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Hometown Proud: Darrell Aufdenberg

Darrell Aufdenberg has spent his life in Jackson supporting local agriculture through his career, community involvement and personal farm.

“I grew up in agriculture, and that’s why I stayed in agriculture,” Aufdenberg said.

Aufdenberg grew up in the Jackson area and went to school in Jackson. He was a member of 4-H and FFA as a child, showing livestock at the fair. Out of high school, he spent 23 years working at a local farm service center and was then approached by Ted Williams to become a agribusiness banker.

When Aufdenberg was approached, Williams wanted him for his understanding of agriculture and said they could teach him the banking side of things. Aufdenberg used that training to be an agribusiness lender for the past 20 years, and he recently moved to Alliance Bank.

“Darrell is a phenomenal Ag lender,” Community Bank President Pee Wee Bartels said. “He knows his customers so well, he knows their business so well. I’m looking forward to bringing that aspect to Alliance Bank here in Jackson.”

Bartels added that Aufdenberg will move into the new Jackson location currently under construction, and he brings a wealth of knowledge and connections to the bank.

“Darrell is an easygoing likeable guy,” Bartels said. “Once you meet him, he’s the type of guy you just like right away.”

Aufdenberg said his work is very rewarding, and he is proud to help farmers achieve their goals. As an agriculture lender, he helps farmers finance expansions of their business through buying new land, more equipment or some cattle.

“I’m proud of what I’ve done with my career over the years,” Aufdenberg said. “I’ve worked my way up to where I’m now, and I feel good about how I’ve done that.”

Aufdenberg is also active with local 4-H groups and the SEMO District Fair, bringing his childhood experiences full circle. Aufdenberg has been involved with the fair for the past 30 years and is a past president of the organization.

“People don’t realize how much of a job the fair is, and it’s all volunteer work,” Aufdenberg said. “It’s a year-long process, and we’ve already started work for this coming year’s fair in September.”

He also continues to run the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Ag Tour every July. The event, which began 40 years ago, is the longest running agriculture tour in Missouri.

“We find places to go and tour for an entire day,” Aufdenberg said. “It might be farms; it could be an agribusiness or it might be an industry. We’ve been to so many places over the 20-plus years I’ve been involved — from a fish farm to a factory.”

Aufdenberg was a board member for the Chamber for 11 years, and was instrumental in helping to start the Business After Hours event in 1998.

Aufdenberg said it was Williams who got him involved with the Chamber and had a huge impact on where he is today.

In his free time, Aufdenberg runs his personal cattle farm, where he raises registered Hereford cattle. He shows his cattle at state and local fairs, and he is an active member of a local cattlemen association.

“I guess that’s my hobby and my passion,” Aufdenberg said. “I love it and relaxing out on the farm is the best thing.”

He said he hopes to continue to help others through his work at the bank and in the community.

“I’m going to slow down someday and then put more emphasis on my cattle and relax maybe, but I’m happy where I’m at right now,” Aufdenberg said.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past four years. He can be reached at cbjedit@socket.net.

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