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SPOKANE, Washington (Jan. 8, 2024) – AgWest’s cooperative structure with customer-member governance is one of its unique qualities as an agricultural lender. The Board of Directors is elected by voting stockholders. This year, Nels DeBruycker of Choteau, Montana (Region 2 – Montana), and Joseph (Joey) Airoso of Pixley, California (Region 6 – Southern San Joaquin Valley), were re-elected to the AgWest Farm Credit Board of Directors. Each will serve a five-year term ending 12/31/2028.
Nels DeBruycker is the president and owner of NLD, Inc., located near Choteau, Montana, where he raises cattle, hay, small grains and horses. Joseph (Joey) Airoso owns and operates Airoso Dairy Farms in Pixley and Tulare, California, where he produces dairy (registered Holstein and Jersey cows), corn, wheat, alfalfa and pistachios.
The Board of Directors also recently elected a new Board Chair and Board Vice Chair effective January 1, 2024. Doug Filipponi of Creston, California, was elected as Board Chair, and Mark Cook of Willcox, Arizona, was elected as Board Vice Chair.
Doug Filipponi is president of Filipponi-Thompson Drilling, Inc., managing partner of Margarita Vineyards, LLC, owner-operator of Vaquero Water Ranch (a cow-calf ranch), and co-owner and chief operating officer of Ancient Peaks Winery, Inc. Filipponi previously served on Farm Credit West’s Board as Board Chair and on several committees and was Vice Chair of the AgWest Farm Credit Board of Directors in 2023.
“I am honored to have been elected as the Chair of the AgWest Board of Directors and look forward to working with the rest of the board on key priorities as we enter the second year of AgWest’s existence,” said Filipponi. “Together, we will strive to deliver on AgWest’s purpose, delivering value to our customer-members, and helping our employees and communities thrive.”
Newly elected Board Vice Chair Mark Cook is the President of North Bowie Farming and grows pecans, pistachios and alfalfa in Cochise and Graham County, Arizona. He is also President of Producers Pump Company, President/CEO of A&P Growers Cooperative, and a director of the Arizona Nut Company. He is also a board member of several grower’s associations in Arizona.
In other board news, Susan Doverspike, of Burns Oregon, resigned from the AgWest Board effective Dec. 31 because of her election to the CoBank Board of Directors effective Jan. 1, 2024. Doverspike served as a Northwest Farm Credit and AgWest Farm Credit board member for eight years. Bob Amarel, of Yuba City California, has reached term limits and retired from the board effective Dec. 31 after 15 years of service. These two board positions will not be filled as part of the Board’s transition plan to reduce the board size over time.
AgWest Farm Credit is governed by a 22-member Board of Directors; 20 directors are elected by the voting membership which consists of customer stockholders, representing each geographic region of the association. Two directors are appointed by the board, and cannot be customer-members, stockholders, employees or agents of any Farm Credit institution. A full list of current AgWest board members can be viewed on AgWestFC.com/about/governance/board-of-directors.
AgWest is a financial cooperative with approximately $30 billion in total assets that provides financing and related services to farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses, commercial fishermen, timber producers, rural homeowners and crop insurance customers primarily in seven states in the West. AgWest is part of the 107year-old Farm Credit System – the leading provider of credit to American agriculture. AgWest serves customers in 59 locations throughout the West. For more information, visit AgWestFC.com.
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