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From the Field: 2014 Citizenship Washington Focus

The 2014 Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) program is held throughout each summer at the National 4-H Center. Farm Credit is a proud sponsor of 4-H and the program through the National Contributions Program.

For more than 50 years, thousands of high school youth from across the nation have travelled to Washington, D.C. each summer to partake in the preeminent 4-H citizenship and leadership experience—Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF). These delegates are given an opportunity to strengthen their communication, leadership, and citizenship skills; understand the importance of civic and social responsibilities; exchange ideas, practice respect, and form friendships with other youth from diverse backgrounds; and, experience hands-on learning using the historical backdrop of Washington, D.C.

This week in Washington, several delegates who earned CWF scholarships through Farm Credit’s partnership with 4-H got a behind the scenes look at the legislative process. On Wednesday, June 25, a House Agriculture subcommittee hearing was held to examine the availability of essential credit to help finance the endeavors of rural America. MidAtlantic Farm Credit CEO Bob Frazee participated in a panel at the hearings, as did representatives from the Farm Credit Administration, the Farm Service Agency, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and commercial and community banks.

The delegates learned a great deal about the importance of keeping the business of agriculture financially viable. Frazee told the subcommittee about Farm Credit’s mission of service to rural America and the importance of making credit available to farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses with a growing need for capital.

“It should be of no surprise to the Committee that when you look across Farm Credit’s loan portfolio you will see represented in it the broad array of operations that are U.S. agriculture,” Frazee said. “The Farm Credit Act was designed to ensure that we can continue to meet the needs of agriculture, cooperatives and rural infrastructure as they have developed.”

In addition to attending the hearing, the CWF delegates had a chance throughout the week to hear from motivational speakers, attend educational workshops and assemblies, and participate in other exercises to increase their individual commitment to citizen involvement.

As the largest youth development organization in America, 4-H helps millions of our country’s young people develop leadership skills, embrace a spirit of community service and learn important life lessons. Farm Credit is proud of its long partnership with the National 4-H Council and the young leaders they help to develop.

“The financial support and numerous volunteer hours provided by Farm Credit have allowed us to help millions of young people learn leadership skills and embrace community service,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, CEO of National 4-H Council.