Chris Furlow

Chris Furlow
TBA President & CEO

‘To make the best better’ 

When TBA hosts our Agriculture and Rural Affairs Conference next April, it will be the event’s 100th anniversary! For more than a century, we have recognized the importance and interdependence of these two great Texas industries: community banking and agriculture.

The best way to honor our proud past is to ensure a promising future. This is why the Texas Bankers Foundation has launched a new initiative that recognizes our association’s passion for financial literacy, education and a healthy agriculture community in Texas.

Texas bankers care for their communities and have long supported local 4-H and FFA clubs because these great organizations support the development of solid life skills, good citizenship and leadership for young people. But they are also great vehicles for financial literacy.

Through 4-H and FFA, members learn responsibility by caring for their animals. They must track their expenses for feed, veterinary services and other necessities. And, at the end of the day, the realities of profit or loss become quickly evident with the sale of their project at auction.

The Foundation wants to amplify the outstanding work of our community banks that support local 4-H and FFA chapters by enabling TBA members to apply for $250 grants when they give a financial literacy presentation to a local 4-H or FFA chapter. The content of the lesson or workshop should be coordinated between the bank and the local chapter’s leadership. Topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • Budgeting
  • Recordkeeping and accounting
  • Understanding loans or lines of credit
  • Managing scholarship money and paying for college

This is the program’s first year, so grants will be limited and will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please contact Jocelyn Carby at the Texas Bankers Foundation for details about how your bank may participate (email: [email protected]). With initial success, we hope to refine and expand the program in future years.

Many thanks to members of the Texas Bankers Foundation Board of Directors and to TBA’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Council for their work to develop this program. It follows on the footsteps of the TBA Convention Golf Tournament that saw our members raise more than $20,000 for Texas 4-H!

“To make the best better” is the proud motto of 4-H. TBA will admit to being a bit biased when we say that Texas has the best community banks and the best young people in the world — especially our young leaders in 4-H and FFA. This new TBA initiative is one way we can do our part to make the best better!