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Producing Excellence

Darryl W. Rhodes

Wichita, KS

U.S. AgBank

Products: Financial services

Size of Operation: $25 billion in assets

Relationship with Farm Credit: President and CEO of U.S. AgBank

Worked in Farm Credit Since: 1971

In the past four decades, the Farm Credit System has faced numerous difficulties: the agricultural financing crisis in the 80s, restructuring within the System, financial and commodity market volatility and the recent world-wide credit crisis to name a few. Through it all, Darryl Rhodes has remained committed to helping Farm Credit customers access the financing they need to be successful.

Darryl began his career with Farm Credit in 1972, after earning a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Business from Colorado State University. Since then, he’s held numerous positions within the System, including senior management positions for the past 20 years. Most recently, he’s served as president and chief executive officer of U.S. AgBank, a position he’s held since 2006 and from which he will be retiring at the end of 2011.

“I have had a wonderful career with Farm Credit,” he says. “It’s been challenging and rewarding, a career that I could only have dreamed about.”

Commitment to serving customers has been a fundamental principle for Mr. Rhodes, though it has not always been easy to achieve. Among other challenges, he worked with his customers through the ag crisis in the 1980s, when high interest rates and low ag commodity prices created a financial burden for U.S. agriculture and ag lenders alike.

“It was a gut-wrenching time for farmers and ranchers and all industries that served them,” he says. “Working through those problems shaped my personal risk management philosophies.”

In 2003, Mr. Rhodes helped manage the merger of the Western Farm Credit Bank in Sacramento with the Farm Credit Bank of Wichita, a merger that created U.S. AgBank. This experience served him well as he has helped navigate the 2011 merger of U.S. AgBank with CoBank, another Farm Credit System institution. He expects this merger to help the combined institution better serve agricultural customers.

“I believe the merger of AgBank and CoBank will provide strength, scale and diversity to withstand tougher times in agriculture, which we all know will come at some point,” he says.

Mr. Rhodes’ successful career owes much to his character, which is built on honesty, integrity and communication skills. He says, “For me, the old saying that ‘the higher you go up in the tree, the more people can see your rear-end’ is a good description of the very important role character plays in leadership roles. Without it, you cannot hope to be effective.”

Looking back on nearly four decades of service, Darryl says, “I hope people remember me for being devoted to Farm Credit, willing to make tough decisions, and a good strategic thinker.”

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