Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Why the Future Looks Bright

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Why the Future Looks Bright

Article excerpt

Sometime during the past year, a Washington journalist labeled me as the banker who's 1,362 miles from Wall Street. He didn't realize how "right" he was. That distance places me right in the bread basket of our country. My family has been involved with agriculture and banking for over a century.

I'm proud to be an ag banker, and I was never more proud than when I received a special invitation to attend this past year's ABA National Agricultural Bankers Conference held in Milwaukee, Wis. This conference really fired me up about the future of the banking industry. More than 500 people attended the conference. Many were young, and many were attending an ABA event for the very first time.

For those of you who don't know, the ag sector has been enjoying a period of unprecedented prosperity. Clearly, this has been one of the bright spots for our nation's economy.

We have a new generation of ag banking specialists, who are replacing those of us who went through the financial turmoil of the 1980s farm crisis. This new group of bankers has the opportunity to experience something completely different from what was experienced by my contemporaries.

What impressed me most about the conference was the dedication of the bankers who attended. They wanted to learn as much as they could about the business, so they could be more effective risk managers, more customer-focused, as well as better advocates for agriculture and banking. …

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