From the Eye of a Needle to the Eye of a Hurricane: Connecting the Threads of Animal Agriculture
The financial health of the production animal industry is precarious and along with it, the fortunes of those that extend credit to the sector. From the impact of African Swine Flu, to the influx of meat substitutes, to the devaluing Argentinean Peso, to the ramifications of Chinese tariffs, there will be long-standing repercussions for the Midwest economy. This is not the time for the faint of heart or the undercapitalized. Joe Kerns, President of Kerns and Associates, has thirty years’ experience working with producers, suppliers, and mills to support agricultural operations. Don’t miss his unique perspective as a consultant to production ag as he gives a peek under the covers and shows what’s really going on.  

What Happens Next?
We live in increasingly uncertain times; rapid economic changes, global unrest, and bi-partisan bickering have all led to an underlying sense of insecurity and tremendous worry for the future. But what if we’re wrong? What if we are merely extrapolating the present and ignoring the possibilities of the future? Futurist Mark Zinder will share how history repeats itself (and will continue to do so in the future) and why there are reasons to be optimistic about tomorrow. Now is the time to ask yourself, “What Happens Next”?

Lunch Keynote: Story Driven Leadership
As leaders, we quickly learn that telling people what to do is not the same as making them want to do it. Our ability to truly impact the productivity and morale of our team is found in our ability to go beyond manipulation to motivation. When it comes to having more impact and influence as a leader, the strongest tool we have is strategic storytelling. Learn from award-winning storyteller and author of “The Story Formula,” Kelly Swanson, as she walks you through the science behind story and its ability to do what information cannot. In this highly engaging keynote, you will experience the power of story and then learn how to tap into that power. Walk away with a formula that will allow you to create compelling stories of your own to work in any situation. Join us in that magical place where the art of story meets the business of persuasion!

A MN Economic Update

You May be Playing in the Minors, But Act Like a Major League Player
Watch any AA baseball game and you’ll quickly see the skill and commitment shown by the athletes playing on these minor league teams is just as impressive as those in the big leagues. In banking it should be no different, yet many community bankers regularly grieve over the challenges they face when trying to “compete” with major national providers. There is no reason why you can’t be the major player in your local market! Start by overcoming any limiting beliefs that you are simply a minor league player and leverage your unique strengths to act like you are the best player in your field. Presented by Joe Micallef, award winning banker and sales expert with almost 30 years of international banking and sales leadership experience.

Become the Best Place to Work: Strategies to Attract, Develop and Retain Talent
Banks are struggling to hire and retain quality talent. But do you know what today’s talented recruits are seeking in an employer and what will keep them from jumping ship? Or, once you identify these key factors, how to develop a dynamic culture at your bank that makes it appealing for people to want to work and achieve great success? Joe Micallef returns to show that regardless of how big or small your bank is … or how big or small your community is … you can cultivate a culture that makes your bank the best place to work and achieve your goals. Now that’s a place where anyone would want to work!

Ag Advocacy & Literacy through Social Media
Known to his 400,000+ followers on YouTube® as the “Millennial Farmer,” Zach Johnson is a fifth-generation farmer who’s spent his life growing, working, and learning on his family’s farm. A product of the millennial generation, his appreciation of new technology blends with his old-fashioned work ethic to help ensure that the farm will continue to grow and succeed long into the future. Discover how Zach is promoting agriculture by sharing his day-to-day experiences in the agriculture world, building connections between farmers and consumers, and how you might leverage a similar approach in your bank’s social media strategy.

Keeping Bankers and Branches Relevant in an Online World
Most industries have undergone profound transformations in customer preferences driven primarily by improved technology and banking is certainly no exception. Successful bank leaders realize, however, that they do not lead technology. They lead people. Branches and banker roles are evolving, but branches and bankers themselves remain the key differentiating factor of high-performing institutions. Dave Martin will discuss the preference shifts in our industry and give insight into ways of keeping bank teams engaged and motivated as they evolve and thrive in a transforming industry. Dave is founder of bankmechanics, a retail banking consultancy. He has spoken in front of and consulted with several hundred banks in 46 states and Canada over the past 25+ years. 

Closing Keynote: Connecting to Life Through F.U.N.!
Two grown men, cat wrestling singlets and a social experiment. Paul Long leveraged his concept of Fundamism to become the Kansas City Royals’ 2016 Fan of the Year while inspiring his employees, organization and an entire city! Paul’s philosophy of Fundamism is a deliberate approach to happiness in the workplace, can be applied by anyone and is certain to move your team in the direction you desire. Based on the core principle of F.U.N., this experience will allow your team to explore their Foundation, Understanding of Others and help identify Next Steps in maximizing their overall effectiveness at work and in life. Laugh, learn and actively engage with your team while Paul coaches you through principles that help improve employee engagement, maximize productivity, provide memorable customer experiences and create a more F.U.N. work environment! This experience will provoke thought while leaving audiences with a strong understanding of specific actions to help improve their personal work environment.
Jerrid Sebesta is an award winning TV meteorologist with a career spanning over 12 years. He has worked at KDLT-TV in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, KPNX-TV in Phoenix, Arizona, and most-recently at KARE11 in Minneapolis before changing careers in 2014. Jerrid is now a keynote speaker, podcast host and financial coach for Taatjes Financial Group in Willmar. He spends much of his time traveling around the region challenging audiences with their own life, purpose, and personal finances.