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Making Ag Dreams Reality: Youth Ag Loans

Thinking about applying for a youth ag loan or dreaming of being a farmer and rancher and do not know where to begin?

Live from the Osage Nation, Electa Hare-Redcorn – former Technical Assistance Specialist (TA) for the Eastern Oklahoma Region of the Intertribal Ag Council (IAC) interviewed Ethan Channel and his mom, Trina, about their family’s experience seeking agriculture opportunities with “city dweller” backgrounds.

This Muskogee Creek family had always lived in the city and when Ethan came home and said he wanted chickens, cows and to be a rancher, his parents were a little taken aback. Still, they were undaunted by his dreams and quickly began researching how to make his dream happen.

Ethan spent much of his time growing up hanging out at Tinker Air Force Base with his dad, Tony, who was a contractor there. At the time, he thought he wanted to be in the military and represent his country, but going into high school, Ethan heard about FFA and enrolled in the class to find out what it was all about. As he got involved, he really found a love for agriculture, particularly livestock and welding.

Ethan enrolled in the Muskogee Creek Nation Youth Ag program in 2018. Then the Channels found out about IAC at the Oklahoma FFA convention in 2019, right after Ethan purchased his first show heifer. From there, they went to seminars to get more information on starting a ranch and formed – Triple C Ranch.

Zachary Ilbery, who worked with IAC at the time, helped inform the family about Farm Service Agency (FSA) youth loans. Ethan filled out the application with the help of Hare-Redcorn who put the Channels in contact with the right people.

“I turned to IAC leadership, Zach Ducheneaux – Executive Director,” Hare-Redcorn said. She told Ducheneaux that she was working with a young man outside of Oklahoma City and it felt like they were coming up against some unnecessary barriers. “Zach encouraged me and told me not to give up.”

Hare-Redcorn did not give up and eventually the family was able to proceed with the building blocks of their son’s agricultural goals. Ethan earned his FFA State Degree and graduated high school in May 2020. He now has two heifers with one on the way and is in the process of purchasing more cattle and growing his herd.

“That’s a legacy right there and a good thing to celebrate,” Hare-Redcorn, said, praising Ethan’s success thus far.

“But, in between farming and school and welding school how do you fit in your current occupation as firefighter?” Hare-Redcorn asked Ethan.

Find out how Ethan balances his service as a firefighter all while building the ranch that began as a vision that is being carried forward with the dedication, support, and enthusiasm of his parents. Listen to the full podcast with Ethan, Trina and Electa! The goal is to inspire other youth to apply for these youth ag loans.




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