Come to a reception in her honor on Tuesday, May 31, from 1-4 p.m. at the Grant service center, 927 Central Avenue.
By Jan Rahn
For over 30 years Bonnie Taubenheim has been part of the work force at Farm Service Agency (FSA). That is about to change.
Taubenheim will have this summer to herself, enjoying her long awaited retirement.
The public is invited to a reception in her honor on Tuesday, May 31, from 1-4 p.m.
The native of Amherst, Neb. began working for FSA in 1979—however, at that time, the office was called ASCS, which stood for Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service.
Probably the biggest change Taubenheim has witnessed in her 31-and-a-half years with the organization is the switch to computers.
“We’ve gone from doing everything manually to having a computer prefill the forms and do all the calculating for us,” she said. “When we first got computers, the data load was so much work you wondered if you were every going to complete it, but somehow it all was completed.”
The farm program also changes with each new farm bill, said Taubenheim, who, although helping out in all programs to some degree, mostly worked in signing producers up for the farm program, disaster programs, certifying crops, and administration.
“I think farmers are probably some of the nicest people to work for,” she said. “Visiting with them when they’re in the office has always been one of my favorite things about my job. The majority of the producers realize that our job is service to them, and I feel they appreciate that fact.”
Getting to know fellow workers, who become like family, and getting to know staff of surrounding counties and other offices in the district has been an enjoyable aspect of her job.
“Some of them become good friends, and working with friends helps make your job more enjoyable and fun. In our office we do just that, and even get a few laughs along the way!” she said.
Challenging aspects of her job are the everyday changes in procedures.
“You may tell a producer something one day, and it may change the next,” she said.
On two separate occasions during the time she has been employed at the Perkins County office, the government has considered closing it. However, people from the entire county got behind the effort to keep the office open by sending letters, faxes and emails to the state office requesting reconsideration.
“They definitely got the attention they were hoping for!” she said.
Taubenheim hasn’t made any definite plans for her retirement, but priority is spending more time with family and friends.
“I will always remember my time spent working for FSA and be grateful for all the opportunities and challenges,” she said.
Her husband, Glenn, has worked for Sargent Irrigation for over 39 years—37 of them as manager of the Grant branch.
The Taubenheims have two children, Clint and Shannon. Clint and wife Nancy live in Lincoln and have five children. Daughter Shannon and husband Justin Vaughn live in Parker, Colo., and have two children.