Today’s economic environment in agriculture can be stifling and challenging even amongst the most progressive-minded individuals. Often, mainstream media plays on the negative by delivering disturbing headlines and images. While concerning phrases may garner readers and viewers, it can also be inhibitive for many. I encounter individuals every day in travels and seminars with the half-full or half-empty perspective. I recently facilitated a group exercise in which participants had to find a positive, productive way to tackle a tough issue inside the business. In other words, they were required to turn “I can’t and I won’t” into “I can and I will.” [Read more…]
News, Articles & Updates
A $25,000 gift to the Illinois Fire Service Institute’s Grain Bin Rescue Operation training program was announced by Farm Credit Illinois (FCI) at a Farm Safety & Health Week kick-off event on Thursday. The gift will contribute to the new training program designed specifically for grain bin rescues.
More than 50 percent of grain is stored on farms in grain bins averaging 60 feet wide, contributing to the increased number of grain bin-related accidents each year according to the Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI). The course will provide 40 hours of classroom and hands-on education to Illinois firefighters, teaching participants the ins and outs of a grain bin and various on rescue operation tactics. [Read more…]
JoAnn Vosse, of Freeburg, will retire from Farm Credit Illinois on August 15. She worked for 42 years with the Farm Credit System, 38 of them in the Belleville and Red Bud areas. She is based in the Red Bud regional office serving farm families and rural landowners in Monroe, Randolph, and St. Clair Counties. [Read more…]
Farm Credit Illinois recently welcomed three new staff members to three regional offices throughout its 60-county territory. The Paris regional office hired Danielle Craig on June 6 and Craig Neimerg on July 11, Jessica Schulze started with the Mahomet regional office on June 20, and Nicole Thomas began working in the Marion regional office on June 15.
A new poll of senior leaders from Midwest Farm Credit lenders shows commodity prices as the greatest challenge facing their customers. Farm Credit lenders are responding to this by providing services to restructure the financial situations of their customers. In addition, in a new AgriThought report, Jerry Lehnertz, senior vice president of Credit at AgriBank, examines the challenging farm economy and how lenders are helping farmers navigate it.
The poll’s results showed that 69.1 percent of senior credit and risk officers from the 17 Farm Credit Associations in the AgriBank District selected commodity prices as the top challenge. The next biggest challenges were input costs, credit availability and adverse weather effects. [Read more…]
The Farm Credit System’s 100th year of service to rural communities and agriculture is highlighting leaders throughout the nation who are positively influencing the future of agriculture through the Fresh Perspectives program. The State of Illinois is proud to host eight of the top 100 and one top 10 honoree – Penny Lauritzen of Lanark in youth education for her work in beginning the Women Changing the Face of Agriculture career discovery event.
Lauritzen received $10,000 to invest back into Rural America and chose to give each of her children and grandchildren $1,000 to support a community group close to their heart. [Read more…]
The topic of transition management is heating up in the agriculture industry. From production agriculture to agribusinesses, the baton is being passed from the baby boomer generation to the 18-34 year-old millennials. Members of the millennial generation will make up 50% of the workforce by 2020 and an astounding 75% by 2025. Many are the next business and land owners in an economic environment full of financial volatility, expanded technology, changing consumer trends, and uncertain public policy domestically and abroad. Let’s examine the upcoming management transition in greater detail, including possible suggestions as well as fatal flaws to avoid in the evolution of the business. [Read more…]
Farm Credit Illinois recently welcomed Brent Ford, of Allendale, as a vice president to the Lawrenceville regional office. The Lawrenceville office serves farm families and rural landowners in Crawford, Lawrence, Richland, and Wabash Counties.
Ford was raised on his family’s Wabash County grain farm and graduated from Mount Carmel High School before receiving his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agribusiness economics from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. [Read more…]
Ken Hermann, of Champaign, will retire from Farm Credit Illinois on June 15. He worked for 35 years with the Farm Credit System, 15 of them with FCI as a credit analyst in the credit services division (CSD) at the cooperative’s central office in Mahomet.
Hermann grew up on his family’s St. Genevieve, Mo. grain and livestock farm. He began his career with the System as a loan officer in Missouri before assuming the role of a credit reviewer in the internal audit department for the Farm Credit Bank of St. Louis. Hermann then moved to Effingham, Ill. to become a special credit officer of risk assets. He began with FCI in 2002 as a credit analyst and relocated to Mahomet in 2008 when CSD consolidated. Hermann and his wife Denise have three children – Jason (Lindsey), Tyler (Shestin), and Anna – and four grandchildren – Allie, Brooks, Blake, and Paxon. [Read more…]