Whether growing a crop or raising livestock, farmers and ranchers have long acted as stewards of the land. It’s the love of the land that joins agriculture and conservationists together on the same side of the battle against global climate change, pollution, loss of habitat, and more. Arbor Day pays homage to that love of the land by spotlighting the vital importance of trees. The Arbor Day Foundation’s mission to continually educate people on the wonder of trees and to encourage the planting of trees is one that lasts all year.
In the spirit of Arbor Day, AgAmerica Lending is proud to have a hand in the restoration of Etoniah Creek State Forest in northeast Florida back to an ecosystem dominated by the native longleaf pine. Through a partnership with the National Arbor Day Foundation, we have given a donation that will see 2,000 more longleaf pine trees planted in this important state park that graces northeast Florida.
“Since our company is headquartered in Central Florida, it was important for us to donate our 2,000 trees to a forest close to home—the Florida Etoniah Creek State Forest,” explains Phoebe Moll, VP of Marketing and Strategy.
Lofty longleaf pine forests spread in a green blanket from Virginia down to Florida and east as far as the Texas border. Once covering approximately 90 million acres, longleaf pine forests only occupy three percent of their original range. Their original numbers were harvested in the 1800s and early 1900s to help the nation grow. They became lumber for railroad building, shipbuilding, and more.
The unique evergreen is an important component of Florida’s natural ecosystem, and we at AgAmerica Lending are proud to help these towering evergreen giants to march across the state once more. With our headquarters in Lakeland, Florida, it’s only fitting that we help to pay homage to this native tree, and help the Sunshine State to see another corner of her natural beauty restored.
Additionally, the longleaf pine has an amazing knack for endurance that we admire. Saplings spend their first few years growing an impressive taproot underground rather than attaining height; this helps longleaf pines to withstand the worst: drought, hurricanes, and forest fires. Such resilience is also found in the farmers and ranchers of the country’s agriculture industry, and we’re happy to be a part of it.
In fact, our management team knows firsthand how important land loans can be in helping timber farmers grow their business, because they, too, are involved in the industry.
Brian Philpot, President/CEO and Principal Owner of AgAmerica Lending, owns 1,000 acres of timberland in Florida with Bryce Philpot, AgAmerica’s SVP of Operations & Finance. Brian cites the family timber business as having inspired his career choice. “I logged a lot of miles riding in the back of my dad’s truck looking at timber tracts, and fell in love with it. I realized it was something I wanted to invest in,” Philpot says.
As the nation’s leading land loan specialists, it’s our pleasure to help those in the country’s agriculture industry to cultivate deep roots, grow tall, and cover a lot of ground. See what our low interest rates, long amortizations, and outstanding 10-year line of credit can do for your farm or ranch.
Photo courtesy of Florida Forest Service