MN Agriculture: Kristie Swenson, Farmer and Banker
Day 20 of my “30 Days of MN Agriculture” is Kristie Swenson from Trimont, MN. Trimont is located in south central Minnesota. Kristie and her family farm, but in addition Kristie is also a banker. Kristie is involved in the community, where she contributes to the yearly Trimont city festival every year. In addition, she is a fellow volunteer member of CommonGround.
Social Media Sites:
Website: Farmers State Bank of Trimont
Tell me a little about your farm and/or business?
“My family raises corn and soybeans, but for this post, I’m going to be talking about my job as Assistant Vice President at Farmers State Bank of Trimont. We are primarily an ag bank and the majority of our customers are connected to agriculture.”
How long have you farmed or been in business?
“Farmers State Bank of Trimont has been operating for over 100 years. The bank began as Farmers State Bank of Monterey in 1912. In 1959, the name was changed to “Farmers State Bank of Trimont” to reflect the consolidation of the towns of Triumph and Monterey. In 1989, we acquired First National Bank of Dunnell and opened our first branch office: Farmers State Bank, Dunnell Facility.
I’ve been with Farmers State Bank of Trimont for 5 years. I started as a Loan Officer, and my responsibilities have grown to include HR, Compliance, Audit, Marketing, and other tasks as needed.”
Tell me a little about what you grown/raise/produce or service provided.
“Our core business has always been providing deposit and loan products to residents in our local area. Over the years, we have grown and added new types of products and services. Today, we offer checking and savings accounts, specialty savings accounts like HSAs and ESAs, business accounts, CDs, retirement accounts like IRAs, consumer loans, business loans, ag loans, and real estate loans. We also offer e-statements, mobile banking, consumer and business debit cards, internet banking, safe deposit boxes, and ATMs.”
Where do you sell or provide services to? Who is your end consumer?
“Our primary trade area is western Martin County and eastern Jackson County in Minnesota. Over the years, we have grown but continue to focus on this area. Many of our customers’ families have banked with us for generations. When a customer walks in or calls, we recognize them because we know our customers. I really enjoy being able to visit with customers and find out how we can meet their financial needs.”
What makes your farm/business unique or special? What are you proud of?
“Farmers State Bank of Trimont is a locally-owned community bank in a rural town. Many of our customers’ families have banked with us for generations. We see our customers at local events, like school plays, games, community festivals, church, benefits, etc. A real plus for our customers is the fact that we know them – we recognize them when they call or walk in the door; they aren’t just a number. We know their families, and we’re familiar with their spending habits, so we have the benefit of recognizing potentially fraudulent activity quickly. We genuinely care for the well-being of our customers.”
What do you love most about farming/business?
“Part of my job includes looking at farm data – farm financials, production measures, ratios, etc. – and I really like that analysis. I enjoy learning more about each customer’s farm, looking at the operation and how the data changes from year to year, and learning about their plans are for the future. I love the conversations and, as a younger farmer, it’s always interesting to hear the advice from established and successful farmers. I get to see different management styles and work with different personality types.”
Who are your customers? Or what would you like to tell your customers?
“We genuinely are looking out for our customers’ best interests. Yes, we’re looking at our bottom line; but we aren’t going to raise our fees just to make our bottom line look better. Our goal is to provide exceptional service and offer competitive products for a fair price. We respect and appreciate that our customers have chosen us for their banking needs.”
Read about others featured in my “30 Days of MN Ag. ”
There are others that are also participating in the 30 Days of Blogging Challenge. Feel free to check these out:
- Janice Person aka JP Loves Cotton: A Month of Memories
- Rural Route 2 – 30 Days of Farm Girl Faith
- Prairie Californian – 30 Days of Food
- Mackinson Dairy – Women in Dairy