This is the final month to submit nominations for Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives, a program that will recognize rural visionaries across the United States who are changing the future of rural communities and agriculture for the better.
Fresh Perspectives will honor the top 100 leaders next year, when the Farm Credit System will celebrate its first 100 years of supporting agriculture and rural communities with reliable, consistent credit and financial services. Nominations for the program are open until Dec. 18.
“The five states we serve are full of individuals whose leadership and vision are shaping rural communities in a positive way,” said Stan Ray, chief administrative officer at Farm Credit Bank of Texas, a cooperatively owned funding bank in Austin, Texas, and part of the nationwide Farm Credit System. “We encourage people to nominate these outstanding leaders in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas.”
The 100 Fresh Perspectives winners will be selected by a panel representing Farm Credit, the agriculture industry, academia and the media, and will be announced during National Agriculture Week in March 2016.
Of the final 100, one distinguished visionary from each of 10 nomination categories will receive $10,000 to further their contributions to thriving rural communities and agriculture. The top 10 honorees will be recognized during a special event at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives is accepting nominations for farmers and ranchers, as well as individuals or groups who represent agribusinesses, cooperatives, academic institutions, government agencies, and community and nongovernment organizations in the following categories:
• Leadership (over 21): A champion for agriculture who is committed to advancing its success today and tomorrow.
• Youth Leadership (21 and younger): Part of the next generation of farmers, ranchers and rural leaders, this individual demonstrates a passion for rural communities and agriculture and has already made a positive impact.
• Rural Policy Influence: An advocate for positive change in rural policy who encourages actions that contribute to thriving rural communities.
• Beginning Farmer or Rancher Achievement: With five years or fewer running their own operation, the individual has demonstrated success on their farm or ranch and positively impacted the community through a commitment to the future of agriculture and rural America.
• Entrepreneurship and Innovation: A skilled entrepreneur within their business sector and within the agribusiness community, this individual uses business savvy and visionary thinking to positively impact rural communities and agriculture.
• Sustainability and Natural Resource Conservation: An individual who demonstrates environmental stewardship and a commitment to natural resources conservation in their community and beyond.
• Financial Stewardship: Someone who demonstrates fiscal responsibility and has helped others achieve financial success in farming, ranching or rural business.
• Mentoring and Volunteerism: An individual who serves others as a role model and/or volunteers within their community.
• Agriculture Education and Community Impact: Someone who educates others about the importance of agriculture today and/or has made a significant impact on their community by sharing knowledge, transferring wisdom and advancing agriculture education.
• Rural and Urban Connection: An individual who demonstrates results in connecting rural and urban communities to foster deeper understanding and appreciation for rural contributions that touch every life, every day.
Visit www.FarmCredit100.com/Fresh to submit a nomination, including a brief essay, by Dec. 18, 2015.