New CEO of Farm Credit Services of America is Optimistic About Agriculture

 

By Betsy Freese, Successful Farming

Agriculture.com - 11/13/2017

 

Mark Jensen uses his humble upbringing on a small farm to guide his new role as president and CEO of Farm Credit Services of America (FCSA) and Frontier Farm Credit.

 

Where were you raised?

 

I grew up on a small dairy farm south of Omaha near Avoca, Nebraska. We milked 60 to 70 cows, raised corn and soybeans, a little wheat and milo, and also had small swine operation and small feedlot. My dad still lives on the farm, but itís all rented now. My direct family is not involved in farming any more. I graduated from high school in 1987 when the Midwest was just coming out of the Farm Crisis. I had long conversations with my dad about carrying on the farm, and I believe he would have loved to have seen that happen. My passion was to stay in agriculture but not necessarily be a farmer my whole career. I joined FCSA as a loan officer in 1992 after graduating with an agricultural economics degree from the University of Nebraska. I started in Kearney, Nebraska. The lending community in agriculture was starting to rebound in 1992.

 

How has the Farm Credit business model changed in the past few years?

 

Years ago, we were guiding the business looking backward to delinquency trends and credit quality trends. Whatís evolved in the last six or seven years is a more forward-looking, through-the-windshield risk management function where you are spending a lot more time thinking and analyzing what could happen in the future.

 

What is your focus as CEO? ...

 

How do you see technology changing agriculture? ...

 

Where do you see the farm economy heading? ...

 

Is there any good news? ...

 

Will this be a rough winter financially for farmers? ...

 

What trends do you see in the livestock sector? ...

 

If you had to give farmers a New Yearís resolution, what would that be? ...

 

Are you optimistic about 2018? ...

 

How is this ag economic downturn different from the Farm Crisis of the 1980s? ...

 

What opportunities do you see for farmers in 2018? ...

 

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