NMSU Aggie heads largest Ag-lending institution in NM
Date: June 19, 2012
CONTACT: Al Porter, 505-875-6073, firstname.lastname@example.org
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - From a family show-lamb operation in Socorro to President and Chief Executive Officer of Farm Credit of New Mexico - Al Porter has seen it all. With around $1.3 billion in loans on its books, Farm Credit of New Mexico boasts an impressive thirty Aggies on its staff - over one-third of the company's total workforce.
"I've always had a passion for agriculture - I was in FFA growing up, and I knew I wanted to focus on Ag-lending when I was a junior in high school," Porter said. "I've had many opportunities along the way, but I wanted to stay and give back to agriculture in this state - it's where my heart is."
Porter attended NMSU and earned a degree in Ag Business in 1978. His experiences during those years shaped his future, particularly through networking with a core group of about 40 fellow Aggies whom he still visits with regularly during Homecoming.
"If you go to college for solely academic purposes, you can easily miss out on other important things, such as developing relationships that will be mutually beneficial down the road," Porter said.
"In particular Garrey Carruthers made an impact on me. He challenged me to get my thoughts on paper and provide support for my ideas," Porter said. "And Lowell Catlett has spoken on three separate occasions at Farm Credit with his dynamic and practical message, conveying big ideas in a humorous way."
During his time at NMSU, Porter met his future wife, Cherrie Newsom. The couple now has three children - one daughter and two sons. Porter says his loyalties will always remain with NMSU.
Porter expressed interest in seeing more industry involvement on campus after participating in the inaugural spring 2012 Farm Credit of NM Guest Lecture Series. The series brought top leadership from the company to NMSU to interact with students in five separate classrooms including Agribusiness Management, Managerial Accounting, Mastering Financial Statements, Dairy Production, and Advanced Topics: Ag-Leadership.
"There has to be an early start to help students understand the value of giving back to an institution," Porter said. "And educators should teach the practical along with the theoretical."
Farm Credit of NM is no stranger to philanthropy, having established a $250,000 endowment to fund scholarships at NMSU along with an internship program which has resulted in the hiring of a number of its interns.
Porter has worked at Farm Credit for 32 years, and his philosophy is that there are tough situations everywhere. "By working through these issues, you ultimately learn from your mistakes and end up with a sense of ethics," he said. Porter credits Ty Achen, former President and Board Member of Farm Credit of NM Board, with giving him his shot.
"I have enjoyed watching people come to Farm Credit with a vision, enjoyed seeing them succeed, and in the end, that has given me great satisfaction - Ag truly makes a difference for the whole state," Porter said.