National briefs - First Farmers Financial Corp. Declares Dividend

Wisconsin State Farmer


First Farmers Financial Corp. declares dividend

First Farmers Financial Corp, the parent company of First Farmers Bank & Trust Co., announced that on March 14, the Board of Directors approved a quarterly cash dividend for the first quarter of 2017 of $0.33 per share, payable on April 14, 2017 to shareholders of record as of March 31, 2017. This quarterly dividend represents a 3.1% increase over the quarterly dividend paid in April 2016.

First Farmers Financial Corp is a $1.61 billion financial holding company headquartered in Converse, Indiana. First Farmers Bank & Trust has 28 offices throughout Carroll, Cass, Clay, Grant, Hamilton, Howard, Huntington, Madison, Marshall, Miami, Starke, Sullivan, Tipton, Vermillion, Vigo and Wabash counties in Indiana and 7 offices in Coles, Edgar and Vermilion counties in Illinois.


Dairy leaders honored with World Dairy Expo® Recognition Awards

After a year hiatus – to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of World Dairy Expo – WDE is pleased to announce the return of Expo Recognition Awards and the four honorees selected this year. These individuals were nominated by their peers for their involvement and excellence in the dairy industry and their community.

The 2017 honorees are as follows:

Dairy Woman of the Year
Marilyn Hershey, Ar-Joy Farm, Cochranville, Pa.

Dairyman of the Year
Charles Ahlem, Charles Ahlem Ranch, Turlock, Calif.

Industry Person of the Year
Ben Brancel, Endeavor, Wis., Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection

International Person of the Year
Derrick Frigot, Owner of JISEX International, Jersey, Channel Islands, United Kingdom

A formal awards presentation for these outstanding dairy leaders will take place during the Dinner with the Stars banquet on Wednesday evening, October 4, 2017, in the Exhibition Hall at the Alliant Energy Center. Anyone may purchase tickets to the banquet by contacting the Expo Office at 608-224-6455 or Prior to the ticketed banquet, a complimentary reception featuring hors d'oeuvres and drinks will be held for all Expo stakeholders to celebrate, meet and greet the Expo honorees.

For over five decades, the global dairy industry has been meeting in Madison, Wis. for World Dairy Expo. Crowds of nearly 75,000 people from more than 100 countries attended the annual event in 2016. WDE will return Oct. 3-7, as attendees and exhibitors are encouraged to “Discover New Dairy Worlds.” Visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@WDExpo or #WDE17) for more information.


Alltech to showcase barrier-breaking industry leaders at international agribusiness conference

George Blankenship, former executive at Tesla Motors, Apple Computer and GAP Inc., uses uniquely innovative processes to transform status quo organizations into forward-thinking and dynamic players of the future. And now, Blankenship will use his experience to provide the audience at ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference with unmatched insight into building and creating brand loyalty and awareness, competitive positioning in the market and what it takes to deliver superior customer care.

Jack Bobo, senior vice president and chief communications officer for Intrexon, is constantly assessing the relationship between science and agriculture. Bobo, who was named one of the 100 most influential people in biotechnology by Scientific American, will offer his unique perspective on global trends in agriculture, consumer perceptions and science communication.

International pioneer in innovation and New York Times best-selling author Dr. Peter Diamandis will share his insight and strategies for making big impacts on the future. Diamandis, founder and executive chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation and co-founder and vice-chairman of Human Longevity Inc., was named one of “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” by Fortune magazine.

“This year’s audience should prepare for truly disruptive ideas when they hear from these influential leaders,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, Alltech’s founder and president. “From changing the car-buying experience to serving as the architect of Apple’s brand-building retail methodology, George Blankenship has disrupted the status quo in several industries. Peter Diamandis taught us how to go big, create wealth and impact the world through his book ‘Abundance.’ And Jack Bobo is a name synonymous with biotechnology and consumer perceptions.”

Dr. Lyons will deliver an inspiring message on “Realizing Your Dreams Through Disruption.” Through personal stories of perseverance and ambition, he will encourage business leaders to explore goals and define a roadmap to success.

Other headliners for ONE17 include Lisa Bodell, founder and CEO of futurethink, and Damien McLoughlin, Anthony C. Cunningham professor of marketing and associate dean at the University College Dublin Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School in Ireland. In her “Why Simple Wins” discussion, Bodell — whose time-management skills border on an art form — will help agribusiness leaders escape complexity traps and focus on the work that matters. McLoughlin will share what can be expected from the new leadership landscape in Washington, D.C., and how the food chain and global trade could be disrupted in the future, as he discusses “Disruption in Washington.”

For the full list of sessions and topics to be featured at ONE17, visit Register before April 1 to save $300. Join the conversation on Twitter with #ONE17.


Applicants sought for Holstein Association USA Junior Advisory Committee Adult Representatives

Holstein Association USA is currently seeking applications for adult representatives from Areas III and IV on the Junior Advisory Committee (JAC). The JAC serves as a sounding board for Junior members and advisors on Holstein youth programs. Applications must be submitted to Holstein Association USA by April 1st for consideration.

The current adult representatives from Areas III and IV will be completing their terms at the National Junior Holstein Convention this June. Area III is made up of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.  Area IV covers Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Adult representatives bring valuable perspective and direction to the committee and are eligible to serve up to two two-year terms. The committee meets annually, via conference call or in-person, to discuss Junior Holstein Association matters, and attendance at the National Junior Holstein Convention is required, as the committee assists with coordinating events and carrying out activities.

Ideal committee members will be knowledgeable about Junior Holstein programs; have a strong communication network with members in their designated area; must commit to attending JAC meetings and the National Holstein Convention; and must display the highest standards of ethics and commitment to youth programs.

Learn more about the JAC or download an application at With questions or for more information, contact Kelli Dunklee, youth programs specialist, at 800.952.5200, ext. 4124, or by email,