Tom Schlenker, executive vice president of Farm Credit Services of Mid-America, retired on February 15 after 33 years of service. Schlenker joined the agriculture lending cooperative in 1978. He is widely credited for organizing and leading the organization’s Relationship Management Philosophy program and providing leadership in the launching new products including the Agnition dealer credit program and crop insurance. Also under his leadership, Schlenker supervised the overall support of a very diverse agriculture market, from agribusiness, to the full- and part-time farmer markets, to rural residents.
Farm Credit President and CEO Donnie Winters said “Tom represented and served the interest of American agriculture and Farm Credit. He consistently modeled the values of integrity, hard work, high performance and dedication to our customers. Because of his contributions, he has helped guide this organization to become the premier lender to farmers and rural America and we appreciate the efforts he has made over the many years.”
Schlenker became the executive vice president after holding a number of positions within the organization including branch manager, vice president of credit, regional vice president and senior vice president. He has been recognized for his involvement in agriculture including receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award from The Ohio State University for his leadership achievements at Farm Credit. He was recently awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from Farm Credit, the first such award presented to a staff member in the 25 years since the association was formed.
Schlenker was born and raised in Wapakoneta, Ohio and received his bachelors degree in agriculture economics and masters degree in agriculture economics and marketing from The Ohio State University. Prior to joining Farm Credit, Schlenker worked in the cooperative extension in Celina, Ohio. He was also a commodities broker for Clayton Brokerage out of St. Louis.
“Tom is dedicated to our customers, the organization and our staff,” noted Dick Poe, senior vice president. “He has a great ability to bring a high level of enthusiasm and eagerness to every initiative he undertakes. His desire is to always do what’s right for the customer. He is and will continue to be a great ambassador to farmers and to Ohio agriculture,” he said.
“For me, this has been more than just a job,” Schlenker said. “It’s been my passion and pleasure to work with the staff and customers throughout four states to meet their finance needs. I’ve spent the last 33 years with my extended family and could not have asked for a more dedicated group of staff who make it their mission every day to passionately serve the people who live and work in rural America.”
Today, Schlenker plans to spend time with family, hone his skill in woodworking, as well as fish and travel. He is married to Pat Kahlig Schlenker and has six children and eight grandchildren. He currently serves as chairman of the Ohio Agriculture Council and will continue to be active on the Animals for Life Foundation.