The much anticipated arrival of spring is underway. As the spring and winter air masses battle, the lengthening days, migrating birds and blooming pasque flowers are sure signs that spring will prevail. The sounds and smells of spring are signals for us to prepare for the upcoming growing season. Our Ag producers are busy anticipating spring field work and the calving of their livestock. As I finish up my last farm renewals, I always look forward to venturing out of the bank and visiting with my Ag clients.
In early March I had the good fortune to attend my first ICBA national convention in New Orleans. I was in awe at the size of this event. The trade show offered hundreds of vendors tending their booths, showing their products and services to the passing bankers. The ICBA Convention presented many educational sessions that fit the needs of all types of bankers. The sessions I attended were very good. I met and visited with many bankers from all over the country. It was an impressive site seeing thousands of bankers come together with the common interest of community banking. I discovered that New Orleans is a very fun city that offers some very exquisite dining experiences. South Dakota was well represented at this year’s convention.
This coming month, ICBSD will be busy attending events and promoting community banking around the state. Greg McCurry, Emily Hofer and I will be visiting with NSU students at the NSU-Business Round Table on April 14. I look forward to meeting with these students about opportunities they might have in community banking.
ICBSD will be well represented at the ICBA Washington Policy summit in Washington DC at the end of April. Several board and committee members will head to Washington, DC to carry the community banking message to Capitol Hill. The policy summit allows community bankers to take up a grass roots approach to discuss overregulation, preferred tax treatment of Farm Credit and Credit Union and other issues with the state’s congressional delegation.
The ICBSD nominating committee will be actively seeking bankers to serve on the ICBSD board. If you are interested in serving on the ICBSD board, please contact Greg McCurry or me. Serving on the board is a very rewarding experience that provides benefits which greatly exceed time commitments that are required. You will meet great people and develop lifelong friendships with other bankers.
As I close, I would like to remind everyone that April is Community Banking Month. This month gives community bankers a chance to toot their horns and celebrate this great occasion. Community banks are the backbone of our communities. It is community banks and bankers that are committed to seeing that our communities survive and prosper.