Kristin Huls has been employed as the Hancock County Farm Bureau manager since April 2014. Prior to that she worked for University of Illinois Extension for over 16 years. She grew up on a farm near Carthage, IL. She was actively involved in 4-H, showing sheep and horses for over 10 years, and an FFA member throughout high school. She received her B.S. in Agriculture Business and minor in Management in 2002 from Western Illinois University and her M.S. in Education from WIU in 2009. She lives just south of Carthage, where she has a dairy farm, with her husband and two daughters, McKenna (7) and Maci (1). Her hobbies include watching her daughter show dairy cows and horses, cooking, and making crafts. I was able to conduct an interview with Kristin to see what the life of a farm bureau manager looks like.
1.What are some of your responsibilities as a Farm Bureau Manager?
- Managing the daily operations and administration of our county Farm Bureau office
- Supervising clerical staff
- Reporting to a board of 24 directors
- Preparing annual and monthly budgets and financial statements
- Working with volunteers and Illinois Farm Bureau staff to plan and conduct programs in the areas of farm safety, legislative/local affairs, marketing, etc.
- Assisting with Ag in the Classroom programs as needed
- Promoting and marketing the county Farm Bureau organization and programs (writing press releases, newspaper ads, conducting radio interviews, etc.)
2. What is the most enjoyable aspect of being a Farm Bureau Manager?
- I love working with young people who are engaged and excited about agriculture! FFA students, 4-H’ers, Collegiate Farm Bureau members, Young Leaders, etc. It is great to see young people so involved with agriculture!
3.What is the most challenging aspect of being a Farm Bureau Manager?
- As you know, COUNTRY Financial clients are required to have a Farm Bureau membership. Sometimes these members may not understand or appreciate the value of their membership because they might not be actively engaged in the agriculture industry. It is sometimes challenging to help those members understand what Farm Bureau does and why it is important.
4. Why is it important for those in the agriculture industry to be a member of Farm Bureau?
- Since I started working with Farm Bureau last year, I truly have a new appreciation for the organization! Farm Bureau is working around the clock to fight for legislation that will benefit farmers with their daily operations, as well as fight against legislation that will make farming more challenging. One example of this is WOTUS, or Waters of the US. The organization is working every day to ensure that our food remains safe and affordable, and educating consumers on where their food comes from.
5. If someone is interested in becoming a Farm Bureau Manager in the future, what advice to do have for them?
- I would encourage them to contact their local Farm Bureau manager to schedule a time to “shadow” them or a time to spend time volunteering with their programming efforts. Your local Farm Bureau manager can also give you information about the Farm Bureau manager trainee program. The Farm Bureau organization provides great incentives and truly values its managers and other staff. I would say “Go for it!”
If any student is interested in more information about the Illinois Farm Bureau they can visit: http://www.ilfb.org/
For additional information to apply to the Illinois Farm Bureau Manager Trainee Program, please visit: http://www.ilfb.org/5136.asp
Hello, my name is Stephani Mulch and I am from Sutter, IL. I am currently a senior at Western Illinois University studying Agricultural Business. I grew up on a grain (corn and soybean) and commercial swine farm. My family has been members of the Illinois Farm Bureau for over thirty years now. I had the privilege to work for Kristin at the Hancock County Farm Bureau this past summer.