James A. Nivens

FCS Financial— Inducted in 2019

James Nivens epitomizes the essential qualities of a truly effective leader. James' ability to provide guidance, his firm convictions in the benefits of the cooperative system and good-natured humor served the Farm Credit System well. His leadership laid the foundation for future success.


James became a Farm Credit member-owner in 1981. Elected to the Farm Credit Services of Western Missouri board in 1998, James continued serving on the board during the merger with FCS of Eastern Missouri and later served as board chairman, from 2009 and 2018, of what is known today as FCS Financial. Earlier in his career, James was a loan officer at Ozark PCA and with Farmers Home Administration. Knowledge gained from firsthand experience in both farming and lending allowed James unique insights, fostering his ability to guide FCS to adapt in an increasingly complex and changing marketplace.


James placed a high value on the cooperative structure of the Farm Credit System, constantly reminding the board and management about the importance of Farm Credit to Missouri agriculture. James understood the purpose is to serve the members. Under his steady hand, FCS Financial grew to a $4 billion lending institution maximizing the financial success of its member-owners. During the time of his board leadership, FCS established a cash patronage distribution program which paid its members over $119 million. In addition, FCS established a scholarship program that awarded over $567,000 to approximately 500 students to help pay for college.


James served with humility, integrity and wisdom, sharing an empathy for the hard work and dedication of all those who came before him. He served to benefit each successive generation with a better life. James understood the cooperative mission and spirit. His visionary leadership ensured FCS remained an integral and relevant partner with Missouri farmers and communities.



Visionary leadership, wisdom, humility, exemplary commitment to cooperation and Missouri agriculture