The Raben Family began a farming operation in Gallatin County in the early 1900s with Jim’s great grandparents. Today Jim and his brother Bill along with Jim’s son Joseph, run the operation today. Jim was born and raised on the grain and livestock farm, helping his dad with the livestock from an early age. After attending Ridgway Illinois High School, he graduated Southern Illinois University with a Master’s Degree in Agriculture. Jim taught Agriculture for three years, helping to develop the school’s curriculum, and then returned to the family farm.
The farming operation consists of about 8,000 acres in mainly corn and soybeans. Other farming interests are coal company reclamation, farming interests in other states, and property in Brazil.
Jim has been a lifelong member of St. Joseph Church and the Knights of Columbus. He was a member of the St. Joseph School Board for 12 years, serving as President for four of those years. He was later elected to the Gallatin County Consolidated School District Board of Education, serving 16 years as a member and four years as President. While on the board, he served on the construction, curriculum and negotiation committees.
He was elected to the Illinois Corn Marketing Board in 2010 and currently serves as Chairman.
Jim currently resides on his farm in the Ridgway, Illinois area with his wife of 42 years, Marilyn. They enjoy nothing more than spending time with their four children and nine grandchildren.