Spring Edition 2015

by Tom Tracy, President & CEO

Member-Owners at the Heart of FCI's Core Purpose


After much discussion about the vision for our organization and what we want to be and how to best serve our member-owners, we determined the core purpose of Farm Credit Illinois - the "why we do what we do" - is Helping Farm Families Succeed.

This core purpose is close to the hearts of our team members. At FCI, the employees have a passion for agriculture and most have strong ties to the farm. Helping Farm Families Succeed means a lot to us.


Our core values expand on our core purpose. These are the five ideals we commit to and expect of one another: Integrity, Relationships, Expertise, Passion, and Family.

Vision 2025 Kick-Off

Farm Credit Illinois' Vision 2025 was launched February 20, 2015 at an all employee meeting in Effingham. The kick-off video, Building a Bridge - Success to Significance, provides a glimpse at the vision process and everyone's involvement - from staff to directors - in the creation of the new 10-year vision.

Members of the FCI Board of Directors are gathered to commemorate the kickoff of Vision 2025 on the nearly 7-foot tall and 30-foot long wooden bridge designed and constructed by FCI staff. The bridge was temporarily assembled at the Effingham team meeting and will be permanently erected outside the Mahomet central office as a symbolic vision monument later this spring.




Member Feedback 

The Winter ESSENTIALS newsletter included an option for readers to answer the question, "As you prepare for the new year, what is one issue or challenge facing the agriculture industry or your own farm business that concerns you most?" More than 200 responses were received and were classified into the following categories:


Read A Sampling of Comments

The Class of 2015


Farm Credit Illinois hosted 52 young farmers representing 34 farm businesses in St. Louis, February 5 & 6, for two days of learning, sharing, and networking. The third annual Young Farmer Retreat featured 
Dr. David Kohl, Professor Emeritus in Agricultural Economics at Virginia Tech.

Commentary, wisdom, and perspectives from globally renowned agricultural economist, 
Dr. David Kohl.

The new generation of agriculture producers is like a tidal wave, adding new energy and a different realm of thinking to the dynamic agriculture industry.The millennial generation, those 18 to 34 years of age, is eager to take the reins, seeking their legacy in the agriculture industry as producers, agribusiness persons, lenders, and other stakeholders.This winter on the speaking circuit I have solicited advice from both young and old for the up-and-comers. Let's explore some of their nuggets of advice.

Advice for Millennials



Check out a sampling of 87 farmland sales results reported from various farm real estate auctions held in the past 90 days throughout the Farm Credit Illinois service area. Of the real estate auctions reported, farmland with a 1-A land class ranged from a high of $16,200 per acre for 79 acres in Sangamon County on March 12 to a low of $8,650 per acre for 68 acres in Champaign County on January 30. Farmland with a 2-B land class ranged from a high of $14,560 per acre for 66 acres in Montgomery County on February 17 to a low of $5,500 per acre for 67 acres in Christian County sold on February 26. And farmland with a 3-C land class sold as high as $16,061 for 115 acres in Wabash County to as low as $3,500 for 62 acres in Bond County on March 12.



View all 87 Land Sales


Farm Credit Illinois maintains a
list of upcoming farmland auctions submitted within the Association's 60-county marketplace. The listing is updated weekly at www.farmcreditIL.com.

If you have an auction to include, please submit a form at farmcreditIL.com/auctioninfo



by Glen Semple, Vice President, Commercial Lending


More "Welcome Back to Normal" Signs

We appear to be in the initial stages of the normalization of interest rates.The Federal Reserve Bank (The Fed) has terminated its quantitative easing programs where it was buying U.S. Treasury bills and notes along with mortgage backed securities in an attempt to drive down interest rates and stimulate the economy. The Fed began taking extraordinary monetary policy actions beginning in 2008 with the Fed Funds Overnight Lending Rate (Fed Funds Rate) dropping to near zero with numerous subsequent programs implemented to stabilize the banking system, all in an attempt to get the economy growing again. The success of these programs and their cost will be debated for years and decades to come. However, The Fed has terminated all of the extraordinary programs (except for the near zero Fed Funds Rate) with the third version of quantitative easing ending in October 2014.

Read INTERESTing Times to learn more

John Werries, Morgan County & Don Schrader, Monroe County
Meet two Farm Credit Illinois stockholders recognized as 2015 Prairie Farmer Master Farmers.


John & Ruth Werries
John Werries represents the fourth generation of Werries to farm in Morgan County where his family first put down roots in the late 1800s and his father Leland began farming in 1936. John began planting cover crops for the first time on all 3,800 acres in 2012 because of his strong belief that it would reduce erosion and build soil health. 








Don & Karen Schrader
Don Schrader, and his wife Karen, raise 1,555 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat, raise a few beef cattle, sheep and chickens; and are leaseholders on several hog buildings in Monroe County. The Schrader farm turned 150 years old in 2014 and Don represents the fifth generation to farm the ground. He and Karen show a strong commitment to community and agriculture by hosting various groups on their farm. Their favorite farm visit came in 2013 when they hosted five-year old Joe-Joe as part of the Make-a-Wish Foundation. 



 Read a Q&A with John Werries & Don Schrader

 Lending Support for Healthy Rural Communities


FCI awarded $250 grants to 49 4-H clubs and FFA chapters implementing projects in their communities to make them better places to live.


 View the 2015 Recipients


Meet the newest members of the staff team who joined Farm Credit since January 1, 2015.

Jacob Fishbein was hired as an Assistant Vice President and loan officer in the Red Bud Regional Office effective February 17. With five years agriculture experience in the seed business, Jacob most recently worked as a regional seed manager for Syngenta based in Highland. A native of Freeburg, Jacob graduated from Freeburg High School prior to earning a bachelor's degree in agribusiness economics from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Jacob resides in Belleville; he and fiancÚ, Sara Randle, are planning a September wedding.

Megan Hunt joined FCI as a Credit Assistant in the Credit Services Division in Mahomet on February 20. Megan has three years of industry experience with Bunge North America, most recently working as a grain merchandiser in St. Louis.  Megan is a Monticello native and graduate of Monticello High School. She earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a double major in communications and political science. Megan and her husband Jon reside in Monticello with their two children, Isabel and Joseph. 

A special salute to these employees who reached significant milestones in their years of service to Farm Credit since January 1, 2015:

A 40-Year FCI Veteran Whose Farming Roots Created in Her a Strong Work Ethic

JoAnn Vosse, 
Regional Manager, Red Bud Office   

JoAnn Vosse recently celebrated her 40-year anniversary at Farm Credit Illinois. She began her career with the Federal Land Bank of St. Louis in 1974 as a file clerk. In 1978, she was given the opportunity to transfer to Federal Land Bank Association of Belleville working for Cletus Rau and then Kent Saxe. Her strong work ethic, association loyalty, and intense devotion to agriculture and farm families over the years has led to her becoming vice president and branch manager of the former Belleville office and today the regional manager of the Red Bud Regional Office.


JoAnn and her husband of 38 years, Milton, have 2 children - Nathan and Katie. Nathan, a pipefitter, and his wife Abby have a 20 month old daughter, Lillian, who is the joy of JoAnn's life. Katie is a registered nurse and is engaged to be married in September 2016.


Drawing to be held Friday, April 10  

Here's a chance to win an "essential" to keep handy during the Illinois storm season. The WR-333 is a Digital AM/FM NOAA Weather Alert Radio, a powerful 3 LED flashlight, and six way charger - including a hand crank and solar panel charger. You can fully charge the WR-333 through the USB/AC/DC adaptors and then charge cell phones, mp3 and mp4 players, and USB devices. (Retail Value $90)


Congratulations to the winners of a Stanley 1000 Peak Amp Jump Starter who were drawn from entries in the winter edition of "ESSENTIALS":  


  • Mark Bergbower of Newton in Jasper County
  • Joe Bernard of Dahlgren in Hamilton County
  • Greg Bryant of Norris City in White County
  • Nancy Colantino of Springfield in Sangamon County
  • Charles Doty of Mt.  Zion in Macon County
  • Jim Lewis of Marshall in Clark County
Thank you for reading Farm Credit Illinois"essentials". We welcome your candid feedback and suggestions for future editions. Email your reactions and ideas to info@farmcreditIL.com.