Employee Spotlight: Cole Heizer
Location: Staunton Admin Office
Job Title: Credit Manager
Tenure: 15 years
Briefly describe your involvement in FFA. I was heavily involved with both FFA and 4-H for many years, competing in numerous events such as livestock judging, public speaking and parliamentary procedure, as well as holding many leadership positions on officer teams. Participating in these activities, which ranged from the local to national level, played a large role in developing skills that I still utilize in my career.
Briefly describe your involvement in agriculture. I grew up on a family farm in southern Augusta County, VA consisting of beef cattle and horses and proud to be a 5th generation farmer. My wife and I currently have a cow/calf operation where we raise commercial Angus and purebred Shorthorn cattle as well as hay.
List and describe any other clubs or organizations that you are actively involved in. Outside of Farm Credit, I serve as an appointed representative on the Augusta County Agriculture Industry Board, which is an advisory committee working with the Board of Supervisors on agricultural related opportunities and issues impacting the county and surrounding area.
Tell us about your family. My wife, Jill, and I have been married for over 12 years and we have two kids, Evan (7) and Kensie (5). We spend lots of time working on the farm together as a family and feel very fortunate to be raising our kids in this lifestyle.
Tell us about your pets. In addition to our cow herd, which we spend lots of time with, we recently added a Beagle mix puppy, Rosie, to our family.
What is your favorite book? It would be hard to pick one favorite, but in general I have always enjoyed reading history with a big focus on the Civil War and World War II.
Do you collect anything? The only thing I collect is cows and my collection is always growing.
What is your favorite personal mantra or motto? My favorite motto is, “Always give 125% effort.”
Tell us about your hobbies. Farming is my hobby, although I've never been a fan of the term “hobby farmer" as even part-time farms are often still lots of work and collectively make up a significant portion of the agricultural industry.
What is your favorite place you ever visited? We took a trip to the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and Glacier national parks and it was such beautiful scenery and so different from Virginia, but I would definitely not want to live there in the winter! Everywhere I've travelled, I'm always thankful to return home to the Shenandoah Valley.
What was your first job? My first “real" job off the farm was as a Credit Intern with Farm Credit while I was in college at Virginia Tech majoring in Ag & Applied Economics. This internship was invaluable to me as it provided my first experience working in an office setting, confirmed that I wanted a career involving numbers and finance, and positioned me well to pursue my first role with Farm Credit after graduation as a credit analyst.
What is the most interesting or favorite aspect of your job? In my current position as a Credit Manager, I like that every day is a little bit different and I have a variety of duties to keep things interesting. From leading a credit analyst team, working with loan approvals, credit procedures and training as part of our credit management group, providing guidance to our lending team on unique issues that arise and still occasionally underwriting a few loans there is always something to keep me busy.
What is your favorite thing about Farm Credit? Farm Credit allows me to blend my interest in finance while serving the agricultural industry, which I am very passionate about, and I get to do so with a dedicated group of co-workers that share my enthusiasm.
What three words would your friends use to describe you? Three words my friends might use to describe me would be dedicated, honest and hardworking.
What are your favorite weekend activities? My favorite weekend activities are spending time with family and being outside on the farm.