Farmers State Bank celebrates 100 years with donations | Mason City and Northern Iowa

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The Farmers State Bank (FSB) opened in 1921, this year marking its 100th anniversary.

Due to the pandemic, the bank decided to refrain from a big party and instead made four donations of approximately $ 25,000 to nearby causes chosen by employees.






The keystone of the original Farmers State Bank.


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Causes included: Clear Lake Wellness Center, Mason City Pool / Field, Joice Community Center, and Northwood Viking Activity Center. Donations in all of these buildings will be used for expenses of their choice such as equipment, furniture and programs.

Throughout its 100 years of service, the bank has gone through many changes. The Grafton location opened as part of the current family operation in 1987. Since then, seven more locations have opened between Mason City, Grafton, Joice, Northwood, Clear Lake, Ventura and St. Ansgar.

The chairman of the board, Rich Halverson, identified another significant change in the bank throughout his tenure: technology. From manual loan processing to direct deposit to online banking, the bank has seen it all in its lifetime.






FSB certificate

Original certificate from Farmers State Bank for doing business in Iowa.


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Donation to Clear Lake Wellness Center

Farmers State Bank employees present a check to Adam Long, executive director of the Clear Lake Athletics & Wellness Center. From left to right, Ryan Koboshek, Clear Lake FSB lender; Deb Nash, Ventura and Clear Lake FSB lender; and Adam Long, Executive Director, Clear Lake Athletics & Wellness Center.


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According to Rich, one of the bank’s most important accomplishments was surviving the Great Depression. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, approximately 9,000 banks closed between 1930 and 1933.

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He identified another major achievement as the diverse network they have built in northern Iowa and the loyal customers they have acquired.






Gift of the Mason City High School Fieldhouse

Mason City High School Principal Dan Long, left, takes a donation check from Farmers State Bank CEO Nate Halverson, center, while Phil Johnson, right, co-chair of the fundraising campaign The Future is Now for the field, look.


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Northwood Viking Activity Center

In the photo, from left to right, the director of the Northwood Community School District; Chad Nelson, president of the Farmers State Bank; and Amber Julseth, Trustee of the Town of Northwood, all with the FSB donation to the new activity center under construction.


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“The two main ingredients of a bank are its customers and its staff,” Rich said. “I think we are lucky; we have both… If you build a reputation for taking care of people, your business grows.

“I think we’ve always said that our customers are not a number, but a name,” said CEO Nate Halverson. “If you walk in, you will basically be called by your name. “

Having maintained 100 years of service in an ever changing industry, FSB looks forward to growing with the changes.






St. Ansgar Clausen Park

In the photo, from left to right: Kala Koster, FSB customer service; Bill Carlson, Clausen Park Board Member; and Willie Weis, FSB loan officer with the FSB donation for the park.


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“We’ve seen some major mergers and consolidations in the banking industry since I’ve been with him, but over the past 10 to 12 years it’s really increased,” Rich said. “My theory is that we have to grow and develop to survive and be a full-fledged bank if we are to be a community bank in 10 to 15 years.”


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