Jerry R. Hicks, AFM, partner and treasurer of Springfield's Agrivest, was inducted into the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers' Hall of Fame during the organization's annual meeting.
"Jerry epitomizes all the good things that come to mind when you think of the finest attributes of a member of the Society," says Bret Cude, AFM, immediate past-president of the organization, in presenting the award. "He has been very active as a member in the organization and has served as its president and on numerous committees during his years of membership. But more importantly, he has taken that spirit of involvement and carried it into his day-to-day life through his generosity of personal time and talent given to organizations outside the Society, all for the betterment of agriculture in Illinois."
Hicks is a 1971 graduate of the University of Illinois with a bachelor's degree in agriculture, majoring in animal science. He followed that degree with a master's in 1976 with advanced studies in agriculture communications. He was a member of the Illinois Agricultural Leadership program class of 1984.
Hicks started his career in agriculture as an assistant and associate agricultural advisor with U of I Extension Services in Dixon. From there he served as executive vice president of the Illinois Pork Producers Association. He left that position to go into farm management and was named senior farm management officer with FFG Agrivest (successor to First National Bank) in 1994. He assumed his current title when Agrivest became an independent organization in 2000.
He has continued seeking professional improvement education and received his Accredited Farm Manager designation from the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers in 1986, and became an Illinois-licensed Real Estate broker in 2000.
His 'outside' leadership activities have included 24 years as a 4-H leader, chairman of the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Services State Extension Advisory Council, treasurer of the Illinois Agricultural Legislative Event Committee, a member of the U of I College of Agriculture Deans Advisory Committee, vice president of the Pleasant Plains School board, and president of Extension Partners.
The Society has inducted members into its Hall of Fame since 1980, "and Jerry joins a long list of individuals who have shown outstanding leadership within the organization and within the industry of agriculture in Illinois," Cude adds.