Editor’s note: We would like to introduce you to one of our new columnists, J.T. Korkow. His column, “The Big Picture” will alternate with a market-based column. We will introduce the second writer next week.
J.T. was born and raised on a grain and livestock farm in east central South Dakota. During his high school and junior college summers J.T. worked as a combine driver on a custom harvest crew.
After graduating from junior college in eastern Oklahoma, he traveled to the northwest to work on the Schultz Angus Ranch out of Sheridan, Montana. After a few years of riding on cows, irrigating, haying, throwing small squares and night calving, J.T. was offered an opportunity to return to his homeland in South Dakota to lease and operate his aunt and uncle’s farm during the 80s.
After battling the economic challenges of the 80s, J.T. sold out the farm operation in 1986, and went back to school at Panhandle State University in Goodwell, Oklahoma. Immediately, he was appointed as feed mill supervisor at the University farm. One of the experiences as mill supervisor was the task of preparing and mixing various feed rations for a feed additive called “Bovatec” test on several pens of steers, paid for by the company that produced the additive.
J.T. obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science with a minor in Ag Education, from Panhandle State University. He was immediately hired by USDA Farmers Home Administration in Great Falls, Montana, and worked 12 years for the agency as a credit supervisor in four different locations throughout Montana, including a six month special project assignment in Washington, DC for the National Administrator.
Taking an early retirement from the agency, after transferring to Powder River County, Montana, J.T. started Powder River Agricultural Consulting, focusing on assisting farmers and ranchers in preparing loan applications and providing financial advice, and working under contract for area banks in servicing troubled loans and packaging loan applications.
It was through these contacts that J.T. accepted an offer to partner with DLS Consulting of Ulm, Montana, in performing independent loan and compliance audits, and due diligence reviews for several bank holding companies throughout Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. As a financial consultant, J.T. was requested by a Great Falls Legal Firm to assist distressed farmers and ranchers in preparing Chapter 12 bankruptcy plans and provide expert testimony in bankruptcy court in defending proposed plans prepared on behalf of the borrower. J.T. prepared in excess of 40 bankruptcy plans for Chapter 11 and 12 cases over past 12 years, and is still available as needed.
While working as a consultant, J.T. accepted a job to manage the bank in his home town, which allowd him to be home every night. The bank was sold during his five year tenure, and new ownership determined to manage the bank at large, ending that position. A few months later, J.T. received an appointment with the U.S. House of Representatives as Eastern Regional Director for Montana’s only Congressman, Denny Rehberg. Rehberg ran for the Senate position in 2012 and was defeated, and thus, the appointment expired.
J.T. obtained his real estate sales license under Mills Auction and Real Estate and began a partnership with Jack “Slug” Mills in forming “Mills Real Estate, LLC, based out of Boyes, Montana in the southeast part of the state. Mills Real Estate, LLC focuses primarily on working cattle ranch sales, but also provides marketing of homes, commercial and recreational property, as well. In addition, J.T. and his wife, Julie, own Bar J.T. Trucking, LLC and Bar J.T. Quarter Horses.
Farmer, rancher, pilot, truck driver, real estate broker, banker, financial consultant, politician, and horseman, J.T. offers a vast scope of experiences that will provide many different perspectives on the “Big Picture.”