Governance Elections

Customer elections are held annually for members of our Board of Directors and Nominating Committee.

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2024 ELECTION OVERVIEW

Directors are elected annually on a staggered basis. Nominating Committee members are elected to a one-year term annually. Candidates elected in this election will begin their terms on April 1, 2024.

Eligible voters as of December 15, 2023, will be mailed ballots on February 27, 2024, and may vote online or by mail.

Ballot submission deadline:

  • March 20, 2024 at 12:00 p.m. Central Time

Ballots must be received by this date and time to be counted.

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Race 1: 3-Year Term


lee mueller

Lee Mueller

Residence and business located in Hiawatha, KS

Birth Year: 1972

Occupation: Farming
Laus Creek Farm is a multigenerational grain farm in northeast Kansas. We raise no-till corn and soybeans, utilizing the latest precision and sustainable farming techniques. In addition, we provide custom crop protection application as well as year-round grain hauling for clients.

Education:
Kansas State University, B.S., Geography
FCCS Premier Governance Series (PGS) Certification

Current Leadership:
Board Vice Chairperson and Governance Committee Chairperson, Frontier Farm Credit
Trustee, Hiawatha Community Foundation
President, Laus Creek Farm Inc.
Owner, Laus Creek Trucking LLC
Member, Highland Community College Precision Agriculture Advisory Committee


WHY I WANT TO SERVE ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS:

I would be honored to continue to represent fellow farmers, ranchers and agribusiness on the Frontier Farm Credit (Association) Board. I believe the cooperative model shines brightest when shareholders communicate directly with Board members who have the same passion for agriculture as they do, and this motivates me to carry those voices into the boardroom. Keeping the customer-stockholder at the forefront of decision making is paramount, therefore I am committed to maintaining a strong, responsible patronage program that truly benefits the patrons and their communities.

EXAMPLE OF A LEADERSHIP ROLE THAT PREPARED ME FOR A POSITION ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS:

Other than being a father, I believe that serving on the Association Board is the most important leadership role I have had the privilege to hold. This directorship role has uniquely positioned me to help guide this Association toward an exciting future. The Association is, and more importantly, will continue to be, a leader within the Farm Credit System. I am looking forward to representing the shareholders into that future.

BUSINESS KNOWLEDGE, EXPERIENCE AND/OR EDUCATION IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS:

Strategic Planning: I am directly involved in quarterly strategic planning sessions for the Association. These sessions include analyzing financial data to determine the Association’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT). This data includes revenue and expense trends, cash flow and capital expenditures. I believe that any strategic planning initiatives must keep the customer-stockholder’s best interests at heart.

Corporate Governance: As the current Board Governance Committee chairperson, I lead quarterly discussions, reviewing and updating policies, bylaws and governance guidelines to further align and comply with regulations. These ensure that the Association continues to operate in a responsible yet efficient manner. In addition, I have served as Brown County Farm Bureau vice president and on the Kansas Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers State Committee, as well as on the Kansas State Brown County Extension board.

Financial Reporting: As a member of the Board Audit Committee, I help identify financial risks and opportunities, develop strategies to mitigate risks and optimize financial performance. At Laus Creek Farm, I review and approve all financial reports for our farming and trucking operations in conjunction with our internal bookkeeper and an external accountant. In addition, I served as the chairperson of our church’s finance committee.

Business Technology: I embrace implementing and utilizing new technologies as they become available in all aspects of business. I was an early adopter (receiving a Certificate of Completion for the Ag/Innovator Institute GIS Workshop) of precision farming technologies such as yield mapping, variable rate fertilizer, seed, lime and precision herbicide application, and cloud-based input prescriptions and reporting. I also use the Association’s digital platform for things such as remote check deposit.

Risk Management: As president of Laus Creek Farm Inc., I am directly involved in daily risk management. This includes grain commodity marketing, crop input pricing, weather volatility and other variables that affect the bottom line of the business. My education in this area includes a Certificate of Completion for Risk Management and Marketing from Kansas State Research and Extension for Ag Producers. I also serve on the Association’s Business Risk Committee.

Talent Management: I am responsible for the oversight of employees of Laus Creek Farm Inc. I must also manage my time, making sure I spend enough time with my family and to ensure that I never take that time for granted. I serve on the Association’s Human Capital Committee and have previously served as chairperson of our church’s Staff-Parish Relations (human resources) committee.

lavell winsor

LaVell Winsor

Residence and business in Grantville, Kansas

Birth Year: 1975

Occupation: Farming and Financial Analysis
My husband and I are part of a third-generation farming operation with my mother-in-law and brother-in-law. We raise row crops between Topeka and Lawrence. My responsibilities are crop marketing and financial management. Professionally, my background is in risk management, farm financial analysis and succession planning. I have always worked directly with farmers, helping them with their commodity marketing and finances. Off-farm, I am a farm financial analyst with Kansas State University, Agricultural Economics Department. I help farm families with the financial management of their businesses. I have co-taught three different educational series on Farm Finance, Risk Management and Land Leasing.

Education:
Colorado State University, B.S., Agriculture Business
Series 3 & 30 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) licenses (Commodity Brokerage)
Kansas Agricultural and Rural Leadership, Class XIII

Current Leadership:
Member, Trinity Lutheran Church, Audit and Nominating Committee
Member and Sponsorship Chairperson, Women Managing the Farm, Executive Board
Conservation Champion, American Soybean Association


WHY I WANT TO SERVE ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS:

Observing Frontier Farm Credit (Association) over the years, I am impressed with the standard of excellence. As customers, we want the Association to be successful. I want to be part of setting the direction, particularly during the challenging agriculture environment. Over the years, I have worked with hundreds of farm families working on their finances. My goal is to use the knowledge I have gained to help the Association prosper with the customer. My experiences and skills lend well to this role.

EXAMPLE OF A LEADERSHIP ROLE THAT PREPARED ME FOR A POSITION ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS:

Over the last decade, my work as a farm analyst has put me in board-of-director-level meetings for farm families. I facilitate tough conversations and ensure these meetings have traction and move forward into execution. Farm financial statements are common language for me. While serving as an Association Director, I will understand the reports down to the farm level. Coupled with my grain marketing roles, I am seasoned at making tough decisions and helping navigate conflicts.

BUSINESS KNOWLEDGE, EXPERIENCE AND/OR EDUCATION IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS:

Strategic Planning: The most challenging strategic planning process I successfully worked though was as an employee of Cargill as we redesigned the strategic plan for our region. This experience established how I use strategic planning for our farm and when working with others, from farm clients to our church board. As a family business, we try to be nimble in executing on opportunities. Strategic planning should be an evolving road map to reach goals and provide flexibility for opportunities.

Corporate Governance: Our farm abides by legal and ethical standards. Each person has their areas of responsibility and seeks input from key resources. Major decisions are made after discussion and consideration. From a business perspective, I have worked under corporate and academic management styles. These roles gave me insight into extremely different business models.

Financial Reporting: Financial management is critical to the success of a farm. We work closely with our economist at the Kansas Farm Management Association and benchmark to other farms. I use software to monitor financial ratios and cash flows. In my farm analyst role, I work with producers on their financial performance. Building successful farm businesses is important for solid lending institutions and strong rural communities.

Business Technology: Technology is to be a tool and not a hinderance. Not only is technology important, but so is the timing of releases, implementation and training for those who will use the technology. Our farm utilizes software and spreadsheets for business records. Files are sharable among business partners. We use the latest technologies to manage crops, from utilizing Field View® to managing irrigation systems from our tablets to be more efficient.

Risk Management: I learned risk management skills during my employment with Cargill when I acquired my Series 3 & 30 FINRA licenses. After Cargill, I worked in a brokerage firm, consulting producers on risk management. On our farm, we utilize futures, options and forward contracting. We also consider insurance, interest rate risk, succession planning and liability protection as part of our overall risk management plan on our farm.

Talent Management: Our farm employs a few fulltime people and seasonal help. Finding skilled and reliable farm labor is a great challenge. The Temporary Agricultural Workers (H-2A) program allows us to widen our talent pool and hire skilled workers. It is important to attract good talent, but also to have programs to retain, train and invest in employees. Helping people see how their contributions fit into the larger strategy increases employee satisfaction.

Race 1


Heather Huntington-Fuesz

Eureka, Kansas

Occupation: Ranching
My husband, Cory, and I operate the Double Arrow C Ranch Inc. in the southern Flint Hills. We run a multigenerational commercial cow-calf operation and annually take in summer grass cattle for custom grazing. In addition, we utilize bottom ground for farming, primarily brome hay. Farmers and ranchers are the backbone of rural communities. Throughout the years, I have written grants and created programming benefitting rural Kansas communities. Diversification is important, so I renovated a farmhouse that operates as Spring Creek Guest House.

Education:
Kansas State University, B.S., Journalism/Mass Communications
Pratt Community College, A.S.
The Grantsmanship Training Center Certificate

Current Leadership:
Secretary/Treasurer/Director, Double Arrow C Ranch Inc.
Vice President, Greenwood County Hospital Foundation
Board of Directors, Greenwood Preservation Society
Chair, Frontier Farm Credit Nominating Committee

WHY I WANT TO SERVE ON THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE:
In agriculture, we continue to adjust to changing times, a volatile world economy and unsettled financial markets. Strong, effective and knowledgeable leadership is essential to assure that farming and ranching financial services remain reliable. My background working with rural communities and in a multigenerational agricultural operation provides me with insight to help identify, evaluate and nominate knowledgeable candidates for the Board that will allow for successful organizational leadership.

Connie Pelton Kays

Pittsburg, Kansas

Occupation: Ranching and Business Owner
My husband and I own Joe Smith Company, which is a century-old wholesale convenience store distribution center. We also run a registered Angus cattle operation.

Education:
Kansas State University, M.S., Agribusiness/Meat Science
Kansas State University, B.S., Animal Science and Industry
Kansas State University, B.S., Business Administration

Current Leadership:
Board Secretary, Kansas 4-H Foundation Board
Past Chair and Current Board of Trustees Member, Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas
National Vice Chair, Council for Agricultural Research Extension and Teaching (CARET)
Member, Wildcat Extension District Board

WHY I WANT TO SERVE ON THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE:
I believe in the mission of Frontier Farm Credit and all that it does to assist farmers, ranchers, cooperatives, rural residents and agribusinesses in southeast Kansas. It would be an honor to represent my area of the state.

Race 2


Liz Hendricks

Howard, Kansas

Occupation: Ranching and Real Estate
My husband, Doug, and I operate a commercial cow-calf herd near southeast Kansas, along with a backgrounding lot. We graze summer yearlings, retain them through the feedlot and feed out cutting bulls. We have a small farming and haying operation as well. In addition to ranching, I am also a real estate agent. I have sold agricultural and recreational land, and residential properties in several southeastern counties for over two decades.

Education:
Friends University, M.S., Management
Guilford College, B.S., Accounting

Current Leadership:
President and CEO, Hendricks Enterprises Inc.
Real Estate Agent, Theurer Auction/Realty
Member, Elk County Community Foundation
President, Elk County Livestock Sale Committee

WHY I WANT TO SERVE ON THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE:
It is important to find and nominate qualified people for the Frontier Farm Credit Board. We need to identify individuals who are invested in production agriculture and can speak to the challenges our industry is facing.

Matthew Wyckoff

Wellsville, Kansas

Occupation: Ranching, and Agronomy Sales and Service
My wife and I run a cow-calf operation. We market Angus bulls, Angus and crossbred females, and sell home-raised beef. I am also co-owner and operator of Superior Ag Services LLC, an agronomy sales and service business.

Education:
Kansas State University, M.S. Soil Fertility
Kansas State University, B.S. Agronomy/Ag Business minor

Current Leadership:
Member, Frontier Farm Credit Nominating Committee
Delegate, MFA Oil

WHY I WANT TO SERVE ON THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE:
As first-generation farmers, my wife and I have relied heavily on Frontier Farm Credit to help supply the capital to get started. We appreciate the backing that Frontier Farm Credit has provided us, and I am happy to give back to the Association. I have enjoyed serving on the Nominating Committee and would appreciate the opportunity to continue.

Race 3


Mark Barnes

Ottawa, Kansas

Occupation: Farming
My wife and I co-own and operate the family farm, where we raise primarily corn, soybeans and beef cattle. We, along with our family, have successfully built the business over the past three decades.

Education:
University of Oklahoma, M.S., Electrical Engineering
Missouri Institute of Technology, B.S., Electronics Engineering Technology

Current Leadership:
Member, VeriGrain™ Inc. Board
Manager, Barnes Family Farms LLC

WHY I WANT TO SERVE ON THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE:
Frontier Farm Credit has been a consistent, valued partner in developing our farming operation. I am excited by the opportunity to identify leadership who will maintain the availability and value of resources Frontier Farm Credit offers our industry. I have a diverse background in agriculture, business, technology and governance that I believe is well suited to serve on the Nominating Committee. My professional experiences include many years of farming, engineering, quality and management roles, and serving on boards at a local cooperative and an ag-tech startup.

Ryan Johnson

Berryton, Kansas

Occupation: Farming
I manage Lynn Creek Farms LLC, a grain production farming enterprise in Shawnee County. I co-own the business with my wife, Elizabeth. We produce corn, soybeans, winter wheat and milo.

Education:
University of Massachusetts-Amherst, MBA
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, B.S., Business Administration/Finance
CFA® Institute, Charterholder (Chartered Financial Analyst®)

Current Leadership:
Manager, Lynn Creek Farms LLC
President, Kansas Farm Management Association – Northeast Board
Treasurer, Shawnee County Farm Bureau Association
Member Kansas Farm Bureau – Wheat Advisory Committee

WHY I WANT TO SERVE ON THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE:
My business experience and education prior to farming was primarily within the financial services industry. I have an uncommon background for an agricultural producer, one which I believe could add value in selecting those who oversee Frontier Farm Credit. I have a desire to serve Frontier Farm Credit and its members, and my talents align with what the Nominating Committee is tasked with accomplishing. I would like to help promote the shared future success for Frontier Farm Credit and its members.

Race 4


Mary Ann Kniebel

White City, Kansas

Occupation: Farming and Ranching
Conception to consumption cattle operation, plus a registered Red Angus seedstock herd. We raise all the inputs for the feedyard, custom feed for bull customers and are founding members of U.S. Premium Beef.

Education:
Kansas State University, M.S., Animal Science – Reproductive Physiology
Kansas State University, B.S., Animal Science

Current Leadership:
Member and Immediate Past Chair, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Cattle Health and Well-Being Committee
Member, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Policy and Resolutions Committee
Vice-Chair, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Disease Traceability Working Group
Chair, Kansas Livestock Association, Animal Health and Identification Committee
Member, U.S. Premium Beef Nominating Committee
Member, Frontier Farm Credit Nominating Committee

WHY I WANT TO SERVE ON THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE:
Frontier Farm Credit (Association) is a vital partner for agriculture families. I believe it is crucial that we continue to have Board representation from the membership to grow the amazing synergistic relationship that we have with our Association family.

Mark T. Wilson

Abilene, Kansas

Occupation: Farming
I am a part of a sixth-generation farming operation doing business in several counties located in north-central Kansas. We raise wheat, soybeans and several other grains while specializing in hay production.

Education:
Kansas State University, B.S., Baking Science

Current Leadership:
President, Warren Wilson Hay Inc.
Vice President, GEM Cattle Company Inc.
Director and Chair, Dickinson County Community Foundation
President, USD 435 Abilene School District Board

WHY I WANT TO SERVE ON THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE:
I would like the opportunity to serve the organization and to learn the role of Nominating Committee and Director positions. I would like to help identify improvements to the process such as getting to know the candidates up for election better. Many times, I just don’t vote for a person because I don’t know them. When you understand the process, you trust the process.

Race 5


Barb Downey

Wamego, Kansas

Occupation: Ranching
Chief executive officer of Downey Ranch Inc., a registered and commercial Angus operation in Wabaunsee and Riley counties. We sell seedstock (registered bulls, and commercial and registered females) and supply finished beef to National Beef through U.S. Premium Beef. We are founding members of U.S Premium Beef and are U.S. Premium Beef Qualified Seedstock Suppliers.

Education:
Kansas State University, B.S., Animal Sciences and Industry

Current Leadership:
Member, Beef Promotion Operating Committee (Beef Checkoff)
Board of Directors, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
Executive Committee, Kansas Beef Council
Secretary, Frontier Farm Credit Nominating Committee

WHY I WANT TO SERVE ON THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE:
Our family ranch does significant business with Frontier Farm Credit (Association). As such, I have a vested interest in ensuring that elected representatives are well suited to serve me and all the customers of the Association. I believe I am well suited to evaluate the acumen and qualifications of candidates, and ensure that the Association continues to thrive and serve the ag community in the best ways possible.

Daniel Mushrush

Strong City, Kansas

Occupation: Ranching
We run registered Red Angus cows and breed commercial heifers annually, as well as transfer embryos each year. We focus on maternal genetics and are early adopters of technology and management to run our business as efficient and lean as we can.

Education:
Kansas State University, B.S. Agribusiness

Current Leadership:
Partner, Mushrush Ranches LLC
Member, Red Angus Association of America Breed Improvement Committee
Member, Kansas Livestock Association Stockgrowers Council Executive Committee
President, Chase County Conservation Board Member, Great Plains Grassland Initiative Advisory Board
Member, Frontier Farm Credit Nominating Committee

WHY I WANT TO SERVE ON THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE:
I believe very deeply in the responsibility of the Nominating Committee to identify candidates that will keep pushing the ag industry forward. There are so many structural changes on the horizon, not only in ag but in ag finance, and I want to do my part to serve the industry as it adapts.


Cast your ballot by 12:00 p.m. Central Time on March 20, 2024.