Updated: Jan 29, 2022
connectFirst Credit Union is a locally owned financial cooperative that is committed to supporting the financial success of local communities. Agriculture, being a business with a prominent and vital community in Alberta, has much to gain from connectFirst’s neighbourly values. We at Ag for Life are excited to announce our partnership with connectFirst, and look forward to collaborating in our shared value of community and dedication to strengthening the local agriculture scene.
It’s no secret that agriculture is the backbone of Alberta’s economy, and is the foundation for societal and environmental flourishing. The agriculture community is as diverse as it is essential. connectFirst appreciates the needs of farmers at the individual level, and the importance of supporting each farmer to strengthen the entire community. While conventional banks may only see numbers in a spreadsheet, members of the connectFirst agriculture team have walked a mile in your work boots—they have sweated in their own fields, and understand the needs of farmers on a personal level.
“We are fully invested in agriculture,” says Turner McKay, Senior Agricultural Advisor at connectFirst. McKay is a fifth-generation farmer who’s 4,000-acre cash crop farm has been around since 1908. “We aren’t diving in when times are good […] and diving out when guys are running into trouble.”
As a Senior Agricultural Advisor, McKay says that “anything financially related to a farming operation is something that I can help any members or pre-members try to sit down and work out.” It’s this level of personal connection and dedication that lets connectFirst foster strong local relationships.
connectFirst has local decision-making autonomy which means that farmers aren’t relying on a banker in downtown Toronto who has never been on a farm to make a credit decision. The reality of agriculture is that it is a business, and one that is difficult to understand if you’re not already in it. Such is the value of having your neighbours and colleagues helping with financial decisions—they understand.
If a farmer succeeds, so does connectFirst. And when connectFirst succeeds, the community will be stronger for it. It’s that simple.