WHEREAS, since territorial days, commercial fishing has been, and continues to be, a vital aspect of Alaska’s economy; and
WHEREAS, following statehood, Alaska’s government quickly took on the role of regulating fisheries, protecting rural Alaska residents’ fisheries rights, and expanding commercial agriculture within Alaska; and
WHEREAS, in 1978-1979, the Alaska State Legislature created the Alaska Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank (CFAB) to address the financial needs of commercial fishing and agriculture that were not met by more conventional lending institutions; and
WHEREAS, CFAB began operating in March of 1980 as a private, user-owned, financing cooperative serving Alaskan residents and financing the needs of resident-owned commercial fishing and agriculture businesses; and
WHEREAS, the State provided the initial funding to jumpstart CFAB through the purchase of non-voting stock, and CFAB was expected to attract additional funding through the Federal Farm Credit System that would generate user-owned replacement capital; and
WHEREAS, through the efforts of CFAB’s directors, management, and staff, CFAB worked to fulfill its mission to constructively serve the Alaskans they set out to help in a stable, rational, and prepared manner; and
WHEREAS, as CFAB established the cooperatively-structured lending programs for participants in highly volatile resource-based industries, they were met with many challenges; however, they coped with each setback put forth by the economic environment of the time, and returned the original capital to the State in 1998, two years before their statute-mandated due date; and
WHEREAS, CFAB has a proven record of providing reasonably priced services to its member-borrowers, generating earnings on the equities supplied by the cooperative owners, and posted minimal loan losses, while remaining a corporation in good standing with both federal and State governments; and
WHEREAS, CFAB stands out as a successful model of what can be accomplished through cooperation between public and private entities working to achieve mutual goals.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim April 3, 2021 as:
Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Day
in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to recognize the impact that CFAB has in supporting the fishing and agricultural industries of Alaska.