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U.S.D.A. Nobles County Farm Service Agency rebuilds farm loan officer team

Local processing of ag loans will begin once again in January.

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The Nobles County U.S.D.A. Farm Service Agency Loan Officer team includes analyst Raquel Strouth (front, from left), farm loan officer trainees Hannah Kokett and Lindsay Bents, and (back) farm loan officer trainee Dawn Weseman and farm loan manager Alis Golombeski. (Julie Buntjer / The Globe)

WORTHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency in Worthington has a nearly entirely-new farm loan officer team to assist local producers, with the goal of being able to once again process loan applications in-house by Jan. 1.

Alis Golombeski joined the office seven weeks ago as the farm loan manager. She has five years experience in banking, and will lead a team of three farm loan officer trainees with one to three years experience. All are expected to complete their training by the end of this year.

“Right now we’re in the process of rebuilding our relationships in Nobles County and the other five counties (Cottonwood, Jackson, Lyon, Murray and Rock),” Golombeski shared. For the past year and a half since losing its farm loan manager, the office has sent all of its loan applications to neighboring counties for processing.

That will continue until the local team is ready to begin doing the work once again.

“We’re trying to get used to everybody’s workflow schedules, what everybody’s duties are and how we can help each other,” said Golombeski, a 2011 graduate of Ellsworth High School who earned degrees in animal science and ag education from South Dakota State University in Brookings, and a master’s degree in business administration from Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota.

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Golombeski worked in credit analysis and marketing at Peoples Bank in Clive, Iowa, before being hired as an ag loan officer at Farmers Trust & Savings Bank in Spencer, Iowa, in 2017. She remained there until taking the new job with FSA in July, and said she understands the financial side of her new role. She is now learning FSA procedures and regulations.

Farm loan officer trainees Hannah Kokett and Lindsay Bents each joined the Nobles County FSA office right out of college a year ago. Both have backgrounds in agriculture and are in the process of completing their module training, as is Dawn Weseman, who has worked for FSA for three years.

“Dawn started out as a program technician, moved into the analyst (role) and now is a trainee,” Golombeski said. “She’s very crucial in training everybody on the different forms and how we do things.”

Once the training is completed, all three will take their comprehensive test to get loan authority.

“While that is happening, they will be out doing farm visits, taking loan applications and assisting with loan servicing,” Golombeski said.

Raquel Strouth is also part of the team as the analyst. She joined FSA in January after leaving her accounting position at POET in Ashton, Iowa.

“We are super excited, now that people know we’ve built our farm loan team, to assist farmers,” Golombeski said. “The second day I worked here, the phone was ringing constantly with people wanting to fill out a loan application.”

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Related Topics: AGRICULTURE
Julie Buntjer became editor of The Globe in July 2021, after working as a beat reporter at the Worthington newspaper since December 2003. She has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism from South Dakota State University.
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