TRAINING FOR AG FINANCING BEGAN ON THE FARM
Oct 07, 2020
When you grow up on a dairy farm, agriculture gets in your blood. And then, when you look for a career path, agronomy draws you in. That’s the case for Kelly Meyer, Federated’s new business service [financing] specialist.
“I’ve been in ag since day one,” she said, and the childhood fascination of watching and working with her parents on their farm spurred her toward an ag career. Meyer’s family farm is just south of Osceola (WI).
Meyer started at Federated as part of a school-to-work program when she was still in high school. Tim Stelter, Federated’s Osceola location manager, hired Meyer to work in Osceola; her father has been a loyal Federated customer for many years.
Meyer has worked for Federated 15 of the past 20 years, working her way up to assistant store manager – a role she still fills – and this past spring she added “business services” to her Federated resume. “I think they approached me because I have a longstanding relationship with the co-op, and I felt like it was something that would increase my value with the company,” she said.
Though financing wasn’t her specialty, the good relationships she has with Federated customers and her passion for agriculture give her the tools to help growers with their financing needs. In spite of the complex process of learning the ins and outs of ag financing programs, Meyer maintains the biggest challenge of this job is “trying to figure out what my growers need from me, and what I need to do to make them successful.”
In a year turned upside-down by Covid19, Meyer has been put to the test in her new role. “I wasn’t able to get trained [in the usual way] because of Covid,” she said, and too, “I dispatch for the ag division in Osceola,” so taking on financing in the middle of spring planting made for quite the ride.
“I love working 14-15 hours days,” she said, referring to the spring rush. “I love the busy aspect of getting the job done.” Meyer’s husband and young daughters are well-versed in the rhythms of the ag business, and “they know my job is seasonal; my husband understands,” she said with a chuckle.
Meyer describes herself as persistent, someone who doesn’t “get worked up about things.” Growers can depend on her straightforward and easing going style when it’s time to make ag financing decisions.