Governance Elections

Customer elections are held annually for members of our Board of Directors and Nominating Committee. Explore 2020 races.

2020 ELECTION OVERVIEW

Directors are elected annually on a staggered basis. Nominating Committee members are elected to a one-year term annually. Directors elected in this election will begin their terms on April 1, 2020.

Eligible voters as of December 31, 2019, will be mailed ballots on February 28, 2020, and may vote online or by mail.

Ballot submission deadline:

  • March 18, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. Central Time

Ballots must be received by this date and time to be counted.

Race 1: 4-Year Term


allen batschelet

Allen Batschelet

Residence and business located in Milford, IA

Birth Year: 1960

Business Experience: AWB Enterprises, a diversified operation, row crop farming operation including corn and soybeans and drone operations as Green Aero Tech, USA. We use drones and associated technology for precision operations, crop scouting, water management, drainage, inventory management and critical mineral exploration. As CEO and president of Horizon Strategies, LLC, I provide strategic planning and executive leader development consulting services to a broad spectrum of small to large companies and governmental operations.

Association Business Relationships with Family Members: Terri Batschelet, my spouse, Adam Batschelet, my son and AWB Enterprises, LLC, my son’s entity

Education: Bachelor of Science degree in History and Political Science from Iowa State University (ISU), Master of Arts degree in Leadership and Strategy from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Master of Arts degree in National Security, Leadership and Policy from the U.S. Army War College and Purchasing, Acquisitions and Contract Management Certification from the Army Force Management School

Current Boards: CEO and president of the First Responder Foundation, chair of the Board of Advisors for the ISU Dean’s Advisory Council, special advisor to the Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, member of the Editorial Board of Simons Center for Interagency Cooperation and member of the Community Board for CHI Immanuel Hospital


Strategic Planning/Direction: While serving in the Army, I focused on developing and implementing strategic plans to address complex national security problems. I developed and executed strategies to address security issues across the globe, including challenges posed by Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. I use the skills I developed in the Army on my farm to seek near-term and long-range opportunities while mitigating risk using varied marketing strategies, new technologies, modern soil management techniques as well as appropriate insurance products and on-farm grain storage.

Corporate Governance: I have extensive experience serving on boards, including my current role as CEO and president of the First Responder Foundation and as chair of the advisory board at ISU. I have led a several organizations, including the U.S. European Command to U.S. Army’s Recruiting Command and as the Chief of Staff of U.S. Strategic Command. I also serve in my community in local organization leadership positions.

Financial Reporting: In my several roles as a general officer, I was responsible and accountable for oversight of management, process, and behavioral aspects of strategy execution. I was responsible for developing and executing strategies including planning and forecasting, funding and resource allocation, revenue and cost management, managing performance against objectives, and improving operational management and utilization of assets. I understand that effective performance and financial management requires engaging people to determine their information needs; implementing processes and systems to collect the right data; turning the data into information and insights; and presenting it in ways that produce timely, sound decisions.

Business Technology: We use a variety of business technologies, including computerized recordkeeping, grid soil sampling, multi-spectral imagery from drones, and ground penetrating radar. We rely on application of variable rates for fertilizer. I am establishing a database comprised of extensive soil sampling, plant population/stands, yield and multi-spectral imagery with a view to the long-term analysis of data to improve my operation’s profitability and land stewardship.

Risk Management: I view risk management as a central, critical and continuous component of operations. We use on-farm grain storage, varied marketing strategies, and appropriate insurance products. I manage input costs and cash flow closely and consider production methods, such as the use of cover crops and no-till operations, as key components to our risk management program.

Talent Management: During my career in the Army, I was responsible for the selection, management, and personal and professional training and education of a substantial number of personnel. I was responsible for the performance, evaluation, mentoring and selection of the Army’s future leaders. As the leader of the Army’s talent acquisition program, I was responsible for meeting the annual workforce acquisition requirements.

Jon Van Beek

Jon Van Beek

Residence and business located in Primghar, IA

Birth Year: 1965

Business Experience: Family farming operation that raises corn and Pioneer seed beans. My wife, Sharon and I are business partners with Dan and Janice Van Beek, my brother and sister-in-law. We also contract pigs for Wakefield Pork and Lynch livestock.

Association Business Relationships with Family Members: Sharon Van Beek, my wife, Dan Van Beek, my brother, Janice Van Beek, my sister-in-law and the Jon A Van Beek Revocable Trust

Education: Attended Northwestern College, majoring in business with an agriculture emphasis and Farm Credit System Premier Governance Series (PGS) Certified Director

Current Boards: Farm Credit Services of America (Association) Board of Directors and Elder at Zion Lutheran Church


Strategic Planning/Direction: As a farmer, I evaluate commodity prices, interest rates and current events to plan for our crop and livestock enterprises each year. Strategic planning is necessary to keep the farm and Association focused for the future. I have participated in the Association’s annual planning sessions which position the business for the future.

Corporate Governance: The Association is controlled by processes, regulations and mechanisms. In PGS training I learned the process of monitoring the actions of the corporation and enforcing the accountability of those actions. Directors are part of the team-based culture that has set financial goals which uses a variety of plans to achieve the goals.

Financial Reporting: The integrity and accuracy in financial reporting is critical in monitoring the performance of our organization and in maintaining the trust of the Association’s customer-stockholders. I have completed the Association’s media, political, and audit training and I am a current member of the Board’s Audit Committee.

Business Technology: The iPad is currently used to receive our Board materials and all financial information before each board meeting. Internet, email, and texting are services that I utilize daily to connect to online banking, weather reports, agriculture news, as well as markets. Technology is also extremely valuable in our farming operation. We use GPS, yield mapping, grid sampling, variable rate planting, and variable rate fertilizer.

Risk Management: I am a previous member of the Association Business Risk Committee. In college courses, I learned about balance sheet management, business risk, and legal issues in agriculture. The Association Board has implemented a risk management system that leverages technology to make the Association a stronger organization.

Talent Management: In PGS human capital training, it was reinforced that as directors, we must create a rewarding culture that provides opportunities for executive leadership and employees to improve and develop their skills. In providing this culture, we are able to recruit and retain the highest quality executive leadership and employees.

Race 2: 4-Year Term


Rodger Dean

Rodger Dean

Residence located in Roca, NE and business located in Lincoln, NE

Birth Year: 1954

Business Experience: I currently own farmland and cattle and assist my son and brother as needed with grain marketing, field work, calving, land acquisition analysis, etc. Most of my working career was in Ag/Commercial banking and farm management that included high level management positions. Currently, I am the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Capital City Electric, Inc. (CCE).

Association Business Relationships with Family Members: Connie Dean, my spouse, Jeff Dean, my son and Steve Dean, my brother

Education: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, Nebraska Real Estate Broker and Nebraska General Certified Appraiser

Current Boards: Represent CCE at the Lincoln Chamber/Economic Development board of directors, investors and steering committee meetings


Strategic Planning/Direction: My previous banking career had a strong focus on strategic planning. As part of the senior management team, I was involved with the overall direction, implementation and review of the strategic planning process for two large banks. I also served on specific strategic planning committees for the respective bank board of directors. Within that time, I also developed a clear strategic direction for the bank’s insurance enterprise that had an emphasis on crop and hail insurance. In my present position as COO, I have been instrumental in creating a plan for expansion in multiple areas (e.g. leadership, manpower, services, territory, etc.).

Corporate Governance: As a director on a board for several banks, holding companies, and numerous executive officer positions, I have governed with an emphasis on integrity and ethical dealings. The value of internal controls, risk oversight, and compliance was evident as we made critical decisions for our shareholders and employees. Furthermore, my ability to recognize problems before they would manifest allowed us to take the appropriate steps to correct them. Within that, we developed a basic framework for sound long-term success that included profitability and growth while protecting our stakeholder’s value and continuing to be transparent and fair.

Financial Reporting: My background with agriculture and commercial lending has familiarized me with various levels of financial reporting (i.e., audited and reviewed statements, CPA prepared, self-prepared, etc.). With the lending oversight of multiple lenders and locations, I was provided the opportunity to review all levels of balance sheets, including statements of cash flows, stockholder’s equity, etc. Beyond that, financial profitability is critical to allow for the effective and efficient operation of the organization, while establishing a workplace environment that provides a strong organizational culture that also understands the importance of financial stewardship, reputation and relationships.

Business Technology: I have been fortunate to have spent my career growing with business technology as we have expanded our capabilities and the speed thereof for communication, reporting, and maintenance of files. I have also worked with various information technology processes to improve the efficiency of bank clients and more recently our company’s use of technology in every facet of our business. This includes cyber policy development, all communication, financial accounting/reporting, etc.

Risk Management: I have been instrumental in board and executive management decision making to manage risk levels while providing guidance for the appropriate business direction for both board and management. My experience from the 1980’s ag crisis and the 2008 financial crisis have provided me a solid perspective related to risk taking and risk management. There is always risk with business, but the overall success will ultimately be measured by the level and timing of taking such risk with the needed balance to add stakeholder value. In my experience, it is critical for directors to be accountable for the company’s decisions and performance, to have the ability to see the entire picture and to understand when and how to move the company forward without endangering the health of the organization.

Talent Management: Throughout my career I have played a key role in the employee interview process as I hired and attracted many key personnel. Once hired, I was then involved in the management of and the personal and corporate growth of these individuals which was critical to the organization’s success. In my banking career, I hired all levels of employees, but was particularly successful in hiring a very talented group of branch presidents, lenders, etc. Today, I continue the hiring of staff at all levels in a construction environment. The evaluation of the economic value and skill sets that these individuals bring to the company has allowed us to move forward at a very fast pace. I have also established key accountabilities, training, and education to help these employees succeed.

jennifer zessin

Jennifer Zessin

Residence and business located in Madison, NE

Birth Year: 1969

Business Experience: Grain farm operation raising corn, soybeans, and alfalfa. Past business experience in banking, human resources, and internal auditing

Association Business Relationships with Family Members: Rodney Zessin, spouse, Andy Zessin, son Zessin Farms, LLC and 3Z Ag Equipment, LLC, our family farming operations

Education: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Bachelor of Science in Business Administration-Finance and Farm Credit Services Premier Governance Series (PGS) Certified Director

Current Boards: Farm Credit Services of America (Association) Board Chair, Farm Credit Council, AgriBank District Farm Credit Council, FCC Services and Trinity Lutheran Church Council


Strategic Planning/Direction: Strategic planning on the farm involves evaluating opportunities to increase efficiencies and productivity for the long-term success of your operation. We have done this by enhancing grain handling facilities, incorporating new technologies, evaluating and upgrading equipment, and utilizing various marketing strategies. We review and evaluate these practices as part of our planning process every year. As a Board member, I am actively involved in the annual planning process for the Association’s strategic business plan.

Corporate Governance: I am currently serving as Board Chair, and I also serve on several other Farm Credit System Boards. I have held various leadership roles within our Board and enjoy the learning and growth I have experienced through these roles. I have completed the PGS Certification for Directors which includes extensive leadership training. I have held many leadership roles in my community including president of the Parent Teacher League, secretary of the Church Council, and 4-H leader. I am currently serving as the treasurer of Trinity Lutheran Church and School.

Financial Reporting: I have a Business Administration degree with an emphasis in finance. I have prepared various financial reports while working as the internal auditor for a financial institution. I currently prepare the financial information for our farm operation as well as for the board I serve on as treasurer. In my previous role as the Association Audit Committee Chair, I assisted in reviewing and certifying the quarterly financial statements and the annual report for the Association.

Business Technology: Technology has always been an important part of our farming operation but has become even more so in the last several years. We have advanced our operation to include cloud-based data management which allows us to continually have up-to-date information and make real time decisions. We also utilize remote soil moisture and pivot monitoring along with having variable rate capabilities on all the products that we apply. New technologies come along every day, but the key is deciding what fits in your operation and what you can utilize to maximize your efficiency.

Risk Management: Risk management is vital to the success of your operation. We employ different strategies on the farm to manage our risk and we are continually monitoring and evaluating these strategies. This includes a diverse marketing plan, appropriate insurance products, and on-farm storage for grain, fertilizer, and seed. As an Association Director, I am involved in our enterprise risk management program and participate in our annual risk assessment.

Talent Management: I previously worked at a financial institution as their personnel officer. I interviewed, hired and managed entry level employees and oversaw payroll and other human resource functions. In our farming operation, I oversee the compensation and scheduling of our employees. I have gained additional human resource experience at the Association as a member of our Human Capital Committee. I was also the Chair of the Search Committee when we hired our new CEO in 2017 and have a close working relationship with him in my role as Board Chair.

Race 3: 4-Year Term


peter paul hegg

Peter Paul Hegg

Residence and business located in Sioux Falls, SD

Birth Year: 1939

Business Experience: My wife and I operate a medium-sized farm raising corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. In addition, we cash rent pasture for yearlings and manage a pheasant hunting outfit.

Association Business Relationships with Family Members: Marilyn Hegg, my wife

Education: St. Olaf College Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, CCIM Certification in Commercial and Investment Real Estate and Faculty Member teaching classes in investment analysis and human behavior for the National Association of Realtors Commercial Division

Current Boards: President of Dakota Land and Cattle Co., President of Venture Ranch, Inc. and Chairman of the Board for Hegg Companies, Inc.


Strategic Planning/Direction: I was a board member on the Federal Reserve Bank. Our position as board members was to advise and suggest directions and annual planning.

Corporate Governance: I was a board member for Augustana University and served on various committees and reported to the president. In addition, I was the president and board member for Credit Services, Inc. The company provides credit rating services to businesses in the Sioux Falls area. Every board member had committee responsibilities to the board.

Financial Reporting: Our operations work with a detailed budget and accounting provides a quarterly report. We have periodic operational meetings with staff and management to see if goals are being met.

Business Technology: I utilize technology for my business needs, such as daily business communications and financial analysis through the use of the computer, HP12C calculator, smartphone and emails.

Risk Management: I work closely with financial and tax accountants. They help us to maintain an adequate cash surplus if needed. We have a formal asset management meeting quarterly with a committee to review operations and determine whether changes are needed to improve our financial position.

Talent Management: As a business owner, I used an extensive interview process before hiring or replacing employees. In addition, there was a semi-annual review with employees to assess their position as to their goals and objectives.

cris miller

Cris Miller

Residence and business located in Spearfish, SD

Birth Year: 1956

Business Experience: After my wife and I were married, we started ranching with a cow-calf commercial herd and we have now increased our business to include our son and his wife into Miller’s Crow Creek Ranch L.L.C. Our crops are raised for feed for our livestock. We also background and finish cattle.

Association Business Relationships with Family Members: Dianne Miller, my wife, Casey Miller, my son, Laura Miller, my daughter-in-law and Miller’s Crow Creek Ranch, L.L.C., a family operation

Education: Northwest Vo-Tech Ag Technology degree, National Rural Electric Director Certification and Farm Credit System Premier Governance Series (PGS) Program Certified Director

Current Boards: Farm Credit Services of America (Association) Board of Directors, Butte Electric Cooperative, AgriBank Farm Credit Council and Lawrence County Ag Committee


Strategic Planning/Direction: Strategic planning is a priority for the Association and our ranch business. I was trained in strategic planning as part of the PGS Program. Annually I am involved with the Association and Butte Electric Cooperative short- and long-term planning process. In our ranching business we use futures and hedging livestock, plus estate planning. I have also served on many local and state committees for strategic planning.

Corporate Governance: I presently serve on the Governance Committee for the Association. Through my long tenure on the Butte Electric Cooperative Board, I have dealt with governance issues pertaining to directors, staff and members. Also, being an original member of the Spearfish Fire Protection District, we established all governance procedures pertaining to our new entity.

Financial Reporting: I have served on the Audit Committee on behalf of the Association and attended National Director conferences focusing on financial reporting for Audit Committee. In my tenure with the Butte Electric Cooperative Board of Directors, I have reviewed monthly, annual and long-term financial plans. I have also received the National Rural Electric Association Director Certification. I serve on our county Ag Committee working with zoning ordinances plus I am a member of Spearfish Livestock Association.

Business Technology: We use the Association’s online services, use online financial and tax reporting, buy and sell livestock, feed, and equipment through online sales and our conservation practices use technology for testing, monitoring and recording documentation. The Association and Butte Electric Cooperative Boards of Directors receive minutes, reports and training online. I receive updated technology training on an annual basis.

Risk Management: I served on the Risk Committee for the Association. In our ranching business we deal with risk every day. We have incorporated futures contracts, forward contracting, and crop and hail insurance into our operation. I have marketed our livestock throughout my career to add to my experience.

Talent Management: Through my tenure on the Association Human Capital Committee, I truly learned the advantage of people serving in the role that suits them the best. Also, in my leadership role with Butte Electric Cooperative, I learned how positive it is for a cooperative to have qualified people in these roles.

Race 1


Jeff Burkley

Geneva, IA

My agricultural business operations currently include row crop corn and soybean production, contract market hog feeding, and a seed and chemical dealership. I have an Associate of Science degree from North Iowa Area Community College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy from Iowa State University in addition to participating in leadership and personnel management training courses. I am a certified crop advisor. I currently serve on the Franklin County Historical Society Board, the Franklin County Pheasants Forever Board and the Association’s Nominating Committee.

I view serving on the Nominating Committee as an opportunity to learn more about the organization, give back to the agriculture industry, and develop new skills and relationships which can help me grow as a person and improve my agricultural business knowledge.

Gary Mersch

Clare, IA

I have run a farming operation of corn and soybeans for the majority of my life. I also do custom farm work.

I would like to have serve on the Nominating Committee to have the opportunity to be more involved with the Association.

Race 2


Kaleb Applegate

Marshalltown, IA

My wife and I operate a corn and soybean row crop operation with my parents, and we independently raise hogs. We do some custom farming with the bulk of those acres being late season nitrogen application. I attended Iowa State University majoring in agricultural studies with an emphasis in ag business and a minor in agronomy. I have a Pork Quality Assurance Plus, Transport Quality Assurance and Private Pesticide Applicator certifications. My wife and I also operate a small kennel raising golden retriever puppies and are also proud to be a Golden Retriever Club of America and American Kennel Club registered kennel. I currently serve on the Mid-Iowa Cooperative Association Board, Farm Bureau Response Team, BCI Marshalltown Church Plant Vision Team, and I lead a weekly connection group through my church.

After using the Association as our primary lender for many years, we have seen the strength of the company and how the Association really does make supporting its customers its number one priority. I feel my diverse background in row crops, livestock and kennel operation gives me the experience and knowledge to advocate for the many different operations served by the organization. My primary goal is to better the Association, and advocate for continuing to serve agriculture well.

Brock Hansen

Baxter, IA

My wife, Robin, and I have a row crop operation, a small cow-calf herd and work with my parents in their operation as well. We also have a small agricultural equipment repair business and a small trucking company. When we are not busy with our operations and our four children, my wife and I volunteer for the Fire and Rescue department. I currently serve on the Association’s Nominating Committee.

After serving on the Nominating Committee, I felt the time requirements fit my busy schedule well and allowed me to gather knowledge from the Association team and other committee members.

Race 3


Mason J. Goodenow

Ida Grove, IA

I manage several family entities: Maple View Farms LTD, a sub S corporation established to operate the farms and to be an effective vehicle for generational transfer; BP Goodenow, L.L.C. holds title to the family ground and MGM Pork L.L.C. owns and operates a confinement unit. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Agribusiness from Morningside College. I have also participated in director training with the Iowa Institute for Cooperatives. I currently serve on the Board of Directors for First Coop Association in Cherokee, Iowa and as a Moderator for the Budget and Finance Presbytery of Prospect Hill in Northwest Iowa.

I want to serve on the Nominating Committee because I believe strongly in the cooperative system. I also believe the Association has the best business plan in the agribusiness system. I worked in a commercial bank for many years and know the difference. I would like to contribute in my small way to support the Association.

Jason Madden

Armstrong, IA

I have a farming operation with corn and soybean rotation, and feed cattle in my feedlot at home and in custom yards. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Ag Economics from South Dakota State University, and I am a graduate of the Iowa State Ag School of Banking. I currently serve on the Association’s Nominating Committee.

I want to be on the Nominating Committee to serve the patrons of the Association so that the Association is able to remain a leader in the farm financial services market.

Race 4


Steve Renze

Manning, IA

I farm with my dad and my brothers. We have a crop farm with corn and soybeans and raise cattle and hogs. I graduated from Manning High School. I do not currently serve on any boards.

I believe serving on the Nominating Committee would be an interesting experience.

Noah Taylor

Bouton, IA

I am a full-time farmer on a family farm. We focus on row crops, hay and small grains. We also have a cow-calf operation, a farrow-to-finish a feedlot and provide custom application. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy from Northwest Missouri State University. I currently serve on the Dallas County Youth Committee, Dallas County Cattlemen’s Board and the Iowa Young Cattlemen’s Leadership Program.

I want to help candidates that continue on the Association’s path of providing balanced lending to young or beginning farmers.

Race 5


Steve Dolch

Villisca, IA

I co-own and operate a row crop, cow-calf herd and small feedlot with my brother, Vince. We grow corn, soybeans and hay. We use records to make day-to-day decisions. Our cattle are sold on the grid with carcass data received in order to trail which cows are financially viable to our operation. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science with a production option from Colorado State University. I do not currently serve on any boards.

After farming and ranching most of my life, I felt that I had experiences that might benefit the Association. Much of my learning has come by the trial and error method. Agriculture is changing, and we truly need to be on the cutting edge of how to make a profit. I want to help drive this organization into the next frontier.

Randy Rouse

Allerton, IA

My business consists of production agriculture, soybeans and corn. I am a retired Pioneer seed salesman. I had farrow-to-finish hogs, have been in the cow-calf industry, weaned calves, background cattle and sold two-way calves. I attended Iowa Lakes Community College and received training in tractor mechanics. I have also taken continuing board education classes in the electric energy field. I am currently a board vice president of Clarke County Rural Electric and serve on the Central Iowa Power Cooperative board, a generation and transmission cooperative.

I feel board members for cooperatives fill a very important position and the responsibility should not be taken lightly.

Race 6


Marisa Betson

Crawford, NE

My husband and I run a cow-calf operation on his family’s homestead ranch. We run cows using rotational grazing and crop ground planted with grazing mixes and crop residue. We also operate a cabin on our property. I have an Associate degree in Business Administration from Lincoln School of Commerce. In my spare time, I am a substitute teacher in our local school district for preschool to senior high students. I am also the program coordinator for the TeamMates Mentoring Program in Crawford.

I would like to serve on the Nominating Committee to give back to a great organization, to learn from others in the industry and to gain a better knowledge in many aspects.

Rodney Lamb

Anselmo, NE

I have a diversified family operation where we have a feedlot and background and finish our own cattle. We run yearling steers on summer pasture. I am most active in pasture, feedlot and cattle management. We have irrigated farm ground consisting of corn and soybeans. My brother, Jason, handles the majority of the farming and machinery management, although I am present and aware of the big decisions. Our father, David, is still very active in management of all sectors as well. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Diversified Agriculture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I am currently the president of the Custer County Extension Board. And, I am a supervisor for the Custer County 4-H Carcass Contest.

I would like to serve on the Nominating Committee to become more familiar with the overall concept of the Association and how things actually work. I would like to see things from a different perspective than just the typical lender/borrower experiences. My neighbor recommended me and thought I would enjoy it, and I thought I would too.

Russell Mills

Morrill, NE

I farm irrigated alfalfa. I have an Associate degree Ag Technology and a Bachelor of Science degree in Ag Business from Utah State University. I am involved in teaching technicians to go out into a new position. I do not currently serve on any boards.

I would like to be involved in helping the Association remain a well-managed operation. I have been well satisfied with the services I have been receiving since I moved to Nebraska.

Race 8


Eric Cloet

Sutton, NE

I have a no till corn and soybean operation with my father and brothers. I graduated from Sutton High School, and I have a welding certification from Central Community College in Hastings. I do not currently serve on any boards.

I would like to serve on the Nominating Committee in order to get a start on something new.

Jeremy Heitmann

Chester, NE

We are primarily a row crop operation, raise wheat and alfalfa, provide custom framing, and background feeder cattle. I am in business with my two brothers, and we own Heitmann Farms, Inc. and Heitmann Brothers, L.L.C. We also own and operate Heitmann Agronomy, a full-service agronomy business. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Diversified Agriculture with minors in Mechanized Systems, Agronomy and Agriculture Economics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I currently serve as chairman on the Byron Community Foundation Board and the Byron Lions Club.

I want to serve on the Nominating Committee because I believe in agriculture and the role this cooperative plays. As a former Association director and chairman of the Board, I have unique insights regarding what qualities make a good director. Serving on the Nominating Committee would provide the opportunity to share those insights and continue to focus on our farming businesses and family.

Lisa Schole

Hooper, NE

I currently work full time as an animal nutritionist for a premix company. We primarily provide vitamin and mineral premix for pet food and equine. My husband and I also farm in northeast Nebraska. We grow corn, soybeans and a small amount of wheat. We also raise pigs for a natural group called Heritage Farms. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science and Master of Science degree in Ruminant Nutrition from University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I am currently the president of the Dodge County Agricultural Society, a board member of the Dodge County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, a board member of the Dodge County Fair Foundation and a Nebraska hunter safety educator.

Serving on the Nominating Committee would be a great way to be more involved in agriculture in my community and beyond. I also believe it would be a great way to connect with others who are involved in agriculture around the Midwest. I like to play an active role in my community, and this would be another way to broaden my experience.

Race 9


Rick Fox

Hermosa, SD

My wife, Theresa, and I own and operate a cow-calf ranch. Our son and daughter-in-law have their own ranch close by, and we work closely together. We have a small amount of farm ground with center pivot irrigation. We sell steer calves in the fall and grass type heifers in June. We have custom fed replacement type heifer calves. I graduated from Newell High School. I am currently a member of the marketing and nominating committee of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association.

I believe that having the appropriate risk management tools like insurance and programs that support young and beginning producers is important. In addition, I can add a cattle rancher’s perspective to the Nominating Committee.

Daniel Oedekoven

Sturgis, SD

We have a small cow-calf operation and a few horses. We have a very small headquarters where we calf in the spring. The rest of the year, we run on rented pasture and aftermath grazing. We put up about half the hay we need on a share basis and purchase the rest. In addition, I have a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wyoming in Farm and Ranch Management and a Master of Education degree from South Dakota State University. I served as an Instructor Navigator for the United States Air Force, have a private pilot license, and I am a Personal Strengths Certified Facilitator. I also provide leadership and communication training for organizations including the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, the South Dakota Agricultural and Rural Leadership program, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln LEAD program. I also serve as an elder for the Church of Christ.

One of the primary reasons I was able to go to college was due to an Association scholarship. I would like to give back something for that. From my experience, I believe that a primary funding agency, such as the Association, must be guided by successful grassroots producers to provide one of our major business resources.

Race 10


Jason Frerichs

Wilmot, SD

I have a diversified farm. We have a beef cow-calf operation and a grain farming operation raising corn, soybeans and wheat. I was an Agricultural Production Education Instructor at Lake Area Technical Institute. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education with a minor in Speech and Animal Science from South Dakota State University. I have a South Dakota Teaching Certificate, and I am a New Century Farm program participant. I am a member of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, chair of the Agriculture and Taxation Committee, Roberts County Cooperative Education Youth director, a member of the Agriculture Land Productivity Oversight Committee and recently was a Senator and Representative in the South Dakota Legislature.

I want to serve on the Nominating Committee because the organization has worked hard to maintain a sound financial cooperative. My perspective is unique since I am a balanced producer with young and beginning along with a history of farming on my own. I strive to keep in touch with new along with seasoned agriculture producers and their needs. Learning happens every day and this opportunity is a nice fit with my career.

Mark Mueller

Big Stone City, SD

I currently farm with my wife and father raising corn, soybeans, and wheat. We use precision and variable rate technology for seed and fertilizer. We also have a U-Pick pumpkin patch that brings people to our farm in the fall. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy from South Dakota State University. I currently serve as the Grant County Farm Service Agency County Committee Chairman and the as the Clerk for Alban Township in Grant County.

I would like to be more active in the organization and to be more involved with the decisions made by the cooperative. I also feel serving on the Nominating Committee would help further my knowledge of the lending aspect of agriculture.

Race 11


Raymond C. Olson

Garretson, SD

I was raised on a grain and livestock farm. It was a diversified farm including stock and milking cows, hogs, registered Durocs, feedlot cattle, larger numbers of laying hens and crops of alfalfa, oats, barley, flax, and corn. After finishing college, I taught high school, public school administration and was a college dean. During many years of that time, I purchased a small farm through the Association in western Iowa producing corn, beans and hay as well as stock cows. My wife and I purchased two farms in South Dakota. We managed these farms as well as raised stock cows and harvested hay for feed and markets. Since retiring we sold our cows. We have two sets of farm buildings to manage with large storage. And, we are continually doing improvement to buildings, fences and tiling. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Math and Physics from the University of Sioux Falls. I have a Master’s degree in Math, Physics and Earth Science from the University of South Dakota. I was the principal and superintendent of endorsements and a college director for South Dakota State University, attended the Education of Deaf in Augustana University and Gallaudet University and participated in educational modules for training for the Drake University College Evaluation at the University of Northern Iowa. I do not currently serve on any boards.

I want to serve on the Nominating Committee because I believe that my vast experience hiring individuals at the college level has prepared me for locating and selecting quality people to make decisions at the regional and national level of importance. Also, I have firsthand farming experience and from a lifetime of business with the Association, as well as seeing the transition with the Association for loans, dividends, and improved servicing.

Wyatt Walter

Howard, SD

I grew up on our family farm now known as Walter Farms, Inc. where I serve as vice president. I am involved in all day-to-day decisions involving marketing, inputs, and the financials. We have a cow-calf operation and background our calves. Our crops include corn, soybeans and alfalfa in rotation. I am the owner-operator of Rock Creek Ag which is a LG Seeds - Producers Hybrids dealership. I have an Associate degree in General Agriculture from South Dakota State University. I currently serve on the Nominating Committee for the Association.

I want to serve on the Nominating Committee because I would like to be more involved in the business side of the Association. I have always been interested in the future of agriculture, and I believe that the Association will play an important role in shaping the future of ag lending.

Race 12


Sharleen Castle

Bosler, WY

My husband and I have a centennial commercial cow-calf operation. We put up native hay for our cows, plus we bring in pasture cattle in the summer. I am retired from First Interstate Bank in Laramie, where I had many positions including ag lending officer. I began working at our hospital as the Volunteer Coordinator and Gift Shop Manager. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. I am currently treasurer for the Albany County Fairgrounds Foundation, a member of the Albany County Farm Bureau Board, a founder and chair for the “Today’s Ag” dinner and a chair of the Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame.

I want to serve on the Nominating Committee because it will be a great opportunity to get to know ag people from other states and learn from them. Although all of our challenges are unique in agriculture, we share a passion for farming and ranching and the desire to make a difference for future generations. I appreciate the great experiences I have had through my volunteer work and throughout my banking and ranching careers. My background involving both sides of agriculture lending will make this experience very interesting for me, and I feel will be a benefit for those utilizing the services of the Association.

Randal Hruska

Fairview, WY

We have registered female cattle and operate as a Salers Seed Stock producer. We have raised registered Berkshire hogs, Boer goats, and Royal White sheep. We are trying to acquire and raise Guernsey A2/A2 dairy cows. That will be our sole agricultural/business occupation. We plan on selling seed stock and protein. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Management and Industrial Relations with a minor in Economics from Minnesota State University. I am ordained as a Deacon from the Denver Archdiocese, but I am not currently in active ministry. I do not currently serve on any boards.

I want to serve on the Nominating Committee because our relationship with the Association has been a successful, enjoyable, meaningful, and educational experience. I believe in the organization and what they are trying to accomplish for the agribusiness sector of our economy and the families that make up the organization family. If I can help in some small way, to strengthen and grow the organization, I am willing to give them my time, energy, and some business experience to accomplish those two goals.

Race 7 - Updated to include biographical information for the three candidates for this position.


Jody Fuchtman

Creighton, NE

My husband and I farm row crop with a crop insurance side business. My husband is also employed by an ag retailer. I am employed as the Executive Director of Creighton Housing Authority and Emerson Housing Authority. They are both HUD assisted public housing properties that provide affordable, income-based housing. I graduated with a degree in Fashion Merchandising from Nettleton College. I have also taken classes at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Metropolitan Community College and Northeast Community College. I do not currently serve on any boards.

I want to serve on the Nominating Committee because the Association provides an important service to small and large agricultural entities. My husband and I appreciate the opportunities that the Association has provided for us, and I want to see that continue for others.

Shane Greckel

Bloomfield, NE

I am the owner and operator of Greckel Farms, Inc., where I produce corn and soybeans as well as small feedyard and cow-calf operations. I have made many investments in my family farm to continue its prosperity as well as its technology. Upgrading main units to full GPS and auto-steer capability has increased production while reducing costs such as labor and fuel on the farm. I have a strong background in technology. This background has led me to use the technology around us in the ag field to help producers boost productivity and reduce costs to maintain a strong ag community. I am also involved in many community activities throughout the year, from helping with county fairs and church stands to local ag promotion events. I pursued a degree in computer programming and design from Northeast Community College and Mount Mary College. I am a commissioner for the Nebraska Information Technology Commission.

I feel I can bring the benefit of knowledge and experience from my time in various entities by serving on the Nominating Committee. Electing outstanding leaders not only helps the Association grow in financial respects, but creates a robust organization dedicated to the promotion of agriculture. I want to be a part of helping the organization grow and define ag lending. The Association has greatly helped me along the way of expanding my farm, and I hope to have the opportunity to share the lessons I have learned with others for a more successful future.

Robert Johnston

Clearwater, NE

I have a family farming operation which includes irrigated soybeans, corn, and alfalfa for a local dairy. We also offer custom farming, haying, trucking, and harvesting services. I have a high school education. I am a graduate of the Leadership At Its Best Program with Syngenta. I currently serve as president of the Nebraska Soybean Association, member of the Nebraska Agriculture Leaders Working Group, president of the Orchard Rural Fire District, chairman of the Orchard United Methodist Church Administrative Council, and as the chairman of Orchard United Methodist Church Financial Committee. I am on the board of directors and serve as vice-president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Group Health Insurance Consortium.

As a lifetime customer of the Association, I believe my experience would be beneficial. I enjoy collaborating with all ag sectors. And, I believe we all need to contribute to the future of agriculture.