Agricultural Backgrounds of Staff Help Solidify Customer Relationships

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Agricultural Backgrounds of Staff Help Solidify Customer Relationships

How can a bank understand what it takes to run a farm or ranch? Plains Commerce Bank is different. We come from local communities and many of our ag banking team were raised or worked on farms and ranches. They know what it’s like to work the land, what you need to succeed, and they know the local markets.

How many you might ask? Out of 102 employees, 44% grew up on a farm/ranch and 8% currently work on one. Not only are our bankers dedicated in their role with the bank, but also to growing and cultivating the land that has been in their families for decades.

Roger DeRouchey, Ag Banker in Mitchell, SD says that his background in agriculture has helped him to better understand the language of the farmers. It makes for smoother communication and an open, honest business relationship.  DeRouchey was an instructor at Mitchell Technical Institute for 35 years prior to joining Plains Commerce Bank. Teaching in the areas of agricultural management and technology, DeRouchey credits his years with the technical college to helping him better understand the management side of the farming.

Chad Hansen, Ag Banker in Watertown, SD attributes his success in his role as a banker to the fact that he works the land on the weekends. Hansen travels to nearby rural South Dakota to assist his aunt and uncle on their farming operation. From chasing cows to putting up fences to driving combine, he does it all. “I like being in the great outdoors.  I enjoy the peace and tranquility that the plains of South Dakota have to offer. It gives me great satisfaction to be able to help my family continue to farm the land that my grandparents once owned,” remarks Hansen.

Chuck Simon, Executive Vice President and Branch Manager of our Hoven, SD location recently celebrated 40 years with Plains Commerce Bank. As he thinks back to his first days on the job, it was the opportunity to work with farmers and ranchers that ultimately led him to apply. “I have always been interested in ranching and farming because I grew up on a farm and raised both cattle and horses,” recalls Simon. Simon also remembers back to the days when he was feeding cattle at midnight because he had meetings at the bank during the day. “Working with customers and being able to develop a good relationship is the best part about my job. We try to be real and make our customers feel comfortable,” remarks Simon.

Norman Kleppe, Ag Banker in Bismarck ND, believes that his success as a banker comes from his hands- on experience. Kleppe has lived the ups and downs of farming which has put him in a closer relationship with his customers. He understands what his customers go through and is able to have a unique perspective and look more closely at each customer’s situation from risk assessment to financial costs.

At Plains Commerce Bank, we know that farm and ranch families grow more than livestock and crops; they grow our local communities too. No community bank can be successful – for its customers, communities, and shareholders – without safely turning peoples’ deposits into valuable and productive credit for others.  From customized lending to local decision making, we’d love to talk to you about your ag business. Contact one of our ag bankers today!