EARLY, Texas — Toni and Carter Damron of Blanket, Texas, recently saw firsthand how Farm Credit uses its cooperative structure and unique funding mechanism to support agriculture and rural communities. The Damrons, member-borrowers of Central Texas Farm Credit, were among 20 agricultural producers who were selected for the 2019 Farm Credit Young Leaders Program in New York City and Washington, D.C.
The four-day event teaches young farmers and ranchers about the Farm Credit System, the legislative process and the nation’s financial markets.
The program began in Washington, D.C. where the couple met with Sen. John Cornyn, Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Mike Conaway, and congressional staff on their Hill visits. While in D.C., the group joined over 700 other Farm Credit borrowers, directors, and employees from across the country at a meeting with USDA Secretary Sonny Purdue. They also heard from House Agriculture Committee members, U.S. Reps. Austin Scott and David Scott.
Following their Washington, D.C, meetings, the young leaders visited the Federal Farm Credit Funding Corporation in New Jersey. The funding corporation buys and sells the notes and bonds that fund Farm Credit lending cooperatives. There the group learned how investors’ purchase of highly rated Farm Credit notes and bonds provides steady funding that local lending cooperatives like Central Texas Farm Credit, put to work in rural communities.
The Damrons have strong ties to agriculture in Brown and Comanche counties. Toni grew up in May, Texas where her family farmed peanuts and raised show pigs. Carter’s family owned and operated a dairy in Blanket, Texas and after college, Carter returned home and went into the cattle business for himself. Today, the Damrons own and operate Damron Feeders, a pre-conditioning feedyard in Blanket. They also run a yearling and cow/calf operation. Toni works for Howard Payne University where she teachers social work and is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW). They have one son, Calder (10), who is active in robotics and sports.
Central Texas Farm Credit finances farmland and ranchland, agribusiness operations, rural homes and recreational property in its 20-county area. A member of the Farm Credit System, it is headquartered in Early and has branch offices in Brady, Early, Coleman, Comanche, Haskell, San Angelo, and San Saba.