2017 Citizens Scholarship Winners

Danielle Hogue, a home school graduate, and Levi Stelljes, a graduate of Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School, were recently presented with the Citizens Bank Minnesota’s seventeenth annual scholarship awards.  These scholarships are part of the Community Bankers Scholarship Program TM.  Both of these students received a $1,000.00 scholarship that is renewable for a potential value of $4,000.00 over four years of post-secondary education.

Amy Denn, a graduate of Madelia High School, and Vivian Riggin, a graduate of Lakeville South High School, were the recipients of a $500.00 Citizens Bank Minnesota scholarship.  The scholarships are offered through a random drawing to graduating high school seniors from the New Ulm and Lakeville area who have completed the Citizens Real Life Skillz online classes.

Each year, Citizens awards two or more high school seniors with scholarships. Applicants must be graduating high school, plan to attend a four year university, have an active Citizens checking account and complete the Citizens Real Life Skillz courses. The scholarship program was developed to support our belief in the youth and their potential to make a difference in our community. Citizens is proud to invest in their futures by promoting education and excellence.

Grad photo Hogue, Danielle

 

Danielle, daughter of Jeff and Shelly Hogue, will be attending Bethel University this fall, pursuing a degree in nursing and psychology.

 

 

Grad phot Stelljes, Levi

 

Levi, son of Ross and Laura Stelljes, will be attending Martin Luther this fall, pursuing a degree in secondary math and elementary education.

 

 

Grad photo Denn, Amy

 

Amy, daughter of Mark Denn and Lori Denn, will be attending Augustana University – Sioux Falls, SD this fall, pursuing a degree in biology/pre-med.

 

 

 

Grad photo Riggin, Vivian

 

Vivian, daughter of Julie and Bill Shea, will be attending Minnesota State University, Mankato this coming fall, pursuing a degree in elementary education.

 

 

 

For more information about the scholarship visit: https://www.citizensmn.bank/personal/real-life-investors

By: Lori Dummer, Marketing Assistant/Youth Club Coordinator

2017 Spring Planting

spring planting

Well it’s that time of the year again! Spring is a very busy time – planters are out of the shed, and farmers are eager to put the seed in the ground.  They are trying to get a lot of acres planted in a short amount of time, putting long hours in.  Please remember to slow down and be safe out there.

With April 11th past us, farmers will have full crop insurance coverage and replant coverage for their 2017 corn crop, as that date is the earliest date RMA allows farmers to plant corn to receive replant coverage. (April 21st is the earliest planting date for soybeans to receive full crop insurance coverage and replant coverage.) The 2” soil temperature read 50 degrees at the University of Minnesota Southern Research and Outreach Center in Waseca, MN on April 14, 2017, which is the temperature it takes to germinate corn seed.  With the wet forecast that is predicted farmers are going to be chomping at the bit to get into the field any chance they get.  Keep in mind that it can take three weeks for corn to germinate at 50-55 degrees soil temperature and only 10-12 days at 60 degrees.  That being said, try to be patient and not mud in your crop.

July 15th is the acreage reporting deadline for crop insurance.  I know this sounds like a long time away, but with planting and then spraying, the time slips away from you.  Please remember to go to the FSA offices and certify your acres first. Then bring your FSA 578’s to your crop insurance agent to report your acres.

When you’re sitting in the planter, it gives you a lot of time to reflect on your farming operation.  Now is the time to evaluate planting, spraying, or harvesting equipment, whether it needs replacing or upgrading to be more successful.  Coming off of a wet fall reminds us where we may have drainage problems in our fields.  Well drained fields play a huge factor in your crop yields, determines the planting conditions in spring and the ease of harvesting the crop in the fall.  Every operation is different.  Take the time this summer and sit down with your lender to determine the feasibility, the debt service, and pay back of your projects/purchases.  We always work hard to put together the best loan package that fits your needs.

Nobody knows what Mother Nature will bring us this year, but here’s to a safe and productive 2017!

By: Nick Peterson, Asst. Vice President

Investment and Insurance products:

  • Are Not Insured by the FDIC or any other federal government agency
  • Are Not deposits of or guaranteed by a Bank or any Bank Affiliate
  • May lose value

‘Grey hair’ in agriculture: Opportunities in the making

farmers silhouette

It is no mistake that grey hair is becoming more and more common in the agricultural industry these days. Grey hair normally suggests a particular stereotype, but it can also be viewed as an opportunity.

The average age of the Minnesota farmer, as reported in the 2012 census, was 56.6 years of age, with 52 percent of farmers being over 55 years of age. It is most likely that, as farm numbers decrease and farm size increases, the average age of a Minnesota farmer will also increase.

As we see the average age of the Minnesota farmer climb, we also see the same situation in the industries that service and work with farmers. Do you know an ag lender or seed dealer with grey hair? Most likely the answer is yes.

The aging population in agriculture opens the door for opportunity. There are opportunities for knowledge transfer, relationship building, as well as networking. The agricultural industry as a whole is rapidly transitioning and changing. This alone opens the door for many opportunities between generations.

The hot topic when it comes to the aging population in agriculture is “Transition Planning.” This topic has been coming up more and more, not only on farms, but also in every other agricultural service industry. When it comes to transition planning, it normally doesn’t happen overnight-and it can have some growing pains. It is most likely that the transition includes a Baby Boomer (age 55-71) and a Gen X’er (age 35-55) or Millennial (age 18-35).

We can see the transitions happening right in New Ulm and all of southern Minnesota. Most businesses and farming operations have an older generation and, potentially, a younger generation working side by side. This is not a new dynamic; this has been the case with every generation in every decade. The difference today is that the generations seem so much more separated in the way they go about business and adapting to technology.

The “Grey Hair” Baby Boomer generation has the opportunity to learn from the younger generation, be it in technological efficiencies or an openness to try something new. The younger generations have so much to learn from the older generation, as well. The transfer of knowledge about “The 80’s,” budgeting, negotiations, best practices, and anything in between can create an environment for opportunity and growth.

When it comes to agricultural lending, farming, and many other agricultural related industries, it is hard to teach a new person everything they will need to know in a matter of a few months. It can take years. Early planning and patience is essential for a smooth transition.

An example where transition planning is opening opportunities is right here at Citizens Bank Minnesota. All four of the bank’s branches-New Ulm, Lafayette, La Salle, and Lakeville-have been looking ahead and noticed there is a lot of “Grey Hair” between the clients and the lenders. In each of the branches, there are lenders that have been working alongside the same clients for many, many years.

Citizens saw this as an opportunity and-within the past seven years-has added at least one younger lender to each of the branches to begin the transition and transfer of knowledge. The relationships that exist between the “Grey Hair” lender and most of their clients often run deep and go back many years. Citizens recognized this and started bringing in the younger lenders to build their own relationships with these clients and their second generation years before the retirements were planned. This has been a successful strategy. It gives the farming clients comfort and knowledge that their lending relationship will continue and prosper.

Citizens is very excited about the opportunities in agriculture and is dedicated to the farming community.

By: Rose Wendinger, Assistant Vice President

“‘Grey hair’ in agriculture: Opportunities in the making” published in The Journal
31 Mar 2017: B3

Preventing Farm Equipment Accidents

Tractor & planterThe time is coming when farmers are getting geared up for planting season. They are getting all of their farm equipment ready and will be rolling into the fields very soon. What are some things that motorists can do to prevent an accident with a farm tractor/farm truck on the road and what can farmers do to help prevent accidents.

As motorists, we need to be aware and stay aware that the farmers will be on the roads in the next few months and will be very busy. Here are some recommendations that can help prevent accidents with these farmers:

  • When approaching a tractor/farm truck on the road, we should slow down and be attentive to what they are doing and where they may be turning.
  • We should be patient and safely pass the farm equipment; do not follow the farm equipment too closely.
  • Do not pull out in front of farm equipment as they are carrying heavy loads and cannot stop quickly.
  • Be a defensive driver and pay attention to your surroundings and to what others are doing.

Some recommendations for farmers during this busy season and while traveling from farm site to farm site are:

  • Inspect all farm equipment before use and before taking it out on the road to make sure everything is mechanically sound.
  • Mount Slow Moving Vehicle signs on all tractors, combines and other farm equipment that is necessary to notify other motorists.
  • If traveling during the night, verify that you have working headlights and flashing front and rear warning lights.
  • Do not travel left of the center of the road after dark, during poor visibility and/or when approaching the top of a hill or a curve.

We all need to take added precautions when on the road, but we need to remember that this time of year is busier for farmers and we need to be aware of this and to be defensive drivers.

By: Nick Hage – Citizens Agency Manager/Insurance Agent

Investment and Insurance products:

  • Are Not Insured by the FDIC or any other federal government agency
  • Are Not deposits of or guaranteed by a Bank or any Bank Affiliate
  • May lose value

Citizens For Citizens

2017 Citizens For Citizens

Some of the employee team members of Citizens For Citizens.

The employees of Citizens Bank Minnesota take great pride in volunteerism and helping our neighbors within the community. We have been active in this effort for many years and through evolution and change, we are now Citizens for Citizens. By having a variety of fundraisers during the year, we will be able to donate all proceeds to several non-profits/charities in and around the communities we serve. This year they include the Southern Minnesota Crisis Nursery, NUMAS Haus, Minnesota Lions Diabetes Foundation and Relay for Life. Our Lafayette branch is donating proceeds to the Lafayette Area Ambulance, our La Salle branch is donating to the Watonwan County Backpack program, and our Lakeville branch is donating to PawPads. Our fundraisers include pot lucks, an employee silent auction, a crafters’ weekend and a 5K walk/run, among others. Our hope is to impact the lives of our neighbors in some way through these efforts.

By: Barb Marti, Administrative Assistant/Receptionist

Renters Insurance/Tenant Insurance

Renters Insurance post

There are many individuals and businesses out there that own multiple dwellings and rent them out to tenants.  These individuals and businesses will want to cover these dwellings under a dwelling/fire and/or a commercial policy if it fits.

This policy will cover the dwelling itself, any detached structures, personal property in the dwelling that is owned by the owner can have coverage added, loss of rents and landlord liability and medical payments to others coverage.  In the case of a wind storm, a hail storm, etc. the structure and personal property that is damaged would then be covered under such policy.

The agent will do a replacement cost of the dwelling and any detached structures to ensure that they are covering the dwelling at 80-100% of replacement cost value.  The replacement cost value is the cost it would be today to replace the dwelling with like materials and labor.  The agent and insured want to verify that these numbers are adequate, otherwise, in the case of a claim and the house is underinsured, there can be a coinsurance penalty.

When looking at the other side of things and who is actually occupying the dwelling(s), the tenant should have a renter’s policy in place.  This renter’s policy will cover the personal property of the renter, additional living expense and loss of rents coverage, personal liability and medical payments.

It should be both the owner’s duty and the renter’s duty to make certain that they both have the correct coverages in place.  Also, the owner should confirm that the rental contract requires that the tenant must carry renter’s insurance in the case of a claim so if there is a claim, a fire for instance, and the tenant is found liable for the fire, the renter’s policy would come into place for coverage.  The owner does not want to have the misfortune of having a claim by the tenant who has no coverage and who does damage to their dwelling.

In short, if you are a landlord, make sure that you and your tenants have the necessary insurance coverage in place and that you ask for renewal policies each year to have on file.

By: Nick Hage, Citizens Agency Manager/Insurance Agent

Investment and Insurance products:

  • Are Not Insured by the FDIC or any other federal government agency
  • Are Not deposits of or guaranteed by a Bank or any Bank Affiliate
  • May lose value

I Bought What?! Enroll in Text Alerts!

shutterstock_387607450Don’t get caught off-guard by fraudulent activity on your debit card! With Citizens Bank Minnesota’s MasterCard Debit Card, you can enroll to receive FREE* smsGuardian text alerts for your card activity! This is a great tool for fraud prevention and detection.

*Message and data rates may apply

 

Enroll in smsGuardian Text Alerts today!

Enrollment must be completed for each card number.  If at any time your debit card number or cell phone number change, you will need to re-enroll with updated information.

Alerts will be sent for the following:

  • Out of state transactions
  • International transactions
  • Card not present and online purchases
  • Authorizations greater than $300.00
  • 8 or more transactions in 24 hours
  • Declined authorization attempts

If you receive an alert for a transaction or attempt that was not initiated by you and you believe to be fraudulent, reply to the text with the code provided in the alert and your card will be shut down immediately.  If you have questions regarding the alert or need additional information, contact our Citizens Connection Department at 1-800-549-0194 available Monday thru Friday 7:30am – 5:00 pm and Saturday 9am – 12pm.

By: Melissa Bergeman, Citizens Connection Manager/Complaint Resolution Officer

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