AgAmerica Lending focuses on cultivating its up-and-coming land lending team with enrollment in the Summer Leadership Program
A good land lending team is cultivated like a top-quality crop, by providing the right elements. It’s a proactive approach that AgAmerica Lending has followed for a number of years now, taking advantage of the Summer Leadership Program offered by the Lakeland Economic Development Council. Three new AgAmerica Lending hires—Aaron Walters, Chloe Carpenter, and Blake Averitt—graduated August 3rd from the 9-week summer program aimed at building leadership skills and forming the professional bonds that are the foundation of the Lakeland business community.
Q&A With the Summer Leadership Program Participants
Q: Why did you get in the Summer Leadership Program (SLP)?
Blake: AgAmerica encourages their employees to join. They want to invest in their up-and-coming leaders within the organization. Both Brian and Mac, two of the owners of AgAmerica, are on Lakeland development boards.
Q: What did the program entail?
Aaron: One of the main stated goals of the program is to show young adults all of the reasons why staying in Lakeland can be a good idea. They inspired us with leadership training and encouraging messages from local business owners and showed us the organizations and resources that Lakeland has to offer for someone trying to turn a concept or an idea into reality.
Chloe: The program is all about business in Lakeland. Each week we networked with peers and fellow business people in Lakeland. We toured various businesses and heard from local entrepreneurs who gave real and relatable advice.
Q: What was your favorite part of the program?
Chloe: I really liked the fact that it brought a group of people together that might not have met otherwise, and that we now have a network of like-minded, talented people who are at similar stages in life.
Blake: The speakers. Every week SLP brought in speakers with extensive experience in various fields. Whether they were entrepreneurs with a startup company or a tenured business professional, they all had encouraging stories and provided insight on both professional and personal levels.
Q: How will what you learned help you to be a strong part of the land lending team at AgAmerica?
Aaron: Of everything we learned at SLP, the two elements that will serve the greatest immediate benefit are time management techniques and creative thinking strategies. We learned how to prioritize a to-do list and how to decide which items get highest priority. We also learned why it is a good idea to minimize unproductive time. We’ve had many brainstorming sessions at SLP, and I will be able to use the different idea generation methods to stimulate creative thinking.
Chloe: I definitely think hearing from the speakers each week gave me a different, yet vital, view of leadership and how to integrate fulfillment into your professional world.
Q: How will what you learned help you or benefit you in the future?
Aaron: In the future, there is no limit to how the SLP program will prove to be beneficial. When an opportunity to engage the community arises, I will have a network of other young adults in Lakeland, from a wide range of passions and professions to draw on. If I ever decide to pursue my own entrepreneurial opportunities, I now know that a foundation and support structure exists that will help ensure I take all of the necessary steps to be successful.
Blake: Collaboration. Finding value within yourself, your organization, and in your local community. Being aware of how you can better yourself and the people around you.
As the land lending specialists, we’re always looking for ways to grow our ag leaders and land lending team. We make it our mission to help the country’s agribusinesses prosper and thrive with our low interest rates, long amortizations, and outstanding 10-year line of credit.