NEWS MEDIA >> Press Releases

Farm Credit donates $25,000 to food hub project
United FCS and AgriBank team up to build on local efforts
Contact: Adam Ulbricht
Adam.Ulbricht@unitedfcs.com
Office: 320.214.5076
Cell: 320.249.5577

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Willmar, Minn., Nov. 11, 2014 – In an effort to help connect local food producers with consumers, two Farm Credit organizations – United FCS and AgriBank – donated $25,000 to a new food hub that will be opening its doors in Willmar.

“As a farmer-owned cooperative, United FCS measures the achievement of our mission through the contributions we make to the long-term financial success of our members and rural communities we serve,” said Marc Knisely, CEO of United FCS. “By supporting infrastructure development for local food systems we are demonstrating our commitment to serve all aspects of agriculture, providing a direct economic benefit to local farm families and rural communities while enhancing locally produced food options for consumers.”

Plans for the project would see five tenants operating out of The HUB, located in the historic 313 building in downtown Willmar. This includes a USDA kitchen where local farmers can preserve food and prepare it for area consumers using the latest technology. Three greenhouses will further support local farmers and consumers, allowing for a year-long growing season to improve the availability of fresh produce. Other new businesses housed in The HUB include a restaurant and craft brewhouse.

“We wish a hearty thank you to United FCS and AgriBank for the donation to the Historic 313 Fourth Street project,” said Beverly Dougherty, project coordinator of the Willmar Downtown Development. “The funds will help us realize our complex project involving local foods, processing to save our summer harvest to be used in the winter, and providing a larger market for locally grown foods.  It will help us create a micro-economy in this region.”

“Support for local, small farmers is an investment in the next generation of agriculture,” said Bill York, AgriBank’s CEO. “Among the many challenges facing farmers with small operations is the need to wash, store and prepare their harvest in a USDA approved facility. The food hub meets those needs while creating benefits for the entire community.”

A minimum of 25 jobs are expected to be created by this project. The Foxhole Brewhouse will be the first to open to customers in early 2015.

About United FCS:
United FCS is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture and the nation’s rural economy. Serving over 6,000 customer-members and with over $1.7 billion of assets, United FCS has a primary focus in a 22-county service area in West Central Minnesota and North Central Wisconsin providing loans, leases and a wide array of financial services through 12 branch office locations and 185 employees. For additional information on United FCS, visit www.unitedfcs.com.

About AgriBank:
AgriBank is one of the largest banks within the national Farm Credit System, with more than $90 billion in total assets. Under the Farm Credit System’s cooperative structure, AgriBank is owned by 17 affiliated Farm Credit Associations. The AgriBank District covers America’s Midwest, a 15-state area stretching from Wyoming to Ohio and Minnesota to Arkansas. More than half of the nation’s cropland is located within the AgriBank District, providing the Bank and its Association owners with exceptional expertise in production agriculture. For more information, visit www.AgriBank.com.

American Farmer Program Featuring AgriBank,
Farm Credit Associations to Debut Oct. 28 on RFD-TV

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Program explores risks and opportunities facing agricultural producers

St. Paul, Minn., Oct. 21, 2014─ An episode of American Farmer featuring AgriBank and several of its affiliated Farm Credit Associations will debut at 7:30 a.m. Central time on Oct. 28 on RFD-TV.

This episode of American Farmer will highlight key challenges and opportunities in today's agricultural marketplace as well as educate audiences on the cost-effective and innovative financial products and services Farm Credit provides to farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses to help them manage risk and succeed financially.

AgriBank is the funding bank for 17 retail Farm Credit Associations that lend to farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses and rural homeowners throughout 15 Midwestern states. Five of those Associations—AgStar Financial Services, FCS Financial, Farm Credit Services of Mandan, GreenStone Farm Credit Services and United FCS—collaborated with AgriBank on the program.

The program will be rebroadcast at 7:30 a.m. Central time Nov. 18 on RFD-TV and future dates to be announced on RFD-TV, RURAL-TV and FamilyNet. The program is also posted on YouTube.



“We encourage farmers, ranchers and others to watch the program and learn about the solutions Farm Credit offers to help them succeed in the increasingly volatile global economy,” says Bill York, CEO, AgriBank. "Together with our affiliated Farm Credit Associations, we're thrilled with this opportunity to participate in the American Farmer series and share 100 years of Farm Credit expertise with rural America."

About AgriBank
AgriBank is one of the largest banks within the national Farm Credit System, with more than $85 billion in total assets. Under the Farm Credit System's cooperative structure, AgriBank is owned by 17 affiliated Farm Credit Associations. The AgriBank District covers America's Midwest, a 15-state area stretching from Wyoming to Ohio and Minnesota to Arkansas. More than half of the nation's cropland is located within the AgriBank District, providing the Bank and its Association owners with exceptional expertise in production agriculture. For more information, visit www.AgriBank.com.

About American Farmer
American Farmer is a breakthrough program on a mission to showcase the latest advancements in agriculture and farming. From seed to harvest, livestock and more, our producers have traveled the country covering the people, places and issues impacting all areas of farm country. American Farmer airs Tuesdays at 8:30am ET on RFD-TV as well as Tuesdays at 12:30pm and Saturdays at 1:30pm ET on FamilyNet. For more information, contact Ryann Watkin, Producer for American Farmer, at (866) 496-4065 x 813 or visit www.AmericanFarmerTV.com.

United FCS Board Member Elected to Farm Credit Council
Community Leader Stan Claussen Farms in the Benson-Montevideo Area

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Willmar, Minn. (Oct. 17, 2014) — Stan Claussen, a Montevideo, Minn.-area farmer and member of the board of directors of Willmar-based United FCS, has been elected to the board of directors of the Farm Credit Council,  the national trade association representing United FCS and other institutions of the Farm Credit System before Congress, the executive branch and others.   

Claussen has served since 1995 on the board of United FCS, which as part of Farm Credit is a top agricultural lender in West Central Minnesota and North Central Wisconsin. Claussen also serves on Farm Credit’s Minnesota Legislative Committee and as chair of the AgriBank District Farm Credit Council (ADFCC), the council’s arm in 15 Midwestern states served by AgriBank, Farm Credit’s St. Paul, Minn.-based funding bank. He was recently elected by the ADFCC to serve the remaining term of an open seat on the national Farm Credit Council board, followed by a three-year term that begins in January.

“I look forward to continuing to serve farmers and rural communities through the Farm Credit Council, which represents their interests in Washington,” Claussen said. “The council works hard to ensure that candidates and elected officials understand the important role Farm Credit has in providing a reliable source of credit to America’s farmers and ranchers.”

An active community leader, Claussen serves on the boards of Bushmills Ethanol Inc. and Fairland Management Company, and on the Buffalo Lake Lutheran Church Council, and he chairs Area Churches Together, a parish serving six rural churches. He served as Grace Township Supervisor for 26 years and on the Benson (Minn.) School Board for 20 years.

Claussen farms in the Benson-Montevideo area with his wife, Katherine, son Matt and daughter-in-law Leah. Their farming operation consists of grain, vegetables and cattle. Other family members include daughter, Anna, and son-in-law, Mark; son Phil and daughter-in-law Angie; and son Thomas, who is studying ag business at North Dakota State University.

Claussen is a 1971 graduate of Benson High School and studied ag business at Southwest Minnesota State University. He has attended numerous training sessions while serving on township, school and Farm Credit boards. In 2008, he completed the two-year Minnesota Agriculture & Rural Leadership program (MARL).

About United FCS
United FCS is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture and the nation’s rural economy. Serving over 6,000 customer-members and with over $1.7 billion of assets, United FCS has a primary focus in a 22-county service area in West Central Minnesota and North Central Wisconsin providing loans, leases and a wide array of financial services through 12 branch office locations and 185 employees.

2014 United FCS Election Results
Director Election Results
AREA  A Mary Kay Van Der Geest
AREA  D Greg Jans
Nominating Committee Election Results
AREA  A Thomas Hoffman
Ray D. Melander
AREA  B Kent Lonning
Mitch Malm
William Scholze - Alternate
AREA  C Brian Hicks
Mark Malecek
AREA  D Richard Bergstrom
Lance A. Piepenburg
KARISSA FETTIG JOINS UNITED FCS
Contact: Lynda Hauge, HR Director United FCS
(320) 214-5007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Mark KAugust 27, 2014 – Karissa Fettig recently joined United FCS as a Financial Services Officer in the Willmar Office. As a relationship manager, she will be serving the business needs of agriculture producers and businesses in the local area by providing credit, financial services, and crop insurance solutions to meet the ever-changing needs and challenges of the industry.

Fettig graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in AgriBusiness Management from Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall. Her experience includes an internship with the Farm Credit System and three years as a loan officer at Farm Credit Services of Mandan. Karissa grew up in Cosmos, MN. She and her family recently relocated from North Dakota back to the Willmar area.

United FCS is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture and the nation’s rural economy. Serving over 6,000 customer-members and with over $1.7 Billion of assets, United FCS has a primary focus in a 22-county service area in West Central Minnesota and North Central Wisconsin providing loans, leases and a wide array of financial services through twelve branch office locations and 185 employees.

BROCK SOMBKE JOINS UNITED FCS
Contact: Lynda Hauge, HR Director United FCS
(320) 214-5007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Mark KAugust 27, 2014 – Brock Sombke recently joined United FCS as an Application Specialist in the Willmar Office. As a member of the Information Technology Team, he is responsible for developing and modifying software solutions for the association.

Sombke graduated from the University of North Dakota with a degree in Elementary Education. He has over six years of technology experience in school systems. Brock and his family reside in Willmar.

United FCS is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture and the nation’s rural economy. Serving over 6,000 customer-members and with over $1.7 Billion of assets, United FCS has a primary focus in a 22-county service area in West Central Minnesota and North Central Wisconsin providing loans, leases and a wide array of financial services through twelve branch office locations and 185 employees.

CHAD KETTERHAGEN JOINS UNITED FCS
Contact: Lynda Hauge, HR Director United FCS
(320) 214-5007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Mark KAugust 27, 2014 – Chad Ketterhagen recently joined United FCS as a Financial Services Officer in the Thorp Office. As a relationship manager, he will be serving the business needs of agriculture producers and businesses in Clark County by providing credit, financial services and crop insurance solutions to meet the ever-changing needs and challenges of the industry.

A Stanley, WI native, Ketterhagen graduated in May 2014 from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire with a degree in Economics. His experience includes retail Ag and most recently as a personal banker.

United FCS is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture and the nation’s rural economy. Serving over 6,000 customer-members and with over $1.7 Billion of assets, United FCS has a primary focus in a 22-county service area in West Central Minnesota and North Central Wisconsin providing loans, leases and a wide array of financial services through twelve branch office locations and 185 employees.

DORI PLANSKY JOINS UNITED FCS
Contact: Lynda Hauge, HR Director United FCS
(320) 214-5007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Mark KAugust 28, 2014 – Dori Plansky recently joined United FCS as an Appraisal Trainee and will complete the ‘American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisal’ course work to become a Certified General Appraiser. She will conduct real estate appraisals primarily in the 12-county area served by the United FCS Wisconsin retail marketplace.

Plansky graduated from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management and is currently studying for her MBA degree. Dori and her family reside in the Thorp area. Her work experience includes several years in the insurance industry as an agency owner and a sales training manager.

United FCS is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture and the nation’s rural economy. Serving over 6,000 customer-members and with over $1.7 Billion of assets, United FCS has a primary focus in a 22-county service area in West Central Minnesota and North Central Wisconsin providing loans, leases and a wide array of financial services through twelve branch office locations and 185 employees.

MARK KUBESH JOINS UNITED FCS
Contact: Lynda Hauge, HR Director United FCS
(320) 214-5007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 4, 2014 – Mark Kubesh recently joined United FCS as a Financial Services Officer in the Olivia Office. As a relationship manager, he will be serving the business needs of agriculture producers and businesses in Renville County by providing credit, financial services, and crop insurance solutions to meet the ever-changing needs and challenges of the industry.

Kubesh received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy from the University of Minnesota and has over eight years of Ag lending experience. He has a broad agricultural background encompassing over 30 years of experience in agribusiness and production agriculture. Mark and his family reside in the Olivia area.

United FCS is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture and the nation’s rural economy. Serving over 6,000 customer-members and with over $1.7 Billion of assets, United FCS has a primary focus in a 22-county service area in West Central Minnesota and North Central Wisconsin providing loans, leases and a wide array of financial services through twelve branch office locations and 185 employees.

Farm Credit organizations contribute $40,000 to support
rural telemedicine in western Minnesota
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Farm Credit organizations serving rural communities in Minnesota have joined to contribute $40,000 to a “telemedicine” initiative in the western part of the state.

AgStar Financial Services, AgriBank, CoBank and United FCS made the contribution to Abbott Northwestern Hospital, part of Allina Health, in Minneapolis. The grant will enable cardiologists at Abbott Northwestern to remotely treat patients at the RC Hospital in rural Olivia, Minn., located over 100 miles away.

“One of the significant challenges for rural communities is access to dependable, high-quality health care,” said Everett Dobrinski, chairman, CoBank. “Telemedicine technology enables residents of these communities to receive treatment from leading physicians and other providers in urban centers without having to travel long distances. We’re very pleased to be making this contribution and look forward to the benefits it will deliver over the long term.”

As the largest hospital in the Twin Cities, Abbott Northwestern is recognized nationally and locally for its exceptional expertise and care. RC Hospital serves rural Renville County, a largely agricultural community with about 16,000 people. Abbott Northwestern and RC Hospital have a longstanding relationship, especially for emergency cardiac care. In addition, Minneapolis Heart Institute® at Abbott Northwestern has had a clinic at RC Hospital since 1995.

The new program, which builds on the existing Allina Health telehealth program, is expected to launch this month. The Farm Credit grant will be used to cover the costs of the telemedicine equipment, including bedside ultrasound, as well as training for RC Hospital’s local staff. The grant was supplemented by additional funding from the Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation.

Initially, the cardiac telehealth program will be able to serve six patients each week. Patients and medical staff will be able to see and talk with each other by computer. In Olivia, a hospital staff member will perform ultrasound tests on patients, and real-time images will help cardiologists in Minneapolis diagnose or rule out heart issues.

“We are grateful for this generous contribution,” said Robert Hauser, MD, senior cardiologist at the Minneapolis Heart Institute® at Abbott Northwestern. “The new program will significantly enhance the care available to Renville County residents and enable us to take advantage of significant advancements in telemedicine technology. Today, we can make a more accurate diagnosis using telehealth and ultrasound than we can in person with a stethoscope and touch.”

“People are happier when they can be cared for where they live. Telehealth improves the quality of local care and helps to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions. Plus, if people need to go to the Twin Cities, the physicians will already be familiar with them, so those transitions are smoother, too,” said Nathan G. Blad, president of RC Hospitals & Clinics.

Cardiology is the most recent addition to the Allina Health telehealth program. At more than 20 telehealth sites in Minnesota and Wisconsin, rural health care providers and patients can receive consultations and visits from experts within Allina Health via video. Telehealth is currently used for stroke assessment and treatment, mental health assessments and referrals, psychiatric counseling and cancer genetic counseling. Allina Health plans to offer additional services over the next two years.

About Allina Health
Allina Health is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. A not-for-profit health care system, Allina Health cares for patients from beginning to end-of-life through its 90+ clinics, 12 hospitals, 15 pharmacies, specialty care centers and specialty medical services that provide home care, senior transitions, hospice care, home oxygen and medical equipment, and emergency medical transportation services. Learn more at allinahealth.org.

About the Farm Credit System

For nearly a century, Farm Credit has been a national provider of credit and related services to rural America through its cooperative network of customer-owned lending institutions. Farm Credit provides more than $200 billion in loans and leases to farmers, ranchers, rural homeowners, aquatic producers, timber harvesters, agribusinesses, and agricultural and rural utility cooperatives. For more information about the Farm Credit System, please visit farmcredit.com.

American Farmer to Feature AgriBank District Farm Credit on Upcoming RFD-TV Episode
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DMG Productions explores agricultural finance

St. Paul, Minn.─  AgriBank announced today that it and several of its affiliated Farm Credit Associations will be featured in an upcoming episode of American Farmer,airing later this year on RFD-TV.

AgriBank is a wholesale bank that provides funding to 17 retail Farm Credit Associations that lend to farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses and rural homeowners. AgStar Financial Services, FCS Financial, Farm Credit Services of Mandan, GreenStone Farm Credit Services and United FCS will collaborate with AgriBank on the program.

This episode of American Farmer will highlight key challenges and opportunities in today’s agricultural marketplace as well as educate audiences on the cost-effective and innovative financial products and services Farm Credit provides to farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses to help them manage risk and succeed financially.

 “Our customers are also our owners, so we have a direct hand on the pulse of the marketplace and the financial solutions rural America needs to thrive in an increasingly volatile global economy,” says Bill York, CEO, AgriBank. “Together with our affiliated Farm Credit Associations, we’re excited to participate in the American Farmer series so we can share our insight with rural America.”

“AgriBank is one of the largest banks in the national Farm Credit System, and they and their affiliated Farm Credit Associations serve America’s heartland," said Ryann Watkin, Producer for American Farmer. "We are pleased and excited to feature them in this episode."

About AgriBank:
AgriBank is one of the largest banks within the national Farm Credit System, with more than $85 billion in total assets. Under the Farm Credit System's cooperative structure, AgriBank is owned by 17 affiliated Farm Credit Associations. The AgriBank District covers America's Midwest, a 15-state area stretching from Wyoming to Ohio and Minnesota to Arkansas. More than half of the nation's cropland is located within the AgriBank District, providing the Bank and its Association owners with exceptional expertise in production agriculture. For more information, visit www.AgriBank.com.

About American Farmer:
American Farmer is a breakthrough program on a mission to showcase the latest advancements in agriculture and farming. From seed to harvest, livestock and more, our producers have traveled the country covering the people, places and issues impacting all areas of farm country.

American Farmer airs Tuesdays at 8:30am ET on RFD-TV as well as Tuesdays at 12:30pm and Saturdays at 1:30pm ET on FamilyNet.

For more information, contact Ryann Watkin, Producer for American Farmer, at (866) 496-4065 x 813 or visit www.AmericanFarmerTV.com.

AgStar and United FCS partners with community and USDA for groundbreaking of new healthcare facility in Olivia
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ag Star, Krystal Ohlhaber/ 507-923-5903
United FCS, Debra Spaeth/320-214-5008

Mankato, Minn., (April 21, 2014) – AgStar Financial Services and United FCS are proud to partner with Renville County Hospital and Clinics in Olivia, Minnesota on the renovation and expansion project which will be celebrated with a groundbreaking ceremony tomorrow, Tuesday, April 22.

The $24 million project was made possible through many partnerships including investments from AgStar, United FCS, CoBank, and financing from USDA Rural Development.  In addition, Renville County Hospital and Clinics has committed a portion of the project costs from their own cash reserves.

“AgStar is proud to partner with Renville County Hospital and Clinics, USDA and our other partners to be involved in this project. Health care options and patient safety significantly grow when a community has access to primary care physicians and up to date technology,” explained Bob Madsen, associate vice president at AgStar. “Expanding and renovating hospitals and other facilities in rural areas helps solidify their vitality.”

This 62,000 square-foot project includes a new clinic featuring 15 exam rooms and one procedure room, 16 inpatient beds, lab radiology and therapy, outpatient and specialty clinics, two operating rooms and an education center.

“Providing financial support to assist with re-vitalization of rural community infrastructure is important to maintaining healthy local economies and United FCS is pleased to be a part of the lenders group that is providing the financing for this project,” commented Marc Knisely, CEO of United FCS.  “We see this project as one that allows our local communities improved access to quality health care today while also promoting opportunities for future expansion of services.” 

About AgStar:
AgStar Financial Services, ACA, headquartered in Mankato, Minn., employs more than 600 full-time team members. The company is part of the national Farm Credit System and has a public mission to serve 69 counties in Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. AgStar’s industry specialization, client segments and market delivery systems result in diversification nationwide. The company has expertise in the corn, soybean, swine, dairy and bio-energy industries. AgStar has developed successful programs in loans, leases, crop insurance, consulting and rural home mortgages. As a value-added financial services cooperative, AgStar allocates patronage dividends to its 14,000 stockholders. The company is also committed to giving back to rural residents, organizations and communities through AgStar’s Fund for Rural America. Visit www.AgStar.com for more information.

About United FCS:
United FCS is a member owned cooperative and part of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture and the nation’s rural economy.  Headquartered in Willmar, MN with six offices located throughout West Central Minnesota (including Olivia) and six offices throughout North Central Wisconsin, United FCS serves over 6,000 customer-members in a 22-county service area.  With over $1.7 billion of assets and 185 employees, United FCS provides loans, leases and a wide array of financial services and has paid in excess of $66 million of cash patronage to its member-owners since 2002.

Minnesota’s Farm Credit Organizations Provide Grant to Help State’s Farmers Tell Their Story
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Speak for Yourself Program Identifies, Recruits and Trains Minnesota Farmers and Ranchers to Be Effective Spokespeople for Agriculture

St. Paul, Minn. – Minnesota farmers feed families, fuel the economy, care about their communities and are stewards of the environment. And today they are getting help telling their story thanks to a grant from Minnesota’s Farm Credit organizations.

AgStar Financial Services, AgCountry Farm Credit Services, United FCS, and AgriBank are providing $55,000 to the program that identifies, recruits and trains Minnesota farmers and ranchers to be effective spokespersons for agriculture and farming.

“Encouraging farmers and ranchers to tell their own story is important, because so many consumers don’t know a lot about agriculture,” said John Monson, senior vice president of investments in rural America at AgStar. “This program not only teaches people where their food comes from, but also how agriculture is vital to our communities and the world.”

As the public has moved in growing numbers to urban and suburban areas, people are increasingly removed from American agriculture. The Minnesota Farm Bureau initiated the Speak for Yourself (SFY) program in 2010 to bridge the communication gap between consumers and farmers and ranchers.

As the name implies, Speak for Yourself empowers farmers to tell their stories in their own words. Farmers are trained on how to talk about why they do what they do, address issues in agriculture and present their stories with confidence. After completing the training, the program connects these farmers with opportunities to speak to various groups and organizations. Farmers get to tell their stories, and audiences benefit from first-hand accounts from the people on the front lines of agriculture.

"Supporting programs and tools that equip farm families to share the story of today’s food systems aligns perfectly with our mission," said Marc Knisely, CEO of United FCS. "As consumers, we all benefit from first-hand awareness of the care and passion that farm families put into feeding the world and the support they deserve in accomplishing that feat.”

“Programs like Speak for Yourself are key to educating consumers about agriculture,” agreed Bob Bahl, CEO of AgCountry Farm Credit Services.  “There is nothing more important than sharing accurate information about the agriculture and nothing is more convincing than real stories where people connect emotionally with the presenter.”

As a farmer-owned cooperative and the largest source of agricultural loans in the country, Farm Credit knows the importance of sharing agriculture’s story. An educated public will make better decisions as consumers shape policy decisions important to the future of American agriculture.

“Farmers aren’t always comfortable talking about themselves,” said Bill York, AgriBank’s CEO. “But if you’re not telling your story, someone else will tell it for you. When you can look somebody in the eye and say, ‘This is why I do what I do’ it will always have the biggest impact.”

About Farm Credit 
For nearly a century, Farm Credit has been a national provider of credit and related services to rural America through its cooperative network of customer-owned lending institutions. Farm Credit provides more than $190 billion in loans and leases to farmers, ranchers, rural homeowners, aquatic producers, timber harvesters, agribusinesses, and agricultural and rural utility cooperatives. For more information about the Farm Credit System, please visit http://www.farmcredit.com.

About Speak for Yourself
The Minnesota Farm Bureau Speak for Yourself (SFY) program was initiated in 2010. The program is supported by the Minnesota Farm Bureau, Minnesota Corn Growers Association, AgriBank, AgStar, Farm Credit Services and Ag Country. Currently, 48 trained farmers have delivered more than 130 presentations across Minnesota to their local communities and key influencer audiences about today’s agriculture.

Media Contact:
AgriBank: Megan Fairchild Anderson, (651) 282-8635, Megan.FairchildAnderson@AgriBank.com
AgStar: Krystal Ohlhaber, (507) 529-2066, Krystal.Ohlhaber@AgStar.com
AgCountry Farm Credit Services: Jean Johnson, 701-787-6622, Jean.Johnson@AgCountry.com
United: Debra Spaeth, (320) 214-5008, Debra.Spaeth@UnitedFCS.com

MARK GROHOLSKI PROMOTED TO VP AGRIBUSINESS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lynda Hauge, HR Director United FCS
(320) 214-5007

February 12, 2014 – Mark Groholski was recently promoted to the role of VP Agribusiness in the United FCS Stevens Point Office. Mark will transition into serving the business needs of Agribusiness clients in North Central Wisconsin by providing financial services to meet the ever-changing needs and challenges of the industry.

For the past seven years, Groholski has been serving the loan and related financial service needs of United FCS’s agricultural producers throughout Portage/Waushara Counties in his role as a Financial Services Officer.

United FCS is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture and the nation’s rural economy. Serving over 6,000 customer-members and with over $1.7 Billion of assets, United FCS has a primary focus in a 22-county service area in West Central Minnesota and North Central Wisconsin providing loans, leases and a wide array of financial services through twelve branch office locations and 185 employees.

UNITED FCS DISTRIBUTING $6.0 MILLION IN CASH PATRONAGE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 23, 2014
Contact:  Marc Knisely, CEO
320-214-5024


WILLMAR, Minn. – United FCS continues an annual tradition of sharing its financial success with its member-owners in the form of 100% cash patronage – announcing that it will be distributing $6.0 million in cash patronage in late February. This patronage distribution raises the combined total patronage paid to over $66 million since 2002. United FCS posted very strong net earnings in 2013 due in part to continued growth in both loan volume and membership. As a result of exceptional Association performance in 2013, the patronage distribution for 2013 (payable February 26, 2014) was set at $6.0 million.

Having the ability to return a portion of our cooperative’s earnings to our member-owners on a sustained basis is important to our Board of Directors and a core co-op principle,” said Board Chair Brad Sunderland. “We are proud to announce our twelfth consecutive cash patronage distribution and we are thankful for the continued support of our membership and the continued admirable work of Association staff.

“As a farmer-owned cooperative devoted to shareholder success, United FCS is always focused on creating shareholder value beyond simply offering competitively priced products and services,” said CEO Marc Knisely. “A key component of that shareholder value proposition is our ability to return excess capital each year in the form of patronage paid 100% in cash.”  Knisely noted that this year’s patronage distribution reflects a 15% increase over the previous year and will hopefully help ease some of the financial stress some of our producers experienced with this past year’s weather challenges and commodity price volatility.

United FCS is a member-owned financial services Association. As a cooperative devoted to the success of our members, United FCS provides loans and leases along with a wide array of financial services specifically designed to the needs of agricultural and rural America. As a locally owned and governed Association, United FCS serves nearly 6,000 customer-members and manages over $1.7 billion in loan and lease assets. With an exceptional staff of nearly 200 professionals, based out of 12 conveniently located branch office locations, we support a choice of on-farm, on-line and in-office access across a 22 county local service area in West Central Minnesota and North Central Wisconsin.

United FCS is affiliated with the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of borrower-owned lending institutions.

9th Immigrant and Minority Farmers Conference Saturday and Sunday, February 1 & 2, 2014 in St. Paul, MN.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Joci Tilsen at 763-234-4445 or e-mail jocitilsen@gmail.com
Nigatu Tadesse at 651-602-7705 or email nigatu.tadesse@mn.usda.gov


St. Paul, Minnesota— Minority and immigrant farmers are invited to participate in the 9th Annual Immigrant and Minority Farmers Conference. Hosted by the Minnesota Food Association, USDA-Farm Service Agency and USDA- Natural Resources Conservation Service, the two-day conference provides education and resources to small farm operators and fosters relationships between farmers and community partners. Major sponsors of the conference include AgriBank, AgStar Financial Services, USDA- Farm Service Agency, United FCS, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, National Immigrant Farmers Initiative, The Farley Center and University of Minnesota Extension
.
The theme of the 2014 Conference is “Planting Seeds for Success on your Farm.” The keynote presenters are Juan Garcia, FSA Administrator, on Saturday, February 1 and Rigoberto Delagado, Executive Director of the National Immigrant Farmers Initiative on Sunday, February 2.Mr. Delagado’s presentation is titled “ The Contributions of Immigrant, Refugee Farmers and Farm Workers to Rural Development.

Women and immigrants are among the fastest growing sector of farmers. The conference supports these new and aspiring farmers and their contribution to building an adequate supply of local foods, local economic development and healthy communities.

The 9th Immigrant and Minority Farmers Conference will be held on Saturday and Sunday, February 1 & 2 at the University of Minnesota Continuing Education and Conference Center, 1809 Buford Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota.

Registration is on-line at www.mnfoodassociation.org, or by calling Joci Tilsen at 763-234-4445. Hmong speakers may call Mai Yang at 651-373-9077.

The conference is free to farmers. Language interpretation is available in Spanish, Hmong, Karen, Bhutanese, and Somali. The cost for other interested people is $50 per day.

We ask people to register by January 17, 2014, but no farmers will be turned away. Interested farmers and Community Based Organizations who have questions should contact:

Joci Tilsen at 763-234-4445 or e-mail jocitilsen@gmail.com
Nigatu Tadesse at 651-602-7705 or email nigatu.tadesse@mn.usda.gov

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