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Chief Lending Officer Rural 1st
Art Whaley is the Chief Lending Officer for Rural 1st, the consumer lending division of Farm Credit Mid-America. He began his 21 year career with the Association as a loan officer selling both Agricultural and Consumer loans in the Lebanon, Cookeville, and Knoxville retail offices. After serving customers for over 10 years in his market, Art transitioned to a leadership role as Regional Vice President for East Tennessee leading a new team in a quickly growing market.
Art was then promoted in 2017 to Senior Vice President of Consumer Lending—leading what is now known as Rural 1st. Consumer lending for Farm Credit Mid-America centralized to the Louisville, KY office headquarters and Art currently leads the sales, operations, product, and partner channels of the business. Promoted to Rural 1st Chief Lending Officer in 2020, Rural 1st has grown exponentially under his leadership—from serving customers in Farm Credit Mid-America’s four state territory in 2017 to now serving customers in 16 states and ten associations across rural America. In 2021, Rural 1st produced in excess of $2.6 Billion in New Money with a current portfolio size nearing $8 Billion.
Art is an avid Tennessee Volunteers fan having earned a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics, a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics, and an Executive MBA from the University of Tennessee. When he is not at home on his farm in Sevierville, TN, Art can be found in Louisville, KY where his splits his time for work between his native Tennessee and the Bluegrass State.