Farm Credit Administration supports young ag professionals


Colorado State University’s Heritage Arboretum and Garden puts emphasis on the agriculture history at the University with signs depicting past accomplishments and actions related to agriculture and CSU.

Katrina Leibee and Serena Bettis

On March 23, Colorado State University hosted the National Forum on Serving Young, Beginning and Small Farmers and Ranchers, an event dedicated to discussing significant matters in the YBS community. 

The event was cosponsored by the Farm Credit Administration, which is “an independent federal agency that regulates and examines the banks, associations and related entities of the Farm Credit System” according to their website. The FCS  provides credit to agricultural producers and provides loans for rural housing and utilities, some farm-related businesses and more. 


According to Glen R. Smith, chairman and CEO of the Farm Credit Administration, the conference was specifically focused on how the loan process to the YBS community can be streamlined.

We’ve called in national leaders from the (United States Department of Agriculture), we’ve been addressing the group, we have panel discussions and a lot of ideas being passed around,” Smith said. “We’ve got representatives from associations all over the country that are here to see how we can better their young and beginning farmer programs.”

“This is a really important forum, and I feel very privileged to be able to host this at Colorado State University”- Joyce McConnell, CSU President

Smith explained it’s important to support new and young entrants into the agriculture industry so that it is not consistently dominated by huge entities. 

The forum featured addresses from President Joyce McConnell, Smith himself and James Pritchett, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences.

McConnell discussed in her address how the recent Courageous Strategic Transformation is related to agriculture.

The mission of the Farm Credit Administration is very much in line with our CST goals,” McConnell said. “That makes it even better to be hosting this today. FCA’s mission, as you know, is to ensure a safe, sound and dependable credit for all eligible persons in agriculture and rural America.”

She emphasized that CST has agriculture, animal and human health and development of and service to rural communities spread throughout it.

“This is a really important forum, and I feel very privileged to be able to host this at Colorado State University,” McConnell said.

The forum included a USDA panel, an informational session on strategies for reaching out to the YBS community, information on YBS best practices and more. 


The FCA is passionate about supporting young farmers and those working in the ag industry, specifically CSU alumni.

I think the program here at CSU has (agricultural) business as a pretty broad base,” Smith said. “In other words, you can focus on finance and focus on different areas within that. I was in Denver yesterday at one of our field offices for our examiners, and I would guess about half the people in the room were CSU grads. So we look to this University for a source of talent.”

Smith stressed the importance of conferences like this and supporting young ag professionals. Smith also explained that in huge industries such as agriculture, developing new leadership and working with young professionals as soon as possible is crucial to keeping the industry economically healthy and continuing to provide the efficient food systems and affordable food the United States has. 

“This is our second conference,” Smith said. “We had a conference last November at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and plan to have future conferences just like this, with the emphasis of how to better serve young, beginning and small farmers. We feel it’s critically important to the food security of this country.” 

Reach Katrina Leibee and Serena Bettis at or on Twitter @csucollegian.