Overproduction, trade tiffs and shifting consumer tastes spell bad times for dairy

Martin County, Minn., used to be all dairy 50 years ago. Now, with more than 150 hog farms, the county bills itself as Bacon Capital USA. Today, the county has three dairy farms, including that of Lori and Bob Calkins. In addition to dairy farming, Lori Calkins is a large-animal veterinarian who speaks of changes in dairy farming that have helped the industry become so much more efficient. [Continue]

Elder exploitation at heart of Illinois legislation

Legislation this season in Illinois has brought to light new concerns regarding consumer protection and elder financial abuse. During last year’s Illinois General Assembly, bill SB2385 as originally written would have allowed nursing homes to require residents to give them power of attorney over their bank accounts so the nursing homes could check on residents’ eligibility for Medicaid. [Continue]

Bankers well-positioned to help farm customers through crises

In the last 12 months, Bob Worth has lost three Minnesota farming friends to suicide. Two of the men, aged 50 and 55, faced liquidation of their family farms. With the third, Worth said it was definitely not financial stress. He was “one of the best farmers in the area,” Worth said. “He just thought he was going downhill. As much help as he got, tried to get — medical help, psychological help — he just knew he was a failure.” [Continue]

Ohio bank benefits from its own ingenuity

The creativity that helped Richwood Bank launch a marketing consultancy has also helped the bank increase its lobby traffic and support its local economy. In 2015, when Richwood Bank decided to update its lobby, it needed to respond to two consecutive years of decline in lobby traffic. Bank CEO Chad Hoffman wanted to create a fresh experience in order to turn that decline around. [Continue]

Trailblazer gives edge to Minnesota community bank

Audrey Johnson, longtime outside director at New Market Bank in Elko New Market, Minn., knows a thing or two about banking, and it’s knowledge borne of her time sitting across the desk from her banker. Though she didn’t have an official title at the real estate management company headed by her husband, Johnson was always actively involved in the finances of the family business. [Continue]