Tony Betley profileIn these challenging times, we continually ask our clients to improve performance. How can we be sure that we are prepared?

Over the past few years the agricultural industry and, by extension, lending institutions, have faced challenging times. At the forefront is a prolonged cycle of depressed commodity prices that was unforeseen. On top of that, layer in the additional challenges of increased environmental regulation, employee procurement and retention, and additional banking compliance. 

We are asking our clients to perform at higher levels every year. At the same time, we should be asking ourselves, "As a lender, am I bringing my "A" game every day? How have I become a better lender?" Your Wisconsin Bankers Association can help provide some tools to help make sure you have the "right tools" in your toolbox. WBA has two workshops coming up in the near future that can help provide additional learning experiences.

The WBA Ag Problem Loans Workshop is an all-day workshop being held Feb. 27 at the Wintergreen Resort in Wisconsin Dells. This workshop has been designed to prepare agricultural bankers for the challenging conversations and servicing options that are needed during the tough times. Topics include everything from early detection of poor credit, to negotiation preparation, to some legal advice from those who have been through the process. 

The second meeting is the WBA Agricultural Bankers Conference. Our annual conference will be held at Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells on April 10 and 11. Topics include everything from 2019 predictions, ag banking in challenging times, and an FSA update with Doug Lund, to literally ending our conference on a high point. Dr. Lance Fox will be presenting some on the lessons he learned on a journey to the top of the world.

We are all busy this time of year, whether it's with annual information gathering, renewing of loans, or with upcoming trade shows. I would encourage you to attend one, if not both, of these events to ensure you have the "right tools" in your toolbox for 2019 and the future.

Click the links below for more information about the events and to register online: 


Betley is VP – Sr. Agricultural Banking Officer at Investors Community Bank, Manitowoc and a member of the 2018-2019 WBA Agricultural Bankers Section Board.