher.

While space is short here, I would be remiss if I did not also mention our Young, Beginning and Small Farmer Program as one of the ways we are investing in attracting young folks to the farming profession. You can learn more about it on our website, and I strongly encourage you to apply for our 2022 Future Legacy Young & Beginning Farmers Conference, a two-day, one-night opportunity to gain valuable insight into a range of issues facing beginning farmers in Arkansas. It’s a great chance to network with fellow young farmers from across the state. Next year’s event, slated for February, is free and open to participants ages 40 and younger. Applications are due December 1.

Wishing all a safe and productive harvest season,

James McJunkins

President & Chief Executive Officer
Farm Credit Midsouth

My family has been involved with FFA for three generations. The values and skills taught in FFA are being utilized from school administrators to executives in boardrooms across America.
Three generations and 46 years of FFA involvement in the McJunkins family. 1975-2021
Three generations and 46 years of FFA involvement in the McJunkins family. 1975-2021
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