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Merchants Bank banker appointed to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture’s Advisory Committee on beginning farmers and ranchers

Thu, Jan 2nd, 2014
Posted in All Business Announcements

Tim Gossman

ST. CHARLES, Minn. - Tim Gossman, Vice President and business and ag lender at Merchants Bank in St. Charles has been appointed to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture’s (USDA) Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers.

Gossman, who farms part-time near Chatfield, Minn., has 32 years of experience in agricultural lending, including providing training for the Land Stewardship Project’s Farm Beginning course, which helps new farmers throughout the Upper Midwest launch their agricultural enterprises. Gossman is currently Treasurer and past Chair of the Fillmore County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors.

“New farmers and ranchers are important not only to agriculture but for rural communities as well. I’m excited and honored to be appointed to the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers,” said Gossman. “My involvement in agricultural lending and in working with community groups on new farmer challenges are experiences I can bring to this committee.”

Gossman is new to the banking team at Merchants Bank, spending the past 27 years with Root River State Bank in Chatfield.

“We are fortunate to have Tim join us,” said Jim Allen, President of Merchants Bank in St. Charles. His experience and skill are certainly an asset for us, but his real value will be to customers he serves.”

Gossman said he’s excited about the opportunity to join Merchants.

“Merchants Bank’s long history of helping the community, including the agriculture community, is very appealing to me and important to customers looking for a relationship with a community bank,” Gossman said.

The Advisory Committee provides guidance to the USDA Secretary on expanding opportunities that will help beginning farmers and ranchers. Appointees include farmers, ranchers, educators, bankers, military veterans, agency personnel and representatives from farm organizations.

The USDA is responsible for offering various credit, conservation and training initiatives, such as the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, which are specifically focused on the next generation of farmers. Yet, as with many farm programs, the expired Farm Bill has left many of these programs inoperable or short of funding.

Three members of the Minnesota Congressional delegation –- Senator Amy Klobuchar, Rep. Tim Walz, and Rep. Collin Peterson –- are on the Farm Bill conference committee. That committee is currently working on finalizing a new five-year law.

Merchants Bank has $1.348 billion in assets and 20 locations, including St. Charles, Winona, Goodview, Rochester, Caledonia, La Crescent, Onalaska, Spring Grove, Cannon Falls, Red Wing, Rushford, Lanesboro and Hampton, as well as the southern Twin Cities metropolitan suburbs of Apple Valley, Cottage Grove, Hastings, Rosemount and Lakeville. Recently, Merchants Bank announced plans to acquire an Alliance Bank location in Eau Claire, Wis. The “flagship” Merchants Bank in Winona was founded in 1875. Merchants Bank is a member FDIC and equal housing lender. Merchants Capital, the company’s leasing arm, is based in the Twin Cities. The ownership of Merchants Financial Group is made up of its employees and approximately 400 shareholders, mostly individuals and families from southeastern Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin.

All loans are subject to credit approval.

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