Credit company to celebrate 100 year anniversary

Published 8:55 pm Thursday, July 7, 2016

By Samantha Bolden
The Selma Times-Journal

Alabama Ag Credit will reflect on 100 years of service later this month. 

On July 14, the company will celebrate its 100th anniversary. The Selma branch held a centennial celebration along with its annual customer appreciate day this past April.

Even though the company already celebrated its anniversary earlier this year, there will be a smaller event next Friday to acknowledge its loyal customers.

“Our customers are truly engaged with us just as much as we are with them,” said Selma branch Loan Administrator Pamela Hughey.

The company provides financing for farms, timber, forestry operations, agribusinesses and other rural property in 40 counties in southern Alabama.

Other than Selma, there are other office locations in Demopolis, Dothan, Enterprise, Montgomery, Monroeville, Opelika, Spanish Fort and Tuscaloosa.

“We are proud to celebrate 100 years of service to agriculture and rural Alabama,” said Selma Branch Manager Dale Williamson. “It’s a privilege to support our farmers and rural citizens in accomplishing their goals, and we hope to do so for another 100 years.”

Williamson said the company has a long-standing history in rural communities. Back in the 1900s, commercial lenders considered agriculture to be a large risk. Interest rates were high, and long-term financing for farmers and ranchers were scarce. The Country Life Commission appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt addressed problems facing rural areas.

In 1916, The Federal Farm Loan Act was passed establishing the nationwide Farm Credit System to be a reliable source of funding.

Following World War I, the stock market crashed in 1929, and touched off the Great Depression, throwing thousands of farmers into bankruptcy and strangling the Farm Credit System’s ability to finance agriculture.

The Farm Credit Act of 1971, along with amendments added in 1980, expanded the range of services Farm Credit institutions could offer to include rural home mortgages, leasing services and rural utility financing.

During the early- to mid-1980s, American agriculture plummeted into recession. Again, Congress responded with legislation that revised the structure and operations of the Farm Credit System.

Alabama Ag Credit and other lending cooperatives remain a partner to the nation’s agricultural sector.