Servant Leadership: Jim Tobin (Iowa State 76)

May 10, 2023

By definition, a servant leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. They inspire people to do noble work together and feel responsible for helping people learn and grow, feel purposeful, motivated, energized and contribute at their highest levels.

FarmHouse has had countless servant leaders who generously share their time, talent and treasure for the betterment of the organization and others. Jim Tobin (Iowa State 76) is a dedicated alumnus who exemplifies servant leadership. 

Jim’s impact has been felt in FarmHouse for many decades through his volunteerism, leadership, generosity, personal outreach and mentoring to others. Serving as a Foundation Trustee from 2008-2016, including two years as Chairman, Jim  helped to lead Live. Learn. Lead. – The Campaign for FarmHouse during its public phase in 2014-16 and was instrumental in creating the Chapter Housing Loan Program (CHLP).    

As a Trustee Emeritus, he co-chairs the CHLP Committee, volunteers with the Board and has assisted with donor visits. He has been a sponsor of the Power of 7 Seminar since 2008 and has mentored 15 Seminar student participants.

Jim, articulate in speech and thought, has presented several times at the FH Leadership Institute and Conclave. Impressively, he has given the keynote at the Fraternity’s Emerging Talent Retreat since its inception in May 2009 sharing his unique experiences related to his mantra of “a prepared mind makes discoveries,” his leadership lessons and passion for FarmHouse. 

Generosity is an integral part of Jim’s servant leadership. He and his wife, Gina Heagney, are members of the Order of the Crest, for accumulative giving of $250,000 to $499,999.

Jim earned his bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University in 1978 and M.B.A from Harvard in 1983. He is a member of the Farm Foundation Roundtable, serves on the board of Neogen and the board of governors for the Iowa State University Foundation. He served on the National 4-H Council and the Missouri 4-H Foundation. Jim and Gina are active members of their church and participate in a free tax preparation clinic for low income families.

Jim joined Monsanto’s agricultural unit in 1983 and served in many capacities before he retired in December 2014, after 31.5 years with the company. His last leadership role was vice president of industry affairs for the corporate engagement group. He represented Monsanto on the board of the American Seed Trade Association, which he chaired in 2005-06.

Jim and Gina live in St. Louis, Missouri, and have three children, Michael, Zach (Iowa State 08) and Maura. In addition, Jim’s father, Kelly (Iowa State 82), and three brothers, Bernie (Iowa State 81), Terry (Iowa State 76) and Kevin (Iowa State 79) are members of FarmHouse. At the Fraternity’s 100th Anniversary Celebration in 2005, their mother, Irene, was recognized with the “Friend of FarmHouse” Award.

For Jim’s devotion, philanthropy and leadership to FarmHouse, Jim was honored with the Philanthropy Laureate Award in 2018 and named a Master Builder in 2016. At the 2021 Power of 7 Seminar, he was presented the Robert L. Off Servant Leader Award, which recognizes individuals who have tirelessly contributed their time, leadership and resources in a meaningful way to advance the Foundation. 

This is Jim’s story about what service and FarmHouse means to him.

What did service mean to you growing up in rural Iowa? 
I grew up on a small farm in southwest Iowa with my parents, Kelly and Irene Tobin, and three brothers, Terry, Bernie and Kevin. We were born six years apart. 

My parents met at 4-H camp and their families were very active in the organization. As we were growing up, dad farmed and was a 4-H leader for 25 years and mom was a home economics teacher at our high school. They were also involved in local politics and church, so helping others was a part of the way we lived. They always modeled the way of assisting, supporting and serving others. 

My parents are retired and live in Ames, Iowa. Mom turned 90 years old this spring and it’s impressive to see the significant difference my parents have made in others’ lives. Terry and I are sharing special memories and stories by writing a book about our family’s history and legacy. 

Why did you join FarmHouse? 
I was attracted to FarmHouse because of the people I knew and respected. I wanted to be associated with them, and learn from them. The Fraternity was a learning laboratory where you were encouraged to lead, and live out experiences together. Unlike work, being a part of FarmHouse is 24/7, where you learn from really talented people what service and leadership are about. If something isn’t working, your brothers help you work it out and learn from it. And then you help others learn too. 

Expectations in FarmHouse drove us to do more than we would have likely done alone. It stretched our thinking and belief that if a FH brother can do it, then so can I. Traveling to the Soviet Union or going to Harvard for an MBA seemed tangible. Watching others achieve their goals encouraged me to want to succeed. Those experiences changed my life and gave me opportunities and experiences I would have never had otherwise.   

What is your family’s FarmHouse story? 
After high school, I enrolled at Iowa Western Community College, where I took classes in the morning and helped my dad farm in the afternoon. I then transferred to Iowa State University. 

I am the oldest of the four boys and we all went to Iowa State, each of us joining FarmHouse. Terry started at Iowa State before I did and joined the chapter first. Then, later, Kevin and Bernie joined followed by dad when Bernie was in school. 

Our dad always wished he had the opportunity to attend college and after three of us graduated, dad went to Iowa State, where he was invited to become an associate member of FarmHouse. Kevin ran the farm while dad was getting his degree. Dad took classes, lived on campus, had meals at the FH chapter house, and mentored several members. The farm crisis was going on at the time and he would give them advice, and they appreciated his perspective and insights. 

FarmHouse has been a family experience for us. I have continued to stay involved as an alumnus as much as I could throughout my career then into retirement because I believe so strongly in the Fraternity. 

It was even more rewarding when our son, Zach, joined the chapter. He had a wonderful experience, which helped him mature and improve academically, and he built relationships that carry on today. We value tremendously the growth we saw from Zach’s FarmHouse and college experience and hope other parents have a similar experience.  

What FH undergraduate experiences inspired you to be involved as an alumnus?
As a new member, my pledge class took a trip to visit the Kansas State FH chapter. We spent time with Dr. Duane Acker (Iowa State 49), who was president of Kansas State University at the time. I was encouraged to see Dr. Acker’s leadership as a prominent university president and learn how FarmHouse impacted his life.  

In the spring of 1976, my ‘pledge dad’ in the chapter, David Morford (Iowa State 73), organized a trip for us to visit D. Howard “Daddy” Doane (Missouri 05), who was 92 years old at the time, at the College of the Ozarks. It was so interesting to meet a FarmHouse founder in person, hear stories and learn from him. 

Later when I was chapter president, our chapter had its 50th anniversary and I helped to organize the celebration with over 300 people in attendance. Seeing so many alumni there was a boost for why staying involved was important and how these relationships are lifelong.

At the time, our chapter had a tradition that if you had a ‘social progress’ announcement you would coordinate with the housemother and president for everyone at dinner to eat dessert on glass plates to celebrate. At the 50th anniversary, Darrell Godfrey (Iowa State 73) shared the news of his engagement to his fiance, Nelda, so it was fun to find 300 glass plates for that dessert and help coordinate their surprise. Darrell and Nelda remain dear friends and it’s a special memory I’ll never forget.    

How has service been an integral part of your career?
My first job after college was as a county extension agent in Iowa. I worked closely with volunteer leaders where I  saw community leadership making a difference across the state. It reinforced the importance of service early in my career.

While working for Monsanto, I served on the American Seed Trade Association and U.S. Grains Council industry boards. Working in the industry affairs group demonstrated the importance of service to others and advocating for the grain and seed trade industries for the betterment of agriculture, globally. 

After I retired from Monsanto and served as a Foundation Trustee, I was asked to serve on the board of directors for Neogen Corporation, a publicly traded food and animal safety company. Their founder and CEO, Jim Herbert (Tennessee 61), and I served together on the Foundation Board, and that experience fostered a friendship and then corporate board service with his talented group. 

What was your experience as a Foundation Trustee? 
Through my eight year tenure, I learned so much about FarmHouse, including the International Fraternity and the Foundation, and about the importance of giving, service, and recruiting others to get involved. It was an exciting time for the Foundation and a joy to interact with the staff, boards and other donors. I got more out of the experience than I ever gave. 

You have spoken at the Emerging Talent Retreat since it began in 2009. Why? 
For several years, Monsanto sponsored the Fraternity’s Emerging Talent Retreat and I was honored to speak on their behalf. After their sponsorship ended, I continued to speak about leadership development and my involvement in FarmHouse. 

Fifteen years later, I continue to stay involved as a speaker and donor because I believe the Retreat is an important FarmHouse educational opportunity for students. I enjoy sharing stories, interacting with young men at this stage of their college career and hearing about their aspirations for the future. They always ask good questions and I learn from them as much as they do from me. 

The more we can help students early on in their college career with leadership development, with an understanding FarmHouse is bigger than their chapter, the better. It’s gratifying to see some of these students attend the Power of 7 Seminar a few years later.   

The Retreat is partially sponsored by the C.J. (Iowa State 37) & Dorothy Gauger Endowment Fund, and I take personal responsibility and pleasure to help continue C.J.’s legacy. A Master Builder, C.J. was a long-time volunteer and mentor through 4-H and FarmHouse and someone I deeply admired. 

What sustains you as a volunteer? Why do you continue to serve FarmHouse?
I want to make a difference and help the organizations I am involved with accomplish their goals and achieve their mission. Making a difference keeps me going. 

Being a part of the Power of 7 Seminar re-energizes me and I always enjoy talking with the students. I learn so much from them and other alumni who attend.  

Additionally, I have facilitated a learning lab at the last two Leadership Institutes in St. Louis. This has been a great chance to interact with other FH alumni and meet students in new leadership positions; it’s gratifying to see them take on opportunities with the Fraternity.

What impresses you most about FarmHouse men (alumni and students)?
They can be trusted. They care beyond themselves, continually striving to improve, demonstrating their leadership skills and exhibiting a willingness to try new things. They pursue excellence and want to do things really well, and right. These traits aren’t extremely common in the rest of the world.

How is service and philanthropy a family decision? 
My wife, Gina, is very service-oriented with her legal work as an attorney and is involved in many organizations. We enjoy doing the Power of 7 Seminar as a couple, and it’s fun to volunteer together. Being a part of the tax preparation clinic Gina coordinates to serve those in our community who don’t have help otherwise, is rewarding. Our site completed over 340 tax returns this year. 

Our philanthropy is a decision we make together as a couple. The organizations where we contribute our time, talent and financial resources to are those we believe will make a positive difference in the lives of the people they serve. 

Why do you coach and mentor others? 
There comes a point in your life where you can and want to make a difference. If you see a person in a situation where you know you can help make a difference, then it’s important to get involved. It takes two people for mentoring to work and when it does, it’s very rewarding for both people. 

 I have personally benefited from coaches and mentors and they can see things you don’t often see in yourself. You never know when that piece of advice will make a difference.

What advice would you give to others about volunteering?
You can learn a lot by serving others. Learning from people who have experience beyond my personal exposure has been incredibly fulfilling.

I absolutely believe anything you do to help FarmHouse today will help make a difference into the future. As you get involved you benefit personally with new skills and life experiences along the way. 

What does “tell your FarmHouse story” mean to you?
I give credit to Darrell Godfrey, who served as a Foundation Trustee for six years. He set an incredible example of philanthropy and would tell us, as fellow Trustees, to start by asking someone to tell their FarmHouse story. He then encouraged us to listen and learn what a difference FarmHouse has made in that person’s life. It is inspiring to hear these stories, what others have done, the impact the Fraternity has made on them and how they’ve shared their time and treasure with FarmHouse. In keeping with Darrell’s motto, I encourage others to reflect on and share their FarmHouse story. Know that when you’re involved with FarmHouse it truly makes a difference.  

Why is getting involved in FarmHouse important? 
Finding time to make a difference in FarmHouse is important and great volunteers are needed in many ways. I encourage people to find a place where you can make a difference. I don’t regret any of the time I’ve spent volunteering— it’s been very fulfilling. 

Furthermore, I believe when you give financially to FarmHouse you are making an investment. Gina and I are investors in the Foundation because we believe in the Fraternity. It’s a great place to invest our time and treasure because we can see the Fraternity’s impact directly in the students we meet and the stories we hear.

How has volunteerism impacted you? 
All of the experiences as a volunteer make life more interesting, enriching and rewarding. It exposes you to a lot more people and opportunities than you’d ever imagine. Sometimes you don’t know when you’ve made a difference until many years later.

Chrissy Fly

Assistant Director of Communications

Chrissy grew up in a small, agricultural Kansas community and was raised in agriculture, which led her to attend Oklahoma State University. Chrissy graduated from OSU in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and a bachelor’s degree in animal science. Her and her husband, Harrison, married in April 2022 and live on their family ranch in the Texas Panhandle.

Chrissy has a freelance communications business where she works with agricultural clients in her spare time. She also enjoys spending time working on the ranch, riding horses and canning.

Scott Nagel


Minnesota 85

Retired President — ADM-Benson Quinn

Scott is retired president of ADM-Benson Quinn. He graduated from the University of Minnesota-St. Paul with a degree in agricultural economics. After graduation, he started his career with Benson-Quinn Company in Owatonna, Minn. He later transferred to Minneapolis, Minn., where he held positions in grain accounting, wheat merchandising and freight trading.

He has worked on both the trading side of the business in both grains and freight, and subsequently began working with Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) in 1997 with ADM’s purchase of Benson-Quinn Co. Scott has served as president of ADM-Benson Quinn since January 2008. Additional responsibilities include commodity brokerage, elevator financing, elevator management and wholesale and retail fertilizer distribution. Their office manages the northern region of the United States as well as portions of Canada of Ag Services & Oilseeds division within ADM for both grain and North America for fertilizer activities.  Post ADM career will include consulting and board activities for both for profit and non profit organizations.

Scott became a Foundation Trustee in 2018 and currently serves as Chairman. He held board responsibilities for the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. He served on several joint venture boards within the Benson Quinn business unit structure and Pacificor JV, a grain export terminal in the Pacific Northwest.

Scott and his wife, Jean, live in Maple Grove, Minn., and they have two grown children, Andrew and Emily. 

Jim Kelly

Auburn 81

Retired CPA & Partner — PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP

Jim graduated from Auburn University in 1984 with a degree in accounting and joined Coopers & Lybrand, a predecessor of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Jim was admitted to the partnership in 1994. As an Assurance Partner, Jim served clients in the insurance, healthcare, retail and consumer, and industrial products industries. He later served as PwC’s lead Risk Management Partner for both the East Region and the Insurance Sector, responsible for evaluating and managing risks and helping engagement teams and clients resolve financial and reporting matters.

Jim retired from PwC in 2018. Jim and his wife, Janice, live in Alabama where they split time between their home in Birmingham and their farm. They have two married daughters and a grandson who also live in the Birmingham area. Jim is active in his church and enjoys spending time with family, managing their outdoor resources, and quail hunting.

Darren Havens

Illinois 92

Director of Marketing, Global Turf & Compact Utility — John Deere

In his current role, Darren is the Director, Marketing for John Deere’s Global Turf and Compact Utility business. Over his 27-year career with John Deere, Darren has held a number Sales, Marketing, and Business Development responsibilities, leading several growth initiatives including the expansion of John Deere’s Precision Ag Business and Dealer capabilities.

 During his time with John Deere, Darren has lived in 6 states, internationally in Singapore, and has traveled extensively, helping him better understand customer needs and opportunities to deliver innovative products/solutions for global markets.

 Darren grew up on a 6th generation family farm near Bushnell, Illinois. FarmHouse played an important role in the transition from a small town to the University of Illinois, while also building lifelong friends. While at FarmHouse, Darren served as Treasurer and President, helping to hone his leadership skills that have continued to benefit him throughout his career at John Deere.

 Darren is a 1995 Graduate of the University of Illinois, with a degree in agriculture economics. He received an EMBA from Purdue University in 2002. Darren currently resides in Overland Park, Kansas, with his wife Jody and they have three children. Darren and his family are members of the Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas.

Craig Harris

Iowa State 65

Certified General Appraiser — Peoples Company

Craig lives in Shenandoah, Iowa, with his wife, Kathy, and have two children, Shannon and Chad (IA 98). Upon completing his degree, Craig spent 10 years as a pilot with the United States Air Force. He served four years in the Vietnam War piloting C-141 aircrafts out of McChord Air Force Base in Tacoma, Wash. He remained a member of the Air Reserves for three more years. Craig then earned a master’s degree in agriculture economics and began his 40-plus year career in farm management and appraisal.

He first joined The Sandage Company as a farm manager and real estate agent. During this time, he served as a member of the Iowa FH Association Board and became involved with the Iowa Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, an association founded by FarmHouse Founder, D. Howard Doane (MO 05). He also spent time working with Gibson Farms, Inc.

In 1991, Craig entered into a new career in farm management and appraisals. He joined Farmers National Company, then Farm Credit Services of America in 2001 and retired from there in 2016. He is now associated with Peoples Company and has his own agriculture appraisal business of Harris Appraisal Services. During his tenure, he worked with the USDA and USAID leading delegations to the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic to teach courses on farm management, real estate appraisal and real estate brokerage. 

Craig was named a FH Master Builder in 2020. He served on the Fraternity’s International Executive Board from 2000-2006 and became a Foundation Trustee in December 2020. Craig has served on the First United Methodist Church of Shenandoah Board of Trustees, the Shenandoah Medical Center Foundation Board, Shenandoah Chamber and Industry Association Board of Directors as well as other local organizations. Craig and Kathy, recently celebrated 52 years of marriage and are lifelong supporters of Iowa State University.

Gary Hansen

South Dakota State 72

Attorney, Arbitrator and Retired Risk Manager

Gary is a retired risk management professional and a commercial arbitrator. He is a graduate of South Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and political science; the Graduate School of Banking, University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Mitchell Hamline School of Law, St. Paul. Gary is a Mitchell Hamline Alumni Board member and is active in the Minnesota State Bar Association.

Gary is serving his fifth term on the Eagan, Minnesota City Council. He is acting mayor when needed in the mayor’s absence, serves as vice president of the Eagan Economic Development Authority, and represents Eagan on numerous regional boards, including the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority, Suburban Transit Association, and the Twin Cities Metropolitan Council’s Transportation Advisory Board.

Gary is a past president of the Association of Metropolitan Municipalities (Metro Cities) and serves on Metro Cities and League of Minnesota Cities legislative policy committees. He is a charter member of the Eagan Kick-Start Rotary Club. While at South Dakota State, Gary was active in student government and served as chapter president and associate editor of Pearls & Rubies. He was a Doane Award recipient in 1974. He is a past director and officer of the Minnesota FarmHouse Association.

Gary and his wife Kathy have two daughters, Andrea Murphy and Kelly Darwitz; sons-in-law Daniel Murphy and Ryan Darwitz; a son, Tim, and four granddaughters. 

Bryce Freeman

Iowa State 93

Global HR Senior Director — McCormick & Co.

Bryce serves as a supply chain and human resources executive for McCormick & Co., working to save the world from boring food. Bryce graduated from Iowa State University in 1996 in chemical engineering. He worked for Procter & Gamble for 17 years in manufacturing roles of increasing responsibility, including a plant manager role in Ireland and leading P&G’s contract manufacturing network of 70 plants in the U.S. and Canada.

Bryce feels very fortunate to be active in FarmHouse. He served on the Iowa State FH Association Board, including a term as chair, and served for eight years on the FH International Executive Board including four years as President. He joined the FarmHouse Foundation Board of Trustees in April 2022. FarmHouse is one of the biggest positive influences on Bryce’s life and he treasures the lifelong friendships and leadership influences from his fraternity experience. Bryce believes that “progress shall mark our every step” and makes a lot of steps as an active marathoner and triathlete.

Bryce lives in Columbia, Md., with his wife, Marisa Pace, who is a who is a U.S. Army Colonel serving as the Director of Current Operations for the Office of the Chief Army Reserve, and with their busy college student, Bennett, and high schooler, Clara.

Lloyd Bettis

Fundraising Chair

Iowa State 67

Retired Chairman/CEO — National Bureau of Property Administration, Inc.

Lloyd is retired chairman and CEO of the National Bureau of Property Administration, Inc., a tax consulting company. He graduated from Iowa State University in agricultural journalism and earned an M.B.A in accounting and finance from the University of Chicago.

Over the first 20 years of his career, he gained broad management experience at four different public companies: The Jewel Companies in Chicago, Denver, and San Diego; The Northern Trust Bank in Chicago; the First National Bank of Chicago, and ConAgra in Greeley, Co. In 1989, he returned to Chicago with the goal of acquiring a business, which led him to the National Bureau of Property Administration, a tax consulting company started in 1935. The business focused on ad valorem taxes for large corporate industrial clients throughout the U.S. He initiated and led the purchase of this business, along with other key staff. He served as Chairman/CEO until he retired at the end of 2015.

Lloyd and his wife, Kathryn, are Iowa State University Foundation Governors and served on the Foundation’s campaign committee coordinating Forever True, For Iowa State, an eight-year $1.5 billion campaign. Lloyd served as chair of the investment committee and chair of the ISUF board of directors. He joined the FarmHouse Foundation Board of Trustees in 2018 and serves as fundraising chair. Lloyd and Kathryn split their time between Naples, Fla. and Glenview, Ill. They have one married son, Chris, in Moline, Ill.

Rick Berg

North Dakota State 78

Partner — Midwest Management Co.
Former United States Congressman

Rick is president of Berg Group, LLC, which focuses on providing capital and financing for commercial real estate partnerships. His career started in 1981 as a partner in Midwest Management Co., a start-up multi-family management company. In 1987, he started Goldmark Commercial Corporation, a brokerage company focused on commercial real estate investment including office, retail, warehouse and multi-family.

Rick served in the North Dakota Legislature for 26 years as Speaker of the House, Majority Leader, Caucus Chairman and Chairman of the Business Committee. In 2010, he was elected to the US House of Representatives where he served on the House Ways and Means Committee with a focus on taxation and budget. In 2012, he ran for the US Senate.

Rick served on the Fraternity’s International Executive Board from 1986-94, including two terms as President. He also served on the FarmHouse Foundation Board of Trustees from 1994-2000. He was named a Master Builder of Men in 2012.

Rick, his wife Tracy and son Jack (23 years old) reside in Fargo, N.D.

Eric Thurber


Nebraska 89

Co-Founder & Managing Director — Three Bridge Wealth Advisors

Eric is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Three Bridge Wealth Advisors, an independent investment firm located in Silicon Valley providing comprehensive wealth advisory services to first generation wealth creators – entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. He holds a JD from Harvard Law School and a bachelor of science in economics, magna cum laude, from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Eric holds a Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) designation from Wharton Business School. He also serves as an associate at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and has trained in Stanford University’s Executive Education Program.

He started working on Wall Street in Solomon Brother’s sales and trading program in New York City. He has served as a financial advisor to wealthy families since 1995, when he began his career at Montgomery Securities in the private client department. In 1998, he joined Salomon Smith Barney, where he founded and built The Venture Group. Before founding Three Bridge, he was a Senior Wealth Director and Senior Vice President at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.

Before Citi’s merger with Morgan Stanley, he was a Senior Wealth Director at Citi Family Office, a division of Citigroup serving the wealthiest and most sophisticated clients of the firm. An industry and thought leader, Eric is a member of the inaugural JP Morgan RIA Advisory Council, and a member of Institutional Investors RIA Investment Forum Advisory Board. He has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Registered Rep Magazine, Investment and Wealth Monitor, and has been interviewed on The Wall Street Journal Radio Network. He lives in San Francisco, California.

Vice President

Missouri 93

Austin, TX
Senior Assistant Dean and Director over the Working Professional and Executive MBA Programs at the McCombs School of Business, University of Texas – Austin

Joe serves as the Senior Assistant Dean and Director for the Working Professional and Executive MBA Programs at the McCombs School of Business for the University of Texas in Austin. He has worked in this role since 2014.

After 18 years growing up on the family farm, Joe graduated with a degree in Agricultural Education – Business/Industry in 1996. He went on to earn an M.A. in College Student Personnel at Bowling Green State University in 1998 and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis in 2005. As an undergraduate, Joe served on the Mizzou IFC, Greek Week and RAMS Steering Committees, and was selected as Outstanding Greek Man and Mizzou’s Most Outstanding Senior. He worked for FarmHouse International Fraternity as the Director of Expansion and Growth from 1999-2001.

Joe has spent the majority of his professional career devoted to higher education, with a stint in Brand Management at Nestle Purina. Prior to Texas McCombs, Joe served in assistant director and director roles at Washington University in St. Louis and at Mizzou as Assistant Dean of MBA Programs in the Trulaske College of Business. Joe, his wife Cheryl and two daughters live in Austin, Texas.

Chris Wetzell

Chris Wetzell

Minnesota 99

Grain Merchandiser — Agrex, Inc.

Chris is a grain merchandiser and General Manager for Agrex, Inc. Agrex, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation, is an agricultural commodity trading company which provides a broad base of services from origination to financing and logistics to assist the agricultural community. He currently serves on 2 joint venture boards located in North Dakota.

Chris graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2002 with a degree in Ag Industries and Marketing and a minor in Animal Science. He has served 6 years on the Minnesota FarmHouse Association board and was actively involved in the new chapter house project as well as lead the most recent search committee for new Housemother. Chris has been a long-time generous donor to the Foundation, including as a member of the Chairman’s Club for the FH Excellence Fund for the last two years. He became a Foundation Trustee in 2021.

Chris and his wife, Stephanie, have two children Beckett and Jordyn and reside in Medina, Minn. In his free time, Chris enjoys coaching youth sports, time at the lake, and traveling.


Troy 07

Montgomery, AL
Controller at High Level Marketing

Judson is the Controller for High Level Marketing, a national digital marketing agency recognized as one of the fastest growing private companies in the nation by Inc 5000. Prior to his current role, Judson spent time in public accounting, specializing in Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting for Jackson Thornton and Co., a public accounting firm in Montgomery, Alabama.

Judson graduated with his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration in 2011, and in 2012 completed his Masters of Business Administration with a focus in Accounting. During his time as an undergraduate member, Judson served in the executive leadership roles of Secretary and President. Judson was selected as FarmHouse International Outstanding Chapter President of the Year after helping the Troy Chapter capture its first Ruby Cup in 2009. He was also the recipient of the Chapter’s Doane Award and was chosen as the Order of Omega Greek Man of the Year in 2010. Judson was elected to the International Executive Board in 2016, where he currently serves as Treasurer.

Judson and his wife, Robin, and daughters, Evelyn and Alice, reside in Montgomery, Alabama.

Steve Robisky


Illinois State 83

Cedar Falls, IA
Owner and Operator, Robisky Farms and Northfork Kennels

Steve owns and operates Northfork Kennels with his wife, Michele. They are a licensed kennel raising German Shorthaired Pointers and Miniature Schnauzers as well as boarding and training for all breeds. He recently retired from John Deere in November 2021 after a 31-year career with the company.

In addition, they own and operate Robisky Farms, approximately 700 acres of farmland. Steve is a conservationist who devotes his time and effort to managing his property and others for the enhancement of wildlife, clean water, and clean air. He also does a fair amount of custom prairie and USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) maintenance for others.

He is an avid upland bird hunter who can frequently be found chasing his German Shorthairs over the prairie in the fall. He’s a lifetime member, officer, and inductee of Pheasants Forever Hall of Fame.

His wife is a Director of Financial Reporting for TransAmerican Life Insurance and has been with TransAmerican for more 25 years. Together, they have three daughters, Anna, a 2021 Iowa State graduate who works for John Deere in Supply Management and is an NFL Cheerleader with the Tennessee Titans; Aimee a senior in the School of Design at Iowa State University; and Marissa an incoming freshman in the School of Engineering at Iowa State University.


Nebraska 81

Sumner, NE
Under Secretary in Residence, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Greg is the Under Secretary-in-Residence at the University of Nebraska Lincoln’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. During the Trump Administration, Greg served as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. Prior to joining USDA, Greg led Nebraska’s Department of Agriculture for 13 years, making him the longest serving director in the organization’s history. Greg served as president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. He is an inductee of the Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement and honored with the Service to Agriculture Recognition from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Greg earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Science and Agricultural Economics from the University of Nebraska. He and his wife, Teresa, have three grown children, Evan (Nebraska 11), Alec (Nebraska 11) and Emily. With the help of his family, he and Teresa continue to maintain a cow/calf and grain operation near Sumner, Neb.


Ohio State 79

Columbus, OH
Chair, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University

John has been Interim Associate Director of the Farm Financial Management and Policy Institute, in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Science at the Ohio State University (OSU) since fall, 2021. He previously served as Chair of the Department of Animal Sciences at OSU from 2017-21. Prior to his service at Ohio State he served as Special Assistant to the President for Agricultural Initiatives at the University of Idaho and had previously served there as Dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences for four years and as Associate Dean for Academic Programs for eight years.

Professor Foltz received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural economics from Ohio State University. Foltz worked for six years as a district manager for Ralston Purina in Ohio and Pennsylvania marketing livestock feed and animal health products. Subsequently, he received his Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Purdue University and was at the University of Idaho for 26 years. As an undergraduate at Ohio State, he was a member of Alpha Zeta Fraternity, now FarmHouse Fraternity at Ohio State. John and his wife Barbara have two sons — John (Ohio State 02) and James (Idaho 07).


Corby Fichter


Iowa State 78

Shenandoah, IA
Regional V.P. of Southwest Iowa, Farm Credit Services of America

Corby is Regional Vice President of Business Development for Farm Credit Services of America for southwest Iowa with offices in Red Oak, Harlan and Carroll. After graduating from Iowa State University with a degree in agriculture business, Corby began working as a loan officer with Federal Land Bank Association in 1980 in Forest City, Iowa. Federal Land Bank Association became a part of Farm Credit Services of America in which Corby has held various roles for over 40 years. He also manages and operates an 1,800-acre farm near Randolph, Iowa. He serves as President of the Shenandoah Iowa Education Foundation. In 2020, Corby was honored as Iowa State University’s Outstanding Ag Business Alumni of the Year.

Corby and his wife, Jean, have been married for over 40 years and live in Shenandoah, Iowa. Jean graduated with a degree in home economics education from Iowa State University, where she was a FarmHouse sister. She worked for Principal Financial Group for a decade before raising their three children. During that time, she was heavily involved in church and homeschool activities. In 2017, Jean was elected to the Shenandoah Community School Board of Directors, where she has served as president for four years. She also volunteers in their community and helps care for their granddaughter.

Corby and Jean have three grown children, Austin (Iowa State 12), Adam (Iowa State 12) and Heidi. Corby’s father, the late A. Corby Fichter, Jr. (Iowa State 50) and Heidi’s husband, Chris Mandt (Iowa State 15), are also FarmHouse members. Austin was a student attendee at the 2015 Power of 7 Seminar. Austin and his wife, Jourdan, and their daughter live in Gretna, Nebraska; Adam and his wife Marissa and their 2 daughters live in Ames, IA., and Heidi and Chris live in Clive, Iowa. The Fichter family was honored with Iowa State University’s Family of the Year Award in 2020, an honor that is given to a family that shows a strong connection and pride for the University.

Brian Fenimore


Missouri 85

Kansas City, MO
Chief United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of Missouri

Brian graduated from the University of Missouri in 1988 with a degree in Agricultural Economics and received a JD from the University of Michigan Law School in 1990. Brian became an active FarmHouse member on April 21, 1985, and served as Social Chairman and President of FarmHouse while at Mizzou. Brian was appointed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit to become a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of Missouri on August 31, 2017. Brian previously led the bankruptcy and creditors’ rights practice at Lathrop Gage LLP (now LathropGPM) for more than 20 years, appeared in cases throughout the United States, and served on the firm’s Executive Committee for several years. Brian became the Chief United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of Missouri on January 1, 2020, and recently presented a program on Chapter 12 Farm Bankruptcies to all U.S. Bankruptcy Judges.

Brian and his wife, Lorna, both grew up on farms in northwest Missouri and currently live in Kansas City, Missouri. They have two children—Rachel (completing her residency in family medicine) and Will (a StuMo campus minister at Mizzou).

Eric Bymaster


Purdue 90

Nashville, TN
Associate Vice Chancellor of Finance, Vanderbilt University

Eric serves as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance at Vanderbilt University. Eric’s responsibilities include treasury, debt and cash management, financial planning and analysis, developing the annual university budget, the university’s capital plan, overseeing athletics finance and the finances of the 10 academic schools, and the vice-chancellors’ financial operations. Prior to Vanderbilt, Eric spent 15 years at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. His most recent position was Associate Vice President for Finance & Operations in the Division of Campus Life. Before Emory, Eric spent seven years at Purdue University and Purdue Research Foundation, in West Lafayette, Ind. in a variety of roles including managing commercial and residential real estate as well as serving as a business and contracting officer in the School of Engineering and School of Agriculture.

Eric received his bachelor’s degree in business management from Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management and earned a master’s degree in higher education administration also from Purdue University. He joined the Fraternity Board at the 2018 Conclave and serves as vice president. Eric also serves on the board for Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee. He lives in Nashville, Tenn.

Corby Fichter


Iowa State 78

Shenandoah, IA Regional V.P. of Southwest Iowa, Farm Credit Services of America

Corby is Regional Vice President of Business Development for Farm Credit Services of America for southwest Iowa with offices in Red Oak, Harlan and Carroll. After graduating from Iowa State University with a degree in agriculture business, Corby began working as a loan officer with Federal Land Bank Association in 1980 in Forest City, Iowa. Federal Land Bank Association became a part of Farm Credit Services of America in which Corby has held various roles for over 40 years. He also manages and operates an 1,800-acre farm near Randolph, Iowa. He serves as President of the Shenandoah Iowa Education Foundation. In 2020, Corby was honored as Iowa State University’s Outstanding Ag Business Alumni of the Year.

Corby and his wife, Jean, have been married for over 40 years and live in Shenandoah, Iowa. Jean graduated with a degree in home economics education from Iowa State University, where she was a FarmHouse sister. She worked for Principal Financial Group for a decade before raising their three children. During that time, she was heavily involved in church and homeschool activities. In 2017, Jean was elected to the Shenandoah Community School Board of Directors, where she has served as president for four years. She also volunteers in their community and helps care for their granddaughter.

Corby and Jean have three grown children, Austin (Iowa State 12), Adam (Iowa State 12) and Heidi. Corby’s father, the late A. Corby Fichter, Jr. (Iowa State 50) and Heidi’s husband, Chris Mandt (Iowa State 15), are also FarmHouse members. Austin was a student attendee at the 2015 Power of 7 Seminar. Austin and his wife, Jourdan, and their daughter live in Gretna, Nebraska; Adam and his wife Marissa and their 2 daughters live in Ames, IA., and Heidi and Chris live in Clive, Iowa. The Fichter family was honored with Iowa State University’s Family of the Year Award in 2020, an honor that is given to a family that shows a strong connection and pride for the University.

Charlie Oellermann

Charlie Oellermann

Finance Chair

Nebraska 77

Attorney & Of Counsel — Jones Day

Charlie oversees the Business Restructuring & Reorganization Practice in Jones Day’s Columbus, Ohio office, where he has practiced since graduating from law school in 1991. His practice focuses primarily on corporate restructuring, bankruptcy and other insolvency-related matters. He has played leading roles in Jones Day’s representation of debtors, creditors’ committees, asset purchasers and other parties in large corporate restructurings, both in court and out of court, across the country. Charlie also provides insolvency-related advice in litigation and transactional contexts. In addition, he serves as the Executive Editor of Jones Day’s bimonthly Business Restructuring Review.

 Charlie is a native of Nebraska and a graduate of Harvard University (J.D.), Purdue University (Ph.D.) and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (B.S.). He was an active member of the Nebraska FH Chapter as an undergraduate. Charlie served as president of the board of directors of the Christian Legal Society for the term of 2020-22. He became a FH Foundation Trustee in December 2020 and lives in Columbus, Ohio, where he is involved with the Ohio State FH Chapter and Association.

Dick Wittman

Governance Chair

Idaho 68

Principal — Wittman Farms & Consulting

Dick is board chairman and retired manager of Wittman Farms, a 20,000-acre dry land crop, range cattle and timber operation in northern Idaho. After degrees from the University of Idaho and M.B.A. from the University of Utah, Dick worked for the Farm Credit System in the Pacific Northwest and Washington, D.C. In 1980, he joined the family farm in Idaho and established a private consulting practice focusing on financial management, family business governance, process improvement, business succession planning, and more recently consultant training.

He has served on several industry, community and bank boards. He is a founding director and past president of the Pacific Northwest Direct Seed Association, and has served since 2007 on EDF’s farm advisors group. He is a director and past president of the Farm Financial Standards Council. He has authored numerous articles for farm magazines, has served on the faculty for the TEPAP Ag Executive Program since 2003, and is an adjunct faculty member of Texas A&M University. He is on the board of advisors for the Farm Journal Legacy Institute. He became a Foundation Trustee in 2016 and serves as Governance Chair.

Dick and his wife, Dawn, a retired Lewiston city library director, have five adult children and live in Culdesac, Idaho. The Wittman Family helps sponsor an Outdoor Education Camp located on their farm that gives hundreds of students, teachers and natural resource professionals exposure annually to key natural resource concepts.

Nick O’Neal

Assistant Director of Alumni and Volunteer Engagement
Phi Delta Theta

Nick O’Neal is an experienced professional with over seven years working within fraternity/sorority advising. Prior to joining the FarmHouse staff, Nick served as the director of fraternity and sorority life at the University of Idaho for more than five years. Nick is a recipient of the 2022 Outstanding IFC Advisor Award from the NIC for his innovative approach to community growth and development during his time at Idaho. 
Nick earned a master’s degree in counseling and student affairs from Northern Arizona University and a bachelor’s degree in communicative sciences and disorders from the University of Montana, where he was first introduced to his fraternity, Phi Delta Theta. Nick enjoys giving back to his community, traveling and volunteering as a program facilitator for several national organizations. 

Ryan Laughlin

Assistant Director of Education and Leadership


Ryan Serves as the Assistant Director of Education and Leadership, bringing with him a variety of experiences with him in Higher Education. As an undergraduate student at Winthrop University, he worked to be the re-founding President of the Rho Alpha Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon. A few years after graduation, he knew Higher Education was his calling and decided to pursue his Masters at Appalachian State University.

While in his masters program, Ryan worked for a variety of offices as an intern, but primarily spent his time in the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life where he served as the direct advisor for the Panhellenic and Multicultural Greek Council. In this role he created educational programming for students and led Panhellenic recruitment. After graduation he worked with the Georgia Tech Alumni Association as a Student Engagement Coordinator leading student fundraising tactics, as well as at Student Organ Donation Advocates, a higher education adjacent non-profit, where he managed their student programs.

Ryan and his wife, Kate, live in Travelers Rest, S.C., where they like to take weekend hiking trips, and try not to get hurt on the mountain bike trails. He also likes to stay connected with his fraternity and alma mater by volunteering for both organizations.

Assistant Director of Student Engagement

Sigma Kappa

Emily Little recently graduated with her master’s degree in college student affairs administration at the University of Georgia. She was a graduate assistant in the University’s vice president for student affairs office. She previously served as a state officer for FFA in Florida and as chapter president of Sigma Kappa sorority during her time as an undergraduate at the University of Florida. She will work remotely from her home in Athens, Georgia. 

Assistant Director of Chapter Development

Oklahoma State 20

Cord Morlan graduated from Oklahoma State University in May, as a student, he was initiated into FarmHouse during 2020. As a FH undergraduate, he served as the vice president of new member education and on a variety of recruitment committees. Cord was involved with the campus ministry GreekWide, where he served as the executive coordinator. He will work remotely from his home in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Christian Wiggins

Outgoing Executive Director and CEO

Pi Kappa Phi

Christian Wiggins is FarmHouse Fraternity’s outgoing Executive Director and CEO. Christian’s skills, abilities and deep understanding of college campuses, fraternity/sorority life and FarmHouse’s ambitions advanced the Fraternity quickly and effectively while developing a team of highly-capable staff.

Prior to FarmHouse, Christian served as Chief Operating Officer for Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity where he managed operations, expansion and growth, training and education, communications, technology and lifelong member engagement. In his nine years as COO, he led a staff who more than doubled student membership, facilitated a successful organization re-brand, partnered with the Foundation to raise more than $9.3 million in major gifts and led the organization through a strategic plan and crafted and implemented another. Prior to his most recent role, he served the Fraternity as Director of Alumni Services and as a Hotel Operations Supervisor for Harrah’s Entertainment.

Wiggins holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of South Carolina-Darla Moore School of Business and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Management from the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business at Elon University in North Carolina. Over the course of his career, Wiggins has served on more than a dozen non-profit boards, including current service as board chair for Campus Pride, the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors Foundation and the Coalition for Collegiate Women’s Leadership. He has given more than a decade of volunteer service at multiple levels with his Alma Mater.

He spent most of his childhood in rural western North Carolina with his grandparents and attempts to make it home five times a year to keep his close connection with his family. In his spare time Wiggins enjoys time with friends, traveling, cheering on a number of collegiate and professional sports teams, reading (especially biographies and works of history), staying active in his community, playing with his labrador Lumen and studying political science.

Minnesota 69

Owner — Buhl’s Ridge View Farm

Don and his family own and operate Buhl’s Ridge View Farms, Inc. of Tyler, Minn., a successful farrow-to-finish operation that markets nearly 55,000 hogs per year.

Don graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in agricultural education in 1972. In 1975, he married his wife, Susan, and they began farming together in 1976 by renting the family farm from his parents and raising pigs. They’ve significantly grown their operations, efficiencies and sustainability over nearly 50 years. Two of their long-time employees are now partners in the operation.

The Buhls are founding members of the Pipestone System and have been active in its governance and as a producer. The production model aimed at allowing family farms to remain competitive through increased efficiencies. The Pipestone System is one of the top five pork producers in the United States.

Don’s involvement in the pork industry has been instrumental for over four decades. He has helped to develop programs for people new to the industry and to expand U.S. pork exports. He has had leadership roles on both the state and national level, serving as president of the Minnesota Pork Producers Association and president of the National Pork Producers. During his 10-year tenure on the board of directors for the National Pork Producers, he helped start leadership and legislative action programs and influenced U.S. trade agreements. In 2016, Don was the recipient of the University of Minnesota’s prestigious Siehl Prize for Excellence in Agriculture.

Despite all of Donald’s accomplishments during his nearly 50 years of farming, he says the best crop he ever raised was his children. Don and Susan have four adult children and four
grandchildren. Don is also involved in Farm Bureau, Lions Club and his church. He became a FarmHouse Foundation Trustee in December 2022. Previously, he was involved in the Minnesota FarmHouse Association and was a leader of their housing campaign committee. The Buhls continue to live on the farm Don grew up on near Tyler, Minn.

Kevin Wittrock

Oklahoma State 75

Investment Adviser Representative — Voya Financial Advisors, Inc.

A longtime resident of Edmond, Oklahoma, Kevin is active in the community. He is currently involved with Center of Family Love and the Oklahoma Family Network.

After graduating from Oklahoma State University with a BS and MS degree, Kevin taught people about vocational agriculture, banking and entrepreneurship. He graduated from the Graduate School of Banking in Madison Wisconsin and completed his CFP requirements from Oklahoma City University. Kevin is also a licensed real estate agent.

Kevin and his wife Monica, corporate attorney, have two children. Their son, Dr. Robert “Rob” Wittrock, Oklahoma State ’07, is a pediatric physician. Rob and his wife Jamie have two children, Kevin and Anne. Kevin and Monica’s other child is Sarah Moore. Sarah is an attorney and is married to husband Mitchell and they also have two children, Arthur and Cecilia “Cece”.

In Kevin’s spare time he likes to go to the lake, work on his farming operation which consists of 600 acres of wheat and stocker cattle, and of course chase his grandkids around. He also enjoys greetings at church and working for various charitable causes.

Special Assistant to the CEO


Katie grew up on farmland in Pennsylvania, and loves the outdoors and animals. She is responsible for data integrity in addition to special projects. She has spent 16 years working in the fraternal system, in addition to owning a small advertising agency since 1987. She attended the Atlanta College of Art and Design (now SCAD.)

Katie has been married to her husband for 40 years, and they have a married son (Trey and Kellie), and two granddaughters Maddie and Livi). Both her husband and son are members of Pi Kappa Phi. Hobbies include sewing, weaving, stained glass, reading, and cooking. A beloved part of their family is their 160 pound Great Pyrenees – Mousse!

Office Manager and Executive Assistant


Jeanine is the director of stewardship and grants for the FarmHouse Foundation responsible for implementing the Foundation’s comprehensive stewardship program and managing the execution of the Foundation’s grants and scholarship programs.

Previously, for four and a half years, she served as office manager and executive assistant for FarmHouse Fraternity, responsible for various aspects of human resources, accounts payable and receivable, project management, billing, office management and a shared service with FarmHouse Foundation.

Jeanine’s executive and administrative experience in the fields of advertising, finance, legal, hospital administration and automotive spaces brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the organization. With over 11 years of experience as a personal assistant for an award-winning, minority/woman-owned business, Jeanine is proficient with executive support and office administration. 

Jeanine has been married to her husband David for 35 years and together they have raised three daughters, Hannah (Ryan), Chloe and Sophia, all involved in fraternity and sorority life as members of Alpha Chi Omega, Pi Beta Phi, and Alpha Tau Omega at the University of Missouri, and Alpha Delta Pi at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Jeanine is a NASCAR enthusiast and enjoys relaxing on the beach, reading, reality TV, and spending time with family.

Gill A. Wilson

Associate Director of Chapter Development

Clemson 14

Gill serves as the Associate Director of Chapter Services, where he works closely with FarmHouse chapters, students, and volunteers.

Growing up on his family’s farm in rural South Carolina, Gill inherited a passion for agriculture, which he brought to his collegiate experience at Clemson University. He studied Agricultural Mechanization and Business with a Minor in Agribusiness. While at Clemson Gill helped to recharter the Clemson chapter of FarmHouse. During that time he served as chapter philanthropy chair and president, also serving on the IFC board. After graduation Gill moved to Kansas City to begin work for FarmHouse International Fraternity.

Gill and his wife, Rebekah, and their dogs, Bonnie and Clyde, reside in Augusta, Ga. where they are closely involved in their local church. During his free time Gill enjoys backpacking, shooting sports, and cooking.

Assistant Director of Growth

Minnesota 18

Shawn serves as the Assistant Director of Chapter Development, where he works closely with FarmHouse chapters, students, and volunteers.

After growing up in a small town in Wisconsin, Shawn moved to the Twin Cities to attend the University of Minnesota. There he found a home at the Minnesota chapter of FarmHouse Fraternity, being initiated in the spring of 2018. During his time in the chapter Shawn filled many roles, including Chapter President. Upon graduation in 2021, Shawn joined FarmHouse staff and initially worked primarily with chapters on recruitment and growth.

Shawn currently lives with two of his chapter brothers in Minneapolis, Minn. In his spare time Shawn is preparing to apply for law school, spending time with family and friends, being a long-suffering Minnesota Twins fan, and is a part-owner of the 13-time World Champion Green Bay Packers.

Brian Woolley

Iowa State 75

Attorney & Partner — Lathrop GPM LLP

Brian is a partner in the law firm of Lathrop GPM LLP, working in their Kansas City office. He is a member of the firm’s labor, employment and higher education practice group. Brian advises employers on compliance issues relating to labor and employment laws and defends employers in contested matters. He assists public and private companies in many industries including manufacturing, professional services and health care as well as several non-profit organizations.

He is a frequent speaker on human resources law topics at seminars and client training programs, and serves as a contributing editor to the legal treatise “The Developing Labor Law”.

Brian received undergraduate degrees in food technology and business administration from Iowa State University and his law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago.

Previously, he served on the board of Wonderscope: the Kansas City Children’s Museum (including 5 years as president) and on the board of the Arthritis Foundation of Greater Kansas City. Currently, Brian is a member, and past chair, of the steering committee for the Heartland Labor and Employment Law Institute, a program of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

He became a Foundation Trustee in December 2019. Brian and his wife, Patricia Martin, live in Kansas City, Mo. They have two adult children, Meredith and Philip.

Kahlin McKeown

Assistant Executive Director for Student Engagement

Alpha Xi Delta

Kahlin McKeown started on FarmHouse staff in March 2020. Previously, she served as a fraternity/sorority advisor for more than seven years, most recently at the University of Maryland working primarily with Panhellenic sororities. She is completing her PhD in Higher Education and Student Affairs at the University of Maryland. Her research examines career pathways and retention for fraternity/sorority professionals and organizational culture of fraternity/sorority chapters.

Kahlin earned a master’s degree in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University and a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Delaware, where she joined Alpha Xi Delta.

Kahlin currently volunteers as a chapter advisor for Alpha Xi Delta at the University of Maryland, and also serves as the National Extension Director.

Macee Hammack

Director of Communications

Macee Ponder graduated from Oklahoma State University in May of 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Communications with a minor in Leadership Education. Macee grew up in a rural Oklahoma community on her family’s ranch. Macee and her husband Dillon was married in May 2022 and recently moved back to her hometown Leedey, Okla.

Macee has a freelance Photography and Videography business in her spare time. She currently serves on the Leedey Education Foundation Board of Trustees. She has previously worked as the Public Affairs Specialist for the Oklahoma Natural Resources Conservation Services.

Assistant Executive Director for Communications & Alumni Engagement

Oklahoma State 08

Cody Cramer has served as the Assistant Executive Director for Communication and Alumni Engagement since March 2020. Previously, Cody worked at Oklahoma State University in student recruitment, student retention and in new student orientation communication roles.

Actively involved in FFA and agriculture in Oklahoma, Cody attended Oklahoma State University graduating with a B.S. in Agribusiness in 2011 and M.S. in Agricultural Communications in 2013. Cody was a member of the Oklahoma State FarmHouse Chapter serving a term as pledge class treasurer and five semesters as social chairman of the chapter.

Cody and his wife, Anna, and their children, Campbell and Crosby, reside in Edmond, Okla. Active in his community, Cody has served on the local young professionals board and is currently the programming chair for the Fraternity Communications Association organization. They are diehard Oklahoma State sports fans and spend their free time attending athletic events.

Administrative Assistant

Nancy “Jo” Berryman joined the FarmHouse Foundation staff in May 2002 as part-time administrative assistant and bookkeeper. She serves as the staff member responsible for the Foundation’s bookkeeping, accounts payable, accounts receivable, grant and scholarship payments, deposits and banking activity.

Before coming to FarmHouse, Jo retired from Honeywell in Kansas City where she worked for 31 years. She is a native of Lincoln, Neb. Her volunteer activities include the Red Cross, King of Kings Church and tutoring for Laubach Literacy Program. She and her husband, Bill, reside in northern Kansas City, Mo. She enjoys walking, hiking and family activities.

Director of Annual Giving

Phi Mu

Miranda is the Director of Annual Giving for FarmHouse Foundation, which she began in
October 2022. She is responsible for the development and execution of the Foundation’s
fundraising initiatives, through well-coordinated communications and solicitations consisting of direct mail, email, social media, annual FH Day of Giving, Chairman’s Club membership, events, phone and personal outreach. 

Originally from Peculiar, Mo., Miranda graduated from Northwest Missouri State University (NWMSU) in Maryville, Mo in May 2022. She earned a double bachelor of arts degree in public relations and organizational communication while working three jobs and being an active member of Phi Mu sorority. During her last two years at NWMSU, she was Vice President of Financial Procedures for the Panhellenic Council, an organization to support, advocate and advance women’s sororities on the NWMSU campus. In this position, she was able to plan and implement philanthropy events for all sorority women to participate in and to benefit non-profit organizations in the community. 

Outside of the office, Miranda loves to explore the different areas of Kansas City with her
friends, cook new recipes she likes on Pinterest, and play with her pitbull, Sophie. Miranda
resides in Lee’s Summit, Mo., with her two roommates and loves getting to travel to the city for work.

Michaela Norton

Director of Stewardship

Alpha Xi Delta

Michaela serves as the Director of Stewardship for the FarmHouse Foundation and has been on the staff since July 2012. She is responsible for the development and implementation of the Foundation’s comprehensive stewardship program to recognize donors at all levels, promote interaction and create meaningful opportunities for engaging donors. She also oversees the Foundation’s database management, giving societies and scholarship program as well as assists with financial statements.

Michaela is originally from Hays, Kan., and graduated in May 2012 from Kansas State University with degrees in public relations and print journalism with a minor in leadership studies. She is a member of Alpha Xi Delta and held multiple positions throughout her college years including Vice President of Programs. She interned with the Kansas State University Alumni Association for a year working with their fundraising campaigns. She was also a member of Sigma Alpha Lambda leadership fraternity. 

Michaela’s husband, Jeff, is a project manager at Oracle Cerner, a leading provider of digital information systems used within hospitals and health systems to enable medical professionals to deliver better healthcare to individual patients and communities. Michaela, Jeff and their two children, Ethan and Isla, live in Kansas City, Mo.

Director of Leadership Giving

Delta Chi

Jason Butler is the Director of Leadership Giving for the FarmHouse Foundation. He provides leadership in the areas of major gifts, estate gifts, donor stewardship and data management as well as securing annual support for the FH Excellence Fund and advising FarmHouse associations with housing campaign planning. He is the staff liaison to the board’s Governance and Policy Committee.

He has been a fraternity professional for more than two decades and joined FarmHouse Foundation in October of 2019. He spent 15 years in fraternity fundraising and consulting with Pennington & Company, nine of those as partner and shareholder, assisting house corporations and national foundations secure more than $50 million to support students and facilities. He led their foundation division, providing counsel to fraternal foundations in the areas of operations, capital campaigns, staff and volunteer training and prospect research. He worked with 20 national fraternity and sorority foundations and directed 16 chapter housing campaigns, including most recently assisting the Oklahoma State FarmHouse Chapter with their successful debt retirement campaign.

Jason is a graduate of Central Missouri State University (now University of Central Missouri) with a degree in public relations with political science and marketing minors. Prior to joining the consulting staff at Pennington & Company, Jason worked for his alma mater in their alumni association and served his fraternity, Delta Chi, as a leadership consultant and Director of Chapter Services.

Jason is a tireless advocate for the fraternity experience and the impact is has on members. He is past president and a former board member of the Foundation for Fraternal Excellence, the industry trade association and community foundation. He is a longtime volunteer for Delta Chi, currently serving on their foundation board, as a past fraternity board member, and in various local volunteer roles with multiple chapters.

Jason is an avid downhill snow skier during the winter and spends his summers at Lake of the Ozarks. He is a longtime Kansas City Chiefs season ticket holder and faithfully follows the Royals even during the lean years. Jason resides in the Lawrence, Kan. area. 

South Dakota State 70

CEO — FabriClean Supply, Inc.

Jim graduated from South Dakota State University in 1973 with a degree in agriculture and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant through Army ROTC. After college and military service, he started his business career for 15 years making loans to farmers and ranchers in South Dakota and Nebraska thru Federal Land Bank Associations. He was later hired as Vice President- Credit for Cummins Financial, a subsidiary of Cummins Engine Company.

Always wanting to be a business owner, Jim and his wife, Shelly, purchased a distributor of drycleaning and laundry supplies in Dallas, Texas. In 27 years, they grew the business to 15 distribution centers, supplying dry cleaners and commercial launders in 22 states, in the south central and southeastern United States.

Jim is presently CEO of FabriClean Supply, and Shelly is a Vice President, with the headquarters in Dallas, Texas. Jim and Shelly have three sons and three grandchildren.

Jim joined the Foundation’s Board of Trustees in April 2022.

Brian Fenimore


Missouri 85

Kansas City, MO
Chief United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of Missouri

Brian graduated from the University of Missouri in 1988 with a degree in Agricultural Economics and received a JD from the University of Michigan Law School in 1990. Brian became an active FarmHouse member on April 21, 1985, and served as Social Chairman and President of FarmHouse while at Mizzou. Brian was appointed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit to become a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of Missouri on August 31, 2017. Brian previously led the bankruptcy and creditors’ rights practice at Lathrop Gage LLP (now LathropGPM) for more than 20 years, appeared in cases throughout the United States, and served on the firm’s Executive Committee for several years. Brian became the Chief United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of Missouri on January 1, 2020, and recently presented a program on Chapter 12 Farm Bankruptcies to all U.S. Bankruptcy Judges.

Brian and his wife, Lorna, both grew up on farms in northwest Missouri and currently live in Kansas City, Missouri. They have two children—Rachel (completing her residency in family medicine) and Will (a StuMo campus minister at Mizzou).

Assistant Executive Director for Communications & Alumni

Oklahoma State 08

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