Spring is here again! Like last year at this time, I still haven’t played any golf. And also like last year at this time, I’m trying to figure out how two little dogs - a Schnauzer and a Schnorkie (yes….Schnorkie!) - can raise such havoc with my yard. I guess time and a little TLC can fix the latter. I’m not sure how to fix the former, but Stacey advises me that my “avoidance strategy” probably isn’t a good long term solution. She’s smart like that! By the way, Schnorkies are now referred to as “designer breeds” by the kennel club folks. They were called mutts when I was growing up. You can tell we live in times of extreme political correctness.
Speaking of politics, in early May, fourteen ICBND member bankers converged on Washington DC along with community bankers from across the nation for the 2017 ICBA Capital Summit. This annual trek is to directly lobby our Congressional delegation addressing the major issues affecting community banking in our state. Our message focused on regulatory relief, flood insurance reauthorization, tax reform, leveling the playing field with tax advantaged credit unions and Farm Credit, and passage of a new Farm Bill that supports commodity prices, enhances USDA guaranteed-loan programs and preserves crop insurance funding.
As you know, our message doesn’t change that much from year to year, but I did sense more optimism this year that meaningful regulatory relief could be on the table. I think it helps that community bankers have truly differentiated themselves in the eyes of policymakers. Evidence of that is President Trump’s invitation to 100 ICBA member bankers to a meeting on the White House lawn that also included Vice President Pence and other top administration officials. One of our own participated in that event, and short of identifying him I will tell you that his name rhymes with Peter Stenehjem! A special thanks goes out to all who participated in this years event.
Finally, I want to remind you that registration information for the convention has been distributed. This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the ICBND Convention and we’re adding some special touches this year to make it particularly memorable. So, please join us in Bismarck on August 13-15. I promise that you won’t be disappointed!