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National Pork Month: Iowa’s Third “Cash Crop”

Posted on October 15th, 2014 in Agriculture finances by NSBblogger |

Hog farms in northeast Iowa and across the state pump billions of dollars into Iowa's economy

When most non-Iowans drive through our state most of what they see are corn and soybean fields stretching out across the “Land of Opportunity.” Yes, our state is proud to be the number one corn and soybean producing state. However, beyond the cornstalks and soybean fields lies another reason to be proud of our state’s agricultural roots: pork. As part of National Pork Month, we’re taking a look at how hog farming impacts the economy of Iowa and how Northeast Security Bank helps area hog farms.

 

The Great Pork State

Iowa is the number one pork-producing state in the U.S., as well as the top state for pork exports. Here are some numbers to put it in perspective:

  • At the end of 2012, Iowa had over 6,200 hog operations
  • Nearly one-third of all the hogs in America are raised in Iowa
  • Iowa is home to about 20 million pigs at any time throughout the year

 

Raising hogs is a huge part of Iowa’s economy and is a large source of employment, too. Hog farming represents $7.5 BILLION in total economic activity for Iowa annually, and over 40,000 Iowans are employed in hog farming.  But hog farmers and farmers raising corn and soybean aren’t at odds with each other; they depend on each other.

 

A Mutually Beneficial Relationship

With all the corn and soybeans that are grown in Iowa every year, you can imagine the massive need for fertilizer. That’s where those millions of hogs throughout the state can help:

  • About 10 finishing pigs, from weaning to market, provide the nutrient needs of an acre of cropland on a semi-annual basis.
  • Nutrients from one 2,400-head hog barn benefits 240 acres of land (also known as a half-section).
  • In order to grow to a healthy weight for market, one hog eats about nine to 10 bushels of corn from its birth to when it is sold at market.

 

So, hog farmers depend on good feed for their pigs to grow, and corn and soybean farmers can use the nutrients from the pigs to fertilize their crops.

 

How Northeast Security Bank Helps

Raising 2,400 hogs isn’t easy or cheap. Hog farmers need to have the facilities to house the pigs, the right feed, heating lamps and variety of other equipment to ensure the pigs grow up healthy and strong.  Northeast Security Bank provides the financing options hog farmers need to start or expand their operation. The financing we provide not only matches each hog farmer’s individual needs, but also integrates with their season cash flow.

 

October is a time to not only be proud of the corn and soybean harvests, but also to recognize the importance hog farmers in the state’s economy. Thank you to all of our local hog farmers, and don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for any of your financing needs!

Harvest Season in Iowa: Why It Is Important and How We Can Help

Posted on September 24th, 2014 in Agriculture finances by NSBblogger |
Northeast Security Bank wants to assist farmers financially to have the best harvest seasons yet.

Enjoy the beautiful fall season and bountiful harvest.

You can tell by the changing leaves, cooling air, and Friday night football games that fall is near. The first official day of fall is September 23rd, but up until that day the world around us is changing. One of the most significant events that occur during the fall season is harvest time.

All across Iowa, harvest season is upon us. Agriculture is the centerpiece of our local economy in northeast Iowa, and harvesting seasons means big things for not only farmers, but others who call Iowa home (especially with year’s expected record crop). Northeast Security Bank understands the importance of agricultural in our community.

Our communities are largely rural communities, which means as farming goes, so goes our local economies. Because agriculture is such an important substance for so many different reasons, Northeast Security Bank hopes to help in the production in the following ways:

  • Ag loans can be obtained to help with operational costs, livestock, machinery, real estate, FSA guarantees, and Beginning Farmer program. To apply for an ag loan, fill out our Agriculture Financial Statement and bring it in to Northeast Security Bank. Our team will work with you to find a plan to meet your unique needs.
  • With interest checking, farmers can be better prepared for any additional farming costs as well. Even when you are not making depots directly into your account, your funds will grow.

As you can see, the crops produced in our little slice of Iowa are huge for financial to the success of our local economies. People and animals all over the world are dependent upon a successful harvest season in Iowa. Northeast Security Bank hopes to be a part of that success. We encourage you to reach out for any financial advice and assistance.

Be sure to swing by any farmers markets as well to grab some locally grown produce and other homemade goods. It’s a great way to support local producers, and many farmers markets are open through November!

Find Your Way Back Home to Northeast Iowa

Posted on August 20th, 2014 in Bank Services, Communities, General, Home Buying, Savings by vgmforbin |
Our find your way program can bring you home!

Our find your way program can bring you home!

Northeast Iowa is filled with great places to live and work. You can raise your children here and know they are receiving a great education and hometown values. Northeast Security Bank is a big supporter of buying local and staying local, which is why we created the Find Your Way Home Program.

This program was created to encourage graduates from the local schools to come back to our community and buy a home in the area. We have set aside $1,000,000 to finance low rate mortgages to encourage graduates from local schools who have moved away or are currently renting a place to stay to purchase a home in our communities.

We want to provide people with manageable mortgages so your future family can have the upbringing you did. Whether you are looking to move back to Fredericksburg, Fairbank, Decorah, or Sumner we want to help. So if you graduated from any area high schools, we encourage you to look around the area to find your dream home. It is more affordable than you think.

We have many reasons why staying in Northeast Iowa is the best thing you can do and we hope you make the decision to buy here and stay here:

  • The rich history and culture. From Decorah’s Nordic ties to the fun of Sumner Days, you get the small town feel with big city touches.
  • The great area schools. From kindergarten to senior year, you can be assured the educational system is top notch. You will enjoy Friday night football to Saturday game days at Luther.
  • The food is delightful. How could anyone not like small town favorites from Fredericksburg to Fairbanks and everywhere in between.
  • Strong community ties. We are proud to be located in communities with tight knit families and organizations.

Northeast Iowa is a place to call home. Northeast Security Bank can make your dream of moving back or buying your first home in the community a reality with our Find Your Way Home program.  Simply contact any Northeast Security Bank location today to see how to get started.

Must See Places in Iowa

Posted on August 6th, 2014 in Decorah, General by vgmforbin |
Iowa is filled with attractions for the whole family to see.

Iowa is filled with attractions for the whole family to see.

Most people who don’t live in Iowa or have never visited think of it as a flat, flyover state. Little do they know that it is filled with adventure and must see attractions. Iowa is a place to call home for over three million people and is known as America’s Heartland. Northeast Security Bank is proudly located in Iowa and we encourage you to explore all it has to offer. While we understand that our own part of Iowa is amazing, there are great destinations throughout our state.

We have compiled a list of four must see attractions across Iowa, so pack up the family and take a road trip across your favorite state.

Four must see places in Iowa:

  1. The Amana Colonies are full of history and culture. German Settlers came to the area nearly 150 years ago and the colony is like taking a step back in time. The area is known for the food, theater performances, and historical tours. It is a must see for people of all ages.
  2. Pella, Iowa and the Dutch Tulips Festival. Anytime of the year is great to visit Pella because of the Dutch History and historical village area. May is the annual Tulip Time and it is a sight to see. The children can learn about Iowa’s history all while enjoying themselves.
  3. Lake Okoboji is a summertime getaway the family will never forget. Spend a weekend away at one of Iowa’s most fun boating attractions. It is one of Iowa’s hidden gems when it comes to water sports and beaches.
  4. Stay in the area and immerse yourself in Decorah’s Nordic history and college town atmosphere. Spend a day downtown and enjoy the delicious food options or take the kids camping and canoeing. No matter what you want to do, Decorah has it all.

Now that you have an idea of where your next visit in Iowa will be, start planning. Start a savings account today so you can check these must see places in Iowa off your bucket list. Whether you travel near or far, you should also be sure to let us know of your travel plans. Most importantly, travel safe and make some great memories with your traveling companions.

Increase your Savings by Limiting your Spending

Posted on June 25th, 2014 in Savings by NSBblogger |

There are a few easy fixes available to help you increase your savings to make your piggy bank happier!

Northeast Security Bank knows that it is always a good option to increase your savings and that takes the initiative from you to limit your spending. There are many benefits of having a savings account as a security blanket.

A savings account can protect you from financial ruin in case you were to lose your job or were suddenly diagnosed with a serious illness. Limiting your spending now could save you from a stressful situation in the future.

Northeast Security Bank has many options for you to work with as you get serious about finding ways to increase your savings by limiting your spending. We know that for your convenience, access to your accounts 24/7 is practical. That is why we have online banking services you can access virtually and you do not have to go into the bank to make transfers, pay bills, and see your statement.

Being able to access your bank information from the comfort of your home or office will give you an insider look at where you are spending your money and how much you need to be saving. We also provide e-statements to be more environmentally friendly and convenient for you.

To see all features of Northeast Security Bank’s online service, visit our online banking page.

Increasing savings at an early age will help to limit spending later on in life because you or your child will become accustom to saving money each week. Teaching children early on in life about the value of limiting their spending will surely be beneficial later on in life, especially for those teenagers who are starting their first part time jobs.

Reevaluate your current spending habits. You may not realize what bad habits you are spending your money on until you look at your expenditure trends. You might be going out to lunch one too many times during the work week or your family spends more on take out than they should. This problem can be easily fixed with a little bit of family planning.

Whether you have the goal of a family vacation in the near future or are working on increasing your savings for unknown problems, we hope these tips help you reach your goals.

Easy Home Fixes for Keeping Your Cooling Bill Low

Posted on June 10th, 2014 in Financial Tips by NSBblogger |

Keeping your home pleasant this summer doesn’t mean you have to pay a huge cooling bill!

With the summer weather finally here in full swing, your energy bill is beginning to rise because of air conditioning use.  There are some easy home fixes for keeping your cooling bill low throughout June and into July.

Eight tips for easy home fixes for keeping your cooling bill low:

  1.  Use bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans sparingly. These fans can warm an entire home within an hour if they are left running, so be careful about keeping them on for too long.
  2.  Using curtains can keep the sun from beating into your home. Be especially aware of the west and south facing areas of the home because those spaces are targeted by the sun during the day.
  3.  Weather stripping the doors will keep cool air in and seal the cracks that can quickly become costly.
  4.  Circuiting air throughout the house with box fans will increase the flow of the air conditioning to each room without paying too much on your utility bill.
  5.  Utilize your basement area. A good way to stay cool in the summertime is to hang out in the basement as it is the coolest spot of the house.
  6.  Avoid using the oven and stovetop. These appliances can quickly heat up not only the kitchen, but the entire house. Use smaller appliances like the microwave or toaster oven as they use much less energy as well.
  7. Don’t cool unused areas. Close doors and registers in rooms that are not occupied by your family.
  8. Installing an automatic setback on your thermostat so your air will start shortly before you get home. This will save you money because it cuts back on costs during times of the day that you are not around.

Northeast Security Bank knows everyone wants to stay cool when the weather gets hot, so we found ways for you to do so while saving money on your energy costs. These easy home fixes for keeping your cooling bill low will surely save some green.

Buying Local: Keeping our Communities Thriving

Posted on May 21st, 2014 in Communities by NSBblogger |

Buy local facts from NSB

If you were to walk or drive around your community past all the small businesses and restaurants, how many of them would you be able to say, “I know the owner or someone who works there” about?

 

Local businesses owned by our family members, friends and neighbors are a staple in the communities Northeast Security Bank serves. Some of them have been around for a while, while others are newer. Regardless of age, these local businesses all have one thing in common: they employ community members and help the local economy stay thriving.

 

But you don’t have to take our word for it. Here are some facts, figures and analysis that show how the local businesses in Sumner, Fredericksburg, Decorah and Fairbank are keeping the local economy going.

 

Double the Fun- according to a study done by the New Economics Foundation, when you purchase produce at a local farmer’s market or community agriculture program over a national chain supermarket, twice the money stays in the local economy.

 

Opportunities abound- think about items you have to buy from box chain stores or online because no local business offers them. Could you or another local business find a way to turn this gap into another stream of revenue that brings more dollars to the local economy?

 

Pick up velocity- buying local increases the “velocity” of money, or how quickly it passes through different people’s hands. The faster it circulates, the more people get the benefit of the money.

 

A few facts and figures about buying locally:

  • Local businesses generate 70 percent more local economic activity per square foot than big box chain retail stores.
  • Spending $100 at an independent business equals $68 dollars in local economic activity, versus $48 when you spend $100 at a big box retailer.
  • $326 vs. negative $468: the difference in net annual return per 1,000 square feet between local shops and big box stores.

 

This all adds up to keeping profits within our community. This means local businesses stay open, and the people in our communities stay employed. Northeast Security Bank recognizes you have a choice whenever you head out to make a purchase. We encourage you to buy local when possible to keep our local economies thriving now and for our children in the future.

Financial Wisdom for Our Favorite Graduates

Posted on May 7th, 2014 in Financial Tips by NSBblogger |

Financial tips for grads from NSB

It is once again May, and along with the upswing in good weather, there is also a lot of celebrating going on. High school and college graduation mark a significant step in a young person’s life, whether they are leaving high school behind or getting ready to join the real world.

 

While various rules and responsibilities may change in these transitions, there is at least one concept that stays the same: the need for financial responsibility. Your graduate will face unique monetary challenges in college or in adjusting to the world outside of school, so Northeast Security Bank is here to help. We’ve put together this “gift basket” of financial wisdom to help the graduate in your life stay financially responsible and live a little easier.

 

A Few Financial Tips for our Graduates

  • Easy on the credit cards- you’ll be targeted by credit card companies with offers that seem too good to be true, because they are. Credit cards should be used almost exclusively for emergencies, and only if you know you will be able to pay the balance off quickly.
  • Student and other loans- sure, an extra little bit of money couldn’t hurt. Or can it? Borrow only what you need, whether it’s for tuition or replacing a totaled vehicle. Anything extra is just more interest you will have to pay out of your pocket.
  • Be smart during your grace period- if you’ve just graduated from college, you will most likely have a six-month grace period before you have to start loan payments. Be sure you are taking this time to save money and create a smart budget to incorporate loan payments.
  • Save for emergencies- cars need repairs, you can get sick or injured or you can even lose your job. Having money stashed away for these emergencies will help you keep your head above water.
  • Create good credit habits- this works into going easy on the credit cards. By using them responsibly and paying down the balance without missing payment dates you are creating a good foundation for your credit history.
  • Don’t fly by the seat of your pants- “winging it” may work for some things in life, but not so much for spending in saving. Budgeting and having specific savings goals helps you stay on track and out of the red.
  • Invest in your future- it may hurt and mean some lifestyle tradeoffs, but the power of compound interest is more than enough to make it worth it. Plus, if you think Social Security benefits will be enough for your retirement, you are sorely mistaken (if they are around at all).

 

We’re not saying you will never face financial difficulties if you follow these rules. Life happens, and new costs can pop up at inopportune times. However, if you have a solid financial foundation established, you can make it through just about anything.

 

Northeast Security Bank would be glad to help our high school and college graduates any way we can. Don’t hesitate to call or come by any of our locations today for help!

Shared Roots: Local Farmers and Northeast Security Bank

Posted on April 23rd, 2014 in Bank Services by NSBblogger |

Spring, specifically late April and early May, brings a great deal of excitement and anticipation to our communities and the rest of Iowa. Corn and soybean planting seasons are the beginning of a time that results in billions of dollars in revenue for the entire state. With much of our local economy resting on an agricultural foundation, it is critical for our local farmers to have the equipment and supplies necessary for the best crop production. That’s where Northeast Security Bank comes in.

 

Simply put, we know agriculture in Northeast Iowa. Many of us grew up on farms as part of farm families that have been in this area for decades; many of our staff members that work with agricultural customers still live on farms themselves. The relationships we’ve built with local farm families are about more than just being where you keep your money or service your loan. In our eyes, each farm family we work with is a success story in the making, another chance to help a hard working family achieve their financial and life goals.

 

Whether your agricultural banking needs are basic or a little more complex, Northeast Security Bank has a solution.

  • Personal and Interest Checking- a variety of accounts with different benefits; you work hard, so why shouldn’t your money?
  • Ag Loans- our ag lending officers listen to your unique needs and provide you with loan solutions tailored to your situation.
  • Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Online Services- the convenience these services provide help you spend less time worrying about your finances and more time concentrating on your farm.

 

Many people may think we’re in the banking business, but Northeast Security Bank is in the business of helping our customers succeed. We wish good luck to all of our farmers this season, and we’re hoping for the best possible weather for a great yield!