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Member Spotlight: Justin Wheeler, AFM, ALC

Role/Position:  Farm Manager, Real Estate Broker, & Auctioneer

How many years have you been in your profession? 10 years in February, which I’m still wondering how that is possible…

What influenced you to choose your profession:  During college, I tripled majored in Ag, which forced me to take almost every Ag Business class possible at ISU. Ironically, the one class I didn’t take was Farm Management. I went on to pursue a Master’s Degree in Crop & Soil Science, with the hope of being able to stay in the Mt. Zion area. As I approached the end of the Master’s program, I was struggling to find any positions that would allow me to stay close to home. A friend mentioned that Soy Capital Ag Services, which later became First Mid Ag Services, had a farm management position open in the Decatur office. While I was wanting to be more on the Agronomy Science side of the table, I decided to take a chance. Looking back, I’m thankful I did and never could have imagined it would lead me to where I am today.

What do you enjoy about your profession?  During the first half of my career, I spent most of my time on Farm Management. I always appreciated the diversity of activities throughout the course of the year that kept things interesting. Nowadays, I work mostly on real estate/auctions, and I’ve truly grown to love the fast past pace and challenges that come with. Along the way, I’ve been able to meet truly wonderful people, whether farmers, landowners, or other professionals, which has provided perhaps the most joy.

What do you see for the future of your profession?  Buckle in because the next 20 years is going to be very high paced for both farm management and real estate as the Baby Boomer generation phases out.

What is a suggestion you would give to a young person that is considering a career in your profession?  Whether it’s this profession or any other, I always tell people to get uncomfortable. The biggest growth I’ve experienced professionally and personally, has come from venturing outside of my comfort zone.

Favorite inspirational quote: Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can do what others can’t. – Jerry Rice

Professional Affiliations:  ASFMRA, RLI, NAR, ISAA

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