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Financial Conversations with Fitz #64 - Conference on Small Town Development - 05/11/2010

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A bit cool this morning…..I did hear of some ice on windshields in Northern Iowa and Southern MN on Saturday and Sunday.   Mowed the yard with a warm coat and hat.    I hope the beans stay in the ground until this weather settle down.  The soil temperatures dropped about 10 degree since last week to 51.   It looks like the grains will open up this morning with the European markets recovery with several debt restructure packages approved.    This will probably help the DOW open on a high after last week’s drop.  I see the grain people are busy making their predictions now that most of the crop is in the ground.   There are so many variables affecting the arrows up or down.   But Dan Pillar predicts three arrows up and 5 down out of eight.  I still think the best bet is to watch your own crop and do your own pricing.   Sell on market jumps is still the best route.  10% on each jump will get your crop sold on a high.

I was going to do a couple more FDIC warnings today, but switched topics since I went to a real good Conference on Small Town Development in Des Moines this week.   This conference has been going for 25 years sponsored by all the utilities in IOWA.   They put together a great bunch of national speakers and excellent workshops.  The opening program was how we become a Pro-Business State.   Iowa does rank 20th for favorable business climate.  Some of the factors are High School Completion % and College Attainment along with tax structures.  Iowa ranks 46th in tax structure.  I went to a workshop on Food and Industrial Bio Processing Project.   The big factor is “Is it sustainable?”   They used Cedar Rapids as an example with a hub of food production that shares the ingredients from each other.   The noon speaker was led off by Charlie Wittmack, adventurer/Attorney.   I have heard him before but he is still amazing.   Iowa farm boy that likes to climb mountains and swim in channels and oceans.   He is getting ready to take off again on a triathlon world wide.   He always ties in food and medicine in some of the countries in the world.   If you want to do some interesting reading just Google Charlie.   The main speaker for noon talked about our communities to cross geography lines and work together.   We need to be innovative and use what we have available.   “Innovation from the Inside Out”.   Two workshops in the afternoon covered “Social media”.   If you are not familiar with this term, we all need to brush up on it.  We always say this is for the kids.   57% of adults are texting on a regular basis.  That was obvious since too many people in attendance were busy texting during the speakers.   (Just a pet peeve of mine).  Another 63% have joined a social network like FaceBook.   I have signed up but have not activated mine.  Not sure when I would get time to keep it updated.   He talked about how business needs to work this into their mix of communicating with their new clients.   The largest group on FACEBOOK is 35-44 years old.   Now my fellow 60 year olds, get this, the fasting growing group of people using it are over 55…….

It was a great conference with lots of new ideas that I will need to try.

Remember that you should deal with people in community banks and organizations that when they put something together for you that they will  be sitting with them at ball games, church or community events.  So, if in doubt give us a call.