About us/History2

About Us


Since November 1996, Heartland Ag Group of Springfield has been providing a comprehensive set of farm management , farmland sales and investment ,  farm appraisal , and consulting services to land owners, farmers, tenants, and investors. Whether it be optimizing farm income or building a legacy to hand down to future family farmers, business partners Gene Meurer and Ernest Moody and their staff work with you to help you reach your agricultural goals.

While most of the farms we manage are within a 150-mile radius of Springfield, Illinois, we serve clients all across the United States, including land owners, tenants, farm operators, retired farmers, investors, bankers, attorneys, and many others with an interest in agriculture.

Heartland Ag Group of Springfield does business based on four basic principles:

Personal Attention

Every landowner and farmer has different goals, and we understand that. We take the time to get to know you and your operation, working closely with you to ensure you have the right information to make the best decisions. We visit your operation at least once a month during the growing season to monitor your crop and livestock production and activities. Our clients can always reach us in our office or on our cell phones.

Professional Service

Both Ernie and Gene are experienced professionals and accredited members of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisals. They have been involved in the leadership of this organization, both on a local and national level. Through ASFMRA, they maintain their credentials, continue their education, and stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and management strategies.

Detailed Management

To be successful in any farm or livestock business, you have to pay attention to the details. We keep in-depth accounting and production records for you to analyze the financial status of your operation. We communicate frequently with our clients and send written quarterly reports so they always know where they stand.

Steadfast Reliability

Heartland Ag Group of Springfield is a committed team member in your operation.  When you have questions or concerns, you can depend on us to be available. We have extensive experience in the ag industry, and we serve our clients with honesty and integrity. In fact, we follow a strict code of ethics developed by the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisals. These values are integral in the way we do business.

      Our Business Family

Gene Meurer, AFM, ARA - Heartland Senior Partner

Gene Meurer is an accredited farm manager and an accredited rural appraiser. His wealth of experience in farm management dates back to 1969, when he started managing and appraising farmland for banks, attorneys, judges, and private individuals. He has managed over 12,000 acres and conducted over 3,000 private evaluations.

Gene received a degree from the University of Illinois in Agricultural Sciences, and continues to participate in educational courses offered by the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA). Gene is past president of the ASFMRA. He was born and raised on his family's farm in Lee County, Illinois, and has served as a school board member for the Ball-Chatham Unit District #5 School and the Capital Area Vocational School. He is involved in FFA, 4-H, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and was a 25 year member and Past President of the Cosmopolitan Club of Springfield.  He is also an active member of the Sugar Creek Methodist Church.

Gene Meurer   GeneM@heartland.ag

Ernest Moody, AFM, ARA, AAC - Heartland Ag President & Senior Partner

As an accredited farm manager, an accredited rural appraiser, and an accredited agricultural consultant, Ernie has over 30 years of experience in professional farm management, real estate, appraisal, and consulting services throughout the central and southeastern United States. He has managed 15,000 acres of large, direct farming operations in grain and livestock production for foreign  investors, and over 14,000 acres of tenant operated farmland for United States landowners. He has been involved in the purchase or sale of over 6,000 acres of farmland and conducted over 2,000 appraisals.

Ernie received a degree Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois and has earned his credentials through the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA). Ernie is active in the National Ethics Committee of the ASFMRA and has served as President of the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. He is also past president of Jaycees, past Director of Kiwanis, a member of the Sunrise Rotary, and of the Methodist Church. 

Ernie Moody   ErnieM@heartland.ag

Duane Stock, AFM - Heartland Senior Partner

Duane is an accredited farm manager with 38 years experience.  He started his management career with First Trust and Savings Bank of Taylorville in 1975.  In 1999 he opened his own farm management company.  He has been involved with farm management and real estate sales his entire career.  He is a licensed real estate broker in Illinois.  Before leaving First Trust Bank, he was responsible for the management activities on 20,000+ acres.

Duane is a 1971 University of Illinois graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education.  In addition to working in farm management, he has worked in the wholesale agricultural chemical distribution industry and grain bin manufacturing.

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club, Christian County Soil & Water Conservation District board of directors, Christian County YMCA board of directors, Trinity Lutheran Church board of directors and the TLC Child Care Plus board of directors are activities Duane is currently involved in.  He is a past board of director member of the Christian County Mental Health Association.

Duane Stock   DuaneS@heartland.ag

Barry Houmes, AFM - Farm Manager & Real Estate Broker

Barry is an accredited farm manager and joined Heartland Ag Group in April of 2016. He has been in farm management and real estate brokerage in the Springfield area since 2001. Barry has managed and sold farms for a multitude of clients including private individuals, corporate entities, non-profits, trusts, and attorneys.

Barry grew up on a family farm in Iroquois County, Illinois and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agribusiness, Farm, and Financial Management from the University of Illinois. Before beginning his farm management career, he worked for a local co-op, primarily in a grain merchandiser role. He holds an AFM designation from the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers and is active in the Illinois Chapter. Barry is also an active member of the Church of St. Jude. He and his wife Lyndsey reside near Rochester with their two sons.

Barry Houmes    BarryH@heartland.ag


Alice McCoy – Office Manager

Alice joined the Heartland Ag Group family in March of 2006. She is responsible for payment of client bills, the recordkeeping systems, along with mailings, report design and completion and dlient communications.

Originally from Arizona, she currently resides in Greenview, Illinois with her husband, Larry, who retired from “long-haul” trucking (and who likes to play golf when he can). Alice worked at the First National Bank of Springfield from 1986 to 2000 in many positions – most recently as Secretary to the President of the bank.

Alice has two daughters, one in San Diego, CA (a marriage and family therapist) the other, a nurse in Petersburg, IL (thus two grandaughters) and a son-in-law with the Springfield Police Department.

Alice is very active in her church, and serves on the board as Sunday School Superintendant. She retired when Larry retired, but has come out of retirement and is helping us with our operations and your calls about your farms and your business.

Alice McCoy  AliceM@heartland.ag

Elfi Metz, ABR - Appaiser & Real Estate Broker

Elfi joined the Heartland Ag Group family in April of 2013 and became an Associate Real Estate Trainee Appraiser in 2015. As a Real Estate Broker/Realtor licensed in Illinois, she brings years of experience in residential real estate transfers and has earned the designation of Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR).  Elfi worked as an architectural drafter for local architects and her extensive background in architecture and construction is instrumental in her effectiveness as an appraiser in the research and composition of real estate appraisals. She has earned several degrees in Germany and the United States. She is currently pursuing her license as a Certified General Real Estate Appraiser.

Originally from Germany, Elfi spent her childhood in a small village in Bavaria, surrounded by cropland and dairy farms.  She now resides in Springfield, Illinois, with her husband, Chris. Elfi has been active on various committees at the Capital Area REALTORS® and as a tutor/peer advisor at Lincoln Land Community College.

Elfi Metz   ElfiM@heartland.ag