Citizens Bank Minnesota’s 2022 Race 2 Raise 5K

Citizens held their 7th annual Race 2 Raise 5K on Saturday, May 14, 2022. 164 people registered and the event brought in $3016.30 for the American Cancer Society!

We couldn’t have asked for better weather, it was a beautiful morning to run and walk the city streets and bike trail in New Ulm. At the finish line, participants could enjoy the post-race amenities and watch the award ceremony where the top 3 male and female finishers in age groups received a medal. After the event everyone could redeem their paper bib number for a free beverage at the B&L after party.

Thank you to our volunteers and sponsors and congratulations to everyone that participated! We hope to see you all back at next years 5K, which is being held on Saturday, May 13, 2023!

Rising Rates…What Does It All Mean?

The Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates on March 16, 2022 by a quarter of a percentage point and signaled that it plans to lift them further in the coming months to battle high inflation, a shift that will likely be felt by most households.

Higher interest rates can raise borrowing costs for consumers seeking to buy homes and cars, a shift already taking place. Those increased costs could help to cool inflation by lowering demand and slowing economic growth.

Here is a look at the various ways higher interest rates could affect borrowers.


Mortgage rates started rising in anticipation of the Fed’s rate increases and are likely to go up further now that the Fed is bumping up short-term borrowing costs. The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 5.00% in the week of April 11, up roughly 1.75 percentage point from a year earlier and the highest level since May 2019, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Higher mortgage rates can increase home buying costs, making it more difficult for some aspiring buyers to afford a home. For example, some buyers may need to increase their monthly payments or aim for a less-expensive home to keep payments at a level they can afford. 


A shortage of cars for sale has sent car prices rising and now higher interest rates could make car loans more expensive. That’s because the short-term interest rates controlled by the Fed can indirectly affect the rates charged on auto loans. People who already have cars purchased with a fixed-rate loan shouldn’t be affected.

As with housing, those increased borrowing costs may deter some people from buying more cars. 


The Fed’s rate hikes could translate into higher yields paid on savings accounts, but that may not happen immediately. Eventually, the increase in short-term rates should lead to larger payouts on certificates of deposits and other savings accounts. 


Certain types of loans with adjustable interest rates, including home equity lines of credit and credit cards, may show the effects of the Fed’s rate moves almost immediately.

The first rate increase of 0.25 percentage point announced on March may not deal a huge blow to consumers’ pockets. But borrowers could feel more strain after a series of rate hikes.


If the Fed continues their estimation of rate hikes; by the end of this year (2022) could be 1.25% to 1.50% higher. Borrowers may want to look at options sooner than later in locking in on lending products to save significantly more money compared to the future. 

Your local relationship bankers at Citizens Bank Minnesota are always here to help you with your financial needs. If you have questions on anything, please do not hesitate to stop in or give us a call at 800-549-0194.

* This information is market research for educational purposes only and is not intended as marketing of a product.

Member FDIC

Equal Housing Lender

Submitted by Jon Maier, Director of Sales and Marketing

Citizens Bank Minnesota Fraud Seminar

You will be shocked to learn of the lengths hackers will go to steal your identity and your money. Listen to our fraud seminar recording, where Blinds & More owners, Dan & Brook Devenport, talk about their compelling fraud experience, sharing the steps they took to recover from the nightmare. New Ulm Police Department, Sr. Investigator Moellenhoeff, also followed their presentation with trending scams and tips to spot and how to avoid becoming a victim. You can watch and listen to the Fraud Seminar on our YouTube channel here:

Citizens Bank Minnesota Partners With American Red Cross to Host Employee Blood Drive

Citizens Bank Minnesota hosted an employee blood drive with the American Red Cross on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, in their New Ulm Training Room. Citizens employees collected 27 units of blood, exceeding their goal of 25!

Citizens is committed to strengthening our community and helping meet hospital and patient needs through blood donations. This blood drive was a way to give our staff an opportunity to help save lives.

Donors of all blood types are needed, especially those with types O negative, B negative, and A negative. According to the Red Cross, type O negative is the universal blood type that can be safely transfused to anyone, and is often used to treat trauma patients. Simply go to to find a community blood drive near you!

Citizens Bank Minnesota Announces Promotions

Citizens Bank Minnesota is pleased to announce the following promotions:

Kathy Drexler, Vice President, Operations

Kathy Drexler started her career in 1982 at CFM, Inc., a data processing facility owned jointly by Citizens and then F&M Bank. In 1991 she moved to the bookkeeping department at Citizens and ultimately became the data processing manager where she manages all data processing and bookkeeping functions. She was promoted to Assistant Vice President of Operations in 2013 and serves as the Information Security Officer.  Drexler is a graduate of South Central College in Mankato with a Degree in Secretarial with Data Entry Specialization.  In 2015, she passed a nationally comprehensive AAP exam becoming an Accredited ACH Professional joining an elite group of highly-skilled professionals in the electronic payments space.  She currently serves on the NUACS School Board, UMCUBS Board, and is the Media Specialist including other various ministries for St. John’s Church, Searles.  Kathy and her husband, Al, reside in New Ulm and enjoy sports and spending time with their children and grandchildren.   

Kyle Postwald, Vice President, Lending, Lakeville Branch

Kyle Potswald joined Citizens in 2018 as an Assistant Vice President, Lending Officer. Potswald graduated from Augsburg University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Finance and has worked in a variety of different lending capacities ever since. He enjoys spending his time outdoors along with being Treasurer of the Lakeville – South Suburban Optimist Club and being a member of the South Metro Rotaract. Kyle resides in Eagan with his wife Abby, and newborn son, Tate. 

Doug Walker, Vice President, Director of Information Technology

Doug Walker joined Citizens in 2013 as an Information Technology Manager. In 2021, he was promoted to his current role of Director of Information Technology.  He graduated cum laude from Colorado Technical University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Information Technology. Outside of work, Doug enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

Ryan Hoffmann, Assistant Vice President, Lending

Ryan Hoffmann joined Citizens in 2020 as an Agricultural Lending Officer. Hoffmann is a graduate of South Dakota State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Agronomy. He spent four years prior as an Agronomist. He enjoys hunting, fishing, and spending time with family. Ryan volunteers in the community when he can, doing things like Day of Caring, Meals on Wheels, and also helps at the local Bavarian Blast. Ryan and his wife Chelsie, along with their daughter and son, reside in Courtland.   

Laura Scholtz, Assistant Vice President, Lending, La Salle Branch

Laura Scholtz joined Citizens in 2019 as an Ag Lending Officer. Scholtz is a graduate of University of Minnesota – Twin Cities with a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science and a minor in Applied Economics. Outside of work, she farms with her husband Chris as well as helping out on her family’s dairy and crop operation. During her free time, Laura enjoys hosting farm tours, volunteering for various 4-H events and participating in the United Way Day of Caring. Scholtz, originally from Sleepy Eye, resides near Comfrey with her husband Chris and daughter, Morgan. 

Brian Walker, Assistant Vice President, Manager of Information Technology

Brian Walker joined Citizens in 2017 as an IT Systems Administrator. He was promoted to Manager of Information Technology in 2021 and is an active member of the bank’s Technology Committee. He has 10 years of experience in the Information Technology field where he began as a Help Desk Analyst for Emerson Network Power, in 2014 he was promoted to IT Systems Analyst. Brian resides in New Ulm where he enjoys volunteering for local community events, spending time with his two daughters and attending their sports and activities.

Citizens Bank Minnesota and its employees donate over $3800.00 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 by purchasing clothing, hats and mittens, a grocery card and household items. Our Watkins Branch was able to purchase toys, clothing, hats and gloves, plus a grocery card to help a family in their area. Our Lafayette Branch donated funds to the Lafayette Charter School along with the Sibley East Adopt A Family Program. Our La Salle Branch received the name of a family through Madelia school and was able to purchase gift cards and games. Our Lakeville Branch received the name of a family from a local church and partnered with their upstairs tenant, David Charlez Designs, to purchase gift cards for the family. Lastly, our Ormsby Branch adopted a family through Martin County West School District and they were able to purchase clothing, toys, mittens and hats.

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 over $3800.00 in gifts and necessities 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!

2021 Harvest Wrap-Up

The fields have been harvested, the bales have been hauled, the machinery washed and stored, and the grain trucked to town.  Harvest 2021 is a wrap and was just as abnormal as everything about the year.  The weather was very cooperative and unseasonably warm which did make bean harvest a challenge but overall, yields across the area were better than anticipated, given the drought conditions.  Certainly below normal but higher than expected given the very limited amounts of rain received.  Yields were just as variable as the weather and the soil type. 

Farming is a never ending cycle – as soon as one crop is in the bin, we are preparing for the next.  The high crop prices and limited yields have led to less crop in storage coming into 2022 but there are still ample opportunities for pricing 2021 grain at a profit.  Minnesota West Community College Adult Farm Management Instructors recently put on an Ag Lender’s seminar and the following items were discussed:

  1. Take advantage of the strong basis out there right now.  Use the basis in addition to marketing strategies. 
  2. Input costs are going to be a challenge this year.  Contact your coop early to find out availability of inputs and cost of products.  Changes may need to be made based on price or availability of normal inputs.  Seed is projected to be 3-4% higher, fertilizer 80-100% higher, chemicals 30-50% higher, and fuel 60-80% higher.  Additionally, land rents, labor costs, and machinery costs are all rising.
  3. Several scenarios were reviewed regarding cost of production and yields – an average breakeven on beans was $10.70 and $4.50 on corn.  This is including fixed costs (depreciation, labor charge, utilities, etc.).

This is the time of year that tax planning is completed and line of credits are established for 2022.  As you finalize your book work for 2021 to bring to the accountant and your lender along with gearing up for 2022 planning, there is one key point to focus on.  Given the high input costs, do you know your break even commodity prices for this upcoming year?  Knowing these costs is important to establishing a marketing plan for 2022.  Corn and bean prices are at profitable levels for many farms for both 2021 and 2022 crops.  If you understand and know your cost of production, it allows for much more confidence in marketing.  When you couple this with your crop insurance policy guarantee, it should allow for a level of comfort for your 2022 planning.

As an additional note – please save the date and join us January 18, 2022 for our Ag Seminar from 9-12:00 at the New Ulm Event Center.  Al Kluis is our main speaker and we will also have a crop insurance update.

We just celebrated Thanksgiving and another holiday season is upon us.  We’d like to extend our gratitude for our customers and partners out there and wish you all a blessed holiday season.  We are grateful for you the entire year through!

Submitted by: Sarah Kern, Vice President/Ag Lender

Member FDIC


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

Join Us At One Of Our Holiday Open Houses

Help us get this Holiday Season Crackin’!  

Join us at a Holiday Open House near you! Enjoy a treat and pick up a 2022 calendar!

New Ulm

Friday, November 26, 2021 • 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

KIDS – Visit with Santa from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.!  **NEW this year – bring your camera to take a photo with Santa!


Friday, November 26, 2021 • 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

KIDS – On Tuesday, December 14, 2021, Santa will be at the Lafayette Community Center from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.!

La Salle

Friday, December 3, 2021 • 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

KIDS – Visit with Santa & Mrs. Claus from 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.!


Saturday, December 3, 2021 • 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

KIDS – Visit with Santa from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.! 


Saturday, December 4, 2021 • 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

KIDS – Come visit with Santa and have your picture taken!


Friday, December 10, 2021 • 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

KIDS – Visit with Santa & Mrs. Claus from 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.! 

Hat & Mitten Collection

All Citizens locations will be collecting new hats and mittens for local children in need. Please consider bringing in a donation and help make the Holidays a little warmer for someone!

Collection dates: November 26th – December 3rd.  

Be Aware of Spoofing Calls

Be aware of spoofing calls, this is when fraudsters are able to manipulate a caller ID to appear as if the call is coming from the bank, another business, or contacts you may know.  The fraudsters intentions are too emotionally scam you into reacting quickly, thinking they are someone they are not, with hopes of you giving out information that will compromise your identity or accounts.

When Citizens employees or our outside Fraud Monitoring Service contact clients, we will NOT ask you for confidential information, such as Social Security number, Debit Card Number, Account Numbers, etc.…  but rather will only ask you to verify transactions in question, for which you can respond yes or no. 

If you receive a call that appears as if it is coming from the bank, and the caller is asking for personal information, please hang up and contact Citizens directly. #CybersecurityAwareness

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Cybersecurity Awareness Month was launched by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in October 2004 as a broad effort to help all Americans stay safer and more secure online.

Here are some of the many tips that the National Cybersecurity Alliance has created that we would like to highlight!


Passwords can be inconvenient, but they’re important if you want to keep your information safe.

Protecting your personal information starts with STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Take security precautions, think about the consequences of your actions online and enjoy the Internet with peace of mind.  Here are some simple ways to secure your accounts through better password practices.


A strong password is a sentence that is at least 12 characters long. Focus on positive

sentences or phrases that you like to think about and are easy to remember (for example, “I love country music.”). On many sites, you can even use spaces!


Having separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals. At a minimum, separate your work and personal accounts and make sure that your critical accounts have the strongest passwords.


Everyone can forget a password. Keep a list that’s stored in a safe, secure place away from your computer. You can alternatively use a service like a password manager to keep track of your passwords.


Fortify your online accounts by enabling the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics, security keys or a unique one-time code through an app on your mobile device. Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking and social media.

(*These tips were provided by the National Cybersecurity Alliance)

Here some other great articles to protect yourself.

Ransomware 101:

Online Safety Tips for Seniors:

Securing Your Home Network: 

Social Media

Parental Controls:

Mobile Devices:

Reporting Cybercrimes:

For more great tips to keep you safe online click the link below.

Source: National Cybersecurity Alliance

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