Raised on a farm in McLean County, Jim received a B.S. degree in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois in 1979, after which he returned to the family farm. He began his career in 1986 with Magna Trust Company where he was named head of the Decatur Agricultural Services Center in 1994, then named head of the Agricultural Services division in 1997. When Union Planters Bank purchased Magna Bank in 1998, Jim went on to become head of their Agricultural Services division overseeing 115,000 acres of farmland in 10 states. Bruce Huber and Jim purchased the farm management contracts from Union Planters Bank in August, 2001 and then joined Hickory Point Bank & Trust as Vice President of Agricultural Services in October, 2001.
Jim is an Accredited Farm Manager, Licensed State of Illinois Managing Real Estate Broker, a member of the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Alumni Association, past president of the Board of Directors of the Decatur Memorial Foundation, past president of the Decatur Noon Kiwanis Club, member of the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Club of Decatur, and a member of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.