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Camden Reedy & Jake King Leverage Youth Ag Loan for Profitable Projects

youth washing steer

Young, Beginning, Small & Veteran Farmers

Farm Credit of the Virginias is a proud supporter of 4-H and FFA programs, as well as all youth who desire to learn more about agriculture. Did you know that Farm Credit provides active youth with a loan program designed to help them establish and operate income-producing projects? The Youth Agricultural Loan Program helps young agriculturalists learn financial responsibility and valuable project management skills, whether it is a market animal or a hydroponics project. It is not required that youth be involved in 4-H or FFA, only that they have a passion for agriculture and drive to be successful.

This summer, we spent some time with two of our youth loan customers to  learn more about their experience, their projects and why they selected the Farm Credit Youth Agricultural Loan Program. If you or your children are interested in the program, please contact us to learn more.

Camden Reedy, 16 years old

Senior at Broadway High School, Rockingham County, VA

Camden has been showing livestock at his county fair for nine years with the North Mountain 4-H Club, where he currently serves as the club President. Since his showing career began, Camden has raised goats, hogs and steers for the county fair. This summer, Camden showed and sold two steers and one goat at the Rockingham County Fair. Eight of his nine years raising livestock, Camden has also participated in the Youth Loan Program with Farm Credit of the Virginias, which allows him to finance the purchase of his animals and any other related expenses, including feed and veterinary care.

Camden and his mother, Marcia, who also acts as the 4-H Club advisor, are fierce proponents of the Youth Loan Program. Marcia is always sure to have extra applications with her at club meetings for other members who are not familiar with the program and she is especially grateful for the financial responsibility that it has taught Camden. She and Camden have a tight schedule the day after his fair proceeds check arrives. She mentioned, “We don’t wait for the loan due date. Once he gets the check, I take him to the bank the same day and get cashier’s checks to Farm Credit, the co-op and anyone else he owes money. It’s really helped him understand finances more”.

As Camden’s 4-H career winds to a close once he graduates high school in the spring, he’s looking forward to continuing his agricultural passion in a more traditional lending relationship with Farm Credit. Thanks to the Youth Loan Program, he has built a strong relationship and good history with Farm Credit and feels confident in pursuing other financial needs. 

Jake King, 17 years old

Senior at Christiansburg High School, Montgomery County, VA

Jake and his family have been farming in Riner, VA for multiple generations and he has no intention of letting that tradition change. When asked why he has decided to stay in agriculture, Jacob explained, “I don’t want to see farming go out of style; it is something that I enjoy with all my heart.” After spending some time with this 17-year old cattle producer, you’ll realize that he was not stretching the truth with that statement. Already having a mind for business, he has his goals set for the next few years and is making plans to have a viable cattle business waiting for him after graduation.

He and his family are no strangers to Farm Credit. Jake joked, “I think I’ve had a Farm Credit t-shirt since I was big enough to wear one.” It was a logical place to start when Jake was ready to look for financing of his own and quickly learned about the Youth Agricultural Loan Program. He was impressed with the efficiency of his loan officer, Clayton Terry, and how he laid out all the information out for him, discussed the process and how it would help set him up for success when he was ready to move into a traditional lending relationship with Farm Credit.

Jake currently is raising 30 cows of his own at Kadillac Cattle on his family’s operation in Riner, VA, and partners with his brother on another 30 cows. They focus primarily on purebred Herefords and Charolais cattle, but have a few commercial cows as well. Jake is using his Agricultural Youth Loan to diversify his operation to start raising bred heifers for sale and already has a buyer lined up for the first group ready for breeding. When asked about his future goals, he said, “I want to get up to 150 cows and provide a product that other cattlemen want to have in their herds, whether that be stockers, bred heifers or replacement bulls.”

As an advocate for agriculture, Jake doesn’t want to keep the good news of the Agricultural Youth Loan Program to himself. He is already referring friends to the program and is helping them cultivate their skills on his farm. His friend, Tyler Sites, a senior at Blacksburg High School, joined us for the interview as well. He also grew up in agriculture and is excited to begin building a relationship with Farm Credit. Tyler has long-term goals of farming and raising stocker cattle, as well as a few cows. Jake doesn’t want to keep quiet about Farm Credit and is looking forward to building a bright future with what he considers a “logical choice” in agriculture lending!

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