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Columbus Day

Early in the morning of October 12, 1492, a sailor on board the Pinta sighted land, beginning a new era of European exploration and expansion. The next day, the ninety crew members of Columbus’ three-ship fleet ventured onto the Bahamian island that he named San Salvador (now Watling Island, and then called Guanahaní by the natives), ending a voyage begun nearly ten weeks earlier in Palos, Spain.

The 400th anniversary of the event inspired the first official Columbus Day holiday in the United States. President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation in 1892, “recommending to the people the observance in all their localities of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America…” and describing Columbus as “the pioneer of progress and enlightenment.” Since then, school programs, plays, and community festivities have been organized across the country in celebration of Columbus Day. 

In the decades that followed, the Knights of Columbus, an international Roman Catholic fraternal benefit society, lobbied state legislatures to declare October 12 a legal holiday. 

Since 1971, when Columbus Day was designated the second Monday in October, it has been celebrated as a federal holiday. In many locations across the country Americans hold parades to commemorate the day.

Library of Congress:  https://www.loc.gov/item/today-in-history/october-12/

 

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2019

Held every October, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) is a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and to ensure that all Americans have the resources they need to be safer and more secure online.

NCSAM 2019 will emphasize personal accountability and stress the importance of taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity at home and in the workplace. This year’s overarching message – Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT. – will focus on key areas including citizen privacy, consumer devices, and e-commerce security.

OWN IT.

  • Only use sites that begin with https:// when shopping or banking online.
  • Understand the personal information you knowingly (or unknowingly) put on social media.
  • Don’t respond or click on links from people or organizations you don’t recognize.
  • Never share your personal information if you’re unsure who’s asking.

SECURE IT. 

  • Apply multi-factor authentication to your accounts ASAP.
  • Always lock your personal or work laptop or mobile device when unattended in a public place.
  • Use the longest password possible and be creative.
  • Check your app permissions frequently.

PROTECT IT.

  • Look for the “green lock” icon when online, it signifies a secure connection.
  • Use your personal hotspot in public places, they’re more secure than free WIFI.
  • Make sure you’re using the latest security software, web browser, and operating system.
  • Secure your WIFI network and digital devices by changing the factory set password and username.

NICCS/NCSAM:  https://niccs.us-cert.gov/national-cybersecurity-awareness-month-2019

Toolkit:  https://niccs.us-cert.gov/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/dhs_ncsam2019_toolkit_508c.pdf?trackDocs=dhs_ncsam2019_toolkit_508c.pdf

 

 

Suicide Prevention Month

FSB is taking a moment to recognize Suicide Prevention Month.  We will be contributing a donation to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Out of the Darkness Community Walk in Mason City, IA.  We will be remembering Blake Muller & Jay Thompson.

"The core of the Out of the Darkness Walks, the Community Walks, created a movement. Held in hundreds of cities across the country, they give people the courage to open up about their own struggle or loss, and the platform to change our culture’s approach to mental health."

For more information:

https://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.event&eventID=6337

 

 

The first day of fall is here.

Here are 5 things you probably didn't know.

By Cassandra Santiago and Amanda Barnett, CNN

Updated 8:33 AM ET, Mon September 23, 2019

(CNN)Yes, the season for chunky scarves, pumpkin-spiced everything and fantasy football is upon us. Fall, autumn, harvest season -- whatever you call it -- starts today, in the Northern Hemisphere. Here are some interesting things to know about the season:

1. Fall isn't caused by the Earth's distance from the sun

That's right. The Earth's distance from the sun at any given point doesn't determine whether you'll be sweating out your white tee or shivering in your snow boots. Fall, like all of the seasons, is caused by the Earth's tilt in relation to the sun. It gets warmer in each hemisphere when that hemisphere tilts toward the sun and colder when it leans away.

2. 'Fall leaf' colors actually exist all year long

    Now, don't get too excited. While leaves have the potential to be yellow and orange (and sometimes purple or red) all year long, seeing the colors during other seasons is not likely. In spring and summer, the pigment chlorophyll gives leaves their green color.

    At the end of summer, the decreased daylight and cooler temperatures cause chlorophyll to break down and that exposes other pigments that cause the brilliant yellow, orange, red leaves of fall.

    3. Oh, fall leaf tourism brings in BIG MONEY

    It's called "leaf peeping." When the chlorophyll fades and those captivating colors finally glow through, people travel from near and far to take a closer look (and lots of pictures). States in New England, a popular destination for leaf peepers, rake in billions in tourism dollars each fall.

    4. Fall is only 'fall' to Americans, even though the term was coined in Britain

    What do you call the picking of ripe sweet potatoes, squash and pumpkins? Harvest. That was the word used until the 1300s to describe the next few months of weather. Because "harvest" also meant the gathering of ripe crops, when the word "autumn" showed up in English writing its popularity soared.

    Some time after, poets coined the phrase "the fall of leaves" -- shortened to "fall" in the 1600s. The word "autumn" still remained popular throughout England's period of colonizing the world. The lack of consistent communication between the English and the people in the American colonies led to differences in the language. By the mid-1800s, the word "fall" had firmly rooted itself in America.

    5. The flavor pumpkin spice doesn't actually taste quite like pumpkins

      We're here -- the time of year when your favorite snacks hit store shelves (and Starbucks) in pumpkin-spice flavors. We're talking lattes, cereal, ice cream, butter and even doughnuts.

      But what exactly goes into the beloved flavor of fall? Truth is, it's almost never the orange-fleshed vegetable -- pumpkin. Instead, the flavor comes from a mix of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, dry ginger and cloves, except when food companies take over. Most times, they create a synthetic version using chemicals found naturally in pumpkins and some of the previously listed spices. Those chemicals trick your brain into thinking that whatever concoction you're consuming is pumpkin.https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/21/us/first-day-of-fall-trnd/index.html

       

       

      National Tradesmen Day

      Third Friday in September

      National Tradesmen Day honors the men and women whose skills and hard work build America. Their skills keep it running strong. The day is dedicated to the professionals who maintain the complex infrastructure of our roads, cities, water systems, and power grids.

      While these professionals work day in and out maintaining skills unique to their trade, our nation continues to operate smoothly without pause. The skills and knowledge of those in the trades keep businesses, homes and entire nations running. Whether walls go up or come down, roads cross rivers or the water flows, electricians, plumbers, masons, mechanics, carpenters and everyone in between ensure the job gets done.

      Additionally, they pass on their skills to the next generation. Even though the industry changes, the need for it does not. In fact, as the country grows and qualified workers retire, the demand for skilled workers grows. Skilled trades is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the job market today. So, not only does their know-how keep the country going, but their salaries do, too. They’re a major influence on the economy. 

      Their skills and jobs are so valuable, in fact, that training is available in nearly every sector of the skilled trade job market.  With their hands, their skills, their tools, and their training, they keep America running smoothly. 

      https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-tradesmen-day-third-friday-in-september/

       

      Community Banks Are Standing Up for Rural America

      ICBA

      ICBA Independent Community Bankers Association

      Jul 19 · 4 min read

      By Rebeca Romero Rainey

      Wall Street financial institutions are once again showing that when the going gets tough, they head for the exits. After ramping up lending when times were good, as just reported by Reuters, the nation’s largest banks have shrunk their agricultural lending portfolios amid the current conditions in the farm economy. This exodus of capital not only harms farmers and agricultural enterprises, but also the local businesses, hospitals, schools and rural municipalities that support the agricultural economy.

      Fortunately for rural America and the citizens who call it home, the nation’s community banks are bolstering their farm lending at this crucial time — demonstrating once again why policymakers should work to strengthen community banks, which stick with their customers and communities in good times and bad.

      According to Reuters, the nation’s 30 largest banks have reduced their farm loans by 17.5 percent since December 2015 as the U.S. farm economy has experienced an economic downturn fueled by low commodity prices, trade wars and flooded fields. While Reuters reports that these large banks have culled their agricultural holdings by $3.9 billion, however, overall bank lending to the farm sector has grown by more than $10 billion over the same period as community banks have stepped in to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers across the country.

      It’s not the first time community banks have risen to the challenge presented by their megabank competitors. Local communities hit hardest by the Wall Street financial crisis are now being left behind as the megabanks that fueled the calamity withdraw for wealthier areas. While JPMorgan Chase last year announced a major branching and lending boom, it has in recent months notified regulators of more branch closures than openings, according to Bloomberg. Of JPMorgan’s 185 new branch openings, 71 percent are in more affluent communities, including 70 in the Washington, D.C., metro area.

      Meanwhile, community banks are expanding in the areas most in need of the banking services they need to thrive. Low- and moderate-income census tracts make up a significant percentage of megabank branch closures. Community banks, on the other hand, focus a relatively large share of their resources in low- and moderate-income tracts, and their lending in these areas is more consistent with local demographics than megabank loans.

      Overall, noncommunity banks shrunk their footprint by 384 offices between June 2017 and June 2018, while community banks added more than 700 bank offices over the same time period, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Further, community bank loan growth has exceeded growth at noncommunity banks for six consecutive years, with deposit growth more than tripling that of their larger competitors in rural areas, reflecting their continued commitment to farm communities.

      These efforts build on the disparate responses to the Wall Street financial crisis, when community banks increased lending to consumers and small businesses while megabanks closed off access to credit. Accounting for more than 60 percent of small-business loans under $1 million and 80 percent of agricultural loans from the banking sector, community banks have used their more than 50,000 locations as an economic lifeline in the areas most in need of financial services.

      Through it all, community banks operate within the strenuous regulatory requirements often provoked by the misbehavior of the megabanks and the economic fallout they have all too frequently caused. To help community banks spread the benefits of the longest economic recovery in U.S. history to regions that have not yet experienced strong growth, Washington should institute a regulatory environment that better distinguishes Main Street institutions from those on Wall Street.

      This includes maximizing the benefits of last year’s S. 2155 regulatory relief law by simplifying capital standards for community banks as authorized by Congress and instituting a truly short-form call report for the first and third quarters of the year. It means finishing the job of modernizing anti-money-laundering laws to improve uniformity and efficiency, ensuring community banks have continued access to the secondary mortgage market, and mitigating the negative impact of new regulatory mandates. It means forging a competitive landscape free from distortions caused by too-big-to-fail financial firms and the undue competitive advantages afforded by taxpayer-funded subsidies for credit unions and Farm Credit System lenders. It means advancing data breach legislation that requires all participants in the payments system to meet data security standards like those that have long applied to banks.

      In short, it is time for Washington to enact policies that will support the financial institutions that help every American in every community — whether urban, suburban, or rural — join in the nation’s economic prosperity. As the only physical banking presence in one in five U.S. counties, community banks are used to meeting the needs of areas left behind by other financial services providers. By supporting these locally based institutions, we can bring opportunity and prosperity to every corner of our country, one community at a time.

       

      Rebeca Romero Rainey is president and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America.

      https://medium.com/@ICBA/community-banks-are-standing-up-for-rural-america-b56d36fdac07

       

      Mobile Banking

      Try our convenient mobile app, FSBIOWA, to fulfill your banking needs.  The app can be found at the Apple App Store or at Google Play.  You will be able to:

      • Check your balances

      • Make transfers

      • Deposit checks

      • Pay your bills

      • Pay a person

      • Make a loan payment

      Try it today! It is just another way Farmers State Bank is there for you.

       

      Mobile Deposit Update

      When you use mobile deposit on the Farmers State Bank app, please write the following phrase on the back of you check, along with your signature:

      For Mobile Deposit at Farmers State Bank

       

      Stay Safe Online

      Go to this website to learn more.

      https://staysafeonline.org/data-privacy-day/about/

      Privacy is good for business.

      https://staysafeonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Privacy-Is-Good-For-Business.pdf

      Tips for parents and grandparents.

      https://staysafeonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/STOP.-THINK.-CONNECT.-Tips-for-Parents-on-Raising-Privacy-Savvy-Kids.pdf

       

      Identity Theft

      Is someone using your personal information to open accounts, file taxes, or make purchases? Visit IdentityTheft.gov, the federal government’s one-stop resource to help you report and recover from identity theft.

      Did you get a notice that says a company lost your personal information in a data breach? Did you lose your wallet? Or learn that an online account was hacked? Here are steps you can taketo help protect yourself from identity theft.

      What can you do to keep your personal info secure? Are identity protection services worth the cost? What about credit freezes? Check out the FTC’s identity theft articles to find out.

       

      America Saves Week Resources:

      Saves with a Plan

      https://online.fliphtml5.com/nasy/urcf/#p=1


      America Saves Week

      https://americasaves.org/organizations/america-saves-week

       

      Saver Checklist

      https://americasaves.org/for-savers/savings-tools-and-resources/saver-checklist-tool

       

      Debit Card Fraud Protection

      SHAZAM Fraud Text Alerts

      Dear valued cardholder,

      Keeping your account safe and secure is our highest priority. We partner with SHAZAM, our debit card processor, to implement a fraud management solution powered by FICO® Falcon® to help protect your debit card against fraudulent activity.

      We provide Text Fraud Alerts as part of our debit card protection program. You’ll receive text alerts when suspicious activity is detected on your Farmers State Bank debit card. If you receive a “fraud alert,” reply Yes or No to confirm or deny the activity. If you reply No (the activity is fraudulent), you’ll quickly receive a follow up text to let you know that a SHAZAM fraud specialist will call you soon to help protect your account. We’ll also automatically block your debit card to prevent any additional fraudulent activity.

      If you reply Yes (the activity was legitimate), you can continue to use your debit card as normal. If you don’t reply to the text, or your phone number is not a mobile number, we’ll attempt to reach you via automated voice call.

      Text message alerts from: 72718

      Automated phone calls from: 855-219-5399

      Make sure to save these numbers to your contacts so you don’t miss any alerts. This added protection to your debit card is automatic and text message alerts are free. To ensure we can reach you promptly if fraudulent activity is suspected, we’ll need to have your current contact information on file including phone number(s) and address. Please contact us if you have any changes in this information. We’ll keep your information completely confidential.

      If you have any questions, or ever see a suspicious transaction on your debit card, please call (515) 887-2221. Always use caution when providing your debit card information and contact us immediately if you suspect your debit card has been stolen or compromised.

      Thank you!

       

      Check out America's Banks website

      American Banking Association

      ABA’s  America's Bank website demonstrates the tremendous impact banks have across the country on their customers, communities and the overall economy.