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Lee Strom

Lee is a Partner with Open Prairie.  He has been involved in agriculture throughout his entire life and is a third generation farmer with production experience in grains, vegetables and livestock.  Lee served as CEO of FARM Illinois (A Food and Agriculture Roadmap for Illinois), an initiative focused on development and implementation of an integrated strategic plan to establish Illinois as the global epicenter for leadership and innovation within the food and agriculture sectors.  In 2006, Lee was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate to the Board of the Farm Credit Administration (FCA), the agency responsible for regulatory oversight for the $300+ billion Farm Credit System and Farmer Mac.  In 2008 President Bush designated him Chairman and CEO of FCA and, in that capacity, he was instrumental in guiding the agency through the “Great Recession” of 2008 and the ensuing economic crisis.  He also served as Chairman of the $3.4 billion Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation.  Prior to his appointment with the Farm Credit Administration, he held a variety of leadership positions including member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Advisory Council on Agriculture, Labor and Small Business, member of the Board of Trustees of the Country Mutual Funds Trust, Director of AgriBank, a $95 billion institutioin within the Farm Credit System, Director of 1st Farm Credit Services, and multiple tenures as Director of the Farm Credit Council.  In 2012, Lee was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Northern Illinois University for his commitment to sustaining agricultural systems and food security.  He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from Northern Illinois University.  Other educational certificates include completion of the Harvard Business School Agribusiness Seminar, the Harvard Kennedy School Leadership for the 21st Century program, and Graduate Institute for Cooperative Leadership.