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By Steven Thomas, BMO Harris Bank, Onalaska

Playoff football, tournament volleyball, and cross country meets dominate the local sports scene. Like many, I am heavily invested in my own community’s success this year with an Onalaska football squad still undefeated and advancing to Level 3 of the playoffs for the first time in 20+ years. This past Saturday, I was fortunate to watch three of our runners compete in the WIAA State Cross Country meet in Wisconsin Rapids. Our hometown favorite, Manny Putz, an Onalaska sophomore, won the D1 WIAA Cross Country meet on a beautiful day posting a 0.2 second margin of victory after an all-out sprint in the last 200 meters to the finish of the 5,000 meters run. From the Braveheart like battle charge at the sound of the starting gun to watching the final sprints at the finish. It is a pleasure to watch these gifted athletes give their all.

Like these runners, farmers are on their annual race to the finish of the 2022 harvest season. Travels across the Midwest reveal steady progress in the corn and bean crop bringing in above average yields in areas that received adequate moisture, below average in areas where moisture was dryer conditions prevailed. Corn that is not drying down quickly coupled with higher drying costs are expected to eat into profit margins.

Dryer conditions this fall have made for good harvesting conditions with few weather delays experienced. The annual ritual of fall applied dairy-generated fertilizer is certainly noticeable around the countryside. Fall seeded cover crops and winter grains have mostly been planted.

During this harvest season, beyond the yields coming in, the biggest discussion with clients has been related to end of year planning. Despite all the inflationary pressures, supply chain disruptions and high costs, most clients are looking at solid returns this year. End of year tax strategies will certainly be implemented in the next 2 months as farmers look to mitigate anticipated tax obligations. Meet with the accounts early to develop the plans appropriate for each operation. Tax rates could be adjusted and paying some of the tax burden this year when cash is more readily available can be one consideration. We do anticipate supply chain issues and transportation challenges will continue which could impact chemicals and fertilizer availability that are likely to be prepaid.

Political ads are dominating the airwaves with every candidate trying to make their best case for themselves and make their opponent look as bad as possible. I have my own opinions on those I’ll be supporting with my vote. Fortunately, the election is only a few days away and the ads will stop, but the task of governing in a bipartisan manner with legislative solutions that find common ground and benefit the common good seem to be harder and harder to reach. Your vote is important. Local races, school boards, town boards, school funding referendums all matter. I encourage all to cast your ballot in this very important mid-term election.

Steven Thomas is vice president of agricultural banking with BMO Harris Bank in Onalaska. Thomas also serves on the WBA Agricultural Bankers Section Board of Directors.

 

By Nicholas Felder

“Ladies and gentlemen please make sure your seat belt is securely fastened and your seat backs and tray tables are in their full upright position.” As many of us know, these instructions are for the safety and soundness of all those aboard commercial aircraft during what might not be a perfect landing. Well, we might all want to heed that advice and reiterate that to all our customers as soon as possible.

As of the date of this article, the American grain producer is facing $6.60 corn (which oscillated from $4.85 to $7.60 down to $5.65 now $6.60) and $13.94 soybeans (same $12.50, then $15.85, then $12.85, then $14.75, now $13.94) which isn’t all bad! However, all the pilots (and the passengers alike) who are flying across the 2022 crop year aren’t exactly sure where the runway is located and in what condition it stands. As they peer down towards harvest and post-harvest, they must deal with a dense layer of fog comprised of inflation, a strengthening dollar, global unrest, weather, mid-cycle fall elections, and the USDA’s export sales reporting system that went down just as these markets couldn’t get any more volatile. Basis spreads between new and old crops are leading the charge to what looks like a pre-harvest rally. However, the Dow and S&P markets are falling precipitously, leading some experts to believe a demand drag on domestic use is the next big hurdle for the 2022 and 2023 crop marketing cycles. Sell now or later? And, if that wasn’t enough, producers and lenders looking at the 2023 growing/feeding/milking year are facing decisions on things like fertilizer and chemical pricing, even before the ’22 crop really starts to turn away from its summer green. Can we really achieve a “soft landing” of any fashion in this environment? It’s the question both farmers and politicians are struggling to answer.

Change and interruption are inevitable in a global and electronic economy. Too many hands in the pot waiting to grab their “fair share,” while people and animals across the globe fight to find their next meal. However, preparation and a good commodity marketing offense is the best defense for headwinds of the nature noted above. It really all begins with cash flows that are created well before final planting decisions made. Then, regularly updating the living, breathing document as itemized expenses change or planting and crop maintenance is completed so it can be an accurate tool to price whatever commodity being produced. These strategies don’t have to be complex; just planned and emotionless. Nickels saved through discipline and, many times, luck create opportunities to land as softly as anyone is able in today’s environment. A producer can’t farm next year if he doesn’t make it through this year.

We all know that equity may be the key to growth, but liquidity is the key to longevity. As we transition into the autumn harvest season, your fellow banking professionals ask that you be that trusted advisor who is slightly risk averse, but supportive of growth and profitable ventures. There is still money to be made and balance sheets will improve if producers are intentional in their actions and lenders the same. The sky can be prevented from falling if we work together!

Thank you all for your service to the industry, diligence and support of America’s producers, and presence within your local communities. Wishing all a safe harvest season!

Nicholas Felder is vice president, commercial and ag banking, with MidWestOne Bank in Lancaster. Felder currently serves on the WBA Ag Section Board of Directors.

Rose Oswald PoelsBy Rose Oswald Poels

When WBA’s charitable arm, the Wisconsin Bankers Foundation (WBF), was founded in 2015, education remained a top priority to aid the public in increasing their financial literacy and responsibility.

As part of this, the Foundation is proud to offer well-known programs such as Reading Raises Interest Kits that assist bankers in coordinating curriculum used during Teach Children to Save Day in April and scholarships awarded to students throughout the state for their demonstration of excellent financial capabilities. Involvement in these programs brings the Foundation one step closer to ensuring the financial knowledge and responsibility of every youth in our state.

Now through November 15, the Foundation will be accepting applications for the third annual Agricultural Banking Scholarship!

Students who will be enrolled in an accredited Wisconsin college, university, or technical college during the Spring of 2023 and are pursuing a career related to agricultural banking are encouraged to apply.

With agriculture serving as one of Wisconsin’s largest economic drivers, it is critical that we invest now in the students that are interested in driving this critical sector of our state.

The Foundation is also excited to announce this year’s Agricultural Banking Scholarship award has been increased to $1,500 each for the two qualified winners in order to help combat rising tuition costs, assist individuals in reaching their goals, and promote financial literacy in every consumer.

I encourage you to share this exciting opportunity widely within your networks — current and past ag interns, parents of college-aged children, and educators at the many ag programs throughout the state. By aiding us in spreading the word to qualified students, you play a significant part in assisting the Foundation to serve its mission as well as provide new opportunities for your community!

Please visit wisbankfoundation.org/scholarships to learn more or contact WBF’s Foundation Coordinator Hannah Flanders with any questions.

By Jeff Wilke, Bank First

The 2022 inflationary pressures on a milk producer’s costs to produce milk have made the need to manage milk price risk/volatility that much more important. Two relatively economical and user-friendly milk price risk management tools available to dairy producers are the USDA’s Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) and Dairy Revenue Protection (DRP) programs.

DMC provides dairy operations with risk management coverage that will pay producers when the difference (the margin) between the national price of milk and the average cost of feed falls below a certain level selected by the program participants. The only cost for $4.00 margin “catastrophic” coverage is a $100 administrative fee. For coverage from the $4.00 margin to $9.50 margin levels (in $.50 increments), there is also a premium payment of only $.0025 to $.15 per hundredweight of milk, respectively, on up to 95% of a producer’s recent average of historical milk production (up to a maximum of five million pounds of milk at those premium costs). Coverage for milk production over five million pounds of milk is available at the $4.50 margin to $9.50 margin levels (in $.50 increments), with premiums from $.0025 to $1.813, respectively. Sign up for the program is through the USDA’s Farm Service Agency.

DRP is designed to insure against unexpected declines in the quarterly revenue from milk sales relative to a guaranteed coverage level (“price protection”). The expected revenue is based on futures prices for milk and dairy commodities, and the amount of covered milk production elected by the dairy producer.

DRP offers two revenue pricing options: The Class Pricing Option, which uses a combination of Class III (milk primarily used for cheese production) and Class IV (milk primarily used for butter and non-fat dry milk production) milk prices as a basis for determining coverage and indemnities. The Component Pricing Option, which uses the component milk prices for butterfat, protein and other solids as a basis for determining coverage and indemnities. Under this option the producer may select the butterfat test percentage and protein test percentage to establish their insured milk price.

Through DRP, 80-95% of expected quarterly milk revenue may be covered (in 5% increments). A premium subsidy of 44-55% is provided through the program, depending on the coverage level selected. DRP insurance is available through authorized crop insurance agents.

For more information on the DMC and DRP programs, visit usda.gov.

Jeff Wilke is vice president-business and ag banker with Bank First in Denmark. Wilke currently serves on the WBA Ag Section Board of Directors.

Ag Lending School Class Photo
The Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA) is pleased to announce that 11 bankers have completed the 2022 WBA Agricultural Lending School, which was held August 10–12 at the WBA headquarters in Madison. The WBA Agricultural Lending School’s rigorous curriculum includes case studies, a farm visit, and in-class work and discussions. The individuals who completed this year’s school are:
  • Cassandra Baeten, Ag Portfolio Manager, Bank of Luxemburg
  • Cody Belken, Credit Analyst, Royal Bank, Dickeyville
  • Riley Carson, Ag Loan Officer, Community Bank, Vernon Center
  • Hope Francis, Credit Analyst, Community First Bank, Platteville
  • Chris Greenwood, Branch Manager, Waumandee State Bank, Arcadia
  • Heather Hafften, Ag Loan Officer, Peoples State Bank, Dickeyville
  • Marissa Hanley, Agricultural Credit Analyst, Nicolet National Bank, Seymour
  • Mara Hird, Residential Relationship Manager – AVP, Peoples State Bank, Wauzeka
  • Jamie Horsfall, Agricultural Relationship Manager, Peoples State Bank, Fennimore
  • Rayanne Walker, Agricultural Credit Analyst, Nicolet National Bank, Eau Claire
  • Amy Bloczynski, AVP/Branch Manager, Waumandee State Bank, Black River Falls
Ag Lending School Class Photo

(Left to right) Cody Belken, Jamie Horsfall , Cassandra Baeten, Rayanne Walker, Brad Guse, Mara Hird, Hope Francis, Chris Greenwood, Amy Bloczynski, Marissa Hanley, Kevin Bernhardt, Riley Carson, and Heather Hafften

“I am happy to congratulate the bankers who recently completed the WBA Agricultural Lending School,” said WBA President and CEO Rose Oswald Poels. “Agriculture is integral to Wisconsin’s economy, and having highly professional ag lenders who understand the needs of our farmers is key.”
Through the program — led by faculty Bradley Guse, senior vice president, agribusiness banking at BMO Harris Bank, NA, Marshfield, and Dr. Kevin Bernhardt, professor and UW-Extension farm management specialist, UW-Platteville — participants built their knowledge and skills around current trends in agriculture, borrower/lender relationships, farm business financial modeling, and best practices in lending. WBA’s educational programming keeps Wisconsin bankers at the forefront of their profession, so that they are able to offer the highest quality service to the customers and communities they serve.

Farming is both a specialized industry and high risk when it comes to financials. That’s why the Agricultural Lending School is a key educational offering of the Wisconsin Bankers Association. This is a hands-on seminar for members to get a handle on today’s ag markets and farm balance sheets. WBA Director of Education Lori Kalscheuer tells Mid-West Farm Report about enrollment numbers and curriculum for this year’s cohort.

Lisa HigginsWritten by Lisa Higgins, State Bank of Cross Plains

Last month we heard from Craig Rogan of Nicolet National Bank on celebrating June dairy month. This month, we are knee deep into fair season. Most of us have a connection to our county fairs, whether we were involved in 4-H or take our families to enjoy the animals, projects, entertainment, rides, games and let’s not forget the fair food!

This time of year, we are lucky to have the opportunity to get out from behind our desks to support our Ag Community at our county fairs. I’m not sure about you, but it seems like I spend more time on fair grounds during the summer than at the office or on farm calls. One of my favorite things to do is to walk through the barns and see the kids resting with their animals, cleaning up, or sitting in a circle on lawn chairs or coolers and shooting the breeze or playing cards with each other. Showing up and making a day of it is an easy way to support the hard work that the kids put into their animals and projects (and the parents behind them) to make sure they succeed.

Another way to enjoy the fair is by bidding and buying at the meat animal sales. Even though it is highly competitive, when it comes to being there for one another, there is nothing like it. Neighbors bid on neighbor’s animals and local businesses come to see what they can buy. At State Bank, we do the best to spread the wealth, so we are represented at each fair-bidding on customers and prospects and the friendly competition between banks-it is for a great cause! It is an electric atmosphere and sometimes highly emotional.

Once the fair is over, we go through and share the thank you cards that we receive from the kids that we bought from with the full bank staff. They are a sweet reminder of how much we impact our youth.

I am thankful that we can support and enjoy our community in such a fun way. I hope each of you has a chance to visit your county fair this year!

 

Lisa Higgins is vice president, ag and commercial lender with State Bank of Cross Plains in Janesville, and also serves on the WBA Agricultural Bankers Section Board.

A historic bank in Coffeyville, Kansas.

By Darla Sikora, Citizens State Bank of Loyal

Here’s to hoping that this month’s From the Fields finds your customers finally able to be out in their fields after what seems like a particularly long winter and slow-to-arrive spring! How can it be that in just one more month, the year will already be half over?

With June Dairy Month quickly approaching, complete with its many June Dairy Breakfasts and the appreciation it brings for our ag producers, I am reminded of the words of well-known WGN Farm Broadcaster Orion Samuelson. At the 2013 ABA National Ag Banker Conference in Minneapolis, he told us that he ends each day with this prayer: “Thank you God, for America’s farmers and ranchers: the people who put the food on my table, clothes on my back, a roof over my head and energy in my tank.” There is no doubt our customers have strong work ethics as they strive to provide the food and fiber for the rest of us, but we too all work hard, day-in and day-out, year-in and year-out. For us, the work entails providing an array of ag banking products, programs, and services along with a great deal of guidance, analysis, and direction for the ag producers of the fine state of Wisconsin. With summer (finally!) around the corner, I just want to remind everyone to make sure to carve some time out this year, and every year, for yourselves.

It’s important to take time away from the job to get “out of our heads,” out of our “normal” and to step out into something else. Recently I enjoyed a family road trip to the state of Texas, via some interesting byways. Taking the “scenic route” we also saw much of small town America. It is always interesting to see the agriculture in other parts of the country; from massive farm fields, to rows and rows of grain bins, to longhorn cattle right on the outskirts of town, to the Southwest Dairy Museum, and to “Rancho” proudly displayed in the titles on overhead signs leading to Texas ranches.

Tying just a bit of banking into the vacation, on a quiet, cloudy Sunday morning we drove through rural Coffeyville, Kansas where 130 years ago on October 5, 1892, the Dalton Gang rode into town attempting to make outlaw history by robbing not one, but two banks simultaneously. They were unsuccessful and after a 12-minute gunfight, four of the six members lay dead. The storied shoot-out also claimed the lives of four of Coffeyville’s courageous townspeople who defended against the Dalton’s last raid. (Interesting note: In 1876 John W. Cubine helped put Coffeyville on the map by creating a cowboy boot that fit the left and right foot individually. Before this, all boots were constructed exactly the same and didn’t have a specific fit for each foot. Think of that the next time you pull on your Ariats! John’s nephew, George Cubine, and another employee of the boot shop, Charles Brown, were both killed defending Coffeyville on the day of the Dalton Raid.)

There is so much out there to learn, to see, to experience. Life is short. Moments are fleeting. Time is precious. Remember to set the busy-ness and the demands of the daily routine aside every now and again to take a break and to spend time with those who mean the most to you. Years ago, on another road trip, I saw a sign outside of a church near Escanaba, Michigan that read, “families go on vacation to become families again”. Take the road less traveled, step outside the usual, make the connections, laugh more, and embrace those you love with all your might.

Darla Sikora is senior vice president of agricultural banking with Citizens State Bank of Loyal, and currently serves as the Past Chair on the WBA Agricultural Bankers Section Board of Directors.

Vieau and Endres on Farm

By Cassandra Krause

Ask anyone from out of state what the first thing that comes to mind is when they think of  Wisconsin, and they’re likely to respond “farms” — and for good reason. Wisconsin farmers work hard to put food on tables across Wisconsin and the globe. Fondly known as “America’s Dairyland,” Wisconsin is also a leading producer of cranberries (the state fruit), soybeans, potatoes, ginseng, corn — the list goes on and on.  

According to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP), agriculture is a major economic driver, contributing $104.8 billion annually to our state’s economy. The state is home to 64,100 farms on 14.2 million acres (the average farm size in Wisconsin is 222 acres). For those working in the industry, farming is not just a profession, but a way of life — one that poses unique stressors and challenges.

Tough Times Made Tougher by the COVID-19 Pandemic

In the years leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. farmers were already dealing with damaging weather conditions, increased global competition and tariffs, and falling commodity prices. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), citing data from the Federal Reserve, reported in July of 2021:

Clear signs of financial distress had emerged among U.S. farmers even prior to the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak. Investment in equipment was down, farmer debt was up, and so was borrowing against land. By the end of 2019, the delinquency rate on commercial loans hit a six-year high, and the delinquency rate on farmland loans was at its highest level since 2013.

When COVID-19 began rapidly spreading and parts of the global economy shut down, the food system was hit by major supply and demand shocks. For example, when demand for milk from restaurants and schools plummeted due to closures, producers were forced to dump milk. Meanwhile, milk supply on grocery store shelves was sparse for consumers purchasing for their homes, and prices rose.

Sara Kohlbeck

Sara Kohlbeck
is the director of the Division of Suicide Prevention at the Medical College of Wisconsin and a researcher on farmer suicide in Wisconsin.

Especially on small farms, many families rely on income and benefits from jobs outside of the farm and were hurt by job losses due to the pandemic. In addition to the financial stresses of running a family farm, interpersonal issues often come into play between spouses and family members who work together. This is particularly evident when it comes to succession planning and the legacy of a longstanding family tradition.

A 2018 survey from the National Farm Medicine Center, headquartered in Marshfield, showed that 29% of farmers suffered from depression and 35% suffered from anxiety. The National Farm Medicine Center conducts a wide range of research ranging from topics such as child rearing and women on farms to veterans who become farmers. More can be found at marshfieldresearch.org/nfmc.

Sara Kohlbeck is the director of the Division of Suicide Prevention at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) and is researching farmer suicide in Wisconsin for her doctoral dissertation. “Just about every farmer I talked to mentioned finances as a stressor,” said Kohlbeck of interviews conducted for her research. A small, organic farm may be one hailstorm away from being wiped out, and a larger farm may be millions of dollars in debt — the farmers’ entire livelihood can be at stake. While suicide is a relatively rare outcome (about 190 farmers are reported to have died by suicide from 2004–2018), Kohlbeck emphasizes that, “even one is too many.” Suicide rates are disproportionately high among farmers (about 2% of total suicides in Wisconsin, while farmers make up about 1% of the labor force), pointing to a larger mental health concern.

Resources for Farmer Wellness

Wisconsin Farm Center and Farmer Wellness Program
Farmcenter.wi.gov

  • Farm Culture Training for Ag Lenders and Ag Service Providers
  • Online Farmer and Farm Couple Support Groups
  • 24/7 Farmer Wellness Helpline | 888-901-2558
  • Tele-counseling | 888-901-2558
  • Counseling Vouchers | 800-942-2474

DATCP’s Farm Center started during the farm financial crisis of the 1980s, when farmland values dropped up to 60% in some areas of the Midwest. At its onset, the Farm Center strengthened relationships between ag lenders and farmers. It has since expanded its consulting and referral services to include financial consulting (reviewing balance sheets and cash flow, analyzing profitability and viability, analyzing debt structure, etc.), transition/succession planning (financial stability, operating agreements, tax implications, etc.), and farm mediation (dispute resolution).

The Farm Center’s Farmer Wellness Program began with $200,000 of funding in the 2019–21 biennial state budget and is now in addition funded by USDA grant money and other sources.

Vieau and Endres on Farm

Penn Vieau and Karen Endres are hosts of the “Rural Realities” podcast and recently brought their wellness messages to the stage at the WBA Agricultural Bankers Conference.

The Farmer Wellness Program offers services including a 24/7 Wisconsin farmer wellness helpline (888-901-2558), tele-counseling, and counseling vouchers. It also hosts online farmer and farm couple support groups. All of the resources are free of charge to Wisconsin farmers and their families. The services are there for those who are experiencing anxiety or depression, or just need a welcoming ear to talk to. Karen Endres, Farmer Wellness Program coordinator at the Wisconsin Farm Center, explained that the program was designed with the “4 A’s” in mind: affordability, accessibility, acceptability, and awareness. “Our most important resource is our mind,” said Endres. “We need to do a better job of taking care from [the neck] up.”

Endres noted that rural areas lost some of their sense of community during the pandemic as people were no longer seeing each other at coffee shops, card clubs, and so forth. The Farmer Wellness Program’s farmer support groups have served to combat the isolation felt by many farmers and have the added benefit of connecting farmers from around the state who may not otherwise have met but have much in common. Every session is facilitated by a licensed mental health provider with experience serving farmers and/or a trained peer leader.

The helpline, tele-counseling (via phone or Zoom), and vouchers for in-person counseling sessions all connect farmers and their families with licensed mental health professionals. The counselors can help bring control to farmers in navigating challenging situations. One farmer caller who sought mental wellness counseling for the first time through the program said, “please tell every farmer there is hope.”

Shifting the Mindset

Endres teamed up with mindset coach and former banker Penn Vieau to produce the Farm Center’s ‘Rural Realities’ podcast, which provides expert advice that can help farmers reduce stress, improve finances, implement effective farm family communication skills, and more. Vieau recently addressed the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA) Agricultural Bankers Conference on the power of a positive mindset and is scheduled to speak at the upcoming WBA Building Our Leaders of Tomorrow (BOLT) Summer Leadership Summit, June 9–10, 2022 in Wisconsin Dells. He discussed how the stigma of mental health in farming communities can be a barrier to getting help. “Stress does not equal crazy,” said Vieau. “When stress is too much to bear, talk to somebody.”

A 2019 American Farm Bureau Federation study revealed that a majority of farmers/farmworkers think the media (72%), people in their local community (58%), and their friends (56%) attach at least a fair amount of stigma to mental health.

How Bankers Can Support Farmer Mental Health

Agricultural bankers are part of rural communities and have strong ties to the farming industry — many grew up on or live on farms themselves. MCW’s Kohlbeck said bankers may be coming into contact with farmers more often than their doctors. “We’re not expecting them to be therapists, but in some ways, bankers can be nontraditional helpers,” she said. She said the most important ways bankers can help are 1) sharing resources and 2) understanding the red flags and what to do about them.

Karen Endres

Karen Endres
Farmer Wellness Program Coordinator
Wisconsin Farm Center

Endres underscored, “bankers are relationship people, and they want to do what’s best.” She recommends the Farmer Wellness Program’s online farm culture training for agricultural service providers. It is a free, virtual course to help ag lenders and other service providers understand the unique stresses and challenges of farming, handle difficult conversations, and recognize signs and symptoms of stress with farm clients. More information and the link to register are available at farmcenter.wi.gov.

One piece of advice Vieau offered the attendees of his presentation was to create a “personal board of directors” for their mental wellbeing — in other words, identify a group of close contacts to serve as trusted advisors and consultants. He pointed out that a banker is most likely already on a farmer’s “personal board of directors,” so the banker has a unique opportunity to share a flyer or card for the Farm Center’s services. “Bankers are always offering a value-add, like sharing trending reports,” said Vieau, and likened the practice to hospitality staff offering tips on local attractions. He said it’s a great idea for bankers to use the resources and information offered by the Farm Center for themselves personally and as an added service for their clients.

To learn how to spot the signs of distress in farmers, bankers and community members may participate in gatekeeper training for lay people. The Wisconsin Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is one example of an organization that offers free, one-hour training sessions online and in person.

The Outlook

All of the experts interviewed for this story agreed that more can be done to build more supportive communities and policies for farmers. “Instead of expecting farmers to reach out, we need to reach in,” said Kohlbeck. “Farmers are proud. For policies on things like climate change, don’t put the onus on farmers to solve the problems on their own.”

Penn Vieau

Penn Vieau
Professional Speaker and Coach

Vieau noted, “we spend a lot of time with [corporate] executives doing leadership training, and we need to do the same to break the stigma with farmers, who are independent businesspeople.” He highlighted that this focus is also important in encouraging the next generation of young people, who prioritize mental wellness in their careers, to become farmers.

Similarly, Endres expressed the need for everyone to look out for our farmers, who are stewards of the land and grow our food. She encourages community members to talk to one another and direct those who could benefit from a resource or service on how to access it.

“If one person shares a resource and saves a life, that’s a pretty great day,” concluded Endres.

If you are thinking about suicide or are concerned about the wellbeing of someone you know, call the Wisconsin Lifeline at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255), the Wisconsin Farmer Wellness Helpline (888-901-2558), or 911.

Events

A review of the fundamental skills needed to begin to undertake credit analysis, loan structuring and monitoring for agricultural customers. The course also provides guidance on dealing with problem loans. This course was developed in conjunction with the Schools of Banking, Inc., a jointly-owned subsidiary of the Kansas and Nebraska Bankers Associations.

There is no separate textbook for this course. All reading materials are posted online in the Learning Community of your course.

A review of the fundamental skills needed to begin to undertake credit analysis, loan structuring and monitoring for agricultural customers. The course also provides guidance on dealing with problem loans. This course was developed in conjunction with the Schools of Banking, Inc., a jointly-owned subsidiary of the Kansas and Nebraska Bankers Associations.

Audience: Those new to agricultural lending or with limited experience

Price: $475

A review of the fundamental skills needed to begin to undertake credit analysis, loan structuring and monitoring for agricultural customers. The course also provides guidance on dealing with problem loans. This course was developed in conjunction with the Schools of Banking, Inc., a jointly-owned subsidiary of the Kansas and Nebraska Bankers Associations.

Audience: Those new to agricultural lending or with limited experience

Price: $475

Many factors affect the loan structures used in commercial lending, both for commercial and industrial (C&I), and commercial real estate (CRE), agricultural, and other situations. This program provides the four keys to developing the best loan structure, starting with the bank’s goals.

Of secondary, and almost equal consideration, is the customer’s goals. We’ll focus on strategic goals and business life cycle concepts, which often supersede the borrower’s desire to get the lowest interest rate. In structuring a financing arrangement, the banker must have a thorough knowledge of the available credit facilities and how to match them to the customer’s needs (third key) and the anticipated source of loan repayment (fourth key).

This seminar provides bankers with a working knowledge of the basic principles of loan structuring, including:

  • Understanding your bank’s goal(s) in structuring the loan
  • Identifying the goals of your customer and the resulting credit needs
  • Discussing and implementing the products you can utilize
  • Identifying the loan structures that best match the source(s) of repayment

Target Audience:  Small business lenders, private bankers, commercial lenders, credit analysts, loan review specialists, lending managers, and credit officers involved in C&I loans.

Presenter
Richard Hamm, Advantage Consulting & Training

Registration Option
Live presentation $330

Recording available through February 22, 2023