Click here to watch the full announcement video.
 

Beacon Credit Union to Acquire Midwest Ag Finance

February 6, 2015

Three years ago I realized that I would be 60 years old soon.  I had always made a promise to the employees and silently to myself that when the day came that I would consider retirement that I would not take my retirement and forsake the employees and customers to some of the very negative experiences people have had with community bank consolidations.  Holding true to that promise would take several years.  In recent years I have spent much time and effort putting together the pieces to find the right partner to join with.  I wanted that partner to have its roots in agriculture--as the only way to insure the Midwest Ag Finance (MAF) legacy of dependable ag lending to our customers and treatment of our employees continues.

I have signed a definitive agreement to join MAF with Beacon Credit Union (BCU) headquartered in Wabash, Indiana.  For over 15 years MAF has had a funding relationship with BCU.  I know BCU is a dependable ag lender, and we talk the same language when it comes to ag lending philosophy.  Going forward I will continue to manage the credit process and people of the MAF group as well as be a part of the BCU Senior Executive Team.  I see this appointment as a unique opportunity to have input into how MAF and BCU ag borrowers are serviced going forward. 

BCU was started in 1931 as a group of Wabash County farmers banded together to form their own credit union to be sure they had a dependable source of ag credit.  Originally it was called the Wabash County Farm Bureau Credit Union.  Today BCU has 23 offices across northern Indiana and has the largest ag loan volume of any credit union in the country.

The BCU board is made up of mostly farmers or agri-business people that have taken a very thoughtful approach to this undertaking – from combining the BCU and MAF staffs, to making decisions on what is right and appropriate as we begin to make available the many BCU deposit  account features to MAF customers.  

You will not see dramatic changes that make it difficult to carry on your normal business with us.  What you will see are the same people and hear the same voices on the phone.

Kevin Willour, the CEO of BCU has made it very clear that he expects me and other MAF staff members to play a role in whatever happens going forward.  He is also very adamant that the MAF brand of Relationship, Knowledge and Security is as common going forward as it is now.

I know this letter will create more questions than it answers.  Please don’t rely on rumor.  Feel free to call me, your lender, your crop agent or your closest MAF contact, so we can answer your questions.

As far as my retirement, I plan to be around for the foreseeable future.

Jerry Nickel, Chief Strategic Officer
Beacon Credit Union | Ag Group

Please click here to view an extended interview featuring Kevin Willour and me.