EDWARDSVILLE - As part of National Agriculture Awareness Month, First Mid Bank & Trust (First Mid) is working to raise awareness about a variety of financial and cropland management services available to farmers.

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Julie Huelsmann, First Mid Vice President, said as inflation continues to impact the overall lending market, it’s important for farmers to be aware of all current lending options and federal programs that are available to them. Huelsmann said the bank’s Ag Services Department offers a full range of services for farmers, designed to support them whether they are managing, buying, selling, or determining the value of their farm. They also offer a variety of lending options including intermediate loans, operating lines of credit, and ownership loans for farmers.

“Our bank has been financing farmers since 1865. We are the second largest ag lenders in Illinois and the 40th largest in the country,” said Huelsmann. “With both of those facts, we are truly committed to the agricultural sector and are aware of all the different unique financing options that are out there to help different sizes of farmers. We’re committed to helping farmers for the long haul and with the decision-making processes.”

Huelsmann added that in addition to lending decisions, First Mid’s Agriculture Services Department, which is separate from the lending, also assists families with the management of farmland. Huelsmann said she is seeing an increasing number of landowners who are interested in keeping their ground, but not managing the process of leasing the land out.

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“First Mid manages more Illinois farmland than any other firm in the state so this is an area where people may not realize the expertise we can offer them,” said Huelsmann. “It’s part of the wraparound services we provide to farmers in terms of loan assistance, crop insurance, and merchant financing programs to provide better financing rates on items like seed purchases.”

Huelsmann said that in 2022, First Mid helped facilitate the sale of more than 10,000 acres of Illinois farmland across 28 counties for an average price of $13,000 an acre. She said recent studies have also projected that farmland values in Illinois will increase by as much as 13%.

“Many of our employees come from farming backgrounds so this is just who we are,” Huelsmann added. “That’s all the more reason why our bank has always tried to work closely with our farming communities and offer the most comprehensive services we can.”

To learn more about First Mid’s Agriculture Services Department, go to www.firstmidag.com.

About First Mid Bancshares, Inc.

First Mid Bancshares, Inc. is the parent company of First Mid Bank & Trust, N.A., First Mid Insurance Group, and First Mid Wealth Management Company. First Mid is a $6.7 billion community-focused organization that provides a full-suite of financial services including banking, wealth management, brokerage, Ag services, and insurance through a sizeable network of locations throughout Illinois, Missouri, and Texas, and a loan production office in the greater Indianapolis area. Together, our First Mid team takes great pride in providing solutions and services to our customers and communities and has done so over the last 157 years.

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