The FCS is visiting one farm family per day this week for a total of
According to John Hartman, vice president of ag
financial services, each year families are asked to register if they
would like a chance at "winning" a free catered meal.
For Tuesday the winners were David and Lisa Conrady of rural
The Conradys along with their son Brett farm a total of 1,700
acres, plus they run a farrow-to-finish hog operation. They employ
three full-time farmhands and add a couple more part-timers during
the harvest season.
David said that son Brett manages the majority of the grain
operation, while he oversees the livestock production.
The family is hoping that they will be able to start with harvest
in the next week or so, providing it doesn't rain too much.
A portion of the corn harvest is used for livestock feeds, and
the balance plus the soybean crop will eventually go to market.
As the noon hour arrived, the Conradys gathered in the garage at
Brett's house and were joined by David's parents, Ben and Rose Mary
Conrady, along with the farmhands.
Hartman said that each year for the past six, FCS has offered the
catered meal to their customers as an observance of National Farm
Safety Week. He explained that during the harvest season, hours are
long and hard, and folks don't take the time to rest that they
Delivering the lunches to them gives farmers an opportunity to
stop a while, eat a bite, visit with the FCS staff and in general
just relax for a few minutes.
Hartman laughed and said that this year, with crops being a bit
late, the meals are more like a pre-harvest feast.
The Farm Credit Services office in Lincoln, located at the corner
of Kickapoo and Tremont streets, services Logan and Menard counties.
The office is staffed by Hartman; Matt Wrage and John Klemm, both
insurance specialists; and Angela Briggs and Alicia Gullidge, who
are financial services representatives.
The firm offers competitive loans exclusively to farmers, along
with crop insurance and life insurance.
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Hartman says that they offer an option to farmers other than a
conventional banking institute, and they do a few things that make
them special. He said that they do business in a casual setting, and
that oftentimes, he finds himself setting up office around his
customer's kitchen table.
The company slogan is "We Understand," and Hartman says that the
staff does understand the needs and circumstances of the modern-day
The firm offers loans for operating costs, real estate purchases
and farm equipment purchases, and offers multi-peril crop insurance
as well as crop hail protection.
While FCS is not a bank, they do offer what they refer to as a
funds-held account. In this account, customers can deposit money and
it will earn the same interest rate as they are being charged on
their loan. For example if their loan is on a 6 percent annual
percentage rate, their funds-held account will also earn 6 percent
Hartman said that what makes FCS different from a commercial bank
is that they sell bonds on Wall Street and are part of a nationwide
system of lending cooperatives. The money they lend out comes from
the sale of those bonds. In the commercial banking industry, the
money available for lending comes from checking and savings
Hartman says that through the tough economic times of the past
year, FCS has stayed strong. He credits their success on Wall Street
to the excellent reputation of the company on the whole.
The company also spends a lot of time showing their appreciation
to their customers through special events. Hartman said there was a
large appreciation dinner this summer, the meals in the fields this
week, and then there will be an "elevator feed" in October in
partnership with the local Pork Producers Association. In November,
FCS will host a ladies-only shopping trip to St. Louis.
[By NILA SMITH]