Rabo AgriFinance announced that Shawn Smeins has been promoted to head the business. Throughout his 25-plus+ year tenure, Smeins “has shown a commitment to growing Rabo AgriFinance’s ability to meet the ag industry’s evolving financial needs through client-focused solutions, innovative products and services, and long-term business relationships.,” according to the company’s announcement.
Part of the global Rabobank Group, Rabo AgriFinance is a financial services provider for leading farms and ranches in the U.S. In his new position as the leader of Rabo AgriFinance, Smeins is the Head of Rural Banking, North America, for Rabobank. He is a member of the Rabobank North America Executive Team, which oversees the business and operations of all Rabobank subsidies and business units operating in the region, including Rabo AgriFinance, Rabobank Wholesale Banking North America and DLL equipment finance.
“Rabobank leads the world in financing its critical food and ag production, and there is a lot of potential for the entire value chain in North America – from seed and farm equipment to packaged foods and foodservice – to benefit from our global expertise and knowledge,” says Paul Beiboer, CEO, North America for Rabobank.
“Shawn takes a client-focused approach to the business, which will undoubtedly help all our teams continue to deliver unrivaled value to ag producers and reach our growth goals.”
Smeins has been with Rabo AgriFinance and a legacy company – Ag Services of America in Cedar Falls, Iowa – for 27 years. He’s held roles in operations, risk and business development. Smeins has served as interim Head of Rabo AgriFinance since August following the departure of previous Head, Curt Hudnutt.
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For the past 18 months as Deputy Head, Smeins has overseen the lending teams nationwide and overseen the business’s multi-year technology transformation, which creates a more streamlined experience for clients.
“There is a lot of technology change happening in agriculture and in finance that – if implemented in a smart way together with our clients – will be a key, in my mind, of Rabo AgriFinance’s future growth,” says Smeins.
“At the farming level, producers will be able to do things that are economically sustainable quicker, faster and better. Enhancing technology on our side will empower our employees with greater flexibility and allow us to tie into the farm-level changes and better serve our clients.”