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*Candidate answers to all questions have been written verbatim
Region 1 Director Candidates’ Information
Kevin A. Polo
– From Carlinville, IL. Age 45. Farms 127 acres, growing corn, soybeans, and wheat. Graduate of
University of Illinois-Springfield in Economics and Psychology and Southern Illinois University-School of Law. Current
attorney who has represented numerous farmers in a wide variety of matters relating to agriculture. Serves on Honey
Point Township Board and as Supervisor; parishioner for Saints Simon and Jude Catholic Church; member (former Board
member) of Coal Country Chamber of Commerce: member (former Treasurer) of Macoupin County Bar Association; and
Illinois State Bar Association member. Why do you want to be a Director for Farm Credit Services?
I want to make sure that Farm Credit Services continues
to provide financial y viable solutions to the farming community throughout the association’s 60-county service area. As a Director, what do you feel would be your main responsibilities?
My main responsibilities would be to insure that
the financial needs of the farming community continue to be met by a cooperative with the interests of
customers/stockholders being a primary concern. In what ways would you bring value to the Board and the Association as a Director?
As a farmer and attorney with
over 17 years of legal experience, I would bring a diversity of experience unique to the board. Also having served on
numerous boards and committees in the past I am familiar with and well prepared for the hard work required to be an
effective board member.
- From Jacksonville, IL. Age 60. Farms 2,400 acres, growing corn and soybeans. Farms with his son in the
Cass County area. Graduate of University of Illinois with a degree in Agriculture Economics. Worked for grain farming
business that grows food grade corn for export to Japan. Serves on Thrivent Chapter Board; Elder at Trinity Lutheran
Church; Co-chair food service for local burgoo festival; active with Moose membership and Mother of Dolars Catholic
Church. Why do you want to be a Director for Farm Credit Services?
I am very honored to be asked to run for a position on
the Farm Credit Services board of directors. Agriculture is a business that sees constant changes as farms grow and
plans are made to bring young men and women into the business. A constant, reliable, long term source of capital is
essential. Farm Credit Services has always been there when I wanted to expand and I would like to ensure that Farm
Credit Services remains the lender of choice for all agriculture in our area. As a Director, what do you feel would be your main responsibilities?
During the first year of this term, the board will
face the challenge and opportunity to hire a new CEO as David Owens plans to retire. I have served on committees that
have recommended CEO candidates to the board in my work with electrical cooperative boards and very much look
forward to the challenge of finding the right individual to lead this organization. In the longer term, I will work with the CEO
and board members to develop policy and ensure the long term viability of Farm Credit Services of Illinois. As needed, I
would communicate member policy concerns to the staff and board as well as represent the image of Farm Credit
Services to current and potential customers.
In what ways would you bring value to the Board and the Association as a Director?
FCS has assisted in financing
land purchases for the growth of my farming operation several times since I graduated from college. I have a proven track
record as a successful farmer as well as board member; I served 25 years on my local REA cooperative board and
represented them on the Generation and Transmission Cooperative Board. I am very passionate about the help FCS has
given me and want to help ensure that many other current and future members have the same positive and successful
experience when they work with our loan officers and staff.
Region 2 Director Candidates’ Information
- From Gilman, IL. Age 37. Farms 1,150 acres, growing corn and soybeans. Graduate of University of
Illinois College of Engineering with a degree in Agricultural Engineering. Serves on the Ford-Iroquois County Farm Bureau
Board; Vice President of Iroquois West School Board; Secretary/Treasurer of La Hogue Drainage District Board. Served
on Region 2 Stockholders Advisory Committee and Nominating Committee for Farm Credit Services of Illinois for multiple
years. Active member of St. Paul Lutheran Church as congregation president and past council member, high school youth
group advisor and leader; chairperson of Enduring Gift Fund Committee and co-chair of Finance Committee. Director for
Ford-Iroquois counties serving on finance committee. Member of Illinois Corn Growers Association and Illinois Farm
Bureau. Served as Chairman of Young Leader Committee. Part of Illinois Farm Bureau Market Study Tour; lobbied on
behalf of Illinois Agriculture as part of Illinois Farm Bureau’s Leaders to Washington; graduate of Illinois Farm Bureau’s
Agricultural Leaders of Tomorrow program and was selected to participate in 2012 Illinois Farm Bureau’s Leadership
Academy. Why do you want to be a Director for Farm Credit Services?
As a young farmer, I am constantly reminded of how
fortunate I am to have the opportunity to farm. Credit and services from Farm Credit helped me at the beginning of my
career in farming. Serving on the Board would be a way for me to help new as well as established farmers and agricultural
businesses. I want to sustain the focus of the association on exceptional service for the customer-stockholder. This is
primarily achieved from its root base of competitive and dependable rates combined with flexible loan products and terms.
I recognize the value and remain an ardent supporter of the cooperative model of business. Thus, I am enthusiastic about
the Farm Credit System as it approaches its 100th Anniversary in 2016. I want to strengthen our cooperative’s position in
our 60 counties so that it may serve another 100 years as the preeminent agricultural lender. As a Director, what do you feel would be your main responsibilities?
As a director, I ultimately would be accountable
for the success or failure of the cooperative. Working as a part of the Board team, I would offer direction and contribute
policy to guide the CEO and manage in serving the interests of you the stockholder in daily activities. As a director, I
would be obligated to oversee the CEO in retaining strong management staff, to evaluate the CEO in their duties, and to
hire a new CEO as his retirement looms. Additionally, I would continue to educate myself and attend training sessions on
financial and regulatory issues to ensure that I am competent as a Board member. Lastly, as a director it is important to
be the voice of the customer-owner, and I would communicate any concerns or ideas you may have to the Board and to
management. In what ways would you bring value to the Board and the Association as a Director?
I believe that I would bring
integrity, leadership, and experience to the Board. With the currently elected directors having a median age over 60, I
also would bring the perspective of a younger farmer to complement the Board of Directors. Furthermore, I would bring a
cautious approach to finances that would position the association to face any future volatility or adversity.
I am blessed with the privilege to serve on the local school board and county Farm Bureau. I also have served previously
on the church council for many years. Within these, I also have many years of experience working as chairperson as well
as leading board committees. Therefore, I have become knowledgeable and experienced in working within the framework
of a board team. I realize the importance of rational, civil, and discerning communication during meetings. Similarly, I
recognize it is vital to be able to review and assess the association’s financial statements.
My relationship with my local Farm Credit branch and their friendly, capable staff has been a long productive one. I have a
good grasp of the Farm Credit System including its regulatory and funding mechanisms. This knowledge base has been
enhanced by serving multiple years on our region’s Stockholders Advisory Committee as well as the Nominating
committee. Moreover, I have a willingness and desire to learn that will push me to further my understanding. In addition to
supporting competitive interest rates, if elected I will strive to bolster Farm Credit Services of Illinois as a reliable and
robust lender with a strong capital position, a high quality loan portfolio, and low operating costs.
*Region 2 Director Candidates’ Information continued on the next page
Region 2 Director Candidates’ Information (Cont.)
– From Louisville, IL. Age 63. Farms 1,030 acres, growing corn, soybeans, wheat and hay. Also raises
cattle. Graduate of Olney Central College and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale with a degree in Ag Economics
and Plant Science. Also is a Real Estate agent. Current Director of Farm Credit Services of Illinois; Chairman of Clay
County Board of Review; serves on St. John’s Lutheran Church Council as Treasurer; member of Illinois Beef
Association, Illinois Corn Growers, Illinois Soybean Association and Clay County Farm Bureau. Serves on Clay County
Board of Review. Previously served as chairman of Clay County Young Farmers Committee, Section 23 FFA Foundation,
Clay City School Board, Lincoln FBFM Board, and Effingham Clay FS Board. Why do you want to be a Director for Farm Credit Services?
I very much want to continue being a director of Farm
Credit Services of Illinois. I consider it an honor and privilege to be a director representing the stockholders of this
cooperative that holds its employees and borrowers in such high esteem.
On a personal basis, Farm Credit is an important part of our farming operation. We have used Farm Credit continuously
since 1972. My Grandfather got a loan in the 1930’s from the Land Bank when no one else would loan him money. Farm
Credit has served our family well over the years. It is my desire to continue serving on the board to ensure that FCSIL will
continue to bring value to all stockholders now and into the future. I strongly believe that FCSIL must continue to change
aggressively with the dynamics of agriculture to meet the demands of the stockholders. As a Director, what do you feel would be your main responsibilities?
My responsibilities as a director start with the
hiring and retaining of competent management and ensure that the Association is in compliance with the regulations that
are set forth by FCA, our regulator. The responsibilities also include setting policy and direction for our association so that
it will remain strong financially, provide outstanding service to it’s customer/owners, while keeping interest rates as low as
possible. It also includes setting goals and direction for management to follow. Above all of that we are to represent the
stockholders and be sensitive to their needs. I try to represent each individual stockholder as a director. I welcome
comments from members and would like to communicate more with individual stockholders. It is a balancing act as a
director to make decisions that are best for the customer (Stockholder) and the association at the same time. In what ways would you bring value to the Board and the Association as a Director?
I believe that I bring
experience, leadership and thoughtful judgment to the board. I feel that I have a good understanding of the Farm Credit
System and how it functions. I have a keen interest in economics and the financial industry in general. I have taken
classes in appraisal and real estate sales to maintain my real estate license which broadens my understanding of the
market we serve at FCSIL. My passion for the financial industry makes it easy for me to devote the time and energy
required to be an active director on the FCSIL board. I desire to continue to provide leadership to the board and look
forward to developing and implementing a new ten year plan for the association which we are now in the process of
developing .I pledge to devote the time and energy to do the best job I can as a board member.
I strongly believe in the Cooperative way of serving farmers and in farmers helping themselves through their various
organizations and cooperatives.
Region 3 Director Candidates’ Information
Kent D. Brinkmann
– From Carlyle, IL. Age 51. Farms 935 acres, growing corn, soybeans, and wheat. Graduate of
Kaskaskia Jr. College with a degree in General Studies and University of Illinois with a degree in Agronomy. Current
Board Director of Farm Credit Services of Illinois and Clinton County Extension Foundation. President of Carlyle FFA
Alumni Association and member of Clinton County Farm Bureau. Why do you want to be a Director for Farm Credit Services?
It is such a honor and privilege to serve on the board of
Farm Credit Services of Illinois. As a board member we all value our employees and customers at the highest level.
These are the people that made the organization what it is today and strive to make it better for tomorrow. I want to
continue to challenge the CEO and management to service our customers better each year. I am proud of what we have
built the last years and the future looks very promising. As a Director, what do you feel would be your main responsibilities?
As a director my main responsibilities are to
review financial statements and ensure the organization maintains its outstanding financial position. To review long range
plans of growth and maintain excellent customer service. To listin to outside auditors presentations to ensure they are
concise with managements. To challenge management to make the best day to day decisions for the organization. To
continue to search for new products and services to make doing business with Farm Credit Services easier and better for
our customers. In what ways would you bring value to the Board and the Association as a Director?
I believe I bring my years of
experience and leadership to the board. The knowledge to ask the tough questions when needed to be asked. As one of
the younger members of the board, I can bring the views of the young farmer. I will always challenge the CEO and
management team to protect and serve all employees and stockholders in the highest regards. I want to make sure the
association continues in building the strongest customer base and serve all products and services we offer with pride. Robert Helman
– From Villa Ridge, IL. Age 28. Farms 2,000 acres, growing corn, soybeans, and wheat. Also raises
cattle. Attended Shawnee Community College in Ag Business. Currently serves on Pulaski, Alexander Extension Facility
Board and Pulaski, Alexander County Soil & Water Conservation District Board. Member of Villa Ridge Union Church and
supporter and Youth Leader of Villa Ridge Ag 4H Club. Why do you want to be a Director for Farm Credit Services?
As a young successful producer I feel the need to give
my input and perspective for the new producers that are trying to get started in today’s agriculture business. As a Director, what do you feel would be your main responsibilities?
My responsibility as a director would be to
bring reliable and conscientious suggestions, opinions, and decisions to this institution.
In what ways would you bring value to the Board and the Association as a Director?
I would bring the perspective
of a young producer who lost his father at a very young age and is now maintaining all aspects of a very successful two
thousand acre farm with steady growth along the way.
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