Lone Star Ag Credit Celebrates Centennial With Customers in Weatherford

Lone Star Ag Credit is celebrating the Farm Credit centennial with its 5,000-plus borrowers during customer appreciation dinners throughout the year.

The borrower-owned lending cooperative will host a dinner for each of its 16 branches across North and Central Texas. The events are one of the ways that Lone Star shows its appreciation for its borrowers, who are also co-op members and owners.

Lone Star is one of the oldest lenders in the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of lending cooperatives established in July 1916

The co-op has supported rural communities and agriculture with reliable credit since 1917, when a couple with a 300-acre farm in Grayson County borrowed $10,000 — the first Farm Credit loan in Texas.

Recently, 140 customers of Lone Star's Weatherford branch celebrated the centennial over dinner at the Fire Oak Grill.

Located in the Cutting Horse Capital of the World, Lone Star's Weatherford branch serves full-time and part-time agricultural producers in Palo Pinto and Parker Counties.

"We appreciate our stockholders and are glad to celebrate Farm Credit's 100 year history with them said Lindsey Ellsworth, vice president and branch manager at Lone Star's Weatherford branch.

About 5,700 farms on 1.1 million acres produced $128.1 million in agricultural products in Palo Pinto and Parker counties in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest Census of Agriculture. Last year the USDA recorded more than 110,000 head of cattle in the two counties, where farmers and ranchers also produce poultry, sheep, hogs, winter wheat, hay and other forage, peaches, pecans, potatoes, peanuts and sunflower seeds.

Despite the area's proximity to the Metroplex, the percentage of employment in agriculture in Parker County is more than twice the state average and one-third higher than the national average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Compared with the state and national averages, the percentage of employment in animal production is about twice as high in Palo Pinto County and nearly three times as high in Parker County.

About Lone Star Ag Credit

Lone Star Ag Credit provides financing for rural land, rural homes, agribusinesses, livestock, and agricultural equipment and operating expenses. Headquartered in Fort Worth, it has credit offices in Abilene, Cleburne, Corsicana, Denton, Fort Worth, Hillsboro, Lampasas, New Boston, Paris, Round Rock, Sherman, Stephenville, Sweetwater, Temple, Waco and Weatherford.

The lender's staff put their firsthand understanding of agriculture and rural property to work for the farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses and other borrowers they serve.

Ellsworth, the Weatherford branch manager, grew up on a ranch on the edge of the Black Hills in Wyoming, and today raises cattle and horses in Parker County. Former president[CF1] of the Business Network International Weatherford chapter, she serves on the Weatherford FFA Advisory Committee, has served on several committees for the Greater Metro West Association of Realtors, and is a volunteer with the Careity Foundation.

Pam Van Horn, senior loan administrator in the Weatherford office, grew up in Parker County and has 13 years of experience at Lone Star Ag Credit and 10 years of experience in commercial banking. She serves on the board of the Weatherford ISD Education Foundation, is active in the Weatherford Football Booster Club and Austin Elementary PTA, and is a volunteer with Junior Achievement.

In addition to providing financing and related services, Lone Star's Weatherford branch contributes to many community causes. The office supports ag education for local youth by buying winning livestock at stock shows, and sponsors local PRCA rodeos and other community events such as the Careity Foundation's Celebrity Cutting horse event and Careity Rocks benefit concert.

Lone Star Ag Credit is part of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of cooperatives that supports rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services. The System is celebrating its centennial in 2016.

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Published June 13, 2016