Farm Credit Illinois recently welcomed four staff team members throughout its 60-county territory. Kathryn Deedrich of Champaign, Bret Green of Metropolis, Heather Greenwalt of Wayne City, and Steve Niemeier of Highland. [Read more…]
Sometimes the best learning method is a conversation with someone who’s been there, done that. Now in its 12th year, the Cultivating Master Farmer program has provided just that: expert farm and family mentorship from folks who have walked the walk. This unique mentoring program links young farmers with a wealth of information from Prairie Farmer’s Master Farmers.
Classes of approximately 10 young farmers (21 to 35 years old) and 10 Master Farmers are selected for the two-year program, which features six ag-related events, including a summer tour. The Class of 2017, which graduates in July, toured the St. Louis Science Center, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, the Bussen Fertilizer Spur on the Mississippi River and met with agriculture professionals at The Maschhoffs. They also heard from acclaimed speakers on estate/succession planning, diversification on the farm, marketing strategies, how to give back, and managing working relationships with family members. [Read more…]
The moments leading up to the drop are the most important. There’s no getting off the ride now; you’re too invested. As you reach the peak, you do everything to prepare yourself for what’s next. Then it’s all a rush and when the ride comes to an end, you’ve traveled many hills and valleys, but endured.
Whether riding a roller coaster or working in the ag industry – what goes up must come down. The volatility in farming has increased significantly over the past 10 years, and is influenced by many factors outside of our control. Changes in monetary, fiscal, energy, and trade policies, along with technology, regulation, and consumer preferences affect the business of producing agricultural goods for the world. [Read more…]
After providing years of service to farm families and rural communities at Farm Credit Illinois (FCI), Don Olson and Phil Heath will retire on Jan. 31. Olson, of Champaign, retires after 40 years with the Farm Credit System, most recently as FCI’s chief credit officer. Heath, of Harrisburg, will retire after 19 years as a vice president of risk management based most recently out of the Marion regional office serving farm families and rural landowners in Alexander, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union, and Williamson Counties. [Read more…]
The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve (Fed) met Dec. 13-14 and voted unanimously to increase the Fed Funds Rate by 0.25% as anticipated by the markets and discussed in the most recent edition of INTERESTing Times. The committee cited moderately rising household spending, weak business investment, and steady job growth as the primary drivers of the current economic conditions. Because the rate increase was highly anticipated by the markets, the impact was minimal. New York prime rate immediately increased to 3.75%, effective Dec. 15.
Other actions by the Fed that didn’t receive much publicity, include the decision to continue reinvesting maturing Treasury securities, agency debt, and agency mortgage-backed securities. An ongoing buyer in the bond market, the Fed is continuing to be accommodative with its monetary policy.
The next meeting of the Fed is Jan. 31 – Feb. 1. The futures market currently projects a less than 5% chance of a rate hike at this meeting, although it predicts a 40% chance of another 0.25% rate hike at the March FOMC meeting. The FOMC and the markets will be closely monitoring the economic and political developments over the next several weeks in anticipation of the upcoming Fed meetings. [Read more…]
High school seniors pursuing a career in agriculture are invited to apply for a $2,000 Farm Credit Illinois Agriculture Scholarship. Twenty-four $2,000 scholarships will be given in 2017 with two recipients designated as “Urban Agriculture Scholars.”Farm Credit Illinois also invites 4-H Clubs and FFA Chapters organizing projects to apply for a $400 Farm Credit Illinois Community Improvement Grant. [Read more…]
Farm Credit Illinois’ central office employees buried a centennial time capsule in Mahomet on Dec. 30, 2016, to mark the end the Farm Credit System’s 100th year of serving farm families, rural communities, and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services.
The capsule was filled with centennial memorabilia and 2016 artifacts and is to remain sealed until Farm Credit celebrates its sesquicentennial in 2066. A bronze plaque has been placed on the surface to remind visitors of the Association’s continued dedication to Helping Farm Families Succeed.
“The Farm Credit System was created with one special mission – to support farm families and rural communities,” says Tom Tracy, President & CEO of FCI. “We are honored to continue the legacy through both the prosperous and challenging economic cycles, today and tomorrow.”
# # #
Farm Credit Illinois is a farmer owned and directed agricultural lending cooperative serving 8,500 farm families, agribusinesses, and rural landowners in the southern 60 counties of Illinois with competitive and flexible financing and crop insurance expertise. The Association manages a $4 billion loan portfolio, provides 1.4 million acres of crop insurance coverage, and employs 210 staff based in the Mahomet central office and 14 regional office locations. The U.S. Farm Credit System supports rural communities, farm families, and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services today and tomorrow.
A $500,000 donation from five Farm Credit institutions helped build the Feedbarn, a children’s dining hall on the Fair Oaks Farms campus. An agri-tourism destination in northwestern Indiana, Fair Oaks Farms provides youth and adults opportunities to learn about modern farming practices that go into food production. Farm Credit’s gift helps share the important role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant, and affordable food. [Read more…]
Farm Credit Illinois recently released the results of the 2016 annual benchmark farmland value study. Overall, the study revealed an average 6.34 percent decline in land values throughout the cooperative’s 60-county territory in central and southern Illinois.
Each year the FCI appraisal team evaluates the same 20 benchmark farms throughout its territory based on the land’s productive index rating, as calculated by the University of Illinois’ Bulletin 811. [Read more…]