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ABA National Agricultural Bankers Conference

November 12-15, 2017  •  Hilton Milwaukee City Center and Milwaukee Center  •  Milwaukee, WI

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Workshop Sessions

Series I  | Series II  |  Series III  |  Series IV

Updated as of 11/7/17. Please note that the program subject to change.

Series I

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 13

Opportunities for Success in Lending for Rural Infrastructure and Development

Hear what opportunities are available to bankers by utilizing USDA guaranteed loan programs to support lending for rural transportation, energy and utilities infrastructure projects and other vital business, commercial, industrial, and economic development and essential community services. An experienced lender will join in on the panel to provide their perspectives and share experiences in maximizing benefits of guaranteed loan programs to increase their customer base, broaden portfolios, expand options for management of capital, and increase return on investment.
  • Aaron Morris, Assistant Deputy Administrator, Energy Programs, USDA – Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Washington, D.C.
  • Kelley Oehler, Branch Chief, Energy Programs, USDA – Rural Development, Washington, D.C.
  • David Coggins, Executive Vice President – Chief Banking Officer, Investors Community Banker, Manitowoc, Wisconsin
How Data is Transforming Farming
The use of data and networks is transforming the way growers make decisions. Learn how growers are leveraging this data to make better agronomic, input buying, and crop marketing decisions.
  • Maria Olide, Chief Financial Officer, Farmers Business Network, San Carlos, California
Keep Your Clients Profitable Through Every Market Cycle
Join 18-year veteran speaker Mark Gold as he once again looks at current marketing opportunities in grains and livestock. Have the low grain prices of the past two years come to an end? What are the current marketing strategies that can help your clients minimize risk and increase profitability? What risks should bankers be aware of for the upcoming year and how can you help your clients do a better job of marketing?
  • Mark Gold, Managing Partner, Top Third Ag Marketing, LLC, Chicago, Illinois
Understanding How Technology Will Change the Farm
High-tech crop farmers are adopting technology and getting yields 20% to 40% above their neighbors. As "Artificial Intelligence" (AI) and the "Internet of Things" (IoT) grab headlines throughout the business world, learn where they might have a place on the farm. This session will explore new technologies and how to differentiate between those that are driving more profit and those that are actually costing the farm. 
  • Justin Kauffman, North American Commercial Lead, Precision Planting, Tremont, Illinois
New Ag Banker Track
Analyzing Collateral: "Show Me the Money"
We will look at new and longstanding considerations for assessing collateral for new and existing borrowers including strong, marginal and problem borrowers. Learn how collateral weighs into the perceived credit risk of a borrower including real life examples.
  • Giulio Camerini, CRC, Crowe Horwath LLP, Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois

Series II

​MONDAY, NOVEMBER 13

Executive Leadership in Ag Banking
Agriculture goes through cycles and bankers must understand and manage through them. Hear from senior ag bankers about how they plan to manage their portfolio; staff recruiting and retention; and regulatory challenges through the next cycle. The panel will share their experiences and perspectives across a number of commodity sectors, bank size and client profiles.
  • Shan L. Hanes, President and Chief Executive Officer, First National Bank of Elkhart, Elkhart, Kansas
  • Samuel J. Miller, Managing Director, Group Head, Agricultural Banking, BMO Harris Bank, Appleton, Wisconsin
  • Kirk Thomas, President, Lone Star State Bank, Lubbock, Texas
Our Brains and Stress: Psychology of a Distressed Borrower
Stress can trigger changes in our brain that can lead to distraction, difficulties in making decisions, poor communication, safety issues and a range of physical and mental health concerns that can spiral out of control. In this session, you’ll hear the latest information on the impact of stress on farmers and their family members. Learn specific approaches that agricultural professionals can take to mitigate stress and improve communication during times of change and uncertainty.
  • John Shutske, Ph.D., Professor and Cooperative Extension Specialist, University of Wisconsin-Madison,
    Madison, Wisconsin
Agriculture: The Power of Resilience; Today’s Challenges Can Become Tomorrow's Rewards
Ag banking is more than numbers, just like farming is more than production. Good ag lenders know how to connect the dots. They find a way to provide value and help their producers understand the reality of cycles in agriculture. Join the panel as they share their viewpoints on “farming forward” and the partnership that forms between ag lenders and their producers during tough economic times.
  • Doug Johnson, Director, Sales Management, Moody's Analytics, Omaha, Nebraska
  • David M. Kohl, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia​
  • Mike Pearson, Host, Market to Market, Grinnell, Iowa
Managing Risk or Managing Emotions? A Risk Management Simulation Game
The most effective way to understand the emotions of marketing and how to control them through strategy can be to experience making farm marketing decisions and living with the outcomes. Through our risk management simulation game, you’ll have the opportunity to become marketers and to compete against your colleagues to be named top risk-adjusted marketer at the conference.
  • Patrick Patton, President, Stewart-Peterson, West Bend, Wisconsin
  • Beth Rousseau, Vice President, Marketing, Stewart-Peterson, West Bend, Wisconsin 
New Ag Banker Track
Loan Documentation – How to Avoid Pitfalls
This session will cover loan documentation tips and strategies to maximize enforcement of rights as well as avoid pitfalls. Topics to be discussed include collateral descriptions, crop insurance assignments, entity authority issues, intercreditor issues and production money priority loans.
  • David I. Cisar, Von Briesen & Roper, s.c., Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Series III

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 14

A Conversation with the Regulators
Join our panel of regulators and hear their views on agricultural lending now and in the next cycle.  Topics will include working through workouts, how they view loan concentrations, working with distressed borrowers and much more.  This session is meant to be interactive so bring your questions for the regulators, because they will have questions for you too!
  • Jerry D. Renk, Executive Vice President, American State Bank & Trust Co., Great Bend, Kansas
  • Christopher J. Newbury, Deputy Regional Director, FDIC Division of Risk Management Supervision, Chicago, Illinois​
  • Cheryll Olson-Collins, Administrator, Division of Banking, Department of Financial Institutions - State of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
  • Blake J. Paulson, Deputy Comptroller Central District, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Chicago, Illinois
Communication Tools: How to Have Difficult Conversations
Whether it’s telling a customer their payment is overdue or telling an employee their attire or attitude isn’t working, difficult conversations are never fun nor easy. Learn key tips and tools for making hard conversations easier to have. We’ll cover ways to approach the conversation so you accomplish your goal: being firm, being kind and keeping the relationship intact.
  • Sarah Gibson, Accent Learning and Consulting LLC, Stoughton, Wisconsin
The Go-Go Farmers Are They Going, Going, Gone?
For producers in the FINBIN database, 2016 marked the fourth year of low median net-farm income. How long will the working capital and equity last? Who are the most vulnerable producers? Are producers making the transition to the current cost/revenue realities? Who will be gone? Learn what factors to watch for with your customers. 
  • Robert H. Craven, Director, Center for Farm Financial Management, Professor, Dept. of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota
Recruiting the Next Ag Banker
Many of us have concerns about how our customers are preparing for farm succession. How about your bank? Are you building talent to replace the experienced ag bankers on your team as they retire? What is the millennial ag banker looking for in a career? Does your bank’s culture matter? Ag banking is still a relationship business, a people business. This session will share strategies on how to build and retain a successful, high-performing ag banking team.
  • Nate Franzen, President/Ag Division, First Dakota National Bank, Yankton, South Dakota
  • David A. Coggins, Executive VP - Chief Banking Officer, Investors Community Bank, Manitowoc, Wisconsin
  • Rene S. Johnson, Vice President, Union Bank & Trust Company, Evansville, Wisconsin
New Ag Banker Track
Advanced Credit Analysis
All too often agricultural producers show a loss on their tax returns to minimize their tax obligations and then assure the lender the operation is doing well. However, during difficult financial times, a true assessment of firm profitability is needed and a complete evaluation of repayment capacity is essential. This session will build on the foundation laid in previous conferences for basic credit analysis, with the addition of the calculation of key financial ratios and the use of comparative data.
  • Freddie L. Barnard, Ph.D., Professor/Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

Series IV

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 14

Proposed Tax Reform: What Effect Could It Have on Succession Plans?
Our speaker will explore the potential impact of proposed tax changes on farmer succession plans. The discussion will include information related to structuring of the farm customer’s assets; how income tax planning affects the entity structure; and the impact on cash flows, especially upon the event of succession.
  • Paul Neiffer, CPA, Principal - Agribusiness, CliftonLarsonAllen, Yakima, Washington
Working Together to Benefit American Agriculture
Last year, USDA Farm Service Agency guaranteed over 10,000 loans that helped thousands of farms and thousands of lenders as well. Join us for an interactive session with three ag lenders and FSA representatives as we discuss real-life examples of how FSA's guaranteed loan program helps the borrowers and the banks. Gain valuable knowledge about the program and ways you can use it.
  • Tom Brandt, Wisconsin State Farm Loan Chief, FSA, Madison, Wisconsin
  • Greg LeCaptain, AVP, Agricultural and Commercial Loans, Farmers & Merchants Union Bank, Columbus, Wisconsin
  • Dennis Lyons, Executive Vice President, Farmers and Merchants Savings Bank, Waukon, Iowa 
  • Ron Markham, Market President, Wisconsin Bank & Trust, Monroe, Wisconsin
Wanted: Energetic Ag Department to Make New Loans and Grow Profits
In this session, you will analyze bank and producer data with a panel of expert ag bankers who will discuss their strategic rationale for modifying their bank’s ag lending blueprint. Learn strategies that will grow your ag real estate and operating loan portfolio while offering low rates and competitive terms immediately.
  • Patrick Kerrigan, Moderator, Director, Business Development, Farmer Mac, Washington, D.C.
  • Patrick D. Hogrefe, Executive Vice President and Market President, American Trust & Savings Bank, Dyersville, Iowa
  • Keith L. Knuppe, Vice President, First State Bank, Warner, South Dakota
  • Elizabeth Naville, Credit Services Manager, CBG AGRIfinancial Services, Louisville, Kentucky
Sourcing Quality Equipment Valuations and Assessing Portfolio Risk
Given the current market conditions in agriculture, lenders need an accurate value for current and future equipment in their portfolio. In this session, you’ll hear what drives equipment values, what sources of valuation data are available, the benefits of each source and how to forecast equipment values as a way to measure risk.
  • Cameron Hurnard, Director, Data Services, Iron Solutions, Inc., Franklin, Tennessee
New Ag Banker Track
Top Ten Things to Do (Or Not Do) to Survive Agricultural Problem Loans and Bankruptcy Cases
Many bankers are currently (or may soon be) dealing with problem agricultural loans. This session will provide an overview of issues bankers should be aware of when facing a problem loan. You’ll learn strategies that can maximize recovery in the shortest period of time and with the least cost and expense. This presentation will also highlight the unique loan structure issues and problems associated with dealing with a workout of agricultural loans or bankruptcy cases.
  • Steven C. Turner, Baird Holm LLP, Omaha, Nebraska
Updated as of 11/7/17. Please note that the program is subject to change.


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Program Questions? Please contact Cynthia Watkins for more information.