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Monday, April 1, 2013

Farm Credit Celebrates Women Leaders


This is shared from the Farm Credit Services national website,

Women's History Month: Farm Credit Celebrates Women Leaders

By Jennifer Armbruster

As we wrap up Women's History Month (WHM) we'd like to acknowledge the generations of women whose contributions have proved invaluable to our society. This year's WHM theme is "Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination" honoring the generations of women who have used their intelligence, imagination, sense of wonder, and tenacity to make extraordinary contributions to the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.

STEM education is critical to the future of agriculture and to the day to day operations of Farm Credit's national network of lenders. We are proud to celebrate all of the women who are leading the way for the next generation of agricultural leaders, and would like to offer up some business insights from women executives from across the Farm Credit System.
Ann Finkner | Chief Administrative Officer, Farm Credit Services of America
Ann is from a diversified family farming operation in southwest Minnesota where her brothers and their families continue the farming tradition. She has a passion for contributing to the development and success of others.

"As an executive leader, I have the privilege of influencing our culture every day to make Farm Credit Services of America the best place to work and do business. Our environment results in engaged employees, who in turn create incredible customer experiences. The ultimate reward comes when customers encounter our culture and then desire to do business with us."

Beverly Gabaldon | Senior Vice President/Chief Financial Officer, Farm Credit New Mexico
Beverly began her career in banking at the age of 18 and has been with her Farm Credit "family" for nearly 29 years. She appreciates the many personal and professional growth opportunities within the company.

"Farm Credit is an organization committed to customers and employees. There have been many Farm Credit mentors during my tenure who served as great examples, shared good advice and just simply cared. The integrity, growth opportunities, mentors and peers within the organization contribute to my longevity at Farm Credit of New Mexico."
Kathy S. Heustess |President & Chief Executive Officer, ArborOne Farm Credit
Kathy grew up on a third generation tobacco farm in Horry County, South Carolina. She has risen through the Farm Credit ranks from her start as a controller to her current role as president and CEO.

"Farm Credit is a unique organization, the employees understand agriculture. Many of our staff grew up on family farms or were exposed to relatives’ farms so they have an appreciation and love for the land. We think this uniquely positions us to be more than a lender, we are a valued resource to our farmer/borrowers."
Heather Hornback | Senior Vice President, Human Capital, Farm Credit Mid-America
Heather grew up on a small hobby farm with livestock and was active in the FFA. Her passion for agriculture and for helping people be the best they can be led her to a career in human resources.

"We help our customer/owners realize their goals and their dreams. By supporting the cooperative through building a strong human capital base, I, too, contribute to the success of agriculture and rural communities. My FFA advisor in high school taught me to think beyond what exists today and to prepare myself before opportunities arise. I challenge myself and others to do that every day."
Amie Pala |Chief Financial Officer, Farm Credit Bank of Texas
After working for several different financial companies, Amie went to work for Farm Credit Bank of Texas as an interest rate manager. Twenty five years later, she serves as the Chief Financial Officer. Today she mentors local high school students.

"My Dad spent his career working in the food business. He loved his career and made sure his family knew how lucky we were to live in this country where food abounds. From his passion, I learned about the importance of agriculture in the U.S. economy. Once I started working for Farm Credit I knew I had found my perfect career. I have a particular fondness for micro-finance programs related to agriculture I love the mission of Farm Credit."
Ivory Tate| VP HR Management and Diversity Officer, Farm Credit Bank of Texas
Working at Farm Credit offered Ivory an introduction to a cooperative culture in the workplace. In nine years, she has moved from a generalist human resources role to the head of the bank's HR Department.

"Most of my former business experience had been more competitive in nature, territorial. It is refreshing to be a part of a system of institutions that look out for each other. I have always been willing to work hard and am grateful for the guidance and support of my past and present colleagues; they have all played a part in my development with Farm Credit."
Isvara Wilson | General Counsel, AgFirst Farm Credit Bank
Isvara joined the Farm Credit System because she believes in its mission and feels it is a great place to work and feel proud of what you do.

"The experiences I had working at a major financial institution have been an invaluable resource as I take on my new role at AgFirst Farm Credit Bank. I believe that each experience builds on the next one to create success. In addition, I have had excellent advocates, mentors and colleagues who have helped me develop and opened doors along the way."

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