Field Staff

About Illinois Farm Business Farm Management (FBFM)

FBFM is a cooperative educational-service program designed to assist farmers with management decision-making. It provides help with business and family records. Computer assisted record processing options are available either on farm or at service centers. It provides financial and production business analysis reports. An experienced Farm Analysis Specialist helps interpret analysis reports and counsels on management problems. The specialist meets regularly with each cooperator throughout the year.

FBFM cooperates with the University of Illinois, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics and University of Illinois Extension, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, and local FBFM Associations. There were eight local not-for-profit associations in the state. The Pioneer FBFM Association is the oldest, starting in 1924. The Shawnee FBFM Association is the most recent, with its history tracing back to the early sixties.

The participating farmers (or cooperators) are the members of the association. They elect representatives to serve on board of directors to provide for the services and establish policy. The services have been delivered through field staff working with 100-120 cooperators. The field staff have been able to extend the University's research and educational function. Although in the past some staff have carried Illinois Extension appointments, most staff are employed directly by the local FBFM associations.

In 1949 the local associations federated to form the Illinois FBFM Associations. A cooperator in a local association was automatically a member of the state association. The local associations also elected a representative to sit on the state board of directors. The state association was formed to assist in program development, to coordinate recruitment and training of field staff, and to acquire supplies and services for the local associations.  In 2017, the eight associations merged into one association, Illinois FBFM Association.

Ninety-five percent of more of the cooperators renew their membership each year, as each year represents another chapter in their business career. Most of the farmers would indicate that it is their interaction with trained farm business analysis field staff that encourages them to continue their membership year after year. Field staff experienced in agricultural economics are able to provide a sounding board for the farmer and outline alternatives in the decision-making process.

For a more in depth explanation of our services, see FAQs.



Title Name Location
President Ron Pierson Walnut
Vice President Tom Connors Shipman
Secretary Mike Cunningham Bismark


Brad Zwilling State Office

State Directors

Area Name Location
North Ron Pierson Walnut
North Christeen Urish Freeport 
North Laura Longeville Flanagan
Central Mike Cunningham Bismarck
Central Dwight Bohlen Fithian
Central John Robinson Monticello
South Bryan Fesser Morrisonville
South Tom Connors Shipman
South Alvin Barrow Palmyra
Outside Carrie Muehling Vogel Normal
Outside Jim Spradlin Morton

Click here to see our Leadership Team!

For a full listing of our field staff and state staff, please see our Directory.

The ILLINOIS FBFM STATE OFFICE is housed at the University of Illinois, 165 National Soybean Research Center, 1101 W. Peabody Drive, Urbana, Illinois 61801.

To learn more about the State Staff, please see our State Staff Page.