held in the past 90 days throughout the Farm Credit Illinois geographical area.
John and Kiersten Schoen of Madison County always sold meat to their friends and family. After Kiersten lost her job, their side gig turned into a full-fledged, money-making business – Red Barn Farm Meats.
Named after the iconic red barn built by John’s great-grandfather in 1898, the Schoen’s farm gives a nod to traditional practices. Their beef is grass-fed and the piglet nursery has open bedding. Their three children – Rhett, Luke, and Leni – help with the chores, maintain fences, and much more. And like past generations, their sales are driven by word of mouth – the digital kind – through social media. [Read more…]
The federal funds rate remains unchanged following the Sept. 19-20 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve (Fed). The anticipated decision minimally impacted the market. The FOMC cited moderate growth in household spending, expanding business investment, and solid job growth as the primary drivers of current economic conditions. While the Fed recognized the recent property damage caused by the hurricanes, it doesn’t find the impact on the country likely to alter the course of the nation’s economy.
As described in the most recent edition of INTERESTing Times, the Fed voted to initiate a balance sheet normalization program in October. The bond markets will have more debt available for the investing public to purchase as the Fed reduces its holdings. With all other things equal, less demand by the Fed should lead to higher prices in the bond markets in the form of higher interest rates.
The next Fed meeting is Oct. 31-Nov. 1. The futures market currently projects a minimal chance of a rate hike at this meeting. However, a 76 percent chance of another quarter point rate hike is currently predicted at the December FOMC meeting.
Updated Economic Projections
The Federal Reserve Board released its quarterly economic projections at the September meeting. The only significant change from the June projections was the reduction in the long-run federal funds rate from 3.00% down to 2.80% (the long-run is defined as year-end 2019 and beyond). Today, the federal funds rate is 1.25%.
Upcoming Changes to the Federal Reserve Board
The Federal Reserve is governed by a seven-member board with a chair, vice-chair, and five additional members called governors. In addition to the governors, five rotating Federal Reserve District Presidents also vote on monetary policy decisions. There are currently three vacant governor seats and the vice-chair is vacating in mid-October. This will leave the Federal Reserve Board with only Chair Janet Yellen and Governors Laiel Branaird and Jerome Powell. These vacancies leave the important Fed policy decisions to a very small number of people. Plus, the chair is up for appointment in early 2018; if Chair Yellen is not re-appointed, it would be customary for her to step aside. [Read more…]
Early Harvest Weather Recap
The transition into late summer and early fall weather has been a wild ride with one common theme for the state of Illinois – it has been dry.
Most of the state has seen anywhere between 10-60 percent of normal precipitation in the last 30 days leading into the first week of October, making this one of the top 10 driest ends to the growing season on record. Thankfully, the drier conditions for the last 45 days did not bring untimely heat stress, which prevented losses to corn and soybean crops. [Read more…]
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Adam Bane of Lexington joined the Farm Credit team Sept. 25 as a credit assistant in the credit services division based at the financial cooperative’s central office in Mahomet. He was raised on his family’s McLean County grain and livestock farm in Arrowsmith and graduated from Tri-Valley High School before receiving his associate’s degree in agriculture from Joliet Junior College. Adam then earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Prior to joining Farm Credit, Adam worked for more than two years as a grain originator at Prairie Central Cooperative in Chenoa and as a sales professional for four years at Martin Sullivan in Lexington.
Keri Blair of Mahomet began at Farm Credit Illinois Aug. 21 as a financial reporting analyst in the accounting department based at the financial cooperative’s central office in Mahomet. She was raised in Champaign County and graduated from Mahomet-Seymour High School before receiving her bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Keri then earned her master’s in business administration from DePaul University.
Prior to joining the Farm Credit team, she worked for two years as a finance manager at Zep Inc. in Glendale Heights and Kraft Foods in Champaign. Keri resides in Mahomet with her husband Jason and two children – Austin and Samantha.
Renae Morris of Paris joined Farm Credit Oct. 2 as a sales and service specialist at the Paris regional office. The Paris office serves farm families and rural landowners in Clark, Coles, and Edgar Counties. She was raised in Edgar County and graduated from Chrisman High School.
Prior to joining the Farm Credit team, Renea worked for more than 30 years in the banking industry, most recently as the president and manager at Paris Hi-Way Credit Union. She resides in Paris with her husband John and has two children – Mark and Sarah (Ben) Setzer.
Brandi Nugent of Paris began Sept. 26 as a sales and service specialist at the Paris regional office. The Paris office serves farm families and rural landowners in Clark, Coles, and Edgar Counties. She was raised in Edgar County and graduated from Paris High School before receiving her bachelor’s degree in business management from Indiana State University.
Prior to joining the Farm Credit team, Brandi worked for more than 12 years in human resources, most recently as an employee benefits relationship manager at USI Insurance in Terre Haute, Ind. for three years. Brandi resides in Paris with her husband Shawn and their children – Braylon (13) and Landon (11).
Ryan Zerrusen of Savoy started Sept. 21 at the financial cooperative’s central office in Mahomet as a financial reporting analyst. He was raised in Effingham County and graduated from Teutopolis High School before receiving his associate’s degree in business administration from Parkland College. Ryan then earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also holds a certified public accountant license.
Prior to joining the Farm Credit team, Ryan worked for nine years as an audit manager at RSM in Champaign. He resides in Savoy with his wife Jenna and three children – Kendal (8), Brendan (5), and Whitley (2). Ryan is the son of Kurt and Janet Zerrusen of Teutopolis.
The Farm Credit Illinois Lawrenceville and Mt. Vernon regional offices recently made investments in local youth programs. The donations are part of the financial cooperative’s ongoing support of rural communities and agriculture. In 2016, FCI invested more than $245,000 in youth, community, and ag literacy initiatives throughout its 60-county marketplace. [Read more…]