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  • State of Kentucky

    Kentucky

  • State of Ohio

    Ohio

  • State of Tennessee

    Tennessee

David
Bates

Ellen
Joslin

Chris
Mitchell

Dale “Bud”
Tucker

Rachael
Vonderhaar

Mark
Wilkerson

Meet the
Candidates

 
 
 

David
Bates

Occupation: Farmer

Shepherdsville, Kentucky

Photo of David Bates

To provide a reliable source of credit to all phases of agriculture and rural America.”

Bates raises corn, soybeans, and hay on 400 acres and runs a cow/calf operation. Previously, he ran a full-time dairy operation. He earned degrees from Freed-Hardeman College and the University of Louisville. He is 73 years old.

My experience with Farm Credit began when I was 19 years old. Farm Credit was then and still is my main source of credit at our farm. It has been my privilege to serve as your Director. My goal as that Director is to provide a reliable source of credit to all of Agriculture and Rural America. In most situations, what is considered good for the member borrower will also be good for Farm Credit. The decisions the Board of Directors make in the Boardroom directly affect the member borrower. This is the reason before making any decision I always consider how does this affect the membership. Farm Credit Mid America is a cooperative. The members can and should expect the cooperative to return a profit to its member borrowers. There are different ways of doing this but a patronage dividend paid annually has been the most widely accepted way of doing this.

We have made tremendous strides in the way we service loans at Farm Credit. The most important responsibility the Board of Directors has is to hire and retain the best CEO to ensure the association maintains good employees, provides acceptable credit and ensure overall excellence and success.

The important career accomplishment for me began at age 19. At the death of my father, it was my responsibility to manage and provide income for my mother while starting a family of my own. Sonia and I raised four great children and all four graduated from college. It took hard work and help from the Lord to be successful at dairy farming.

Board Experience

  • Farm Credit Mid-America (Director, 1988 to present)
  • Farm Credit Mid-America Human Resources Committee (Chair, 2019)
  • Farm Credit Mid-America Governance Committee (Member)
  • Farm Credit Council (Vice Chairman)
  • 1st Kentucky PCA (Director)

Community &
Industry Involvement

  • Bullitt County Cattleman’s Association (Director)
  • Bullitt County Farm Bureau (past President)

Farm Credit Mid-America neither opposes nor endorses any candidate for election for the Board of Directors.

 
 
 

Chris
Mitchell

Occupation: Farmer

Flemingsburg, Kentucky

Photo of Chris Mitchell

I believe one of the most critical responsibilities for Farm Credit Mid-America is to secure financing for traditional and non-traditional agriculture.”

Mitchell owns a cow/calf operation and raises 400 acres of hay. He also raises freezer beef, which he sells direct to local consumers. Previously, Mitchell was a herdsman of a 200 cow dairy operation. He holds a high school diploma from Fleming County High School. He is 45 years old.

I served on the Nominating Committee for several years and during that time, I learned a great deal about Farm Credit. I feel like I reached a point where I wanted to pursue the opportunity to serve in a different capacity. Based on my experience as a farmer and working with Farm Credit, I think I would make an excellent candidate for Director. The area in which I farm is highly diversified in grain, livestock and forage production, which all have unique financial needs. I feel I would be qualified to represent these needs and the farmers who are engaged in those fields. I believe one of the most critical responsibilities for Farm Credit Mid-America is to secure financing for traditional and non-traditional agriculture. The Board should come up with innovative and flexible loan packages that would meet the needs of our agriculture-based customers.

One of my proudest personal achievements is being one of the coordinators of our Agriculture Education week, which is a weeklong event that includes agriculture education for every grade level in our school system and ends with the largest tractor parade in the state. This event has won Kentucky Farm Bureau awards and was recognized nationally by American Farm Bureau.

Also, in 2017, I was recognized as the Agriculture Leader of the year by the Chamber of Commerce.

Board Experience

  • Farm Credit Mid-America Local Advisory Committee (2009-2019)
  • Farm Credit Mid-America Nominating Committee (2014-2020)
  • Fleming County Cattleman’s Association (President 2015-present, Member 2008 to present)
  • Fleming County Farm Bureau (Director, 2010 to present)

Community &
Industry Involvement

  • A Better Community (Director, 2016 to present)
  • Southern States – Flemingsburg Cooperative (Director)

Farm Credit Mid-America neither opposes nor endorses any candidate for election for the Board of Directors.

 
 
 

Ellen
Joslin

Occupation: Farmer

Conover, Ohio

Photo of Ellen Joslin

Farm Credit Mid-America should continue to make the financial support for farmers and the farm community their top priority.”

Joslin manages 600 acres of corn and soybeans in a share crop operation. She oversees the marketing and financials of the operation and manages several rental houses. Joslin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Management from Urbana University. She is 63 years old.

I would like to serve on the Board of Directors because Farm Credit Mid-America is critical to support agriculture funding and resources for local farmers. This support is so important due to the loss of local financial institutions because of mergers and acquisitions. Attempting to borrow or finance agricultural operations in today’s business environment becomes difficult in today’s lack of understanding of agricultural business and needs. Maintaining the excellent past history operations of this organization and improving on future opportunities via member support and transparency are crucial to Farm Credit Mid-America’s success. My experience with Ohio Farm Bureau and Ohio Soybean Council would help solidify the connection with our members. Technology advances in user ease are critical to the future of the members’ information. Farm Credit Mid-America should continue to make the financial support for farmers their top priority.

In 2016, I lost my husband and partner just two days after finishing planting our crops in May. I wonder if the lack of rain was a sign or help from above to allow me to complete the year. 2016 was the worst year of my life but with the help received from great people, and the strength gained, success can be gained in anything if I work hard enough.

Board Experience

  • Farm Credit Mid-America Local Advisory Committee (2013-2016)
  • Ohio Soybean Council (Member 1998-2007, held offices of Secretary, Treasurer and Vice President)
  • Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (Trustee 2000-2015)
  • Shelby County Farm Bureau (Board, Membership Chair and President 1994-2000, Member, 1984 to present)

Community &
Industry Involvement

  • Ohio Soybean Association (Member, 2016 to present)
  • USDA Agriculture Trade Advisory Committee – oilseeds (Member, 2013-2016)

Farm Credit Mid-America neither opposes nor endorses any candidate for election for the Board of Directors.

 
 
 

Rachael
Vonderhaar

Occupation: Farmer

Camden, Ohio

Photo of Rachael Vonderhaar

I plan to make sure educational opportunities continue to be shared along with protecting and strengthening the Farm Credit System to ensure access to capital for future generations of Rural America.”

Vonderhaar serves as the secretary, treasurer and controller for Vonderhaar Farms Inc. The diversified family owned farm includes a 2,800 acre row crop and cow/calf operation, a custom systematic drainage tile business, and custom mixes and bags bird seed. She holds a high school diploma from Lakota High School. She is 45 years old.

If blessed with the opportunity to continue representing our Farm Credit Mid-America cooperative members and the rural communities of our region I will continue to use my strong compassionate voice to express the needs, desires, dedication, and work ethic of our members. Our Farm Credit Mid-America team has worked hard with our families, sharing knowledge and educational opportunities like the “Know to Grow” and “Succession Planning Basics” Workshops. I plan to make sure educational opportunities continue to be shared along with protecting and strengthening the Farm Credit System to ensure access to capital for future generations of Rural America.

An important career or personal accomplishment was my election to our Preble County Farm Service Agency County Committee (2 terms) to represent the agricultural producers of my district. The producers of my district made me feel supported, encouraged, respected, and gave me the courage to use my voice to advocate for our growers on a larger platform.

Board Experience

  • Farm Credit Mid-America Board of Directors (Director, 2016 to present)
  • Farm Credit Mid-America Audit Committee (Member)
  • Farm Credit Mid-America Human Resources Committee (Member)
  • Farm Credit Mid-America Nominating Committee (Member, 2015 to 2016)
  • Farm Credit Mid-America Local Advisory Committee (Member, 2008 to 2017)
  • American Agri-Women (Member, 2010 to present)
  • County Commissioner for Preble County Ohio
  • Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program (Director, 2015 to present)
  • Ohio Agri-Women (President, 2015 to 2017, past President, 2017 to 2019, Member, 2010 to present)
  • Ohio Federation of Republican Women (Ag Committee Co-Chair, 2014 to present)
  • Preble County Farm Bureau (Trustee, 2012 to 2020)
  • Wheat Foods Council (President, 2019 to 2020, past President, 2020 to present, Member, 2015 to present)

Community &
Industry Involvement

  • Concerned Citizens of Preble County LLC (Trustee, Treasurer)
  • Ohio Corn and Wheat (Member, 2015 to present)
  • Ohio Farm Bureau (Member, 2010 to present)
  • Preble County Development Partnership (Trustee)

Farm Credit Mid-America neither opposes nor endorses any candidate for election for the Board of Directors.

 
 
 

Dale “Bud”
Tucker

Occupation: Farmer

Greeneville, Tennessee

Photo of Dale Tucker

Giving sound financial advice is critical and offering the proper services, finances, and a strong Patronage Program is what we should strive to do every day.”

Tucker raises hay and timber and runs a commercial beef operation raising bred heifers and feeders. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture from the University of Tennessee. He is 65 years old.

I would like to be on the Board of Directors because there are some challenging times that lie ahead for the agriculture community. Having the honor and privilege of currently serving on the board it is my hope that serving another term will allow me to use that experience to help come up with the solutions and ideas that will benefit our customer/owners well into the future.

One of the more critical issues for Farm Credit Mid-America is the ability to help our customers through the tough times. Giving sound financial advice is critical and offering the proper services and finances that our customers need is what we should endeavor to do every day. Being there for the agriculture community has always been and should always be our number one priority. We should always strive to be the lender of choice by providing competitive rates, financial stability and superior service to our customers. As a board member, it is my job to work with the management team in meeting the needs of our customers and doing it in the most efficient manner possible by offering up ideas and helping set the direction of the Association.

A huge personal accomplishment for me is having raised a family on the farm. Being a grandfather, I realize even more how important it is that the agriculture community not only needs to survive but to thrive so that my grandchildren will have an opportunity to a part of the agriculture way of life that we all hold so dear.

Board Experience

  • Farm Credit Mid-America (Director, 2013 to present)
  • Farm Credit Mid-America (Board Secretary, 2019 to present)
  • Farm Credit Mid-America Governance Committee (Member, 2013 to 2019)
  • Farm Credit Mid-America Risk Committee (Member, 2015 to 2019)
  • Farm Credit Council – AgriBank, Tennessee (2017 to 2021)
  • Farm Credit Mid-America Nominating Committee (2000 to 2009)
  • 1st District Greene County Commissioner
  • North Greene FFA Alumni (President, 2016 to present)

Community &
Industry Involvement

  • Greene County Farmers Co-op (Director, 1990 to 2012)
  • Greene County Farm Bureau (Director, 2000 to 2008)
  • Greene County NRCS District (Director, 2010 to 2014)

Farm Credit Mid-America neither opposes nor endorses any candidate for election for the Board of Directors.

 
 
 

Mark
Wilkerson

Occupation: Self-Employed

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Photo of Mark Wilkerson

I understand the necessary balance between maximizing Patronage distributions, capital growth and business investments in order to maintain a healthy thriving association.”

Wilkerson has a timber management and agritourism operation. He received a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from Arkansas Tech University. He is 69 years old.

I know and understand the necessary balance between maximizing patronage distribution, capital growth and business investments in order to maintain a healthy thriving association. With my current focus on a 500+ acre productive forest and natural resources combined with my background in customer communication, strategic planning and financial management, I am equipped to provide governance on many critical issues for the benefit of our owner/members.

From my career path as a teacher/football coach to the past president of 2 insurance companies, and now to daily forest management with agritourism, I have been provided the experience to understand the importance of optimizing performance and satisfaction for both the organization and the customer.

Navigation of government regulations and available financing will become more complex. I bring an energetic and process oriented style of communication, focused on constant improvement for the owner/members of Farm Credit Mid-America.

In 2015, I started as a 1st generation farmer working and living with the 2nd and 3rd generations on the farm. We host over 200 women annually teaching outdoor education and conservation. I have successfully been a part of managing and leading a $30B organization with profit and loss responsibility on a budget of $70M. I am a retired Certified Financial Planner.

Board Experience

  • Farm Credit Mid-America Local Advisory Committee (2017-2019)
  • Farm Credit Mid-America Nominating Committee (2019)
  • Farm Credit Mid-America Tennessee Advocate Council (2019 to present)
  • LIMRA International (Annual Meeting Chair, Board Member 2000-2004)
  • Northwest Haiti Christian Mission (Board Chair, 2012-2017)
  • Pioneer Mutual Insurance Company (former President, Board Member 2008-2013)
  • State Life Insurance Company (former President, Board Member 2008-2013)

Community &
Industry Involvement

  • Tennessee Forestry Association (2020 to present)
  • Bible Study Fellowship (BSF)

Farm Credit Mid-America neither opposes nor endorses any candidate for election for the Board of Directors.