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FFA Makes a Difference Across Generations

FFA and agricultural education set two generations of the Patterson family on the path to success in agriculture.

// Community News, Customer Stories

Buddy Patterson of Cedarwood Nursery & Pumpkin Patch didn’t grow up on a farm, but a high school horticulture class and involvement in FFA sparked his passion for agriculture. Growing up in McMinnville, Tennessee — often referred to as the “Nursery Capital of the World” — Buddy was surrounded by agriculture.

After starting out with plant cuttings given to him by a few local nurseries, Buddy officially began Cedarwood Nursery in 1982. With the help of Farm Credit Mid-America and his local loan officer, he further expanded his operation through new equipment and additional land.

When Buddy visited his local Farm Credit Mid-America office, he would bring along his son, Luke. Following in his father’s footsteps, Luke also enrolled in high school agriculture classes and participated in FFA. He enjoyed helping out in the nursery and even as a child helped start the family's pumpkin patch.

Both Buddy and Luke shared that the lessons they learned in FFA have carried on long after they hung up the blue corduroy jackets. From public speaking and leadership fundamentals to technical expertise, FFA provided them the needed skills to be successful nursery operators. They also recognize the importance of supporting the FFA members of today and tomorrow.

“With fewer young people growing up around farming, it’s important to support youth who do have an interest in agriculture,” said Buddy. “We have to support those who want to keep the family nursery or farm going.”

The Patterson family takes on any opportunity they can to support local FFA members, noting that many go on to become customers, colleagues and even team members at the local Farm Credit Mid-America office.

“My advice for young people involved in agriculture is to start small and grow from there,” said Luke. “You can also work with people like local extension agents and loan officers at Farm Credit Mid-America for resources and advice.”

Buddy and Luke exemplify how FFA shapes leaders for the future of agriculture, and how those leaders can pay it forward to the next generation. 

* Loans and leases are subject to credit approval. Additional terms and conditions may apply. Farm Credit Mid-America is an equal opportunity lender.

Farm Credit Mid-America territory includes Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee. Arkansas includes Clay, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Desha (northeast of the White River), Greene, Lee, Mississippi, Phillips, Poinsett, and St. Francis counties. Missouri includes Carter, Ripley and Wayne counties. Kentucky excludes Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Marshall and McCracken counties. Ohio excludes Crawford, Hancock, Lucas, Marion, Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca, Wood and Wyandot counties. We serve all counties in Indiana and Tennessee. 

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