SEGMENT: FARM-RELATED WORK, BACKGROUND, & NON-FARM WORK

Jay Johnson>LPL Interviews A-M>LPL Interviews A-J, Segment 12

SEGMENT: FARM-RELATED WORK, BACKGROUND, & NON-FARM WORK,

duration 14:57

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FARM-RELATED WORK
Jay Johnson is the president of the Johnson Grain Company, based just east of Waverly, IL. The Johnson Shuttle is a grain terminal where they bring in grain from local farmers and ship it to TX and Mexico via shuttle trains.
BACKGROUND
Jay was born in Springfield, IL, on Nov. 6, 1967. He grew up just north of Waverly. His parents had a tenant farmhouse. They moved east of Waverly when Jay was in 7th grade. His father was a farmer since graduating high school. Started in the grain business in 1975, picking up grain from farmers' fields taking it to the Illinois River. Saw the opportunity to make some more money and took. It. In the first year of the grain business, he made enough money to take his family to CA to visit his sisters. The farm was rented from local landowners on a crop share basis.
CHILDHOOD WORK
Tending to the cattle, mowing, walking the bean fields pulling weeds. When his dad started the grain business, Jay would follow the truckers and scoop out grain bins. He thought this was all the grain business was and at the time didn't want to pursue it as a career.
FAMILY BACKGROUND
Mother's maiden name was Tranquilli, Italian. Had five kids, Jay is fourth of five.
EDUCATION
Jay went to Waverly High School, graduated in 1986. Went to college at Illinois State University at Bloomington-Normal.
NON-FARM WORK
Thought that scooping out grain bins was all there was to the grain business as a kid. Went to college for finance and ended up in banking. Went to work for First Chicago in downtown Chicago. Spent a year and a half there. Thought the experience was great but couldn't have stayed much longer. Was dating his future wife Kelly, who was still had ISU. Didn't have a car in Chicago because the parking garages were either full or too expensive. Took the train to Bloomington to see Kelly. Liked the experience of city life and of working for a large corporation. Helped him appreciate small business and the country life and being near family.
FARM-RELATED WORK
Father was shipping grain to the river. He was one of the first to take trucks to the farms to pick up the grain, which was a new concept. In the late 1980s the competition started doing the same thing. Now they use 18 wheelers, when they started they used tandem trucks.