Arvin High School FFA Students and staff gather at the school with AgWest Board Members and Staff. (Photo courtesy of AgWest)

Press release provided by AgWest Farm Credit 

Tulare, California – Arvin High School, located in the heart of California’s Central Valley, serves a community and students deeply rooted in agriculture and other related industries. Arvin High School’s thriving FFA chapter is an important program offered to students and provides many opportunities to learn more about agriculture and employment opportunities in the area. By participating in FFA, students gain access to various learning opportunities and the high school’s 40-acre farm, which supports a unique animal science program.  

To expand the offerings provided through the Arvin FFA chapter, the school wanted to enhance the farm, and build an outdoor classroom space for students to do hands-on learning and cooking. For the high school, providing the necessary funds for this project on their own would be a challenge.  

This funding need was recently met by a $35,000 donation from AgWest Farm Credit’s Local Advisory Committee (LAC) Guided Stewardship Program. 
“Without industry partners like AgWest Farm Credit, Arvin High FFA would not be able to provide enrichment opportunities like this to FFA members.” says Donald Mills, Arvin High Department Chair. “Thanks to the wonderful people at AgWest Farm Credit, our students will be able to further develop as budding young professionals while expanding ag industry skills, ultimately bettering their lives and futures.” 
Stewardship investments at AgWest are guided by its customers, including Local Advisory Committee (LAC) members, who live in and understand the needs of rural communities. LAC members serve as a liaison between AgWest and their customers and communities and help to ensure stewardship investments are made in a variety of ways that will help rural communities thrive. 
Kent Stenderup, who farms in Arvin and serves as an AgWest LAC Member, brought this project forward for consideration. Stenderup commented on the importance of supporting youth in agriculture. “Investing in agricultural education is more than a gesture; It enables young minds to gain real-life experience of a global industry that we call our livelihood.”  

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