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New Farm Bureau manager hired

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U of I ag grad to replace Marshel

By Dave Bell

An Okawville native who graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in finance and agribusiness is the new manager of the Farm Bureau in Fayette and Bond counties.
Stephanie Kraus will replace Ron Marshel, who is retiring Feb. 14 after 32 years in the position.

“I’ve been around farming my whole life,” Kraus said. “I knew I didn’t want to be in an office all day; that just didn’t appeal to me. I wanted a job that involved agriculture.”
Her love of agriculture comes naturally to Kraus, who was raised on a grain farm near Okawville. Both of her parents were raised on farms, too, and her father is currently collecting documents to apply for status as a centennial farm.
Her first contact with Farm Bureau came at a business fair in Champaign. Since graduating from the U of I last spring, Kraus has been working at a bank in Okawville while she waited for an opening in the Farm Bureau. Last October, she started a county manager trainee program in Bloomington. In that program, she split time between working in the Illinois Farm Bureau office and visiting county offices to learn about the duties and procedures.
“That program allowed me to get some hands-on experience and see what’s working in other counties,” she said. “It’s given me some good ideas on how I want to do things here.”
In her new job, Kraus will be splitting her time between Fayette and Bond counties – three days here and two days in Greenville.
“I have some big shoes to fill,” she said of replacing Marshel. “But we have strong boards in both counties, and they’ll be great to work with.”
She plans to promote the Farm Bureau Young Leaders program, a new initiative to promote greater involvement by those just getting started in agriculture.
And, as a former member and officer of the Illini Trap and Skeet Club, she hinted that there might some clay pigeons flying at select Farm Bureau events.