Farm Credit Services of Illinois is a farmer-owned and farmer-directed cooperative dedicated to delivering competitive and flexible farm financing and crop insurance expertise. The Association serves more than 8,600 customer stockholders with $3 billion of farm and agribusiness loans in addition to crop insurance that covers more than 1.8 million acres. With a service area that includes the southern 60 counties of Illinois, Farm Credit Services of Illinois employs 195 full-time staff who provide farm families, rural landowners, and agribusinesses with a dependable and competitive source of financial capital and risk management services. As a cooperative, Farm Credit’s customer stockholders elect twelve of their peers as directors to the board; two additional directors are appointed as outside directors. The Association is part of the national Farm Credit System created by the U.S. Congress in 1916 to provide a reliable source of credit for the nation's farmers. Today, the System is a network of cooperatives providing more than one-third of the credit needed by those who live and work in rural America. Although the System is a Government Sponsored Enterprise (G.S.E.), Farm Credit is completely self-sustaining and operates without financial support from the federal government. Farm Credit is committed to improving the quality of life for farmers and rural America through its commitment to expert financial services and advice while developing partnership-based relationships with agricultural customers.