History & Overview
The Ag Lenders Society of California originated as the Fresno-Madera Ag Lenders Society in 1988. With an initial membership of approximately 30 members, the non-profit organization was formed as a net-working forum of agricultural lenders to foster a better understanding of the issues affecting agriculture and agricultural lending.
The rapid growth of the organization led to a restructuring into three Chapters - North (Modesto), Central (Fresno) and South (Visalia/ Bakersfield) - and a name change to reflect this growth. The Fresno-Madera Ag Lenders Society officially became The San Joaquin Valley Ag Lenders Society in 1992. In 2002, the organization’s name was once again changed to the Ag Lenders Society of California to better reflect its state-wide membership of about 400.
The purpose of the organization, since its inception, has been to provide education and information on timely agricultural topics to its members. This is accomplished through regular Chapter meetings - each with featured speakers or ag facility tours; half or full day seminars and workshops on topics of interest to agricultural lenders; and through monthly newsletters to the membership.
Contribution To The Community
The primary contribution the Ag Lenders Society of California makes to the agricultural industry and to the community is education. The meetings and seminars held by Ag Lenders are open to the public and offer timely information on the industry’s most important topics. Some of the areas that have been addressed include: the dairy, beef cattle, wine, nut, raisin, treefruit, citrus, row crop and nut industries; irrigation water issues; litigation affecting agriculture; marketing issues; enviromental issues; land values; problem loan and debt structure education; and many more.
Each year, Ag Lenders holds a minimum of one, and generally two half or full day seminars. Every few years, Ag Lenders puts on a two-day Agricultural Short Course which provides information on a wide variety of topics from budgeting to appraisal. “Giving back” to its membership is a primary goal of the Ag Lenders Society of California. Annual membership fees are minimal and all meetings and seminars are offered at very reasonable prices. As a non-profit organization, managed under the direction of volunteers, Ag Lenders prides itself on the quality of continuing education offered to its membership and the agribusiness community at large.