HeartBeat Fall 2017 | Page 23

Greetings from the Board Room :
I made a six hour plus trip to view the recent eclipse . Later I wondered how cost effective it was to invest that much time in less than 3 minutes of darkness . I readily admit to having planned this for several weeks and don ’ t mean to sound like I have regrets . The eclipse was a different , almost eerie , experience and the time spent with friends made the trip worthwhile . The pasture and weeds that needed mowing when I left were still there when I got home .
I often think I don ’ t get far from home and I suppose “ far ” is a relative term . This summer , I spent a few days in the Farmington and Sainte Genevieve area of the state . Enjoyed seeing the historical sites , visiting with former FCS Financial board members and old friends . I made a trip to the state fair for the FCS Financial customer appreciation day . I ’ ll have to admit , I very much enjoyed the visits with the membership and employees more than the fair itself .
The most recent few days away from home was at an FCS Financial board meeting . The meeting was held in St . Louis and in conjunction with Farm Credit Illinois . After recent mergers within the AgriBank district , FCS Financial and Farm Credit Illinois find ourselves the only similar sized organizations in the district with five associations considerably larger and seven much smaller . The dynamics of the AgriBank governance may well change . An advisory committee of association members is being put together to examine the current AgriBank structure that was designed nearly 30 years ago .
A joint meeting and interaction with another association certainly provides more perspective . It also offers an opportunity to attract speakers and panel members who have a diverse look at the entire Farm Credit System . We heard presentations from the Farm Credit Administration , Farm Credit Council and the Funding Corporation . Each provided their outlook and priorities for the future . There was an opportunity to compare AgriBank with AgFirst funding bank in the eastern side of the country . AgriBank ’ s priority is to simply provide funding to the associations and AgFirst provides a complete menu of services . Four association CEO ’ s representing western North Carolina , central California , and two from the AgriBank district encompassing at least parts of seven states were present . A very diverse group , each adamant that they served their marketplace .
After considering the various perspectives , I came home satisfied with the position of FCS Financial . Earnings and
James Nivens , Chairman of the Board
capital position are strong . Delinquencies are surprising low and credit quality very respectable considering commodity prices . In the fourth year of declining farm income , the association finds itself financially prepared to continue to weather and prosper in the ag economy and help our members do the same . 2017 is again a year better than we anticipated . I think the association ’ s success is enhanced by the caution and ability of our membership to adjust to the dynamics surrounding us . From all indications , the coming year doesn ’ t offer a rebound in farm income . If you see issues on the horizon , don ’ t wait to work with your FCS Financial loan professionals to avoid problems .
Best wishes for a bountiful and safe harvest .