Summer Jeffus has been hired as the regional marketing manager for American AgCredit. Jeffus and Matt Wilson, American AgCredit’s new marketing director, will replace Terry Lindley who is retiring after having been with the company for more than 40 years.
Jeffus grew up in San Luis Obispo on her family’s farm where they grew turf grass and sold soil amendments. She was one of three daughters and grew up running loaders and forklifts and began helping her father run the business at a young age.
While growing up, her father almost lost the family farm, but Jeffus said someone like American AgCredit helped them through difficult times and they were able to keep the family business which her father still operates today.
Jeffus was a member of the Morro Bay FFA as well as a local 4-H chapter where she raised swine. Her first hogs paid for her first truck, and Jeffus began breeding her sow “Suey” to sell piglets to other 4-H and FFA members. She received her American Degree, the highest achievable honor in the FFA program.
She attended Cal Poly, SLO where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Business with an emphasis in Sales/Marketing and a minor in viticulture. Originally, Jeffus thought she would return to take over her family’s business after graduating, but her professional path took her a different direction
Jeffus completed a summer internship with Driscoll’s Strawberries and wrote her father a five year business plan as her senior project at Cal Poly.
After graduating, Jeffus worked for Belvedere Winery as a tasting room manager and moved on to work for Stonestreet, part of Jackson Family Wines. While there, she developed and launched a direct to consumer marketing plan and opened the tasting room to the public.
She has worked as the interim marketing manager for the Napa Valley Vintners, hospitality and business development director for Lambert Bridge Winery and most recently was the consumer direct manager for Deutch Family Wine and Spirits.
Jeffus is a certified sommelier and sits on the board of the Russian River Valley Winegrowers. Additionally, she is on the Sonoma Vintners barrel auction committee, where she was a founding member.
Jeffus said she grew up with agriculture and watched how hard people worked for what they believe in. She wants her two children to have what she had growing up, and she is committed to protecting the future of agriculture. Jeffus lives in Santa Rosa with her husband, Keith, and sons Cooper (8) and Cruz (7).
Jeffus said it is an honor to be able to fill Lindley’s boots. She said he represents a company that will help everyone. She wants the community to know American AgCredit is not just a financial institution, they’re here to support agriculture in good times and bad times.
Jeffus said that while American AgCredit can’t support everything, if it’s agriculture related they support it. From supporting youth with fair loans and scholarships to a diverse offering which includes real estate, leasing and crop insurance to young and beginning farmer programs, American AgCredit strives to support the entire agriculture industry.
American AgCredit was founded in 1916 and celebrated their centennial last year. They specialize in providing financial services to agricultural and rural customers throughout California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Kansas and Oklahoma, as well as to capital markets customers in all 50 states. They have nearly 500 employees at 32 branches throughout the Western and Midwestern states; their headquarters are located in Santa Rosa.
“Agriculture is clearly in my DNA,” said Jeffus, “it serves my passion for wine, but also my bigger passion for being stewards of the land. Sonoma County is a mecca of agriculture; people only think of the grapes, but there’s more that goes on here.”
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