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Keith and Stacey Funderburk

Taylorville, IL

Funderburk Farms LTD. and Countryside Veterinary Service

Products: Soybeans and corn, hogs; veterinary services

Size of Operation: 2,000 acres, 10,000 hogs annually; 6,000 square foot clinic

In Business Since: 2005

Farm Credit Partner: Farm Credit Illinois

Working with Farm Credit Since: 2005

Keeping it in the family is a family tradition for the Funderburks.

Keith is a 6th generation farmer who grew up working beside his father and grandfather. “My fondest memories are of working alongside my dad and grandpa," says Keith. “I remember riding in the combine and my grandpa telling me how proud he was that there were three generations of Funderburks in the field at the same time."

Within another rural community in Eastern Illinois, Keith's wife Stacey also grew up on a family farm, one primarily focused on livestock. Her life on the farm gave her a love of animals, and she undertook the eight year effort to become a veterinarian.

The couple married after college and soon started their own farming operation. Beginning with just 40 acres financed with a Young, Beginning and Small Farmer program offered through Farm Credit Illinois, the Funderburk's have continued to expand over the past ten years. Today, Keith, alongside his parents, operates a grain farm with 2,000 acres of corn and soybeans. This represents acres that are owned and rented by themselves and Keith's parents and grandparents, keeping the multi-generation tradition alive.

The families became even more entwined in 2007, when Keith and his parents partnered and built a 5,000 animal wean-to-finish hog operation, again with Farm Credit financing. He's paid by Stacey's parents to raise their hogs from their three-week old weight of 12 pounds up to their finished weight of 280 pounds, a process that takes about six months. The operation yields one additional benefit: Keith saves a significant amount of dollars in fertilizer costs each year by using the hog manure on his family's nearby fields, a significant incentive for getting into the business.

“I'd love to add another hog facility at another location near some different fields so they can benefit from the manure application," Keith says. He also plans to continue expanding their row crop acreage.

Stacey meanwhile opened her own veterinary clinic three years ago, also using financing from Farm Credit Illinois. At her 6,000 square foot Countryside Veterinary Service, she cares for both pets and farm animals, and also offers on-farm services when it isn't feasible for the animals to be brought in. “No two days are the same," says Stacey. “I might care for a mare and then move on to a dog or cat. It's constant change."

In addition to their busy careers, the couple is raising their two children, 2 ½-year-old daughter Reagan and 18-month-old son Hayden. “Balancing everything is a constant challenge," says Stacey. Lessons learned from their families have equipped them to manage: “My parents imprinted me with a drive toward hard work and determination. It's how you achieve your goals in life," says Keith.

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