As Farmers National Co. celebrates its 90th anniversary, the growing landowner services company also will see a changing of the guard.
Farmers National president and chief executive officer Jim Farrell has been with the company since 1986, first at its southeast Minnesota office in Rochester, where he managed and sold farms during the heart of the farm crisis. Eventually, Farrell was promoted to vice president of business development, advanced to become vice president of marketing and then, in 2004, was named president and CEO.
Farrell will be retiring from the employee-owned company effective Dec. 31, 2019, according to an announcement.
“Our greatest satisfaction as a company is when we can help a landowner or mineral interest owner with concerns or issues that they may have with the management of their property,” Farrell said. “The company has continued to grow, doubling in the number of employees and associates since 2005. Income has grown by four times during that time frame. A good group of loyal employees and associates, along with a great business plan, good long-range planning and good timing in our markets, allowed for this growth.”
Farmers National has named David Englund to be Farrell's successor. Englund currently oversees the farm management sector and hires, trains and supervises field operations for the company. Englund grew up on a farm in Nebraska, holds an agricultural business degree from Kearney State College, is an accredited farm manager and possesses numerous certifications in real estate and crop insurance.
Englund's current position will be filled by Ken Schmitt, area vice president for the central area in Jefferson, Iowa. Ken grew up on a farm in Lohrville, Iowa, graduated from Iowa State University and is an accredited farm manager through the American Society of Farm Managers & Rural Appraisers. Schmitt has been with Farmers National since 1986 and has extensive knowledge and expertise in farm management. He has served on the board of directors and will join the home office in Omaha, Neb.
Farmers National chief financial officer and treasurer/senior executive vice president Dave Knutson, who was with the company for 30 years and officially retired in July 2019, now has been replaced by Julie Gerken, senior vice president of financial services/treasurer. Gerken has been with Farmers National since 2014 and has extensive knowledge of accounting practices. After graduating from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, she went into public accounting for 17 years before joining Farmers National.
Farmers National has been serving America's landowners since 1929 to help them manage “everything below and above the ground” to maximize the profitably of their land investment. Today, it has approximately $9.2 billion of assets under management. Farmers National manages more than 5,000 farms and ranches in 29 states comprising more than 2 million acres.
The company's 10 complementary services are: farm management, real estate sales, appraisals, insurance, consulting, oil and gas management, forest resource management, lake management, national hunting leases and FNC Ag Stock.