Recently I have received the honor of being named as the new chairperson of your Agricultural Bankers Section of the Wisconsin Bankers Association. Thank you. I would like to take this time to thank Elsa Condon and Mike Brueggen, our two outgoing board members, for their time and service to the WBA Ag section. We appreciated it. I also would like to introduce our two new board members, Amber Keller, from Town Bank in Clinton, and Tony Betley, from Investors Community Bank in Eau Claire. We are all looking forward to working with you.
On June 6, the WBA Ag Section Board had a chance to meet for a day with all the other sections and committees of the WBA. It was a great opportunity for our ag section to meet everyone and learn more about the size and breadth of the WBA, and all the programs, education, services, and opportunities the WBA has to offer its members. I would highly encourage all WBA members to take advantage of those opportunities, programs, and educational events. Visiting the WBA website and also reviewing the periodic emails sent out are two ways to start learning what your WBA has to offer.
As we near the halfway point of this year one thing is clear, the volatility in this ag arena is not lessening or going away. As I write this letter two items are getting a lot of attention. One is President Trump’s proposed tariffs and the July 6 proposed implementation date of those tariffs and the second is the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) renegotiations. In each of these, agriculture is at the forefront and the outcome of events from each of these will have a large impact on Ag and Ag exports and hence the value of our ag products in the marketplace. All of which have a direct impact on our clients and their profitability.
In addition, we are now into the growing season for crops, where from time to time, the weather plays its role in moving the commodity markets one way or another. We have already seen parts of the country that are too dry or too wet and the effect of that “weather” in moving markets.
Volatility, from whatever source creates opportunities, but needs to be managed. Our clients will need to be vigilant in looking for and taking advantage of those opportunities. Our clients will be looking for advice from their trusted advisors to help them manage that volatility and take advantage of the opportunities presented from that volatility. Any help we can provide with education for our clients along those lines is appreciated by them.
As I close, I would mention that we are fast approaching the 4th of July, Independence Day, the day we in America take time to reflect on and celebrate the freedom we enjoy, and the many blessings that we receive as a result of living in the United States. But as we all know, “Freedom is not Free.” There are many brave men and women who have faithfully served our country and have sacrificed everything in giving us “freedom.” I would ask you, over the 4th to please take a moment to first give thanks to God for the freedom we enjoy. Then please take time to thank a serviceman or servicewoman who has served or is serving in the Armed Forces for our country. They are deserving of our thanks and appreciation.
Donald Adams has served on the WBA Agricultural Bankers Section Board of Directors for the past four years, now serving as our Chair through May 2019. He is a senior vice president of agri-business banking with BMO Harris Bank, NA, Green Bay.