Statement of Candidacy
Why do you want to serve on the Wheatsfield Board of Directors?
I grew up on a farm in north central Iowa, and have spent my entire career in the field of agriculture. Very early in my life I realized that our family was not raising corn, soybeans, oats, hogs, cattle, and lamb; but rather we were in food production. I understand and appreciate the difference between the commodity products sold in many food stores, as compared to the fresh, locally grown products like those sold in Wheatsfield. I personally continue to raise fruit, berries, and vegetables on a small scale for family use. This is not to suggest that there is not a place for food products raised in different systems or business models. In fact, I believe with the current world population, and projected increase, it will be necessary to leverage all methods of food production; and explore new ideas for efficiency.
Finally, I for the last 35 years I have work for Farm Credit Services of America, which is a financial/lending cooperative owned by the customer that do business with us. I understand the cooperative structure, and appreciate the advantages of being a member of a coop.
Please describe any skills or experience (such as financial literacy, legal, strategic planning, communications, etc.) that you would bring to the Wheatsfield Board of Directors.
I have been in a leadership role with Farm Credit Services of America for over 10 years, and prior to that was a Financial Officer for 20 years. In the Leader role, I am actively involved in strategic planning for our company, specifically the Northeast Iowa Region that I lead. This role requires a high level of communication with the 60+ team members in our Region (Mason City, Cedar Falls, and Decorah), and the entire 1700 people in our company. With support from our Human Resource Team, I am actively involved in performance evaluations and the selection of Team members. My past role as a Financial Officer and current role as a Regional Vice President requires that I have a high level of financial acumen/literacy; and I consider this an area of strength. While not an attorney, I do have a strong working knowledge of many legal aspects, especially in the areas of commercial and real estate lending.
What are your hopes for the future of Wheatsfield and its role in the community?
My main goal for Wheatsfield is that it remain a viable and growing cooperative. The expansion created some logistical and financial challenges, and to be clear I believe it was a necessary step in meeting the viability and growth objectives. I believe the expansion helped facilitate quality growth, which includes growing the number of owner/members we have, as well as increasing gross sales. Continuing to increase the variety of fresh wholesome fruit, vegetables, meat, and fish can be an integral part in the goal of increasing both member numbers and gross sales.
Please share anything about yourself including hobbies, passions, family members, etc.
I grew up on a farm and graduated from Iowa State University with an Agriculture Education degree. I was a Vocational Agriculture Instructor for 10 years prior to joining the Farm Credit System. My wife Jean is a retired Physician’s Assistant. We have two adult children (April in Edina, Mn & Zach in Ankeny) and three grandchildren. Besides spending time with the grandkids, my passions are gardening, golfing, and following the Cyclones