March 15, 2016/

Lauritzen recognized in National Search for Shaping Rural America and Agriculture

NORMAL – Penny Lauritzen is among the top 10 distinguished honorees being recognized nationally through Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives, a search to identify and honor 100 leaders who are changing rural communities and agriculture for the better.

Lauritzen of Lanark was awarded in the Mentor and Volunteerism category for her creation and continued leadership on the Women Changing the Face of Agriculture Conference, a one-day event geared to encouraging young women to pursue careers in agriculture.

The Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives honorees were announced on National Ag Day at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

The planning committee for the Women Changing the Face of Agriculture Conference was also among the top 100 leaders changing rural communities and agriculture, joined by eight others in Illinois, including:

- Dr. Robert Easter of Mahomet for leadership in his role of chair of FARM Illinois
- Alyssa Garner and Kirsten Kapraun of Maroa for Youth Leadership for their role in the Maroa-Forsyth FFA Chapter

- Courtney Gerstenecker of Carlyle for Youth Leadership

- Angela Mason of Chicago for Rural and Urban Connection for her role in Windy City Harvest

- Russell and Marilyn Rosenboom of Clifton for mentor and volunteerism for their role in the Cultivating Master Farmers Program

- Scott Williams of Park Ridge for Sustainability and Natural Resources for his role in Fields Restored

Details about each honoree and a complete list of the Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives honorees can be found at:

“Farm Credit has supported rural communities and agriculture for 100 years, and we appreciate the vision it takes to remain successful over time in agriculture and rapidly evolving, thriving rural industries,” said Gary J. Ash, president/CEO of 1st Farm Credit Services. “We are delighted to honor Penny, and all the individuals from Illinois, as leaders who is helping to define the future of rural communities and agriculture.”

Lauritzen, who works as a farm manager and consultant, will receive a $10,000 award to help further her contributions to thriving rural communities and agriculture, and will be recognized for her accomplishments at a national Farm Credit event in June.

Farm Credit launched the Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives program as part of its 100th anniversary of service to rural communities and agriculture.

Selected by a panel of experts on rural matters, including Farm Credit leaders and others from around the agriculture industry, these honorees are among the best-of-the-best who are positively shaping what is next for rural communities and agriculture.

1st Farm Credit Services joins the nearly 80 Farm Credit organizations that are celebrating the dynamic future of rural communities and agriculture.

1st Farm Credit Services supports rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services today and tomorrow. The association serves 42 counties in the northern half of Illinois, through its 16 local offices, with agricultural loans, risk management products and various services such as crop insurance, loan and lease options, as well as agricultural real estate appraisals. It is a proud member of the nationwide Farm Credit System, which celebrates its 100 year commitment to rural communities and agriculture in 2016.


Karen Blatter


Karen Blatter

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