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Jada Bullock

The Farmers Bank & Trust Board of Directors recently announced the promotion of Jada Bullock to Financial Services Trainer.

A graduate of Arkansas High School in 2015, Jada graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Workplace Development in 2020 from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.

“While in college, I learned a lot of information regarding how to communicate with employees to determine how to develop and help them grow in the workplace,” said Bullock. “Obtaining my degree helped me realize I wanted to continue to grow at Farmers. The opportunity to transition into the Learning and Development department really sparked my interest.”

Bullock started working at Farmers Bank & Trust while still in school in 2018 as a teller at the Arkansas Boulevard location in Texarkana. She helped train new employees when the Bank opened its new location in Prosper, Texas in 2019.

“I am so happy to see Jada grow with us at Farmers Bank & Trust,” said James Bramlett, Texarkana Market President. “From her going to college, working to take care of our customers every day, and then completing her degree, this promotion is great for her and the Bank. She is an essential part of Farmers Bank & Trust and the Texarkana team.”

Jada is the middle child of three and is involved in the community by regularly attending ribbon cuttings and groundbreakings for new businesses. She also enjoys Texarkana Chamber of Commerce events and participates in Business After Hours.

“I am thrilled that Jada has joined the Learning & Development department,” said Alissa Flanagan, Supervisor of Learning & Development. “Jada brings a unique and exciting perspective to the L&D team due to her experience as a retail banker and teller mentor. With her experience, education, and eagerness to learn, I know that Jada will do great things and I am so excited to watch her grow!”

You’ve decided you want to build your dream home.

Now, you need to hunt down and snatch up that perfect piece of paradise to call home. Here’s how to go about finding just the right spot:⁣

  1. Consider the general layout of the home you want to build. Sprawling ranch? Front-porch farmhouse? Two-story bungalow? The lot you choose should complement the home you envision.
  2. Save time by narrowing down where you want to live. Then research available lots in those areas.
  3. Link arms with an agent who knows local builders and can help assess a lot’s potential. You want to be well-acquainted with a lot’s slope, drainage, and utilities.⁣
  4. Check with the local zoning office about the land you’re interested in purchasing. Pay attention to surrounding land as well, and try to weigh what future zoning and construction will happen in the area. Your agent can help with this!
  5. If you’re looking to buy in an established neighborhood, research minimum square footage or building materials requirements. Ask about HOA fees or restrictions that could limit your number of pets, vehicles, or home additions down the road.⁣
  6. Meet with reputable lenders familiar with construction loans to learn your financing options.⁣ (We can help here!)
  7. Work with an agent to write and negotiate an offer.⁣
  8. Attend your closing and break ground!⁣

⁣If you’re leaning toward new construction and need help with financing, the Farmers Bank & Trust Mortgage Team can help! Contact one of our lenders by visiting HERE to find out what financing options work best for your situation.

Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender

Have you ever stopped for a photo op at a mural? From the wacky to the wonderful, murals are such a fun way to check out a city and grab some social media-worthy snapshots while you explore. Did you know that downtown Texarkana has almost twenty murals to downtown?! And, that number is growing!

Texarkana has been blessed with talented local artists and community members who have added such fun and beauty to the downtown area.  The addition of murals to the Kress Gap in 2019 and 2020 brought an entire alley of color to explore, created entirely by local community members. The unveiling of “Colors of Life” by Joseph Raymond brought the fun on a grand scale by measuring over 125 feet long and ten feet tall!

Looking for a fun weekend activity?

Stay tuned for Downtown LIVE, held periodically on Friday nights. Several businesses stay open late, including art galleries! Enjoy dinner or drinks at one of the downtown dining establishments while you gallery hop. Along the way, see if you can find all of the murals in our scavenger hunt! Or, head downtown to check out the art market at the 1894 Gallery on Saturdays and snap your selfies with the murals along the way. Stay updated on these events on the Main Street Texarkana Facebook page HERE.

Be sure to look high and low to find all of these murals.

  1. These snapshots would be fun to get in the mail.
  2. This silent film star from Texarkana made it big in Hollywood.
  3. Look low for this green star.
  4. Watch out for monsters in the alley.
  5. This little mouse will fight back.
  6. What lovely window boxes, that bloom all year round.
  7. Make sure you get your mix just right for these sweet treats.
  8. Find your favorite color in these colors of life.
  9. Don’t get caught with these intergalactic travelers.
  10. A little bit of nature lets your heart take flight.
  11. Personally, I’ve always loved a bold graphic.
  12. Let your light shine.
  13. Grab hold but don’t let them carry you away.
  14. This community-created art park has something for everyone.
  15. A portrait of a Pulitzer Prize-winning hometown hero.

Can you find them all?! Let us know if you do! Share your post on social media and be sure to tag Farmers Bank and Trust so we can see them. Also use these hashtags #fbtscavengerhunt #txkmuralhunt

As President and CEO, Chris Gosnell focuses on cultivating a HEART culture at Farmers Bank & Trust. In this episode, we talk about:

  • How he began his career in banking
  • What it’s like leading a 115-year-old legacy Bank
  • Why he adopted the HEART core values and what they mean to him
  • Why he seeks non-traditional bankers for employment
  • Goals he has for the future of Farmers Bank & Trust
  • …and more!


For more on the history of Farmers Bank & Trust, visit HERE.

Farmers Bank and Trust Company was chartered on September 26, 1906, in Magnolia, Arkansas. The oldest existing general ledgers indicate that the bank began with approximately $75,000 in assets. The primary business of the bank at the time was deposit services. Today, the bank has assets that exceed $1.9 billion and offers a wide variety of products and services to serve the needs of the communities it serves.

Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender

#BankingWithHEART

At Farmers Bank & Trust, we want to celebrate the fall season. We want to treat you and your family to fair tickets on us!

That’s why we’re giving away four tickets to the Columbia County Fair!

To enter, Like our Facebook page, share the post, and comment your favorite fair food before Friday, September 24, 2021, at noon CST to win 4 tickets to the Columbia County Fair. This includes armbands and Saturday, September 25 admission. Ride all the rides you want with the armband.

Go to the Columbia County Fair Facebook page HERE.


Guidelines:

To win the prize participants must do one of the following: 1) like Farmers Bank & Trust Facebook Page then like, share, and comment your favorite fair food on the Farmers Bank & Trust Columbia County Fair Giveaway or 2) walk into our Magnolia Main location at 200 E. Main Street and tell them you would like to be entered. One entry is allowed per Facebook profile or person. Participants must reside in Arkansas or Texas only.

Winners cannot be an employee or immediate relative of a Farmers Bank & Trust employee to include siblings, children, parents, or grandparents. Must be 18 years old or older to win. It is not necessary to be a Farmers Bank & Trust customer to win. The persons who win must reply to a Facebook message or phone call to claim the prize and receive further instructions before September 24, 2021, at 5 pm CST. Winners must sign Farmers Bank & Trust photo release form to be posted on the Bank’s social media pages.

Farmers Bank & Trust is the sole sponsor for this Contest. Farmers Bank & Trust is not responsible for participants that have Facebook security settings set to private so that Farmers Bank & Trust cannot see a participant’s Facebook engagement in any way. It is the responsibility of the participant to modify their security settings to open. No purchase is necessary to win. Purchasing does not increase chances of winning.

 


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I didn’t know this years ago, but for me, my late 20s are shaping up to be an extremely exciting time of life. Just in the past year, I started school again and am an MBA candidate. I got engaged. Now, we bought a house! It’s a lot of really expensive, really big decisions, and a ton of organization and planning all at once. Doing all of this at the same time is probably nuts, but for me, it’s just the right time for all of it, however, there are some challenges with buying a home and being an MBA student.

Some people in my class already have homes and families, some are still single, and some are in the same stage as I am. We’re in grad school but not wanting to put our whole lives on hold while that happens. That is the whole reason I chose the Professional MBA program in the first place. This post is for those in the last group.

Finding a mortgage lender is hard. Actually, that’s false, do a google search and thousands of results show up. But finding a good mortgage lender is the hard part. Lenders have to pull your credit, examine your payment and work history, look at your cash and assets to find out how much they can lend you, and make sure you can pay on the mortgage. If you have school loans it shouldn’t be a huge issue, but definitely speak with your realtor and lender ahead of time to make sure buying a home is feasible at this time.

When buying a house, the mortgage lender takes all debt into account. So opening new school loans right before starting our house hunt made me nervous, but once again, I’m impatient and didn’t want to wait. Still, make sure to speak with your mortgage lender about your plans. They’ll be able to advise on the best route forward. The trickiest period will be right before closing. Sometimes it is out of your control, but if at all possible, try not to make large tuition payments out of the accounts your lenders are counting towards your close. It’s also super important to not open any new credit lines during this time, and I imagine new loans should be avoided if possible as well. Each situation will be different, so speak with your Farmers lender to be certain.

Apply For a Mortgage Online with Farmers Bank & Trust

Kasey pictured with Ray Smith, Farmers Bank & Trust Prosper Market President, and Madison Haltom, Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS# 2064263

I had the pleasure of visiting one of the Farmers Bank & Trust branches in Prosper, TX. I grabbed some free Starbucks coffee and sat down to speak with Madison, the Mortgage Loan Originator on-site, and Ray the Prosper Market President. They walked me through the lending process and shared some helpful information for you when applying for your mortgage online.

TALK TO SOMEONE IN PERSON

I highly recommend speaking with someone either in person or on the phone before sending all of your information through an online system. Farmers Bank is 100% reputable, but you still want to know who you’re dealing with. We shopped around to 3-4 lenders before choosing and some had different interest rates, some had different fees, and some we just didn’t like the vibe we got from them. You’ll be giving these people a ton of personal and financial information, so you need to feel comfortable with the people handling your details.

MAKE SURE THEY ARE AVAILABLE

You could have made best friends with your lender, but if they aren’t available when you need them, they aren’t a good lender for you. Especially in this Seller’s market, you’ll need information, pre-approval letters, and so much more from your lenders that you need them to answer your call. They could be the difference between making or missing an offer deadline. Farmers Mortgage Lenders aren’t sitting in a corporate office and checking out at 5 pm. They are local to each branch and ready to take your call at a moment’s notice. Madison even told me she gave out her cell number to her clients so they could reach her at literally any time of day!

BUILD YOUR CREDIT TO APPLY FOR A MORTGAGE ONLINE

Farmers Bank has the benefit of being tied to the bank. So, if you need help raising your credit score or building credit from the ground up, you can sign up for their Foundation Credit Card. It starts with a low limit so you can get used to using it and paying it off. Your limit grows as your credit builds. This can prepare you for buying a home in the future.

BUILD YOUR SAVINGS

You’ll need a solid down payment. Your exact down payment will be dependent on the type of loan you go with, but it will typically be somewhere between 3-5% minimum. For example 5% of 300,000 is $15,000. In addition to your down payment, you’ll need cash for earnest money, closing costs, and so much more. You need a good cushion to buy a home and make it through closing, but a good lender will walk you through everything and always be available to answer your questions.

This part is difficult when also paying for school. Your savings can mess with your FAFSA, and you have to make sure your loan officer knows everything so that it doesn’t mess with your mortgage. Both can absolutely be done, but you have to be transparent on all ends and plan extra carefully.

Visit the Running in Heels blog HERE.


For mortgage resources and to start your application, visit HERE.

Sharquel Juniel and Andi Whitman

The Farmers Bank & Trust Board of Directors recently announced the promotion of Andi Whitman to Assistant Vice President, Branch Manager III, and Sharquel Juniel to Retail Banker.

Andi Whitman

Whitman works at the Malvern Main Farmers Bank & Trust location, located at 521 E. Page Avenue. She joined the Farmers team in 2011 as a part-time teller and has worked in various roles including retail banker and branch supervisor.

She graduated from Malvern High School and National Park College in Hot Springs, AR. Whitman and her husband, Mitchell, have one daughter, Landyn. She is involved in the community by serving on the Malvern Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and serves as the President of the Malvern Rotary Club.

Whitman recently graduated from the Arkansas Bankers Association Consumer Lending School and has expanded the products she is able to help with, including servicing consumer loan customers.

Sharquel Juniel

Juniel works out of the Malvern Main Farmers Bank & Trust location, located at 521 E. Page Avenue in Malvern. She joined the Farmers team in 2019 as a part-time teller. In her new role, she will have more diverse responsibilities, including opening accounts to fit customer’s needs.

She graduated from Arkadelphia High School and currently attends Arkansas State University Three Rivers in Malvern where she is working toward an associate degree in Office Administration. She is the third oldest of seven siblings and loves getting to be involved with the community, including high school football tailgates with the Bank.

“Andi has been a very integral part of our bank for many years. Her leadership has helped contribute to our success!” said Malvern Market President Scott White. “Sharquel is also a pleasure to work with. She is always willing to go the extra mile for the bank’s customers and her co-workers!”

In the 1920s there was an oil boom in southern Arkansas. At the heart of that oil boom: El Dorado, Arkansas. The city was also prominent during World War II within the chemical industry. In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in the economic development of the city and it makes a wonderful day trip from the Texarkana area.

Most recently, the downtown area welcomed the Murphy Arts District, an entertainment and arts-focused district that welcomes performances of all types to El Dorado. They regularly host outdoor concerts in their amphitheater and have begun hosting events indoors again as well.  At the beginning of 2020, MAD partnered with Crystal Bridges to bring an immersive art exhibit to the south-central Arkansas area. The AstroZone exhibit was a futuristic, fully interactive exhibit by Claire Helen Ashley.

The downtown is also host to memorial parks, shopping, and plentiful dining options. There are also state parks and wilderness areas nearby.

Murphy Arts District

Our ideal day trip to El Dorado goes a little something like this.

Start the day at the Murphy Arts District “MAD” playscape! This free, epic playground covers two acres and has something for kids (and adults!) of all ages. My children love the huge climbing structures that offer a challenge even as they are growing older. Another highlight, the seasonal splash pad with a giant razorback hog slide. During the summer months, MAD hosts movie Mondays with a showing of a different family-friendly movie each Monday night at sundown. The movies are shown in the amphitheater outdoors. The soon-to-open Mule Kick Cafe (formerly the Griffin) will also offer food and beverages.

One thing we also love about MAD is that during the 2020 pandemic, they provided FREE virtual art lessons and storytime with a fantastic art teacher from the El Dorado area. My children so enjoyed tuning in each week for a delightful story and art lesson. Those virtual lessons are still available on the Murphy Arts District website and are a great tool for busting boredom.

Coffee Break

Once everyone is tired and hungry, walk over to PJ’s Coffee located downtown. Be sure to grab a photo at the London-style phone booth sitting outside that also doubles as a little free library! PJ’s offers a full menu of pastries, breakfast sandwiches, and lunch sandwiches. There’s also an ice cream store right next door for an extra sweet treat.

After lunch, be sure to take a walk to Oil Heritage Park to learn a little bit more about the history of the area. Be sure to also check out Jefferson Street Books and some of the other fun shopping available in downtown El Dorado.

Stroll Through Nature

For one last hurrah before you head out, be sure to drive over to the South Arkansas Arboretum for a little stroll through nature. The paths are paved and are full of interpretive signs to help educate about the different types of trees and flowers. For added fun, make it a little scavenger hunt for different types of leaves or flowers! The arboretum, operated by the State Parks of Arkansas, has something to see in every season of the year.

If you’re looking to extend your stay for an overnight or a weekend, be sure to check out the newly opened Haywood Hotel located downtown or the Union Square Guest Quarters.

Be sure to follow the Murphy Arts District on social media to know about all of their upcoming events!

Farmers Bank & Trust has a branch in Prosper, TX, and during a recent visit there, host Cara Knight stopped by FUSE Workspace to chat with CEO and second-generation hospitality entrepreneur Mike Daugherty.

FUSE is a co-working space where businesses and non-profits can work, build community, and be inspired.

The 3 pillars FUSE operates on are:

  • Hospitality
  • Community
  • Flexibility

They provide resources, space, and the tools necessary to help organizations thrive. There’s even a grab-and-go cafe and concierge staff on-site.

In this episode, Mike shares his humble beginnings, his vision behind FUSE, and the meaning of the #DOMORE philosophy.

Locations:
Prosper
Houston
Austin

Photo Courtesy of FUSE Workspace

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

Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender

#BankingWithHEART

A unique department many people are unfamiliar with at Farmers Bank & Trust is Treasury Management. Our department’s goal is to ensure businesses in the communities we serve have the best products and services available to them for seamless day-to-day operation. All of these products are tailored to fit the needs of our customers.

Some of these products include business credit cards, customer payment portals, merchant services, and more. Our diverse online banking system allows us to put payment solutions at our customers’ fingertips. With the addition of ACH, Online Wires, and Remote Deposit Capture, our customers never have to see the inside of our lobbies to get their payments made or their checks deposited.

“With the onset of Covid-19 and working from home, Farmers Bank & Trust Treasury Management has enabled MegaSack to keep functioning with our daily banking operations without having to call, email or go into the bank.” – Carol Carter, The MegaSack Corporation

Now more than ever we are seeing people using debit and credit cards for payment of goods over cash or check. At Farmers Bank & Trust, we offer a wide variety of merchant processing options for our customers. From mom-and-pop shops to full-service restaurants, we’ve got you covered. With our competitive merchant rates, not only can we give our customers peace of mind, but we can put money back in their pockets.

“Farmers Bank & Trust was able to save us over $6,000 a year on merchant processing fees and we have not had any problems or concerns since we have made the switch!” – Patrick Patton, 5108 Beverage – The Villa

To see our full line of products and services offered, visit HERE or e-mail us at cashmanagement@myfarmers.bank.