Your Resolution, Your Home

new house

Is purchasing a new home on your list of resolutions and goals for 2018?  We found this helpful article that has some great tips on how you can reach that goal! Full article

And as always, our team of Citizens Mortgage lenders is only a phone call away if you have any housing questions you need answered – 800-549-0194. More information can also be found on our website at: cbnu.mortgagewebcenter.com

 

Citizens Bank Minnesota employees donate $3,000.00 worth of gifts to 6 families in need.

Citizens Bank Minnesota employees were excited to help 6 families in need this Holiday Season. Our main office in New Ulm as well as our three branch locations in Lafayette, La Salle and Lakeville each adopted area families as well as delivered needed supplies to the Crisis Nursery. Money was donated by employees, raised through bake sales and free-will donation luncheons, and a bank match was given making it possible to donate $3,000.00 in gifts for these families.

We were happy to help these 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!

May Your Christmas Be Merry & Bright!

Citizens Bank Minnesota would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

We’ve put together a fun Christmas Greeting video for you to watch. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed putting it together!

The Farm Economy

combine and field

As the seasons change, so comes another harvest nearing an end. After harvest, many farmers will start to compile their farm records, perform year-end tax planning and plan for the upcoming year. The farm economy has seen its share of challenges and farmers continue to search for ways to remain viable after multiple years of declining profitability.

On Thursday, January 18, 2018, Citizens Bank Minnesota is hosting a seminar with nationally known speaker, Dr. Michael Boehlje, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Agricultural Economics and the Center for Food and Agricultural Business at Purdue University. He previously held faculty and administrative positions at Iowa State University, University of Minnesota and Oklahoma State University. Dr. Michael Boehlje has devoted his career to helping farm and agribusiness managers and policymakers understand the pragmatic economic and financial consequences of their decisions.

The fundamental focus of his work has been to integrate concepts of economics, finance and strategy to solve problems of farm and agribusiness managers. A major theme of Dr. Michael Boehlje’s research, writing and lecturing for the past 10 years has been the importance of strategic planning and thinking, and positioning the firm for long term viability and success.

The following are a few of his recommendations he calls “Elements of Best in Class”:

1. Intense Cost Control
-Efficiency/productivity is critical
-Know your cost components per unit sold

2. Margin Management
-Know your costs of production
-Know your margins

3. Execution
-Timely operations
-Details, details, details

4. Buying Right
-Compare supplier offers
-Consider repairing rather than replacing

5. Managing Operating Risk
-Technology performance –pest control, fertility effectiveness/loss, seed selection
-Marketing/pricing of inputs and products
-Government programs and crop insurance participation

6. Debt/Capital Management
-Maintain working capital
-Reduce capital expenditures
-Don’t surprise your lender

7. Simplification/Automation
-Complexity creates confusion/mistakes

8. Do Fewer Things Better
-What is your hedgehog –what do you do better than anyone else?
-Focus and intensify

9. Data Management
-Collect efficiently
-Capture the insights
-Think carefully

Citizens understands the uncertainties of agribusiness and can help you plan your operation throughout the year.

We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming seminar featuring Dr. Michael Boehlje! Watch for more information about the seminar coming out soon!

By: Scott Tauer, Vice President – Loan Officer

https://ag.purdue.edu/commercialag/Pages/Faculty-Staff/Boehlje.aspx

“THE FARM ECONOMY AND THE FUTURE OF AG LENDING” by Michael Boehlje
Center for Commercial Agriculture, Purdue University and Senior Associate Centrec Consulting. West Lafayette, Indiana, August 7, 2017.

Equal Housing Lender - larger

Citizens Travels One of Europe’s Most Legendary Rivers – The Rhine River

A group of 72 travelers from Citizens Bank Minnesota recently returned from a nine-day cruise on one of Europe’s most legendary rivers – the Rhine. They began their journey in Switzerland and had an overnight stay in beautiful Lucerne before boarding their riverboat for a cruise up the Rhine River. They saw the magnificent sights along the way of Mount Pilatus, the Black Forest, gothic cathedrals, beautiful castles and sailed through the dramatic Rhine Gorge  just to name a few. The group enjoyed a picturesque cruise and was blessed with beautiful fall weather with temperatures above average for the time of year. The countries visited were Switzerland, Germany, France and the Netherlands. Thanks to all the great travelers who made the trip amazing!

Traveler comments:

“It was a spectacular trip, well planned out. Thanks to all of you for a job so well done!” -Mary

“What a great trip!” – JoAnne

If you are interested in traveling with Citizens to Alaska in June 2018 or Australia/New Zealand in February 2019, please contact Jean Geistfeld for more information at 507-276-2406.

Halloween Safety Tips

halloween safety picIt’s almost that time of year when children look forward to trick-or-treating, dressing up in costumes, decorating and obtaining more candy than they can possibly eat. As fun as it is, Halloween is also a deceptively dangerous night, and preparations for a safe and enjoyable celebration should begin long before Halloween night.
SELECTING A COSTUME
• Select a costume that doesn’t risk slips, trips or falls. Costumes should not drag on the ground.
• Wear comfortable shoes for walking. As tempting as it may be to wear shoes themed with the costume – high heels for Cinderella come to mind – they can be unsafe for youngsters to navigate.
• Choose a bright costume that motorists can see.
• Place reflective tape on costumes and trick-or-treat bags for increased visibility.
• Wear costumes with flame resistant fabrics (such as nylon and polyester) or look in the label for the notation, Flame Resistant. Flame resistant fabrics resist burning and should extinguish quickly.
• Avoid outfits with big, billowy sleeves and flimsy materials that could contact candles.
• Test any makeup on the skin beforehand, and don’t use it if there is an allergic reaction.
• Beware of accessories that could injure a child. Choose soft swords, for example, and avoid items with sharp edges.
• Be careful when selecting masks, scarves and decorations that nothing obstructs a child’s vision.
PUMPKIN CARVING
• No matter how much they plead, don’t let small children handle knives and carve pumpkins. Instead, have them draw their design with markers and let an adult do the carving.
• To avoid the possibility of a fire, use a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you cannot avoid using a candle, a small votive candle with a holder is safest.
HOME SAFETY AND DECORATIONS
• Outside your home, use flameless candles or keep burning candles and jack-o’-lanterns away from landings and doorsteps, where trick-or-treaters’ costumes could brush against the flame.
• Keep your home safe for visiting trick-or-treaters by removing from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as leaves, garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
• When indoors, keep candles and jack-o’-lanterns away from curtains, other decorations and other items that could ignite. Do not leave burning candles unattended.
• Whether indoors or outside, use only decorative light strands that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory. Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires or loose connections. When in doubt – discard.
• Don’t overload extension cords.
• Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on, scratch or bite a trick-or-treater. It may be best to shut your pet away from the commotion; some animals find Halloween especially spooky.
TRICK-OR-TREATING
• An adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
• Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
• Make sure cell phone batteries are fully charged. If older children are trick-or-treating by themselves or in groups, review with them the geographic boundaries where they may go.
• Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk. Walk facing traffic. Avoid darting from house to house in the middle of the street – cars aren’t expecting you to be in the middle of the street.
• Notify law enforcement authorities immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.
Happy trick-or-treating, and be safe!

Article courtesy of: Cincinnati Insurance Company

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