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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.

This is the BONUS episode with Texarkana Santa! He made a special trip to Bryant, Arkansas to answer some kids’ tough questions.

“How did you become Santa?”
“Have you ever caught a kid on Christmas?”
“How many cookies do you eat in one night?”
“Who is your favorite reindeer?”
“Do you ever shave your beard?”
…and more!

Santa shared with each child their own “Elfin” name. He says that’s the only language they speak at the North Pole! So please welcome Sneezlewee (Shad), Lillywee (Elin), Lillywoo (Etta), Flunk (Warner), and Floober (Slater) to the Podcast!

Etta McClure interviewing Santa

You can listen to his interview with Farmers Bank & Trust Right at the Heart Podcast Host Cara Knight HERE.


Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender

#BankingWithHEART

We’re feeling the magic of Christmas after this interview with the big man in red – that’s right, Santa Claus!

Santa Mark, aka Texarkana Santa, stopped by the Farmers Bank & Trust Bryant branch to share a little bit about his life leading up to this magical role. You’ll never guess his career prior to suiting up!

If you’re listening to this podcast episode with your children, skip on to our bonus episode HERE. Several Farmers Bank & Trust kids interview Santa, and some even share their “top secrets”!

The Royal Robe, as Santa Mark calls it.

The Details of Santa’s Suit

As I explain to the children, the boots have a lot of extra cushiony room on top of my toes because reindeer are really clumsy and they step on my toes a lot! They’re also extra-wide so they look and work like snow shoes, so I don’t fall on the snow and ice at the North Pole.

The glasses perched right at the tip of his nose are non-reflective, non-glare for pictures.
Snowflake designs are pressed into the red velvet vest and it’s fashioned together with gold snowflake buttons.

My reindeer bells are solid brass bells that are tuned. There are three different-sized bells on there so they produce a magical sound.

Santa Mark posing with some of the Bryant branch staff. L to R: Loan Assistant Emilee Neal, Market President Kent McClure, Retail Banker Kayla Ray, Content Specialist & Right at the Heart Podcast Host Cara Knight, Branch Manager Allie Stokes

Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender

#BankingWithHEART

It’s without a doubt the most wonderful time of year and local businesses are looking festive! It’s a great time to take advantage of the free photo opportunities available in Texarkana and the surrounding areas.

Downtown Magic

Downtown Texarkana has kicked the holiday magic up a notch this year and there are festive things on every street. The business all along Broad Street have fun scenes painted on windows or decorated storefronts. It’s especially beautiful to stroll in the evening as the streetlights come on.

The Regional Arts Center and the ArtSpark outdoor art display have been updated with Christmas and holiday scenes, be sure to go snag a photo with your favorite piece of art. My daughter’s favorite is the saguaro with the holiday lights and my son’s favorite is the wolf.

Then, head on over to 1894 Gallery to grab some photos outside, and if they’re open, head on in to check them out while you’re there. It’s a phenomenal, ever-expanding art gallery featuring local and regional artists. Some of our favorite photos are the beautiful, red, phone booth out front and the antique garage door. Keep your eyes on the windows for a full display of nutcrackers in all different shapes, sizes, and styles.  For a bit of Polar Express whimsy, grab some photos on the railcar across the street.

Hold Onto Your Britches

From there, keep heading east in Arkansas for Crossties. You can’t miss the Christmas tree forest display outside of the event venue. Local businesses and residents can adopt a tree and decorate it according to a theme of their choosing. The trees are beautiful both day and night but pop over at dusk for some extra special holiday magic as the lights come on. A wonderful thing about this event is that the money raised from the event goes toward Hold Onto Your Britches Foundation, which helps bring Christmas trees to local children in need.

As you head back up State Line, don’t miss a stop at the recently renovated photographer’s island in front of the post office. You can’t miss the giant Christmas tree which splits the state line! The newly renovated area features new signs and maps, as well as Astroturf green space and parking spaces for food trucks.

Christmas on Main

As you are celebrating the holiday season, be sure to check out the new Christmas on Main by the Perot Theater. The event is on December 18th and will feature several Christmas movies, an ice skating rink, and a special appearance by the man himself, Santa Claus.

Wishing you and your family a truly wonderful holiday season!

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.

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

Since becoming a parent I have been thinking about my future more than ever. I know my son is still young but I also know that the years will pass quickly! I want to make sure we have saved enough money for Turner to attend trade school or college someday. I have chosen to open a savings account for him with Farmers Bank & Trust.

The main thing that caught my eye about Farmers was that they have been extremely active throughout our community. I cannot recall seeing any other local banks that have such a strong community presence! Just this spring they donated money to a literacy project at a local elementary school that my mom also happens to teach at.

Throughout the school year they are present to cheer students on at various rallies for sports. They also treat area teachers with meals throughout the year. These are just some of the many ways they serve our Texarkana community! As a teacher and mother I personally love seeing Farmers help contribute something positive for the future of our community.

I recently visited my local Farmers Bank & Trust branch in order to get information on opening an account for Turner. I was greeted by several friendly and helpful bank employees. They showed me to their complimentary Starbucks coffee bar which I thought was a nice touch! I was able to enjoy a cup of coffee while I met with one of the branch supervisors. She was able to answer all my questions and gave me information on what opening an account for Turner would entail + include. They even gave him his very own piggy bank to start saving his change!

While I was there I also learned that Farmers Bank & Trust has plenty of tools to make banking easy for busy living! They have their own app called MyFarmers Mobile that you can access no matter where you go that allows you to manage your checking account easily. You can even open a new account online in the convenience of your own home in 10 minutes and they will give you a $10 gift card of your choice when you do. In addition, if you ever have to use another bank’s ATM while you are out and about they have a checking account that can refund this fee!

Their motto is “Banking with HEART,” and it is absolutely something they do well as evidenced in how they care for their customers and community as a whole! If you’re looking for a bank that is investing in the future of your community then definitely check out Farmers Bank & Trust for a positive experience.
Visit Megan’s blog HERE.

“Passion is lifted from the earth itself by the muddy hands of the young; it travels along grass-stained sleeves to the heart. If we are going to save environmentalism and the environment, we must also save an endangered indicator species: the child in nature.”
– Richard Louv

Before having children, I read a book that changed my life and my perspectives on parenting, “Last Child in the Woods” by Richard Louv. It’s a powerful book about the importance of nature in childhood. His follow-up book, “The Nature Principle”, addresses the same importance of nature for humans of every age.

Season After Season

When we first moved to the Texarkana area and my children were very little, we began exploring the newly completed trails system at Bringle Lake, starting small with a stroll from one “gnome home” to the next. We made it a part of our weekly rhythm, returning week after week, month after month, and season after season. We’ve seen our favorite climbing tree in every season, watched Pileated woodpeckers zoom from tree to tree,  I’ve been almost sideswiped by a Barred Owl while running, and we’ve had our share of wipeouts thanks to the roots on the trails by the lake. My daughter has a story she has woven over the last six years of hikes, telling me a bit more of the tale each time we hike under the adventure doorway. (You’ll know the tree when you see it).

Miles to Explore

Did you know that there are over ten miles (and growing) of single-track trails right in Texarkana? The wider Wilderness trail stretches almost seven miles, from Bringle Lake East, all the way around Bringle Lake and back out near the Texarkana Golf Ranch. You can take the sidewalk on University Avenue back to your starting point. The single-track trail system, built entirely by volunteers, has a color-coded trail rating for difficulty and there are over seven miles of trail, from the easy green trail, red intermediate, and the black advanced trail (which is under construction).  Or you can enjoy the mile and a half walk from the Bringle East parking lot back to the spillway which has been transformed into an art park over the last few years.

5 Things to do at Bringle Lake:

  • Try to find the Geocaches! There are at least two of them hidden around the lake. Check out the Geocaching app for iPhone and Android.
  • Check out the gnome homes along the Green trail (the single track trail, the entrance is behind the large map sign to the left of bathrooms). Sometimes there are surprises hidden behind those doors! Or, leave a painted rock behind the door as a surprise for the next family, or for the gnomes.
  • Go on a nature hike! Use the SEEK by iNaturalist app to identify the flora and fauna you spot along the trail.
  • Walk back to the Art Park at the spillway and go on a selfie safari with all of the fun public art.
  • Bike the single-track trail – be sure to follow the signs for which direction to go on the trails (foot traffic should be moving in the opposite direction of bike traffic). Or, see if you can make it all the way around the lake, either on foot or on your bike.

Be Respectful

If you head out to enjoy some nearby nature time, please be respectful of the hard work put in by city workers and volunteers to keep the park clean. Picnics are wonderful but do not litter and please clean up after yourselves. Parties are fun too, but confetti is terrible for the environment and can actually be lethal for birds and other animals as they mistake it for food. Remember, you are in nature and it’s home to all sorts of critters, big and small. Be aware of your surroundings and use caution when picking up sticks or moving logs. Please take only photos, and leave only footprints, so that we can all continue to enjoy this beautiful public park.

Recently, the volunteers who have worked so hard to build trails and bridges at Bringle were dealt a tough hand, when their tools and wood were stolen. Would you consider helping replenish their wood and replace some tools? There is a GoFundMe set up for the owner of Berridge Bikes, who is also the mastermind behind this great trail system.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful time exploring the Bringle Lake Trail System! The outdoors are for everyone and there are no ability requirements for heading outside to explore and have some fun. Happy exploring!

Click HERE for a trail map!