Leland (Lee) Strom serves as CEO of FARM Illinois (Food and Agriculture RoadMap), the statewide, multisector association organized to develop and implement a comprehensive and integrated strategic plan with the goal of positioning Illinois and the Chicago Region as the global leader in food and agriculture system innovation. The plan aims to ensure the state’s leadership in sustainably meeting the 21st-century challenge of global and local food security.
He joined FARM Illinois in March of 2015 following more than eight years in Washington D.C., where he served as CEO and Chairman of the Board of the Farm Credit Administration. FCA is the safety and soundness regulator of the $300 billion national network of Farm Credit System institutions and Farmer Mac. He also served as chair of the Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation.
Lee has served as an agriculture advisor on the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Advisory Board on Agriculture, Labor, and Small Business, and in numerous other leadership capacities within the agriculture and finance sectors for the past 35 years. He currently serves as a principal with Open Prairie, a premier, Midwest-based, private fund management firm currently establishing the Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund, a USDA licensed Rural Business Investment Corporation.
In 2011, Lee was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Northern Illinois University for his efforts in protecting and managing the assets of the nation’s agriculture industry.
He and his wife reside on a farm just west of Chicago in Kane County, Illinois where their ancestors settled in the late 1800’s. He’s been involved in the agriculture industry his entire career.