Wisconsin bank looks below the surface for heating answers

In the community of Fond du Lac, Wis., where the average temperatures range from a low of nine degrees Fahrenheit in January to a high of 81 in July, it’s temperate in all seasons inside Horicon Bank’s branch.
That’s because of a cooling and heating system that draws geothermal energy from far under the ground.

Ag bankers, farmers seek solutions to 2022’s challenges

Farmers have spent 2022 working through challenges like rising inflation and supply chain delays, just like other businesses and consumers across America have had to do. Those who make their living in agriculture, and the ag bankers who work with them, have needed to think even more creatively and constructively than usual. [Continue]

Rising Stars 2022: Emily Boardman

If there’s a thread that runs through Emily Boardman’s banking career, it’s growth. She left the public accounting field to join Crossroads Bank in Wabash, Ind., because she wanted to bring her growing family back to her hometown. In her 15 years in banking, she has taken opportunities to develop and stretch her skills to fit into ever bigger and different roles. Yet, Boardman isn’t focused only on her own growth. She makes a point of fostering the professional development of others, too.  [Continue]

Colorado bank commits resources to amplify diversity

Lakewood, Colo.-based FirstBank has, for decades, sought customers and recruited employees in order to build a business that reflected the diversity of its markets. In an effort to expand this vision, it created a Multicultural Banking Center, which opened in March 2020, just three weeks before pandemic-related shutdowns.  [Continue]

How will farmers deal with climate change and other challenges?

As they near the end of 2021, many community ag bankers say their farm clients are feeling optimistic, but the industry isn’t entirely sunny. Farmers have long served as stewards of the natural world, and as climate change becomes a more pressing topic, they wrestle with how to respond. That’s not their only challenge, as they also face down consolidation, rising real estate prices, rate pressure, among other issues. [Continue]

Commodity prices are good now but what about 2022?

Commodity prices — from corn to dairy — look favorable, but as farmers turn their attention to what next year holds, more than a few ag bankers see storm clouds ahead. Input costs are rising, and pandemic-era government programs are drawing to a close. Tight labor markets and other region challenges also complicate the outlook on 2022. [Continue]

Outlook brightens for farmers, less so for ag lenders

As they near the end of 2021, many community ag bankers say their farm clients are feeling optimistic. Commodity prices — from corn to dairy — look favorable. Low interest rates are driving the price of farmland in some areas, but expansion is an obstacle in others. Some of the sunnier projections for the coming year are partially offset by higher costs for feed, fertilizer and fuel. Farmers are hedging by locking in fertilizer prices early, and doing so with help from banks. [Continue]