|By CELESTE BAUMGARTNER
OKEANA, Ohio — Area farmers have come to call it “spring relief.” Compliments of the Bath State Bank Ag Department, they receive a snack and a cold drink during their most critical time: spring planting, said Treva Reiboldt, Ag Marketing, Bath State Bank.
“The bank’s ag department has been delivering over 300 snack bags to area farmers, whether customers or not, since 1999,” Reiboldt said.
“Contents of each bag may vary a bit but each usually consists of crackers, cookies, chips, peanuts, a cold drink and a can of WD-40.
It was a sunny day when they visited Dave Lierer. Farmers throughout the area were in the field when Reiboldt and loan officer Kimberly Burton, brought Lierer his snack bag and a cold soda.
“I love the goody bag,” said Lierer, who was spraying corn.
“It’s great. I like to see them come out; it’s nice. I’ve been dealing with them (Bath State Bank) quite a few years. They’re a great bunch of people to work with, farm oriented.”
When asked how planting season was going, Lierer said “it’s going slow but we’re getting there.”
Asked if he takes breaks this time of year Lierer replied “Are you supposed to?”
Gale Lierer, Dave’s wife, shared his snack bag.
She had brought him a sandwich for lunch and was doing what she called “farm wife chores.”
“I’m helping Dave mix the chemicals,” she said. “I calculate the acres and get the recommended chemicals. He pulls up and we fill it with water and he’s ready to go.”
The bank does not want to interfere with Dave’s being “ready to go.”
“The goal is to drop off the bags without interrupting work,” Reiboldt said. “The hope is that the snacks will serve as a reminder to slow down, take a break and most of all, be safe.”
Why do they take the time to travel the roads in search of busy tractors and pickup trucks? The message is simple, Reiboldt said.
“We want our farmers to know first-hand that we appreciate their labors, support their endeavors, encourage their safety and that we are here to assist them in any way we can,” said Reiboldt, who admitted that the loan officers also enjoyed the day out of the office.
“It completes our motto: building genuine relationships with our customers and community by caring for them like family.”
The bank has a large agriculture department with eight employees. The ag portfolio has a little over $70 million, Burton said.
“Our radius is 32 Ohio and Indiana counties,” she said.
This farm news was published in the May 17, 2006 issue of Farm World.