June 26, 2018 at 6:00 AM
What a busy spring this is turning out to be for all of us bankers! It's a fight right now between winter and spring. Winter is sure not wanting to let go, but eventually it will. Three items lead our discussion this month: Agriculture, community banking month, and our MIBA trip to Washington, D.C.
Let's start with agriculture. Producers are a little behind schedule getting in the fields, but not to worry, our producers here in rural Missouri are some of the most resilient people on the planet. The crops will go in! There is a dry fertilizer plant located directly behind the bank here in Wyaconda, and there appeared to be a traffic jam of tractors and fertilizer carts this morning. Anhydrous ammonia is getting applied, and the first corn is now in the ground (April 13). Farmers are some of the hardest working people I know. We will probably be seeing a lot of tractor lights as farmers work 20 hours a day late into the night to get their crops planted, but rest assured the crops will get planted. All of this is done with the faith that timely rains will come, we will raise and harvest the crops, and we will be able to sell the crops for a profitable price. Farmers run the biggest risk of most all small businesses I know all in an effort to make a living for their family and feed the world.
Livestock producers are also having a late spring. The recent rains and warmer weather are making things look better for the calf producer with the grass now beginning to grow. Things seem to be looking up. However, dairy farmers are still operating at a negative margin. Hopefully, we will see a turn around there soon.
Compliments to our banks that help fund and finance agriculture production here in the state of Missouri. Banks with the knowledge and understanding of how agriculture works are getting hard to find. As with most small businesses, your beginning farmers, small and part-time producers, and large farmers alike, all depend on community banks in some way or another to assist with their financial needs in agricultural production. Community banks also now work hand in hand with their local FSA officers to help cut risk and continue to assist with their financing needs. The FSA office has several products we use. The 50/50 program, beginning farmer benefits, and the guaranteed loan programs are all very beneficial. Also, if anyone remembers the MO Bucks Program from years past, our treasurer Eric Schmitt just announced a new program, Missouri First, that promises to be better and easier to use. We anticipate using it here at our bank. We are also starting to hear about a new farm bill. There have not been a lot of details to date, but bankers are making it known that crop insurance is a must. The financing of agriculture production would be devastated without crop insurance.
I have just returned from a trip to Washington, D.C. to visit with our congressmen and congresswomen.This was my first time, but not my last. This trip was one of the most interesting I've ever been on, and my fellow MIBA members certainly re-enforced all bankers' wishes - LESS REGULATIONS, especially for community banks that did not and have not created the crisis that has led us to all these regulations. It was an honor to be with other MIBA members, while we pursued our agenda and met personally with some of our representatives and senators.
Lastly, we can't forget April is community banking month, the month in which community banks are recognized for the contributions we make to our communities and customers. Whether it be loans, deposit accounts, monetary contributions or personal time spent. We are there for our communities and proud of it.
Message From The MIBA President,
This is an article from The Show-Me Bankers Magazine