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Serving: WI

United FCS Board Reaches Unanimous Agreement on Association Issues

Actions taken on governance and organizational structure.

At a recent board meeting, the Board of Directors of United FCS, ACA, reached unanimous agreement on various issues related to the Association's governance and organizational structure. United FCS, ACA is a locally-owned financial services cooperative serving the financial needs of farmers, agribusinesses and rural communities in North Central Wisconsin and West Central Minnesota. United FCS, ACA is a part of the National Farm Credit System with a rich 90-year heritage of service to rural America.

United FCS Board members agreed to the following provisions:

  • The appointment of an Outside Director who will serve as Board Chair and Chair of the Executive Committee. Effective May 2, Jerold Harris will assume this Outside Director position. Harris has more than 40 years of Farm Credit System experience.
  • Continue past and current practice of patronage allocation to shareholders based on the financial performance of the Association.
  • Affirmation of United FCS's commitment to maintaining all branch offices in Wisconsin and Minnesota with high-quality staff able to quickly and effectively respond to local customers' needs.
    Implementation of a new Executive Committee structure. The Executive Committee will now consist of three members from Wisconsin, three from Minnesota and the new Outside Director.
  • Designation of one Association President and CEO, Marc Knisely, with Regional Chief Operating Officers managing day-to-day retail operations in each region.

"The actions taken at the April meeting reflect unanimous support from all Board members, speaking as one organization for the benefit of all United FCS shareholders," says Marc Knisely, CEO of United FCS, ACA. "As a local farmer-owned cooperative, we remain highly committed to our shareholders' current and future needs."

United FCS was formed in 2002 through the merger of Farm Credit Services of North Central Wisconsin (FCS Financial Services) and Farm Credit Services Minnesota Valley which serves West Central Minnesota. The Association's local service area includes twelve counties in North Central Wisconsin and ten counties in West Central Minnesota. In February, there was a dispute among members of the Board. Since that time, members of the Board have been working cooperatively to come to an agreement on Association issues.

Incoming United FCS Board Chair Jerold Harris says, "Based on my experience with a number of Farm Credit System entities, it's clear that the United FCS Board has been diligent in its efforts to create a solid plan for its shareholders. I'm pleased to be joining a financially strong organization and I look forward to helping lead United FCS as we move forward."

The formation of United FCS, in 2002, was in response to consolidation in the financial services industry and the view that by merging the Wisconsin and Minnesota entities, the organization would be able to expand its capital base, realize cost savings, increase its revenues and profitability and diversify the credit portfolio. As a result, farmers and United FCS shareholders in Wisconsin and Minnesota have directly benefited from competitively priced products, expanded services and patronage allocations.

United FCS will also maintain its emphasis on regional delivery of products and services. Regional board committees will continue to provide advice and recommendations to the United FCS board regarding formulation of business plans, product policies, and customer outreach initiatives to ensure the unique needs of local customers are effectively met.

"United FCS has experienced strong growth and positive returns for our customers and shareholders," Knisely says. "We remain focused on serving the needs of our regions and moving forward with a plan that will provide our customers and communities in North Central Wisconsin and West Central Minnesota with the best products and service of any financial service provider. As a member of the National Farm Credit System, we look forward to fulfilling our Association commitment to improving the income and well-being of American farmers and rural communities."

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