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Iowa Banker, Top Third Ag Marketing Founder Receive Top Ag Banking Awards


The American Bankers Association today announced the recipients of both the Bruning and Blanchfield Awards, the association’s premier awards presented for contributions to agricultural banking. ABA will honor Alan “Al” Tubbs, chair of Ohnward Bancshares, Inc., with the Bruning Award and Mark Gold, founder of Top Third Ag Marketing, with the Blanchfield Award at the ABA Unconventional Convention, Oct. 19-20.

Bruning Award: Al Tubbs

Alan “Al” Tubbs is this year’s recipient of the Bruning Award for his leadership and longstanding dedication to providing financial guidance and support to farmers, agricultural businesses and small communities in rural America.

“It’s remarkable to have my past work in the agriculture and financial industries recognized,” said Tubbs. “Agriculture is where I’ve grown up and the largest segment of our rural economies. Our bank has always done all we can to support the viability and profitability of agricultural business and industry.”

Tubbs is a second-generation banker with almost 50 years of agricultural banking experience. Raised on a grain and livestock farm in eastern Iowa, he spent a short time teaching agricultural finance at Oklahoma State University before deciding to return to Iowa to begin his banking career as president of First Central State Bank in DeWitt.

Tubbs began his ABA service as a member of the agricultural conference planning committee in 1978 and became chairman of the Agricultural Banker’s Division in 1983 during the depth of the farm crisis. He later served on the ABA board of directors, advanced to the chair of the ABA Government Relations Council, and became chairman of the American Bankers Association in 1991.

During the 1980s farm crisis, Tubbs served on USDA’s Agricultural Credit Advisory Committee where he helped establish a program to share among the producer, the lender, and the government the incredible loss of income and capital in production agriculture. The program helped stem the tide of declining farm real estate values, stabilizing the farm economy and helping farmers get back on their feet.

Tubbs has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from Iowa State University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Agricultural Economics and Business from Cornell University. He currently resides in Iowa, with his wife of 54 years, Myrna. They have two sons, Brigham and Abram, who now hold senior management positions with Ohnward Bancshares, leading the next generation of bankers.

Blanchfield Award: Mark Gold

Now in its sixth year, the ABA Blanchfield Award recognizes the contributions of a non-banker who has made significant contributions to the advancement of agricultural lending. Mark Gold, this year’s recipient, is the founder and managing partner of Top Third Ag Marketing, where he has spent the last two decades helping farmers determine when to sell their products at the best market prices.

“I am honored to have been chosen to receive this award, and to be placed in the same company of people who have won this award before me,” said Gold. “Over the past 22 years, we’ve established that we don’t want our clients speculating. We want them managing risk, and I think that message has finally caught on. As bankers are such an integral part of the farmers marketing decisions, we felt it would be a great opportunity to teach bankers as well their clients a better way of managing the risk without margin calls.”

Prior to starting Top Third Ag Marketing in 2006, Gold, a self-proclaimed “city kid,” got his start in the ag industry as a runner for the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in 1973.

He then went on to become one of the youngest members of the Chicago Board of Trade, where he spent 20 years working as a floor broker and a pit trader. During his time at the CBOT, he also served as chairman of the Soybean Pit Committee and on the Public Relations Committee. Gold holds a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Illinois. He and his wife live happily in Illinois with their two cats.


About the American Bankers Association

The American Bankers Association is the voice of the nation’s $24 trillion banking industry, which is composed of small, regional and large banks that together employ more than 2 million people, safeguard $19.9 trillion in deposits and extend $11.4 trillion in loans.

About the Bruning Award

Since 1997, the Bruning Award, named after its first recipient, Nebraska banker Frank Bruning, recognizes bankers that demonstrate outstanding leadership and dedicated service to providing credit and guidance to farmers, ranchers and their fellow agricultural bankers.

About the Blanchfield Award

Established in 2015 in honor of John Blanchfield, former senior vice president of ABA’s Center for Agricultural and Rural Banking, the Blanchfield Award recognizes agricultural professionals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of agricultural lending.

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