Paycheck Protection Program 2021

The SBA reopened the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers with enhanced guidelines.

If you are interested in this new opportunity for PPP funds, we encourage you to prepare for the various loans and programs for which you are eligible. We will provide guidance on how to apply for these programs through Citizens’ PPP Webpage. The program did have multiple changes last year and we will publish the up-to-date standard operating procedures as they become available. We have the current applications and requirements needed on the documentation checklist.

A high level summary of changes to the PPP Program:

1.    The SBA reopened the “First Draw” PPP program with more funding. This is only open to borrowers that did not receive an initial PPP loan in 2020.
2.    SBA has created and opened a “Second Draw” PPP program. This program has slightly different rules than “First Draw” PPP loans. It is targeted to borrowers that had a gross revenue reduction of 25% or greater in any quarter in 2020 versus the same quarter of 2019.
3.    Self-employed farmers may calculate their loan amount using gross farm income instead of net income on their Schedule F up to $100,000.00.
4.    There will be a simplified forgiveness for loans less than $150,000.00. There is also an expansion of eligible expenses for which a client can use the PPP funds.

We look forward in helping you process your completed PPP application in a timely manner! If you have any questions, please give us a call at 800-549-0194.

Citizens Bank Minnesota Lending Team

Citizens Bank Minnesota Graduates 17 Leadership Course Participants

Citizens Bank Minnesota is pleased to announce that seventeen staff members have completed Citizens leadership programs. The programs consist of two internal programs, Citizens Leadership Academy, a two-year program and Citizens Leadership Accelerated Module, a one-year program, both were developed to prepare staff to take on leadership roles within the organization as opportunities arise.  The Bank looks for individuals who have a commitment, as well as a desire to achieve extraordinary accomplishments throughout their career with Citizens.

The four employees who have recently completed the Citizens Leadership Program, a two-year program include: Melissa Lambrecht, Mortgage Loan Processor, New Ulm, employed 5 years with the Bank; Kristin Marlowe, Sr. Client Service Representative, New Ulm, employed 7 years with the Bank; Amber Portner, Citizens Connection Representative, New Ulm, employed 3 years with the Bank; and Brooke Wilfahrt, Loan Processor, New Ulm, employed 3 years with the Bank.

The Citizens Leadership Accelerated Module is a fast track program developed for mid-level officers who already experience leadership roles within their positions. Thirteen staff members have recently completed this one-year program in three different modules:

Individual Contributor Module: Lynn Fink, AVP, Compliance Officer, New Ulm, employed 17 years with the Bank; Judy Johnson, Assistant Financial Officer, New Ulm, employed 14 years with the Bank; Julie Mathiowetz, Assistant Director of Client Services, New Ulm, employed 21 years with the Bank; and Stacy Merkel, AVP, Auditor, New Ulm, employed 17 years with the Bank.

Lender Module: Nick Peterson, AVP, Ag Lending, Lafayette, employed 6 years with the Bank; Kyle Potswald, AVP, Lending, Lakeville, employed 2 years with the Bank; Lisa Schneider, AVP, Mortgage Lending, New Ulm, employed 19 years with the Bank; and Laura Scholtz, Ag Lending Officer, La Salle, employed 1 year with the Bank.

Manager Module: Maria Anderson, AVP, Mortgage Lending, New Ulm, employed 34 years with the Bank; Sara Bode, AVP, HR Director, New Ulm, employed 10 years with the Bank; Nick Hage, AVP, Insurance Agency Manager, New Ulm, employed 12 years with the Bank; Scott Tauer, VP, Branch Manager, La Salle, employed 10 years with the Bank; and Missy Visser, Marketing and Culture Officer, New Ulm, employed 20 years with the Bank.

Citizens Bank Minnesota and its employees donate $3000.00 worth of gifts to area families and organizations in need.

Citizens Bank Minnesota and its employees were excited to help organizations and families in need this Holiday Season. Our Main Office in New Ulm partnered with Brown County Family Services through their “Adopt a Family” program to help an area family in need by purchasing gifts and other items they needed.  Our Watkins Branch was able to help purchase gifts to help a family in their area.  Our Lafayette Branch was able to purchase gift cards for teachers at the Lafayette Charter School as well as donate snacks to the workers at the Good Samaritan Center and The Lodge in Winthrop.  Our La Salle Branch was able to purchase gift cards for 5 elderly individuals in need. Our Lakeville Branch partnered with their upstairs tenant, David Charlez Design to raise money for 360 Communities. Money was donated by employees, raised through a variety of internal fundraising events throughout our locations, and a bank match was given making it possible to donate $3000.00 in gifts for these families and organizations.

We were happy to help these organizations as well as families who would have had an otherwise difficult time purchasing the needed items themselves. It was also a great way to remember what the Holidays are truly all about!

Jacob Holm & Kyle Marti Appointed to Citizens Bancorporation of New Ulm, Inc. Board of Directors

Citizens Bancorporation of New Ulm, Inc, parent company of Citizens Bank Minnesota, is pleased to announce the appointment of Jacob Holm and Kyle Marti to the Board of Directors of both companies.

Jacob Holm is a Certified Public Accountant and Partner at CarlsonSV LLP, a full-service accounting firm in New Ulm, MN, with his main focus being cooperatives and other Ag-related entities.  Jacob earned his accounting degree from Minnesota State University – Mankato and his CPA license from the Minnesota Board of Accountancy.  He is a member of the Minnesota Society of CPA’s, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the National Society of Accountants for Cooperatives.  Jacob joined CarlsonSV LLP in 2005. Holm lives in New Ulm with his wife, Ra’e, and their three children; Parker, Vynnsyn and Aggy.  He is an active member of the community; he is a member of the New Ulm Jaycees and sits on the board of the ISD #88 Foundation.

Kyle Marti, alongside Ted, Jodi, Jace, and Franz Marti, are 5th and 6th generation owners of the August Schell Brewing Company in New Ulm, MN.  Marti has worked at the brewery for longer than he can legally say, spending his summers working in the bottle house and other jobs before moving into his administrative role in 2015.  He was appointed to VP of Operations at Schell’s Brewery in 2018 and elected to the board of directors in 2020.  He is an active member of the community: previously serving on the New Ulm CVB board, is a current member of Projekt Neu Ulm, and traces his lineage to the famed Junior Pioneers of New Ulm.  

Holm and Marti join Dustan Cross, Mark Denn, Lou Geistfeld, Walt Luneburg, Bryon Christenson, Alan Holm, and Tim Hoscheit on the Bank’s Boards.

Citizens Bank Minnesota has offices in New Ulm, Lafayette, La Salle, Lakeville and Watkins, Minnesota.

20 Days of Giving

2020 has been quite the year, and we have not been able to celebrate our clients quite the same as we have in the past. To say ‘thank you’, Citizens Bank Minnesota’s “20 Days of Giving” is kicking off on Friday, November 27th! Watch for your chance to register online for prizes, and we will be having a new giveaway each week too (while supplies last)! We appreciate all of our loyal clients!

Harvest 2020

As an eventful, and often times stressful, 2020 crop season comes to an end with the pandemic and Covid-19 occurring in our world, it appears the harvest season is going extremely well with excellent harvest conditions.

  • Farm Safety
    • Please check to make sure all safety equipment (i.e. safety shields, fire extinguishers, etc.), are in place and in working order.
    • Be especially careful and diligent around any moving equipment and/or parts. Don’t assume anything as things happen faster than we expect.
    • Make sure to use your flashers and be aware of your surroundings.
    • Wear protective and reflective clothing.
    • When working around and in grain bins, use appropriate safety equipment and if at all possible, have a second person around in case of an emergency.
  • Crop Insurance
    • Be aware of your crop insurance coverage and contact your agent as quickly as possible after harvest to turn in yields in case of a claim.
    • Crop insurance yield claims need to be filed within 10 days of harvest completion.
    • Please keep load records of your yields for each farm and mark your bins if you are comingling production from several farm units.
  • Farm Finances
    • Did you have a marketing plan built into your 2020 cash flow projection and are you adhering to it?
    • Do you remember/know your break-even commodity prices from the cash flow completed this past year with your lender?
    • Should you be meeting with your lender to review your spring cash flow plan to see how it relates to current marketing opportunities?
    • Have you signed up for round 2 of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (C-FAP 2) which had a beginning signup date of September 21, 2020 and runs through December 11, 2020? Note, C-FAP 2 has expanded coverage for additional agricultural commodities so make sure and review C-FAP 2.
    • USDA has announced that dairy margin coverage program enrollment for 2021 opened up as of October 13, 2020. (DMC program).
    • USDA has announced that October 30, 2020 is the deadline to sign up for the WHIP+ program which stands for Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program as a result from the 2018 and 2019 losses due to hurricanes, floods, snow storms, tornados, typhoons and excessive moistures that occurred during those calendar years.
    • If you utilize an operating line of credit, does your 2020 line of credit have enough availability to cover your expected fall expenses.
    • If there are expected 2020 prepaid expenses being purchased as part of your year end, do you have a 2020 operating line of credit in place?
    • If you are expecting to seal your grain and potentially utilize the FSA CCC loan program, please notify and consult with your operating lender prior to doing so.
    • Do you have a capital replacement plan or budget?
    • Do you, as a farm business, have scheduled anticipated capital improvements and purchases built into your cash flow?

2020 has been an interesting and challenging year considering the Coronavirus that has taken the world by storm. To date, we have had outstanding fall harvesting conditions which has accelerated harvest with the number of farm units completing harvest at this time with average to above yields and improved prices.

From all of us at Citizens Bank Minnesota, we wish you a continued safe and prosperous harvest!

By: Duane J. Laffrenzen, Vice President

Member FDIC/Equal Housing Lender

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


October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. To coincide with this, the American Bankers Association (ABA) has launched a #BanksNeverAskThat antiphishing campaign to help Americans keep their bank accounts safe!

Every day, thousands of people fall victim to fraudulent emails, texts and calls from scammers pretending to be their bank. The ABA wants to help change that by raising awareness among banks and their customers of best practices for phishing defense.

Visit our Facebook page at: and watch for multiple posts throughout the month to help you become a pro at spotting fraud. You’ll even have a chance to win weekly prizes courtesy of the ABA! Get tips and tricks to spot scams with the #BanksNeverAskThat quiz:

Operation: Stop The Spread!

September is the Minnesota Bankers Association’s Community Impact Month, and Citizens Bank Minnesota is once again proud to be participating!

This year we are focusing our efforts on “Stopping the Spread” and collecting items needed in schools to protect students and staff from COVID-19. 

If you are interested in donating, the following items are needed in classrooms:

  • Adult cloth masks or face shields
  • Youth cloth masks or face shields
  • White paper towels
  • Latex gloves, size Large & X-Large
  • Disinfectant Wipes
  • Hand Sanitizer

Monetary donations will also be accepted and used to purchase needed supplies.

Donations can be dropped off September 1st – 18th at any of our Citizens locations and the items will be distributed at our area schools.

Thank you for your support!


Fitbit Pay & Garmin Pay – Now Available!

Fitbit Pay

Just add your debit or credit card to your Fitbit watch and you’re ready to go! You’ll get the same rewards, points, miles and other perks with Fitbit Pay that you’d receive with your physical card. Fitbit uses industry-standard tokenization to help keep each transaction private.For more information and details about compatible devices, go to: in a new Window)

Garmin Pay

Garmin Pay is easily accessible from your compatible Garmin Watch. Enter your passcode, select the card you want to use from your virtual wallet, and then hold your wrist near the card reader. Your card number is not stored on your device and Garmin Pay protects you by using watch-specific card numbers and transaction codes every time you make a purchase.For more information and details about compatible devices, go to:

2020 Citizens Bank Minnesota Scholarship Recipients

Citizens Bank Minnesota is proud to support the youth of our communities by awarding scholarships to area students. This year marks the twentieth year of the program! These scholarships are part of the Community Bankers Scholarship Program TM and 6 students were awarded the annual Citizens Bank Minnesota scholarship.

Anna Sekerak, a graduate of Lakeville North High School was recently awarded with a $1,000.00 scholarship that is renewable for a potential value of $4,000.00 over four years of post-secondary education.

Rachel Hohensee, a graduate of New Ulm Public High School, Emily Stevensen, a graduate of Madelia High School, and Anson Tiong, a graduate of Lakeville South High School were the recipients of a $1,000.00 scholarship. 

Kincaid Diersen, a graduate of Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School and Lauren Mages, a graduate of New Ulm High School were the recipients of a $500.00 scholarship.

Citizens awards six scholarships to customers graduating from high school. Applicants must be high school seniors who plan to enroll in a full-time undergraduate course of study at an accredited two year or four year college in the fall following graduation. Scholarships are available to Citizens Bank Minnesota’s customers who complete the online educational banking videos and have a Citizens checking account. Citizens is proud to invest in their futures by promoting education and excellence.

Anna, daughter of Cara and Raymond Sekerak, will be attending the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities this fall, pursuing a degree in pre-med/genetics, developmental and cell biology.

Rachel, daughter of Mary and Jeff Hohensee, will be attending the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse this fall, pursuing a degree in bio-medical science.

Emily, daughter of Nichole Perrine and Chuck Stevensen, will be attending Bemidji State University this fall, pursuing a degree in social work.

Anson, son of Zhifang Liu and Taihoom Tiong, will be attending the University of California – Berkeley, this fall, pursuing a degree in electrical engineering and computer science.

Kincaid, son of Greg and Kelly Diersen, will be attending Marin Luther College this fall, pursuing a degree in education, biology and chemistry.

Lauren, daughter of Jeremy and Kari Mages, will be attending the University of Sioux Falls this fall, pursuing a degree in nursing.

For more information about the scholarship visit:

%d bloggers like this: