Balbach grew up in Mansfield and graduated from Blue Ridge High School before receiving her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She then went on to receive her Master of Business Administration from Eastern Illinois University. Prior to joining the FCI team, she spent 12 years at Health Alliance Medical Plans, most recently as a project manager. [Read more…]
Archives for February 2016
Dr. Stacey Funderburk manages the practice, andshe and her husband Keith have two children, Reagan, 4, and Hayden, 3. The children enjoy going on vet visits with her and taking ride-alongs with their father. While Dr. Stacey manages the veterinary practice, Keith farms with his family on a centennial grain farm and operates a wean-to-finish hog operation.
As if completing her veterinary education in seven years wasn’t success enough, Dr. Stacey fully owns a practice with two clinic locations only nine years later.
Dr. Stacey is the owner of Countryside Veterinary Service, LLC. in Taylorville. At the clinic and on the farm, she cares for small and large animals and everything in between, including pigs, which she has cared for since she was a little girl.
Dr. Stacey grew up on her family’s Walk Stock Farm, a swine and grain farm in Neoga. Her family still has a swine farrow-to-finish operation. She is the oldest of four girls who always said it was easier to go to school than to have to a day off. “At an early age my sisters and I were doing things like procedures; clipping needle teeth, docking tails, assisting with deliveries. The medical side of working with livestock felt natural to me. It wasn’t uncommon for us to have a day off from school and have to vaccinate 1,200 pigs,” said Dr. Stacey. “When you’re young, that’s a lot of baby pigs but the four of us would get it done.” [Read more…]
The Homestead Act helped start family farms throughout Illinois, including that of Karen Neff’s ancestors. Karen’s dad farmed full time until he was called off to war in the 1950s. He had a love of agriculture, which ultimately he passed on to Karen.
“It’s something that gets into your blood; a passion that you can’t get out of your system. I might have lived in town as a child, but you could always find me on a farm somewhere,” Karen said.
In high school, Karen was involved in FFA and earned her state degree. Following her college graduation, she moved from town to the country with her husband, Richard. He was working on his fourth generation family farm, where they live today. The couple has a wean-to-finish hog operation and farms corn and soybeans. Karen has always worked off the farm, but according to Richard is also actively involved on the farm. [Read more…]
Sarah Hastings’ petite 5-foot-2-inch frame can pack a punch when it comes to pulling her weight working on the family farm and grain bin management business alongside her husband Brandon. Whether it’s hauling seed, driving the tractor, drawing up grain bin plans, or replacing parts on a combine, Sarah says “on a farm, you keep working until the job’s done.”
Sarah grew up with dreams of owning a horse farm, or even raising cattle and sheep because that’s what her grandparents, Patrick and Rosalie Phelan, did. They purchased a 100-ewe farm near Bloomington right after they were married in 1950 and farmed until 2006 when they retired. Sarah remembers sleeping on the couch while staying at her grandparents’ house and jumping up, throwing her overalls on top of her pajamas when she heard h
er grandpa preparing to go out and feed the livestock early in the morning. “I didn’t want to miss it,” Sarah recalls. [Read more…]
Farm Credit Illinois recently welcomed Caleb May as a crop insurance product and training specialist. He is based in the Taylorville regional office but will serve the Association’s entire 60-county territory.
May grew up on his family’s grain and livestock farm in Palmer where they raised Angus and Simmental cattle. He graduated from Morrisonville High School. May attended Lake Land College as an agriculture transfer student before attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he received a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences. Prior to joining the FCI team, May spent three years at Cargill, Inc. as a grain market advisor and crop insurance agent in Springfield.
He is a member of the Christian County Farm Bureau Young Leaders and volunteers with the American Farm Bureau Federation. May resides in Pawnee with his wife Kimberly, his daughter Payton, 3, and his son Colin, 1. [Read more…]
Avatar Solutions, a leading provider of employee surveys and consulting, recently recognized Farm Credit Illinois (FCI) as Best-in-Class for employee engagement.
Avatar Solutions awards a Best-in-Class seal to select organizations whose scores are within the top 10 percent of Avatar’s national normative database, ranking FCI in the top 10 percent of financial services institutions for employee engagement.
This award highlights FCI’s commitment to helping farm families succeed.
“It’s rewarding to see the FCI team consistently display integrity, a commitment to relationships, expertise in their chosen areas, passion for our members and agriculture, and a commitment to one another that goes beyond the workplace setting – like a family,” says Tom Tracy, President & CEO of Farm Credit Illinois. “We are driven by our mission to serve agriculture and rural communities and this rating further demonstrates the level of pride FCI employees have in their careers.” [Read more…]