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It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and Santa is coming to Farmers Bank & Trust! Mark your calendars to bring the family for hot cocoa, cookies, and a merry good time!

Texarkana, TX

38th Annual Main Street Christmas Parade
Monday, December 5 | 7 p.m.
This year’s parade route has changed! Click HERE for the new route.

Pictures with Santa
2900 Saint Michael Dr.
Friday, December 9 | 3 – 5 p.m.

Paris, TX

Pictures with Santa
1375 NE Loop 286
Wednesday, December 21 | 1 – 4 p.m.

Camden, AR

Pictures with Santa
116 Jefferson Dr. SW
Tuesday, December 20 | 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Hope, AR

Hope-Hempstead County Chamber Christmas Coffee
Wednesday, December 14 | 9:30 – 11 a.m.
201 East Third St.

Pictures with Santa
Tuesday, December 20 | 3 – 4:30 p.m.

Community Christmas Parade
*Farmers Bank & Trust is the Parade Presenting Sponsor!
Monday, December 5 | 6 p.m.
For more details, click HERE.

Prescott, AR

Prescott-Nevada County Chamber Christmas Coffee
Tuesday, December 13 | 9:30 – 11 a.m.
103 E 2nd St South

Prescott-Nevada County Christmas Parade – A Cowboy Christmas
Thursday, December 8 | Begins at 6 p.m.
215 East 2nd St. South
Click HERE for more details.

Magnolia, AR

Magnolia’s Christmas Parade – Magic of the Movies
Thursday, December 1 | 5 p.m.
Parade Route: Jackson Street
Click HERE for more details.

Bryant, AR

Pictures with Santa
Friday, December 23 | 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
3345 AR-5 N Suite 100

Saline County Christmas Parade
Monday, December 5 | 6-7 p.m.
Downtown Benton

Mt. Ida, AR

Pictures with Santa
Friday, December 16 | 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
221 George St.

Glenwood, AR

Pictures with Santa
Friday, December 9 | 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
214 N 1st Street


To find a branch near you, visit HERE.
Janet Choate, Farmers Bank & Trust Commercial Loan Officer and Volunteer Firefighter

In countless towns across the land, everyday heroes can be found anywhere – even in the smallest of places. And in one tiny southwest Arkansas community of only 285 residents, it’s no different. 

Janet Choate has been a part of the Blevins, Arkansas, community for decades and still calls the small town home today. For a day job, she makes the 15-mile trip to Hope, Arkansas, where she serves as a commercial loan officer with Farmers Bank & Trust. In her spare time, though, she and her husband, Tim, spend much of their lives at the Blevins Fire Department, where they volunteer as local first responders and firefighters. Tim is chief of the two-bay station, while Janet helps respond to fires and emergency and medical situations of all sorts. Both are trained emergency workers with countless hours of training and real-world experience under their belts.

 

Janet and her husband, Tim, Blevins Fire Department Chief

For 20 years, Janet has been a part of the Blevins Fire Department. She joined the agency in October 2002 and has responded to hundreds of emergency and rescue calls during that time. Since Blevins FD is an all-volunteer service, the 12-person roster is tasked with responding to emergency calls within and around the small town. Sure, the agency has mutual aid agreements with surrounding communities and towns, but the immediate response often lies at the feet of the dedicated few within Blevins. 

“We respond to almost anything,” said Janet. “We’ve even helped a get a cat out of a tree before.”

The small fire department, however, is not without resources. The department contains two pumper trucks, a tanker truck, a service truck, and even a new side-by-side ATV for hard-to-reach wooded areas.   

“We’ve been really lucky,” said Janet. “Tim and the fire department have been able to get us so much equipment through donations and grants. We can handle a lot of situations here in Blevins.”

Janet and Tim are also right in the middle of the action in Blevins. The couple resides directly next to the town’s largest and most well-known attraction, Hillarosa ATV Park. The 2,000-acre recreational area and tourist destination has hosted multiple large-scale events over the years, including Mud Nationals 2022, which is one the biggest ATV celebrations in the region. That means lots of people flock to Blevins for these events, but that also means there are plenty of opportunities for emergency calls during the festivities.

 “We see plenty during those big events,” said Janet. “We live right next door, so we are always pretty close to the action.”

 Farmers Bank & Trust, where Janet spends her time during the work week, has also been a big supporter of the Blevins Fire Department. The Arkansas-based lender, through its charitable foundation, recently donated $5,000 to the agency to help equip the new side-by-side ATV for off-site fire and rescue tasks. The move will help Janet and the rest of the rescue team access hard-to-reach areas of the ATV park and its surrounding rural acreage.

 “Sometimes, there can be accidents and injuries at the park, and we’re able to get to them pretty quickly, especially now,” she added.

 The bank has also accommodated Janet when an incident occurs during the day. When she was previously the branch manager at the Farmers Bank & Trust location in Blevins, she was always allowed to respond to calls should an incident occur.

“If we had an emergency call and we had to staff to cover, they would always let me leave to go respond,” she said.

 

Blevins Fire Department Truck

LIFE-SAVING LESSONS

 

One of Janet’s more memorable experiences as part of Blevins FD actually came from a child who retained a few life-saving tips from a fire-prevention class held at the station. The program is performed annually for school-aged little ones, and during each session, the firefighters instruct kids on how to plan for and execute an evacuation from their home.

“We just try to tell them to set up an escape plan ahead of time, so if you ever are in a hurry, you already know what to do,” she said.

That particular fire-prevention session paid off in a big way.

“We had just held a class that day, and then a two-story house burned that afternoon,” said Janet. “The kids were able to get everyone out using what they had learned earlier in the day. The kids even had their parents set a ladder to the second floor. It was truly a life-saving event. I don’t know if everyone would have gotten out without what they had just learned.”

NOT SLOWING DOWN

 

With two decades already under her belt, Janet, along with Tim, is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.

“I guess we will stay with the fire department until we can’t really do it any longer,” said Janet. “It’s just been such a part of our family and our lives for so long now.”

And a family affair it is. The desire to be a first responder is not limited to just Janet and Tim. The couple’s son-in-law is also a full-time professional fireman in Conway, Arkansas.

“I guess we’re just all over the place,” said Tim. “We probably wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Renderings of the Farmers Bank & Trust Workforce Center.
The Farmers Bank Foundation has committed $100,000 to the University of Arkansas at Hope-Texarkana (UAHT) to fund the construction and development of a new Workforce Center at the Texarkana, Arkansas, campus.

Farmers Bank & Trust Workforce Center

The building will be called the Farmers Bank & Trust Workforce Center and is set to open for the 2023 spring semester. The new 14,754-square-foot facility will serve as a modern employment training center for students in the southwest Arkansas region and house the Arkansas High School Collegiate Academy and the Secondary Career and Technical Education Center.
Renderings of the new Farmers Bank & Trust Workforce Center at the Texarkana, Arkansas, campus.
“We are excited to partner with the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana to provide a state-of-the-art facility for workplace education,” said ElizabethBurns Anderson, Executive Director of the Farmers Bank Foundation. “Preparing students with hands-on employment training is the future of education and benefits local communities for years to come. We are humbled and grateful to support the efforts of UAHT. This type of project is exactly why the Farmers Bank Foundation was established.”

10 Years

The contribution from Farmers Bank & Trust’s charitable nonprofit organization was approved in early September by the University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees, which oversees UAHT. The six-figure donation for the Workforce Center will be paid out over 10 years. The Bank announced the gift publicly Saturday evening, Oct.8, 2022, with a check presentation at the UAHT 10th Anniversary Celebration at the Texarkana, Arkansas, Convention Center.
The Bank announced the gift publicly Saturday evening, Oct. 8, 2022, with a check presentation at the UAHT 10th Anniversary Celebration at the Texarkana, Arkansas, Convention Center.
“We are grateful for Farmers Bank &Trust’s investment in our students and community through this generous gift,” said Dr. Christine Holt, UAHT Chancellor. “These funds will be used to provide our students with state-of-the-art education and job training, which will, in turn, help them invest back into our communities in the future. Partnerships like this will help improve our communities for decades.”

No Better Fit

“When I thought of the opportunity for naming the Texarkana Workforce Center and it being the first named building on our Texarkana campus, there was no better fit in my mind than our friends at Farmers Bank and Trust,” said Anna Powell, UAHT Executive Director of Institutional Advancement. “The Farmers Bank and Trust Organization is the real deal. They are a consistent long-term partner of The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana, and I am honored to have their name on our building.”

Long -Lasting Impact

James Bramlett, Texarkana Market President at Farmers Bank & Trust added, “This is a fantastic opportunity for the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana and Farmers Bank & Trust to work with our partnership in education for the Texarkana region. This will help us to better prepare our workforce for the future and have a long-lasting positive impact for our region.”

2022 Back to School Events

Free Snow Cones:

Mt. Ida, AR – 221 S. George St. 
Friday, August 5 | 10 AM – 2 PM

Glenwood, AR – 214 N. 1st St.
Thursday, August 11 | 2-4 PM

Malvern, AR – 1929 Oliver Lancaster Blvd.
Friday, August 12 | 2 – 4 PM

Mulerider Club Kickoff:

Magnolia, AR – Story Barn, 832 Columbia 405
Tuesday, August 9 | 5-7 PM
Tickets are available at Farmers Bank & Trust’s main branch location at 200 E Main St.
For more details visit HERE.

Texarkana Arkansas School District Back-to-School Community Bash:

Texarkana, AR – Razorback Stadium, 1920 East 18th Street
Tuesday, August 9 | 5 PM, Red & White games to follow
Free school supplies, food, music, games, and athletics meet and greet

Hope Back to School Bash:

Hope, AR – The Hub Junction of 3rd & Elm St.
Thursday, August 25 | 5-8 PM
Free snowcones, hot dogs, games, face painting, bounce houses, prizes, and more!

Salt Bowl:

Benton/Bryant, AR – War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock
Saturday, August 27 | 7 PM
We will be set up before the game, handing out free clear backpacks.

 

 

L to R: Farmers Bank Foundation Executive Director Elizabeth Anderson, Farmers Bank & Trust Hope Market President Jacob Jones, Hope Public Schools Superintendent Jonathan Crossley, Farmers Bank & Trust CEO Chris Gosnell, Farmers Bank & Trust Commercial Loan Officer, VP, Janet Choate

Courtesy of Hope Public Schools

The Farmers Bank Foundation of Magnolia, Arkansas, has announced an endowment of $125,000 to Hope Public Schools in Hope, Arkansas. Funds donated will be allocated to Hope Public Schools high school seniors to attend local universities and community colleges within the footprints of Farmers Bank & Trust branches.

“The main giving mission for the Farmers Bank Foundation is to help local education,” said Farmers Bank & Trust Hope Market President Jacob Jones. “We are thrilled to partner with Hope Public Schools to fund higher education locally and keep our best and brightest right here in South Arkansas.”

Scholarships will be available through the Hope Public Schools scholarship program starting in the 2023 school year, with the commitment to fund scholarships for years to come. The Farmers Bank Foundation will pay out the donation over ten years.

Hope Public Schools Superintendent Jonathan Crossley said, “This transformative partnership between Hope Public Schools and Farmers Bank will change the lives of HPS students. We already have innovative partnerships with UA-HT where students can graduate with associate’s degrees and skilled trade certifications. This investment from Farmers will decrease the financial barrier many students have in pursuing post-secondary education. We are so grateful for Farmers and their dedication to the Hope community. We have the vision that ALL students will graduate from Hope Public Schools ready for the next step, whatever that may be. In the coming years. Farmers Bank will help make that vision a guarantee.”


About Farmers Bank Foundation: Created in 2021 for Farmers Bank & Trust’s 115 anniversary, the Farmers Bank Foundation’s giving priorities are to support local nonprofits whose mission is to purposefully enrich the quality of life in the communities where Farmers Bank & Trust customers and employees live. The foundation’s funding is made possible by the bank’s shareholders and employees across Arkansas and Texas. The Farmers Bank Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that will operate independently from Farmers Bank & Trust. For additional information or to apply for Farmers Bank Foundation funding, please visit MyFarmers.Bank/FarmersBankFoundation.

On Thursday, May 19, at 10:00 a.m. the public is invited to attend a celebration of the grand opening of the newly renovated Hempstead County Courthouse, located at 200 E. 3rd Street in Hope, Arkansas. A free catered brunch will be provided by Farmers Bank & Trust.

“Farmers Bank & Trust is proud to align itself with the voters of Hempstead County to bring this to fruition. The building is paid off and I believe it will serve our citizens well,” Farmers Bank & Trust Hope Market President Jacob Jones said.

Speakers for the event include Farmers Bank & Trust CEO Chris Gosnell, Hempstead County Judge Jerry Crane, and Justice of the Peace Steve Atchley, who is the project manager of courthouse improvements.

Farmers Bank & Trust sold the building to Hempstead County in 2017. To learn more, click HERE.

Agricultural Loan Officer Darren Neal is a retired Sergeant with Arkansas State Police and a former crop consultant. He has a passion for helping those who feed America and is excited about offering agricultural financing to our communities.

I’ve been in the production of cattle for over 25 years. We’ve owned poultry houses. I have sat on the other side of the desk. I know what it’s like to walk into a bank and ask for these loans and try to explain why I need them. I speak our customer’s language.

Contact Darren at darren.neal@myfarmers.bank or visit your local Farmers Bank & Trust branch to start your process today! Visit HERE for more details.


Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender

#BankingWithHEART

The Farmers Bank Foundation of Magnolia, Arkansas, donated a total of $5,000 to five affiliate offices of The CALL, a non-profit organization that mobilizes and equips local churches to serve children and youth placed in foster care.

The Farmers Bank Foundation granted $1,000 to the following The CALL offices in Arkansas: Hempstead & Nevada Counties, Miller County, Columbia & Lafayette Counties, Saline & Perry Counties, and Ouachita County.

“I have seen first-hand how The CALL can make a difference in a child’s life,” said Farmers Bank Foundation Executive Director Elizabeth Burns Anderson. “They work endlessly to provide safe Christian homes for children in foster care.”

A living and meeting space inside of The CALL home office located at 2010 Military Road in Benton, AR.

The giving priorities of the Farmers Bank Foundation are to support local nonprofits whose mission is to purposefully enrich the quality of life in the communities where Farmers Bank & Trust customers and employees live.

The CALL is a statewide organization and is active in 44 counties around Arkansas. They partner with the Division of Children and Family Services to recruit, train and support foster and adoptive families for children and teens in foster care.

“The generous financial support from our community enables us to focus on finding healing and supportive homes for children in foster care instead of having to focus our time and energy on fundraising,” said Julia DesCarpentrie, County Coordinator for The CALL in Saline & Perry Counties. “We appreciate the support of Farmers Bank & Trust!”

(L to R): Farmers Bank & Trust Content Specialist Cara Knight, The CALL County Coordinator Julia DesCarpentrie, Farmers Bank Foundation Executive Director Elizabeth Anderson

DesCarpentrie said the money donated for Saline & Perry Counties will be used to finish out a back patio and a new swing set before the spring for their home office located at 2010 Military Road in Benton, AR.

For ways you can get involved with The CALL, please visit TheCallinArkansas.org/volunteer.

The CALL of Saline & Perry Counties Foster Care Closet located in Benton, AR.

Hempstead & Nevada Counties

(L to R): Farmers Bank & Trust Hope Market President Jacob Jones, The CALL Administrative Assistant Julie Lively, The CALL Financial Coordinator Bill Coffee, The CALL County Coordinator Dixie Coffee, Famers Bank & Trust Commercial Loan Officer Janet Choate

Miller County

(L to R): James Bramlett, Farmers Bank & Trust Texarkana Market President
Laura Smith, The CALL Miller County Coordinator
Cala McCool, Farmers Bank & Trust Mortgage Loan Processor

Columbia & Lafayette Counties

(L to R): Monty Harrington, Farmers Bank & Trust Magnolia Market President
Krista Hamlin, The CALL County Coordinator
Brenda Holley, Farmers Bank & Trust Retail Loan Officer
Maggie Harrell, Farmers Bank & Trust Teller
Jason Ray, Farmers Bank & Trust Commercial Loan Officer

Ouachita County

(L to R): Farmers Bank & Trust Camden Market President Blake Fain, The CALL County Coordinator Makenzie Hayes

About Farmers Bank Foundation: Created in 2021 for Farmers Bank & Trust’s 115 anniversary, the Farmers Bank Foundation’s giving priorities are to support local nonprofits whose mission is to purposefully enrich the quality of life in the communities where Farmers Bank & Trust customers and employees live. The foundation’s funding is made possible by the bank’s shareholders and employees across Arkansas and Texas. The Farmers Bank Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that will operate independently from Farmers Bank & Trust. For additional information or to apply for Farmers Bank Foundation funding, please visit HERE.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and Santa is coming to Farmers Bank & Trust! Mark your calendars to bring the family for a merry good time!

Texarkana, TX

23rd Annual Bramlett Beans & Cornbread Community Fundraiser
Thursday, December 2 | 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Texarkana Texas Convention Center – 2910 S. Cowhorn Creek Loop
All proceeds benefit the Christmas Basket program
Click HERE for more details

37th Annual Main Street Christmas Parade
Monday, December 6 | 7 p.m.
This year’s parade route has changed! Click HERE for the new route.

Pictures with Santa
2900 Saint Michael Dr.
Friday, December 10 | 3 – 5 p.m.

New Boston, TX

Farmers Bank Free Entry Night – The Grinch
Thursday, December 23 | 6 p.m.
New Boston Cinema
142 N. Elm St.
*Up to 150 people

Paris, TX

Pictures with Santa
1375 NE Loop 286
Wednesday, December 22 | 2 – 5 p.m.
*Special goodie bag given to first 30 kids!

Prosper, TX

Pictures with Santa
750 N. Preston Rd.
Friday, December 10 | 2 – 4:30 p.m.

Camden, AR

Pictures with Santa
116 Jefferson Dr. SW
Monday, December 20 | 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Hope, AR

201 East Third St.
Chamber Coffee
Wednesday, December 8 | 9:30 – 11 a.m.
Pictures with Santa
Tuesday, December 14 | 3 – 4:30 p.m.
Community Christmas Parade
*Farmers Bank & Trust is the Parade Presenting Sponsor!
Monday, December 6 | 6 p.m.
For more details and parade entry form, click HERE

Prescott, AR

Nevada County Christmas Parade
Thursday, December 9 | Begins at 6 p.m.
215 East 2nd St. South
Click HERE for more details

Magnolia, AR

Magnolia’s Christmas Parade 
Thursday, December 2 | 5 p.m.
Parade Route: Jackson Street
Farmers Bank & Trust is sponsoring the $250 Christ in Christmas Award
Click HERE for more details


To find a branch near you, visit HERE.
Darren Neal, NMLS #1983610

As Farmers Bank & Trust expands into new communities, so does its wide variety of products and services. The Bank is thrilled to welcome Darren Neal, Agricultural Loan Officer, Senior Vice President, to the team.

Darren’s first official headshot with the Arkansas State Police. He graduated from Troop School in 1995-B.

Born and raised in Jonesboro, AR, Neal grew up working on a rice and soybean farm. After high school, he served four years in the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division. He is a graduate of Arkansas State University with a degree in Agricultural Business and Economics. While he started out his career as a crop consultant, Neal said he knew all along his dream was to become an Arkansas State Trooper.

“I really believe that was my life’s calling, so that’s what I did,” Neal said. “I took a pay cut and moved across the state to become a trooper.”

Neal moved to Prescott, AR where he and his wife, Kristi, built a home and started a cattle farm. He worked drug interdiction on the interstate for 10 years before becoming a Sergeant. He retired after 21 years with Troop G serving Southwest Arkansas.

“I had a good career,” Neal said. “But you sacrifice a lot. I really missed out on a lot with my kids.”

Darren, his daughter Emilee, son Carter, and wife Kristi

Neal’s daughter, Emilee, works as a Loan Assistant at the Farmers Bank & Trust Bryant branch. His son, Carter, currently attends Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, AR. After retiring with the state, Neal built a four-house pullet farm totaling 100,000 square feet. This operation is no small task, his wife takes on the day-to-day operations and his kids often visit home on the weekends to help.

“It’s seven days a week,” he said. “We’ve got 15,000 chicks just in one house. I can understand my customers because I speak their language. I have been in their shoes. I know there are other options, but we want to set ourselves apart. We want people to do business with us because we’re going to treat them right.”

This opportunity with the Bank is one that Neal believes was divine intervention.

“I believe Farmers Bank & Trust’s core values align with mine,” he said. “They are genuinely in the communities to serve. I’m excited to be able to offer this additional service to our customers.”

Neal’s office is located at the Farmers Bank & Trust Hope Downtown branch at 201 East Third Street in Hope, AR, but he is available to help serve all communities Bank-wide.

“We are extremely pleased and excited to have Darren Neal on the Farmers Bank & Trust team!” Hope Market President Jacob Jones said. “The poultry business has deep roots in Southwest Arkansas, and we are excited to have the ability to offer poultry house financing to our customers. Darren brings a level of experience and unique background that makes him an excellent fit for the Bank.”

To contact a loan officer, visit HERE, and find a location near you HERE.

The Neal family’s pullet houses in Prescott, AR.