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May is Mental Health Awareness Month

COVID-19 and your mental health

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Recognizing what's typical and what's not

Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the demands of life. Everyone reacts differently to difficult situations, and it's normal to feel stress and worry during a crisis. But multiple challenges daily, such as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, can push you beyond your ability to cope.

Many people may have mental health concerns, such as symptoms of anxiety and depression during this time. And feelings may change over time.

Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling helpless, sad, angry, irritable, hopeless, anxious or afraid. You may have trouble concentrating on typical tasks, changes in appetite, body aches and pains, or difficulty sleeping or you may struggle to face routine chores.

When these signs and symptoms last for several days in a row, make you miserable and cause problems in your daily life so that you find it hard to carry out normal responsibilities, it's time to ask for help.

For more information click here.

Check out this extensive resource: or contact National Alliance on Mental Illness "NAMI" HelpLine: call (800) 950-NAMI Monday - Friday between 10:00 a.m. & 6:00 p.m. email [email protected]

If it is urgent that you talk to someone call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or use its webchat at


May 2020

Updated Lobby Information

In light of Governor Reynolds' decision to begin to open certain businesses beginning May 1st, we at Farmers State Bank have decided to continue to keep our lobbies closed until we receive further guidance on or around May 15th from the governor.  As always, the safety, health & well being of our customers, as well as our staff, is our main concern during this pandemic.  We apologize for the inconvenience.  

Please continue to use our online, mobile & telephone banking for all your banking needs.


May Day $125 Grocery Giveaway

On Friday, May 1st, 2020, Farmers State Bank will be drawing for 3 winners of $125 gift certificates to either Hy-Vee, Fareway or Kampen Foods grocery stores.

From Monday, April 27 - Thursday, April 30, 2020, you can enter your name into the FSB drawing via the FSB Facebook page.

To enter, you need to do 2 things, like the FSB Facebook page and comment or direct message the phrase: "Happy May Day!"

Good luck!!

1. Everyone may participate & has an equal chance.
2. No purchase, payment, donation or account is required to enter or win the contest.
3. Winners do not have to be present to win.
4. The odds of winning are dependent on number of entries.
5. 3 winners will be drawn from all entries received.
6. Drawing will be held Friday, May 1, 2020.
7. Winners will be announced via Facebook.
8. Winners can choose from the following grocery stores: Hy-Vee, Fareway or Kampen Foods.
9. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook.

May Day $125 Grocery Giveaway

Congratulations Nicole Buscher, Joyce Rosenmeyer & Michele Riesenberg!!


Earth Day 4/21/2020

CNN: Earth Day photos: The world's beauty is at risk

By Judson Jones and Allison Collins, CNN

Updated 9:38 AM ET, Wed April 22, 2020

Earth Day:  The Official Site

Visit the official Earth Day site to learn about the world's largest environmental movement and what you can do to make every day Earth Day.

Newsweek: Earth Day 2020:  Ways the Planet and Environment have changed due to COVID-19



April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Parents have a right to be stressed. But don't take it out on your kids

CNN Health 

By Melissa Merrick PhD and Robert Sege MD, PhD

Updated 9:02 AM ET, Tue April 7, 2020


Limited Lobby Access

In an abundance of caution, there will be limited public access to Farmers State Bank's lobbies starting Thursday, March 19, 2020.  These measures are part of an ongoing effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Drive-ups will remain open in Algona and West Bend.  The Whittemore branch will have limited public access. Our ATM and Night Depository will remain available as always.  We encourage our customers to bank remotely 24/7 via online banking, and with the FSBIOWA mobile app. If you need to schedule an appointment with a New Account Representative or Loan Officer please call to make an appointment:

  • Algona (515) 295-7221
  • Whittemore (515) 884-2293
  • West Bend (515) 887-2221

We will be monitoring the situation day-by-day, and will give advance notice when we resume normal business hours. Our first concern is the health and safety of our customers, and staff, in these trying times.  Please stay safe.  

Member FDIC / Equal Housing Lender                                                                                                          

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus is currently a big concern in American society. It is officially a pandemic.  At Farmers State Bank, we have a pandemic plan ready to guide us through this event. Currently, we are operating as usual, as long as we are not endangering the health of our customers or staff.

We are monitoring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “CDC,” & the Iowa Department of Public Health, “IDPH,” for current health information.  We are educating our staff on risks, symptoms and prevention methods.  We are regularly cleaning and sanitizing throughout the bank.  We are encouraging ill employees to stay home until they are symptom free, and are planning for increased employee absences.

While the coronavirus is not in our community, there are still safety measures you can take to minimize the possibility for an outbreak.

  • Clean your hands often.  Wash hands for 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Also, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.  Put distance between yourself and other people.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Wear a facemask if you are sick.  
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

It is important to educate yourself, and take proper precautions.  If you are limiting the amount you go out in public, we have financial tools that will be convenient for you.

  • Online Banking & our mobile app, FSBIOWA
    • Checking your account balances
    • Looking through your transaction history
    • Bill Pay
    • Transferring funds across accounts
    • Easily making a loan payment
  • Mobile Deposit
  • Telebanking – (800) 591-5343
  • EStatements
  • ATMs
  • Night drop
  • Email or telephone

Beware of scams.  Look out for suspicious email and text messages, medical supply scams, and fraudulent donation sites that may impersonate a company, charity, or government agency. The intent is to convince you to share sensitive information such as usernames and passwords, make purchases or donations on spoof websites, or download malware onto your device by opening a malicious attachment. If you receive a suspicious text message, don’t respond, don’t click on or open links and attachments.

The following websites have up-to-date information on the coronavirus (COVID-19).

We will be having updates on our website,, and on Facebook & Twitter. Please reach out if you have concerns.  Your financial needs are our priority. 

FSB Trivia Tuesdays 2020

Trivia Questions and Answers

Question #1:  What was the original name of Farmers State Bank?

Answer #1:  German-American Bank


Question #2:  What year did the West Bend location open?

Answer #2:  2006


Question #3:  Who was President before Jack Geelan?

Answer #3: Vic Perkins


Questions #4:  What year did Sean Noonan become the President of FSB?

Answer #4:  2004


Question #5: When FSB first moved to Algona, what building to it move into?

Answer #5: Home Federal


Question #6: How many employees does FSB have?

Answer #6: 21


Question #7:  What is the FSB slogan on our logo?

Answer #7:  A Strong History, A Bright Future


Question #8: What year did FSB introduce Internet banking?

Answer #8:  2005


Question #9:  What is Fiserv?

Answer #9:  The company that provides financial technology to FSB.


Question #10:  What happened to the original FSB building during the Whittemore fire of 1898?

Answer #10 It was the only building left standing on the South side of the street.


Question #11: What is the highest interest rate paid out on a CD at FSB?

Answer #11: 18%


Trivia Rules and Instructions

On March 3, 2020, Farmers State Bank will begin Trivia Tuesdays to celebrate our 125th Anniversary. 


There will be 25 questions for 25 weeks:  Beginning March 3, 2020 and ending August 25, 2020.

  1. Everyone may participate & has an equal chance.

  2. No purchase, payment, donation or account is required to enter or win the contest.

  3. Winners do not have to be present to win.

  4. The odds of winning are dependent on number of entries.

  5. Current and former staff members are not allowed to participate.

  6. One answer, per person, each week.

  7. One prize, per person, throughout the entirety of the game, except for the final prize.


  1. A new question will be posted on Facebook, on and displayed in the lobby of all 3 Farmers State Banks every Tuesday till Friday.

  2. Answers can be (1) direct messaged to FSB on Facebook, (2) emailed to [email protected] or (3) written & placed in one of our lobby drawing boxes. 

  3. Answers will be accepted until Friday of that same week.

  4. The correct answers will be collected, and put in a drawing for a prize on Friday of each week.

  5. Winners will be notified on Fridays.

  6. The prize is a 20 oz Tumbler filled with surprise FSB treats.

  7. The weekly winners will be added to a final drawing on August 28th, for $125.



Whittemore's New Hours

Starting March 2, 2020

8:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

12:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Please feel free to call us at 515-884-2293 to set up an appointment. 



FSB 125th Anniversary

Farmers State Bank is celebrating 125 years as a local, community bank.  



Logo design by:

Mary Schaaf,


Your Farm Your Future

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Water's Edge Nature Center, 1010 250th St., Algona, IA

Gain tools to plan for your farm's future.

For more information, or to register for this event, contact - 

Kossuth County Extension and Outreach

1121 HWY 18 E., Algona, IA

(515) 295-2469


Superbowl + Care Team

As part of the FSB celebration of the Superbowl, we donated baby formula to the Care Team & wore football jerseys to work.

There was a bit of a baby boom at the end of 2019, and formula is really needed by the Care Team. They would appreciate your donation and you would have the good feeling of helping babies


Data Privacy Day


Managing Your Privacy


In today’s world, everyone is digitally connected and must think about safety and security both online and offline. These privacy tips can help you, your family and friends be privacy-savvy and stay safer online.



The first step is to staying safe online is STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™: take safety measures, think about the consequences of your actions and connect knowing you have taken steps to safeguard yourself when online.


KEEP SECURITY SOFTWARE CURRENT: Having the latest security software, web browser and operating system is the best defense against viruses, malware and other online threats. 

AUTOMATE SOFTWARE UPDATES: Many software programs will automatically connect and update to defend against known risks. Turn on automatic updates if that’s an available option. 

PROTECT ALL DEVICES THAT CONNECT TO THE INTERNET: Along with computers, smartphones, gaming systems and other web-enabled devices also need protection from viruses and malware.

PLUG & SCAN: USB and other external devices can be infected by viruses and malware. Use your security software to scan them.


LOCK DOWN YOUR LOGIN: Fortify your online accounts by enabling the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics, security keys or a unique onetime code through an app on your mobile device. Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking and social media.

MAKE YOUR PASSWORD A SENTENCE: A strong password is a sentence that is at least 12 characters long. Focus on positive sentences or phrases that you like to think about and are easy to remember (for example, “I love country music.”). On many sites, you can even use spaces!

UNIQUE ACCOUNT, UNIQUE PASSWORD: Separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals.

WRITE IT DOWN AND KEEP IT SAFE: Having separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals. At a minimum, separate your work and personal accounts and make sure that your critical accounts have the strongest passwords.


WHEN IN DOUBT THROW IT OUT: Links in emails, social media posts and online adverting are often how cybercriminals try to steal your personal information. Even if you know the source, if something looks suspicious, delete it.

GET SAVVY ABOUT WIFI HOTSPOTS: Limit the type of business you conduct and adjust the security settings on your device to limit who can access your machine.

PROTECT YOUR $$: When banking and shopping, check to be sure the site is security enabled. Look for web addresses with “htps://” or “shtp://,” which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information. “Htp://” is not secure.

STAY CURRENT: Keep pace with new ways to stay safe online: Check trusted websites for the latest information, and share with friends, family, and colleagues and encourage them to be web wise. 

THINK BEFORE YOU ACT: Be wary of communications that implore you to act immediately, offer something that sounds too good to be true or ask for personal information. 

BACK IT UP: Protect your valuable work, music, photos and other digital information by making an electronic copy and storing it safely.


SAFER FOR ME, MORE SECURE FOR ALL: What you do online has the potential to affect everyone – at home, at work and around the world. Practicing good online habits benefits the global digital community.  

POST ONLINE ABOUT OTHERS AS YOU HAVE THEM POST ABOUT YOU: The Golden Rule applies online as well.  

HELP THE AUTHORITIES FIGHT CYBERCRIME: Report stolen finances or identities and other cybercrime to the Internet Crime Complaint Center ( and to your local law enforcement or state attorney general as appropriate.


PERSONAL INFORMATION IS LIKE MONEY. VALUE IT. PROTECT IT: Information about you, such as your purchase history or location, has value – just like money. Be thoughtful about who gets that information and how it’s collected through apps and websites. 

BE AWARE OF WHAT’S BEING SHARED: Set the privacy and security settings on web services and devices to your comfort level for information sharing. It’s OK to limit how and with whom you share information. •

SHARE WITH CARE: Think before posting about yourself and others online. Consider what a post reveals, who might see it and how it could be perceived now and in the future.


Holiday Bowl Ads Give Banks Opportunity to Educate Public

from Iowa Bankers Association, "IBA"

Iowa bankers who enjoyed watching the Iowa Hawkeyes defeat the USC Trojans in the Holiday Bowl on December 27, were at the same time subjected to petty advertisements on the part of the bowl sponsor, the San Diego County Credit Union. The Hawkeyes demonstrated that, given a level playing field, the most skilled and hardworking team will prevail. It’s unfortunate policymakers haven’t created the same level playing field for financial services.  

“Like other large credit unions, SDCCU has leveraged a well-intended nonprofit charter into a financial conglomerate with $8 billion in assets, $100 million in tax-free profits and multimillion-dollar executive salaries. And, rather than returning dividends to their members, these mega credit unions use their tax-free money to spend millions on sponsorships, like that of the Holiday Bowl, and they run advertisements denigrating their taxpaying competitors,” said IBA Board Chair Brad Lane. “Despite SDCCU’s attempt to show bankers gobbling up dollars, the facts paint a very different picture. Studies, including one by Moebs Services, have consistently shown credit unions have higher customer fees than banks. And, thanks to market forces, banks are more efficient than credit unions. This means a greater share of every bank dollar is returned to the community through loans and investments, while credit unions devote more to operating expenses.”

In related news, the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimated the credit union tax exemption will cost American taxpayers $10.3 billion between 2019 and 2023. 

Learn more about credit unions at:



How To Set Goals For 2020: And Actually Achieve Them

Forbes Magazine, Jan. 1, 2020

John F. Wasik, Contributor - I am an author, speaker and journalist specializing in investor and consumer protection.

You’ve probably heard this trope: Of those who set goals in January for the coming year, by Feb. 15, most have forgotten all about them.

Since I’m a list and schedule person, I like to write things down. That way I can refer to it anytime. It works most of the time.

In the new year, by all means put down some reasonable goals on paper. Keep the list where you can see it. Put it on your fridge or desk.

The first thing you should do is make a distinction between realistic goals and changing habits. If you’re addicted to something — like tobacco or booze — you can surely change, but it will take a sustained effort. Don’t expect to do it alone. Get some help. And keep in mind you can also be addicted to social media, cat videos and video games.

Other habits are much easier to tackle. Here are some suggestions:

  • You could get in the habit of saving 15% of your income. You sign a form with your employer to withdraw and invest that money from your paycheck, or set up an individual retirement account (IRA) that will automatically debit that amount from your checking account.
  • Setting specific goals with numbers attached is more meaningful than vague commitments. Let’s say you want to save more in your 401(k)-type account. You can sock away up to $19,500 annually in 2020. Add another $6,500 if you’re over 50. It helps sometimes to focus on a reasonable dollar amount instead of a percentage.
  • Start or fund an emergency account. If you don’t have one, open up a money-market account and start saving. My suggestion: At least 10% of your annual income. A better way of gauging how much to put into this rainy-day fund is to add up your insurance deductibles. How much would you pay out of pocket for auto, health and homeowner’s insurance claims? Are appliances or home maintenance items on your list?
  • Write down healthy habits you want to acquire. Diets are hard, but eating right is not. Are you cutting down on sugar and junk food? Are you eating more fruit and vegetables? Here are some healthy habits to add to your goals list. Don’t forget to get up and move. Sitting is the new smoking.
  • Get out of your comfort zone to find peace. I’m surprised that the things that are most meaningful don’t cost anything. Visit an older relative. Put your phone in a drawer. Take a long walk. Indulge in a hobby. Join a club. Read a book. Watch a movie — in a theater. See a high school play.

The goals list is endless, but the bottom line is to find a better way to connect yourself to others and your community. It will make your year fresher, brighter and healthier.


Community Banks Are Standing Up for Rural America


ICBA Independent Community Bankers Association

Jul 19 · 4 min read

By Rebecca 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, insuring 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.


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.

Privacy is good for business.

Tips for parents and grandparents.


Identity Theft

Is someone using your personal information to open accounts, file taxes, or make purchases? Visit, 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.


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.