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Have you ever heard of a pump track? Did you know that there is one close to home in Paris, Texas? A pump track is a paved track with a series of banked turns and rolling hills, designed so that riders generate momentum through body movements (aka, pumping) rather than pedaling. But, besides the semantics, it’s a lot of fun! Cruising around the pump track is an adventure for all ages, just be sure to wear your helmet!

If you’re ready to take on the bumps and turns, take a few laps on the pump track, located in the park near the Eiffel Tower of Texas. Or, if you’d like to watch your children try it for a while, sit back and relax on the nearby shaded picnic benches. There is a great view of the entire track from any place along the top of the hill surrounding the riding area. The new pump track has attracted the attention of Red Bull and coming up at the end of May, it will be the site of a qualifying tournament for the Red Bull UCI Pump Track World Championships!

Trail de Paris

Maybe you want something a little more mellow? Check out the Trail de Paris paved bike trail directly next to the pump track. The Trail de Paris runs from 4th St. SW to the Eastern city limits where it connects to the Reno Rail Trail. It features an outdoor yoga park, a butterfly garden, multiple kiosk locations, and art along the trail. It’s also a great route for younger children, those just learning to ride, or for scooters, rollerblades, or roller skates. To plan your route, you can find maps and mileage online HERE.

As the summer heat begins to ramp up, I’d recommend taking a break in the heat of the day to rest and refuel at the Paris Bakery or at the Paris Coffee Shop.

Here are five tips to make the most of your day:

  1. Bring plenty of water! Carry water bottles or water bladder/hydration packs for each person. I’d also recommend leaving a jug of water in the car to refill water bottles after the adventure.
  2. Don’t forget the snacks! A personal favorite – frozen grapes tucked away in a Stasher (re-useable) bag. They make a cool and refreshing snack when the temperatures ramp up!
  3. Helmets, elbow pads, and knee pads! And maybe bring along a first aid kit just in case of bumps and scrapes. My personal favorite is the ultra-light first aid kits from Adventure Medical Kits.
  4. A backpack to carry your important and valuable items with you, plus all the water, snacks, and first aid kit.
  5. Sunscreen or sun protection. While there is a bit of shade provided around the track, the pump track itself is not shaded and made of black asphalt. Sunglasses and sunscreen are important!

Biking is such a wonderful family activity and Paris, Texas has a little something for everyone! One more tip, if you’re ready for some mountain biking and trail riding, be sure to check out the Barber Hills trails at Pat Mayse Lake.


Farmers Bank & Trust is a proud T-Shirt sponsor for the 2021 Red Bull UCI Pump Track World Championships!

Farmers Bank & Trust of Magnolia, Arkansas, and Community First Trust Company of Hot Springs, Arkansas announced they have entered into an agreement for Farmers Bank & Trust to purchase the stock of Community First Trust Company. Community First Trust will continue to be operated as an Independent Trust Company.

“Farmers Bank & Trust is excited about the opportunity to expand our Trust and Wealth Management services through Community First Trust Company,” stated Farmers Bank & Trust Chief Executive Officer Chris Gosnell. “Trust customers of Farmers Bank and Community First Trust will all benefit from the combined resources of both companies.”

Bill Kerst, Community First Trust President & Chief Executive Officer, said, “The culture of Farmers Bank & Trust is what really attracted us to the idea of joining the Bank. The Bank’s commitment to its customers, technology, and staff support the long-term relationships we have enjoyed at CFT. We look forward to working as part of the team to provide personal Trust Services and Wealth Management.”

Farmers Bank & Trust is owned by a privately-held holding company, Magnolia Banking Corporation, headquartered in Magnolia, Arkansas. Community First Trust Company is headquartered in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and is the only independent trust company chartered in Arkansas. Community First Trust has approximately $340 million in trust assets under management.

The holding company boards of Magnolia Banking Corporation and Community First Trust Company unanimously approved the agreement, which is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval. The transaction is anticipated to close during the second quarter of 2021, and Community First Trust Company will remain a separate independent trust company.


About Farmers Bank & Trust: Founded in 1906, Farmers Bank & Trust is a community bank owned by the privately held holding company, Magnolia Banking Corporation, headquartered in Magnolia, Arkansas. Farmers Bank & Trust now has over 20 locations in Arkansas and Texas and approximately $1.8 billion in assets. Farmers offers a full range of deposit services, trust, and investment management services, as well as business, commercial real estate, construction, mortgage, residential, and consumer loans. To learn more, visit their website at MyFarmers.Bank.

About Community First Trust Company: Community First Trust Company was chartered in 1998 as the first and only independent trust company in Arkansas. With over $340 million in trust assets, the company maintains offices in Hot Springs, Hot Springs Village, Little Rock, Russellville, and El Dorado. To learn more, visit their website at CommunityFirstTrust.com.

Teach Children to Save

Anytime is the right time to begin teaching children about money, and the American Bankers Association has tips that can help parents teach money at home.

  • Talk openly about money with your kids. Communicate your values and experiences with money. Encourage them to ask you questions, and be prepared to answer them — even the tough ones.
  • Explain the difference between needs and wants, the value in saving and budgeting, and the consequences of not doing so.
  • Set up a chore chart and give your children an allowance for completing their tasks. Require them to save at least a small portion each week. The three jars method: one for spending, one for saving, and one for charitable contributions is a good way to impart a sense of responsibility.
  • Open up a savings account at your local bank for your children and take them with you to make deposits. This way children can learn how to be hands-on in their money management. For information on opening a Farmers Bank & Trust personal savings account, click HERE.
  • Be an example of a responsible money manager by paying bills on time, being a conscious spender, and an active saver. Children tend to emulate their parents’ personal finance habits.

For more tips on teaching your children to save at every age level, read our Road to Financial Responsibility blog post HERE.

Come visit us! We’re always happy to visit with you and your family. To find a Farmers Bank & Trust branch near you, click HERE.

To Us, You’re Family

We’re so glad to have you on board!

It is always an exciting time for us at Farmers Bank & Trust when we add new members to our family!

Meet our newest additions:

Michelle Mitchell – Part-time Customer Contact Center Rep in Magnolia, AR

Kaitlin Plymale – Deposit Operations Rep in Magnolia, AR

Alissa O’Dell – Teller in Paris, TX

Lauren Weekly – Teller in Texarkana, AR

Sarah Wedgeworth – Retail Banker in Texarkana, TX

Kiana Langley – Teller in Camden, AR

Taylor Hayes – Teller in Magnolia, AR

Naomi Ganado – Teller in Texarkana, TX

We cannot wait to see the talent, work ethic, and customer service these eight individuals will bring to our customers. No matter the role you take on at Farmers Bank & Trust, to us, you’re family!


Interested in joining our Team?

You can explore open opportunities and submit an application using our Careers Portal.

Thirty-three-year-old entrepreneur and El Dorado, AR native Greg Williams took it to heart when his mom told him at a young age that he could be anything he wanted to be.

He started putting his dreams of becoming a CEO into action by age 23 when he purchased his first rental property. Now, ten years later, he has more than 100 rental properties, a liquor store which is also Arkansas’ first daiquiri drive-thru, and a grocery store.

In this episode, Greg shares steps he took to get to where he is today, and resources that helped him along the way, including his experience working for a Fortune 500 company.

Farmers Bank & Trust has really been apart of all my businesses. Having really deep relationships with Bankers that is built upon results, trust, and confidence, that’s what allows me to be able to take a chance and bring these core type businesses into communities.

Empire Arkansas:

Empire Properties

Prime Liquors

Williams Foods

For all your commercial and small business lending needs, visit HERE.


Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender

#BankingWithHEART

“If you worry about the nickels and dimes, the dollars will take care of themselves.”

Continuing the Legacy

These are Poppa Chuck’s words, not mine, but as he has passed on, I have taken them as my own to use as he did – to teach others about money! No words have ever been said better. I am writing to my younger friends today: teens and early college students who need somebody to educate them about money – before it’s too late. See, when your parents were in high school, we had a ton of elective classes, and the option to take 16 AP courses or extra DC classes wasn’t even a thing, so we all took electives like home economics, where you learned to iron clothes, sew a little, and follow recipes. We took banking courses, and you learned how to balance a checkbook, and you learned what credit and interest were.

Today, all of my younger friends use debit cards for their money transactions, and they know their balances because the receipts at the ATM tell them, or the banking apps on their phones will show them. One thing I love about a debit card is that you are using your own money; so that’s just like using cash. And if you only spend cash or what you have in your account, you can never get into trouble with overspending. But, I said in my opening sentence, we need to watch the nickels and dimes, so let’s look at those seemingly unimportant coins first. Very quickly, I will explain how much paying attention to the little money can add up and make you wealthy over the years. But you have to realize that there are tricks to making you wealthy, and you have to know them.

My Favorite Tip

My favorite tip involves a weekly activity that is necessary; do you pull into the first gas station you see when you need gasoline, or do you look for the lowest price per gallon? If you pull into the station closest to your house or school, stop that habit NOW! There is an app called Gasbuddy, and it is free. Download it on your phone, and type in your zip code (not while driving). That app will tell you how much gas costs at all of the area stations on that day. Today, I needed gas, so I used my app. The least expensive pumps for regular unleaded were $2.34 per gallon at a Walmart Neighborhood Market about two miles from my home. A more popular and closer convenience store was $2.75, and a station on Stateline (about 4 miles from my home) was at $2.99 per gallon for the same regular unleaded. There is a reason we call these gas stations with snacks in them “CONVENIENCE STORES”; they are easy to get to for soft drinks, bread, milk, and fuel, and you can avoid the grocery store. People tend to use the ones closest to their homes because they are convenient. But, look at the difference in prices of fuel at the same time on the same day in the same city. Maybe you live by the station on Stateline and pull in and pay $2.99 a gallon, unaware that there is a station less than 3 miles from you that is $.65 less per gallon. Now, you may be thinking, “I don’t have time to worry about going three miles over for 65 cents a gallon.” Really???? I say you have to make time to save money, or you will never be wealthy.

Break it Down

Let’s break it down together. A Ford F-150 holds 36 gallons. If you pull into a gas station and fill up 36 gallons at $2.99, you will pay $107.64 to fill up. BUT, if you had driven 3 miles to that Neighborhood Walmart where gas is $2.34 a gallon, you would fill up your truck for $84.24, and you would save $23.40.  WOW. Twenty-three dollars is a lot of money to save by just paying attention. For giggles, let’s look at how much going to your neighborhood convenience store with the highest gas price costs you over a year.  You drive that F-150 15,000 miles a year, and your truck gets an average of 22 miles per gallon (you will get 792 miles out of one tank); you will have to fill up 19 times over the course of a year. Fill up 19 times and pay $23.40 more each time. Do you know how much more you will pay in a year for gas, simply because you weren’t paying attention to the nickels and the dimes? $444.60. Almost $500! Can you imagine what you could buy with an extra $500? Or can you imagine having that in a savings account for an emergency? If you worry about the nickels and the dimes, the dollars will take care of themselves! Happy savings.

Farmers Bank & Trust is pleased to welcome Elizabeth Burns Anderson and Jordan Irby to the Central Arkansas Team. Both will office in the new Farmers Bank & Trust Benton/Bryant full-service branch located at 3345 Highway 5 North in Bryant, AR.

Elizabeth Burns Anderson has joined the Central Arkansas team as a Business Development Officer. A fifth-generation banker and native of Magnolia, AR, Anderson is a graduate of the University of Arkansas; she has over 20 years of various banking and financial experiences. In 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson appointed Elizabeth the consumer representative of the Arkansas State Medical Board. She is also involved locally with Lonoke Public School, the Lonoke Community Fund, Youth Home in Little Rock, and is an active Lonoke First United Methodist Church member. Elizabeth and her husband, Jamie, manage Anderson Fish Farms and live with their two sons in Scott, Arkansas.

Jordan Irby has joined Farmers Bank & Trust as a Commercial Loan Officer. A native of Hope, AR, he is a graduate of the University of Arkansas with over 16 years of banking experience. Irby completed the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at SMU in 2014. He is involved locally with The Hat Club of Little Rock and is a member of Immanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock. He now resides in Little Rock with his wife, Nikki, and two children, Truett and Tanner.

“Elizabeth and Jordan’s familiarity with the Central Arkansas region combined with extensive banking experience will be a great asset to Farmers Bank & Trust.” Kent McClure, Bryant Market President, said. “We invite the community to get to know them both and to utilize them for their banking needs.”

The new Farmers Bank & Trust Benton/Bryant full-service branch located at 3345 Highway 5 North in Bryant, AR.

The public is invited to visit the new branch to open accounts, speak to a loan officer, or receive assistance with any banking needs Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. For more information, visit our website HERE.

As we approach one year of living in a pandemic, we are interested to see how COVID impacts Camden businesses. Like restaurants across the nation, restaurants close to home feel the impact of COVID and take precautions to avoid the spread inside their businesses. In Camden, two well-known restaurants, Woods Place and Postmasters Grill, are still making the best with modifications and are continuing to operate and make a living.

James Woods and his team
James Woods and his team

Woods Place, which serves a mixture of seafood, hamburgers, steaks, fried chicken, and more, has had to look elsewhere from what they used to make on catering, said James Woods, owner. “First off, when we had to shut down, and that was a shock,” he said. “We wondered if we were going to come back and what we would come back like. We’ve moved to more to-go orders, and we’ve done really well with that.” Restaurants that were established with to-go ordering have been able to keep going, he said. “I’m thinking restaurants that didn’t have a good to-go business before the pandemic are having a hard time,” Woods said. “The ones that have drive-thru businesses like your Sonics and your McDonald’s are places that have to-go business anyways. And Woods Place has really done well. A lot of people get the food and take it home.”

The National Restaurant Association reported more than $120 billion of lost revenue in the restaurant industry during the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Woods said his workforce has only changed by ten people because of the lack of catering events. When those people come back, he will have the 40 workers he is used to having. “We are still doing some catering, but not nearly what we used to,” Woods said. ‘When it is all over, people will have parties like they used to. People are still getting married, but they are putting them off and not having a reception.” Woods Place caters to company picnics that are no longer happening for large corporations such as Albemarle and Lockheed Martin. Other caterings that have been impacted are the parties and gatherings at the Woods Place event venue called River Woods. Luckily, Woods said his business, which is 37 years old, is doing fine without the catering, but it will be nice to hire his additional employees back and do more business when it comes back.

The inside of his restaurant has seen changes because of COVID. Tables have been moved to follow state guidelines for not having people sitting next to each other. Everyone at Woods Place wears a mask, including customers. “Customer wear their mask, and that hasn’t been a problem,” he said. Another thing Woods cites as keeping the restaurant virus-free is the ventilation there. “It seems like with our ventilation in our restaurant, the vent hoods pull everything up through the ceiling, and we have not had a problem with COVID-19 spreading through the restaurant, and I think it’s due to the ventilation system.”

About to celebrate its ninth year of operation, The Postmasters Grill is in the heart of downtown Camden, AR. Originally built as a post office in the 1880s and opened in 1896, the building was added to the National Register in 1977. The unique business has had to deal with COVID issues in its own way.
According to owner Emily Jordan-Robertson, a decline in special events was noticeable in the pandemic, especially in mid to early March 2020. “Everyone in the world started canceling rehearsal dinners, catering, baby showers, anything extra,” she said.

Just like restaurants across the state, Postmasters was closed for eight weeks, but when it reopened, it had the benefit of having a beautiful patio to sit people outside where they felt safer. “Folks felt pretty comfortable on the pretty days, but when it got cooler in the fall, the business all tanked. We felt it much worse as it got into the fall.”

Postmasters Grill employee serves up draft beer
Postmasters Grill employee serves up draft beer

During the state-mandated restaurant closure, we laid off about 85 percent of the employees, she said.
With her staff working hard to serve and keep the business flowing, much care is taken to seat everyone spread out in Postmasters’ different capacities. The new seating arrangement includes a downstairs basement area, the dining room on the main floor, and the patio open when weather permits. Because the restaurant is such a large one, it has been easy to spread out people inside. At full capacity, Postmasters can seat 230 people.

Jordan-Robertson said she is happy to hear any news about the vaccine and plans to get it herself. “It gives me hope for restaurants,” she said. “I know I can’t require employees to take it, but I’ll encourage them to get it, and I’ll be the first in line. The jury is still out on the vaccine, but the gain is better than not.”

Because the pandemic is still underway and people are likely not to go on vacations to the beach, Postmasters Grill hosted special days like Island Day thru the summer on the patio. They offered Italian, German, and English specials throughout the winter. This March, they are providing Irish specials. The restaurant creates unique specials to make customers feel happy with a chance for something different without leaving town. “We like to mix it up because maybe they aren’t getting to go to Little Rock or Hot Springs,” she said. “We are not trying to be competition, but we are just trying to do something special for our guests and give them something their taste buds may be missing.”

Farmers Bank & Trust stands ready to help you or your business with impacts from COVID-19. View COVID-19 resources online, here.

March is Women’s History Month! While the national celebration recognizes achievements women have made over the course of history in a variety of fields – we’re celebrating a little differently than you’d expect.

We’re encouraging women to Reject the Hustle. That’s right! Our guest for this episode is the “Queen of Saying No”, Allyson Twiggs Dyer.

We are all ‘yes’ people by nature, and we really have to practice saying no. Once you do start saying no to things you don’t want to do, you find out that your life opens up for abundance and you can say yes to things you really want in your life.

About Allyson:

Allyson Twiggs Dyer is a marketing consultant with a record of developing creative marketing strategies for a diverse portfolio of clients. For over six years, her company, The Twiggs Group, has been helping to elevate businesses with modern marketing and bold branding.

As someone who wears many hats (business owner, marketing consultant, speaker, and personal brand builder), Allyson founded Reject the Hustle a year ago to provide a reprieve for overworked women everywhere by debunking the myth that hustling 24/7 is the only road to success. She advocates for a healthy work-life balance and shares with others her personal experiences of how saying “no” can leave room for an abundant “yes.”

Reject the Hustle is a digital community for women to receive resources and support as they reject the toxic hustle culture and set loving boundaries for themselves. You can join the movement at www.rejectthehustle.com or @rejectthehustle on Facebook and Instagram.

 

*This episode was recorded via Zoom.


Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender

For all your banking needs, visit MyFarmers.Bank.

#BankingWithHEART

 

We’re so glad to have you on board!

It is always an exciting time for us at Farmers Bank & Trust when we add new members to our family.

Meet our newest additions:

Michala Moore  – Card Services & ATM Operations in Magnolia, AR
Jordan Irby – Commercial Loan Officer, Sr. in Bryant, AR
Tristan Wheeler – Retail Banker in Paris, TX
Lona Logan  – Deposit Operations Rep in Magnolia, AR
Kristen Alexander – Teller in Texarkana, TX
Leah Boswell – Loan Assistant in Magnolia, AR
Whitney Vaughn  – Mortgage Loan Processor in Prosper, TX
Michael Kennedy  -Manager, Business Development in Paris, TX
Drew Henry  – IT Systems Operator in Magnolia, AR
Vanessa Schoen – Administrative Officer in Texarkana, TX
Elizabeth Anderson– Business Development Officer in Bryant, AR

 

We cannot wait to see the talent, work ethic, and customer service these 14 individuals will bring to our customers. No matter the role you take on at Farmers Bank & Trust, to us, you’re family!


Interested in joining our Team?

You can explore open opportunities and submit an application using our Careers Portal.