Stephen Severe, chief financial officer at Padlock Ranch, located near here, was elected president of the Farm Financial Standards Council during the organization’s annual conference held at the ranch July 14 and 15.

Severe, who had previously served as the Council’s secretary/treasurer and vice president, was chosen to lead the group during a business meeting that capped off a week of activities on the sprawling 475,000-acre property which straddles the Montana and Wyoming state line.

Named vice president of the organization was Janice Bitter, a vice president with Farm Credit East, Homer, NY. Bitter had previously served as secretary/treasurer of the Council. Joining the leadership team is Todd Doehring, a director at Centrec Consulting Group, a management and financial consulting firm located in Savoy, IL.

Earlier in the week the senior leadership of the organization spent two days doing strategic and long-range planning for the Council. They were later joined by agricultural financial advisors, academics, accountants and farmers/ranchers from across the country for discussions on issues involving current and future financial planning needs of agricultural producers and lenders.

While meeting at Padlock headquarters the Council approved the adoption of new versions of the Financial Guidelines for Agriculture and the Management Accounting Guidelines for Agriculture. Both documents have undergone revisions to style and format and the new versions will become available in January 2017. The original Financial Guidelines were introduced in 1993 as a guide for bringing industry-wide uniformity in assisting farm and ranch owners / managers and their accounting teams to develop standardized financial recordkeeping formats and programs.

The group also discussed some possible changes to its organizational structure and fees being charged for the Guidelines documents.

In 2017 the Council will meet July 27 and 28 in Syracuse, NY.