our team

L to R: FBI Little Rock Citizens Academy Alumni Association Board Member Wes Booker, classmate and Senior Writer for Gov. Asa Hutchinson Jay Grelen, Grelen’s wife, Candace Rankin

Congratulations Candace!

Farmers Bank & Trust Community Specialist & Assistant Board Secretary Candace Rankin graduated from the prestigious FBI Citizens Academy program on June 7, 2022.

The FBI Citizens Academy gives business, religious, civic, and community leaders an inside look at the FBI. Candidates are nominated and then selected to participate by the special agent in charge of the local FBI field office.

“I have always had respect for law enforcement, but this experience really opened my eyes to a lot of things I was unaware of. The level of respect I have for them now is even greater,” Rankin said.

“The FBI Citizens Academy is an excellent curriculum to connect the FBI to our local leaders and difference-makers in Arkansas,” Farmers Bank Foundation Executive Director Elizabeth Anderson said. “Candace has been instrumental in the Bank’s relationship with the FBI, by connecting them to the communities we serve.”

In her role, Rankin organizes various Bank and community events including the annual FBI Community Awareness Program luncheons where law enforcement from all departments across the state get together with community leaders for a presentation and brief training.

“Farmers Bank & Trust’s former Chairman & CEO Bob Burns went through this program many years ago and our CEO Chris Gosnell has gone through it as well,” Rankin said. “I’m honored the Bank nominated me for this opportunity and that I was able to attend.”

Once a week for eight weeks Rankin drove from Magnolia, Arkansas to Little Rock for class. Topics covered during the academy include cybersecurity, active shooter training, negotiation, domestic and counterterrorism, weapons of mass destruction, stop the bleed training, and more.

“I believe everyone who works in customer care should learn this information. It’s potentially life-saving,” Rankin said.

For more information about the FBI Citizens Academy, visit HERE.

Candace with classmate Alicia Evans of Arkansas Department of Labor

The Farmers Bank & Trust Board of Directors recently announced the promotion of Jeff Whitener and Brad Moore to Regional Credit Officers.

In this new role, Whitener and Moore will have more responsibility overseeing loan production and credit quality in multiple markets as the Bank continues to grow in Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma.

Jeff Whitener

Whitener has 10 years of banking experience and works out of the Magnolia Main Farmers Bank & Trust branch, located at 200 E. Main Street. He currently serves as Senior Commercial Loan Officer. He holds Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees. He will graduate from the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado in July of 2022. Whitener is involved in many local organizations in his community including First Baptist Church, United Way, Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, Golden Triangle, Columbia Christian School Board, Leadership Magnolia, Mulerider Club Board, and the Magnolia Hospital Auxiliary Board. He is married to Kelsey, and they have two kids, Alyssa, and Austin.

“I am humbled and excited for the opportunity,” said Whitener. “I look forward to assisting in growth and development opportunities for our customers and staff across the region.”

Brad Moore

Moore has 25 years of banking experience and is the New Boston, Texas Market President at ourbranch located at 416 N McCoy Boulevard. He holds BBA and MBA degrees from Texas A&M University-Texarkana. He is also involved in his community and serves as President of the Friends of West Bowie County and is the Vice President of the New Boston Noon Lions Club. He is married to Amanda and together they have one son, Phillip.

“My favorite part about working for Farmers is the culture of our Bank and local decision making,” said Moore. “I am honored our executive management team has confidence in me to fulfill this new role.”

“Jeff and Brad’s experience and leadership will help drive the Bank forward for years to come. I thank them for their unwavering commitment to the Bank’s lending team,” said Dave White, Farmers Bank & Trust Chief Lending Officer.

Headshot of Mike Boyd

Mike Boyd will join Farmers Bank & Trust as General Counsel and Executive Vice President effective July 1, 2022. A current member of the Farmers Bank & Trust Board of Directors since March 17, 2015, Boyd will remain on the Board and lead the Bank with various legal needs.

“Adding Mike Boyd to our Farmers Bank & Trust team is a natural fit,” said Farmers Bank & Trust Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board, Chris Gosnell. “Mike’s extensive experience and vibrant community involvement will help the Bank for many years to come.”

Reared in Cleveland County, Arkansas, Mike Boyd graduated in 1994 from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with a Bachelor of Arts in broadcast journalism. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Arkansas School of Law at Fayetteville in 1997. Boyd joined Bell & Boyd in Magnolia, Arkansas, in 2008.

Mike is City Attorney for Magnolia, Arkansas; chairman of a panel for the Office of Professional Conduct; President of the Arkansas 4-H Foundation; and a board member of Magnolia Arts. He is a member of the Arkansas and Columbia County Bar Associations and a member and past president of the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association. Boyd is licensed to practice in Arkansas. He is a past president of the Magnolia Economic Development Corporation, Magnolia Unlimited, and Magnolia-Columbia County Chamber of Commerce.

Mike Boyd resides in Magnolia, Arkansas, and enjoys fishing, kayaking, and officiating high school football. He and his wife, Jamie, have four children and three grandchildren.

“I am excited to join the Farmers Bank & Trust team full-time,” says Boyd, “it has been an honor to serve on the Bank board of directors for several years; I look forward to helping the Bank continue its positive growth pattern.”

Erik Roddy

The Farmers Bank & Trust Board of Directors recently announced the promotion of Erik Roddy to Paris, TX Market President. In this role, Roddy will continue to manage his loan portfolio, but will also provide leadership to assure the short- and long-term profitability of the Bank.

Roddy has 18 years of banking experience and holds a Business Administration degree from Texas A&M-Commerce. He is also a graduate of The University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute. “Erik will do a tremendous job leading the Paris Market,” said Jeff Nutt, Farmers Bank & Trust Regional Market President. “He is a leader by nature and loves his community. We are excited for him and the future of the Paris market.”

Roddy serves on the Paris Economic Development Corporation Board and is the Finance Chairman for the Downtown Food Pantry. He and his wife, Cheryl, are members of His Place Fellowship, and they have three sons, one daughter, and four granddaughters.

Erik with his wife, Cheryl, and sons, Nathan, Evan, and Ryan, at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort.

“I’m humbled and honored to be entrusted with this role in the Paris market,” said Roddy. “Family and community are at the heart of everything we do. We are only getting started with our commitment to give back to Paris.”

Farmers Bank & Trust entered Paris, TX in early 2021 with a branch located at 1375 NE Loop 286, and a new branch is set to open in 2022.

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

Jan Redfearn

Farmers Bank & Trust Branch Manager Jan Redfearn will retire with nearly 26 years of service on January 26, 2022. Redfearn began her career at the Bank in Magnolia, AR as a teller and was promoted four times over the years to her current title as Branch Manager of the Farmers Bank & Trust Hollensworth location in Magnolia.

“My favorite part of my job was getting to know our customers and building a relationship with Mary Harsh and her family,” said Redfearn. “Mary and her husband were Sunday school teachers of mine when I was young. I loved being able to wait on her at the Bank.”

Jan married Al Redfearn in 2002 and they have four children. During her retirement, she said she is looking forward to spending more time with her grandchildren and plans to travel more.

Magnolia Market President Monty Harrington said, “Jan’s almost 26 years of service to the Bank is quite an accomplishment. We’re proud for her and wish her a happy and healthy retirement.”

On January 26, the public is invited to Jans retirement celebration from 2-4 p.m. at the Magnolia Main Bank, located at 200 East Main Street in Magnolia, AR.

Farmers Bank & Trust Regional Market President Jeff Nutt

The Farmers Bank & Trust Board of Directors recently announced the promotion of Jeff Nutt to Regional Market President. In addition to continuing his efforts in the Paris, Texas market, Nutt’s promotion will allow him to support other Farmers Bank & Trust markets including Prosper, New Boston, and Texarkana.

“As soon as the purchase of nine Arvest branches is completed later this month, Jeff will support the new DeQueen, Arkansas market, which will also include Broken Bow and Idabel, Oklahoma,” said Farmers Bank & Trust Chief of Staff Mike Cross. “Jeff has had consistent success when building strong relationships with both customers and team members.”

With almost 20 years of banking experience, Nutt, a commercial loan officer, began his career as a credit analyst in Texarkana, Texas. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from Sam Houston State University and is a graduate of the Southwest Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University. He also completed American Bankers Association Commercial Lending School.

Nutt said, “I’m looking forward to this new role, working with people in our Bank outside of Paris and seeing what we can accomplish together.”

Nutt with his wife, Meagan, daughters, Faith and Piper, and sons, Luke and Eli. All are pictured with their dogs, Jake and Watson, cow, Oakley, and mini-horses, Trigger and Bullet.

Nutt is active in church and comes from a family entrenched in the Lamar County community. His father, Ronnie Nutt, was awarded the 2020 “History Maker of the Year” by the Lamar County Historical Society. He has been married to his wife, Meagan, for 16 years and together they have four children. He is involved locally with the Keep Paris Working board and has served as President of the Trinity Christian Academy school board for 10 years. In his free time, Nutt enjoys coaching his kids’ sports teams.

“I coach just about every single team my kids are on,” he said. “I love that my kids are passionate about sports like I was growing up. We’re able to spend a lot of extra time together and make memories that will last a lifetime.”

Farmers Bank & Trust entered Paris, TX in early 2021 with a branch located at 1375 NE Loop 286, and a new branch is set to open in 2022.

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

Farmers Bank & Trust Prosper Market President Ray Smith

For more than 20 years, Farmers Bank & Trust Prosper Market President Ray Smith has been cooking his signature black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day.

“In college, my roommate and I would cook all the time,” Smith said. “We would make beans and eat on them for a week or two. We would grill chicken or steak. I’ve just always loved cooking and hosting.”

Smith said he wakes up around 4 a.m. on New Year’s Day to begin cooking black-eyed peas for his community. He invites Bank customers, council members, town staff members, local police and fire chiefs, and neighborhood residents to stop by his home to celebrate the new year and take part in the southern tradition.

According to Southern Living, there’s evidence people ate black-eyed peas for luck as early as 500 A.D. While some do partake in the peas for the superstitions, Smith said to him it’s all for fun and bringing people together.

“This year we’re going to have to make it a drive-by event due to all the sickness going around,” he said. “I am disciplined on eating healthy, so I don’t eat many of my peas, but everyone tells me they’re really tasty!”

Smith said he adds or takes away an ingredient each year because he enjoys experimenting with food, but this year he will make his black-eyed peas as follows:

Ray Smith’s New Year’s Black-Eyed Peas

  • Place the following in a pot of water and bring to a boil:
    3-4 lbs. of black-eyed peas
    Leftover ham hock
    Salt pork
    7-8 Bay leaves
    Seasoned pepper
  • After the water boils, remove from heat and let sit for 1 hour
  • Put the pot back on medium heat, and let it boil while continuing to stir
  • Approximately 1 hour before peas are ready, slice 1/4 of an onion and place in the mixture
  • Cut up sausage and brown on both sides and place in the mixture and continue cooking
  • Some people prefer their peas to be soupy, and some like a thicker texture; when peas have reached the desired consistency, and peas are tender, remove from heat and serve with cornbread

Once you’ve tried out Ray’s New Year’s Black-Eyed Peas, visit him at the Farmers Bank & Trust Prosper, Texas branch located at 750 N. Preston Road. You can also find a Bank location near you HERE.

Brad Ramsey, AVP, Commercial Loan Officer

Farmers Bank & Trust announced today the hiring of Brad Ramsey as an Assistant Vice President and Commercial Loan Officer in Paris, TX. A Paris native, Ramsey has worked in banking for 12 years and has almost 10 years of lending experience.

Ramsey graduated from North Lamar High School and completed his Bachelor of Administration in Finance from Texas A&M – Commerce. He and his family attend East Paris Baptist Church where he serves on the Finance Committee, and his wife, Ragan, is involved in the music ministry. Together they have three children.

I’m looking forward to being a part of a team that strives to serve my hometown community,” said Ramsey. “I’m excited to build relationships that will last a lifetime.

Brad with his wife, Ragan, son, Jax, and daughters, Aubree and Roslyn.

When not at work, Ramsey has a small cattle ranch just south of town where he enjoys spending time outdoors with his family.

“We are so excited to have Brad join our team as a commercial lender. He will be a great addition to our Farmers family,” said Farmers Bank & Trust Paris Market President Jeff Nutt. “He prioritizes the things that mean the most to us and that’s our families, our customers, and our community. He will be a great asset to the Bank.”

Ramsey can meet the needs of new and established businesses of all sizes. He works out of the Farmers Bank & Trust branch located at 1375 NE Loop 286 in Paris, TX. Contact him at brad.ramsey@myfarmers.bank.

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

Creating Christmas traditions is a special way to make the holiday season even more meaningful. In Prescott, Arkansas, Farmers Bank & Trust Branch Manager Carrie Jones has an old-fashioned sweet tradition 10 years in the making – homemade cinnamon candy.

“I went to a church Christmas party and the music director’s wife made some, and it’s my husband’s favorite,” Jones said. “I love to bake so I knew I needed to perfect my own recipe.”

A Perfect Balance

There’s an exact science to making candy, and Carrie has perfected it to a T. Her cinnamon candy is the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. Family, friends, Bank employees, and customers alike request a bag, or two, or six, every year.

“It really has just been word of mouth in southwest Arkansas,” she said. “I love making it because you don’t get homemade candy very often. I enjoy seeing the smiles on people’s faces.”

Because her children are grown, Carrie said it gives her something to do to pass the time when she’s not at the Bank. She looks forward to making it during Christmas and even Valentine’s Day. This year, she made almost 90 bags just in one week.

At the Bank Window

“I am her candy peddler,” laughed Teller Lupe Petit. “So many people come to pick up her cinnamon candy at the Bank window. A lot of people even get it for gifts. It’s very addicting and great for the cold weather. I buy it every year for my husband and little boy.”

If you’re interested in trying to whip up your own batch of hard candy, Carrie’s recipe is under wraps, but HERE is one similar to get you started.

If you’d like to place an order to try it out for yourself, stop by the Farmers Bank & Trust branch located at 103 E 2nd St. South in Prescott, AR.

To find a branch near you, visit HERE.

For more Christmas fun happening at Farmers Bank & Trust, visit our blog post on events HERE.

Bob Burns pictured with his grandson in 2018.

Congratulations to Farmers Bank & Trust’s Bob Burns for receiving the 2021 Trooper Ermon Cox Award at the Annual Arkansas State Police Foundation Appreciation Dinner on October 21, 2021.

Elizabeth Burns Anderson received the Ermon Cox Award on behalf of her father, Bob, at the 2021 ASPF Appreciation Dinner.

Burns has served as the Arkansas State Police Foundation President and as the Chairman for the Arkansas State Police Commission. He was CEO of Farmers Bank & Trust for almost 40 years.

Not only has he served the state of Arkansas, but he is also a retired Colonel in the U.S. Army. Burns served with the 4th Infantry Division in Vietnam with awards including Bronze Star, Presidential Citation, Cross of Gallantry, Distinguished Service Medal, a Purple Heart, and many other awards.

“We’re proud of his continued commitment to public service and philanthropic work,” said Elizabeth Anderson, Farmers Bank Foundation Executive Director. “I was humbled and honored to accept this award on his behalf.”