Independence Magazine

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INDEPENDENCE Financial Freedom the Credit Union Way Get a Sneak Peak of our new Aberdeen Branch (Page 16) in a small making it HOUSING MARKET Tackling the in 2023 5 Easy Clues to Discovering a SCAM HAPPEN TOWN
Home Equity LoanEverything | 800.440.6573 NMLS# 657864 Home Repairs Vacation College Education Debt Consolidation

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union’s Tom Myers was awarded the 2022 South Dakota Housing Area Loan Officer of the Year award at the SDHDA Annual Housing Conference on Nov. 7th in Pierre, SD. Brent Adney, Director of SD Housing, presented the award to Tom which was initially created to recognize loan officers who are strong supporters of affordable housing in their communities. There are more than 500 participating loan officers from 40 different lenders. Dakotaland is extremely proud to have Tom Myers serving our members since he joined the Mortgage Lending Team in 2017.

Independence | 1 CREDITS & CONTACTS Dakotaland Federal Credit Union | 2297 Kansas Ave. SE, Ste. 1 | Huron, SD 57350 | 800.440.6573 PUBLISHER/EDITOR: Dawn Mutchelknaus | • DESIGN/LAYOUT: Emily Kuehl | PRINTING: Brad McGirr/Creative Printing | • ONLINE: | Full Service Financial Cooperative 42,000 Individual Member Owners 2nd Largest Credit Union in SD with $575 Million in Assets 173 Full & Part Time Staff Serving Those Who Live, Work or Worship in 27 East Central SD Counties Aberdeen | Brookings De Smet | Huron Madison| Mitchell Redfield | Volga Watertown | Woonsocket 7 Person Volunteer Board of Directors Appointed by the Membership 10 Communities 12 Branches


Debbie Chief Human Resource Officer Sarah Chief Mortgage Officer Amy Chief Operating Officer Bryan Chief Lending Officer Chad Chief Growth Officer
Ruth Anne VP of
/ Internal Auditor
VP of Information Technology
VP of Card Services
Char VP of Teller Services Kara VP of Mortgage Production Drew VP of Member Services Laura VP of Collections / Real Estate Servicing Mike Chief Information Technology Officer Justin Chief Financial Officer
Jennifer VP of
Ryan VP of Business Lending
Mortgage Operations
VP of
Electronic Services
Leah VP of
VP of
Dawn VP of
of Consumer Lending Operations
Asst. VP
Consumer Lending Production
Asst. VP of
Htee Na VP of Interpreting Jennifer Asst. VP of Teller Services
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Gina VP of Product Development Ryan Chief Executive Officer

HOUSING MARKET Tackling the in 2023

Within the past couple of years, the housing market has changed in a way consumers and agents have never seen before. With an increase in cash offers, little to no contingencies and a shortage of homes on the market, the demand for housing is high, which in turn has given sellers a strong hold on today’s market climate. So, how does someone compete under the current market conditions? We sat down with Ryan Krogman, Broker–Owner of Century 21 Krogman and Company in Brookings, SD to gain insight into why market conditions are the way they are and how buyers can best tackle the purchasing process. Ryan and his brother, Matt, own and operate the agency together with a combined 50 years of experience in the real estate industry. When we first asked Ryan how he would describe the current conditions of the real estate market, he labeled it a sellers’ market. “The competition is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, and buyers are forced to work extra hard to get an offer accepted,” shared Krogman. He believes the market will eventually stabilize and even trend downward as inflation and prices continue to rise. Meaning it is not necessarily a question of if, but instead when. In the meantime, Ryan does not foresee the housing frenzy dying down anytime soon. article continues on page 7

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“Seeing cash offers for over the asking price is not uncommon, but what is alarming is how far over asking people go to get an offer accepted.”
Ryan Krogman
Broker–Owner of Century 21 Krogman and Company | Brookings, SD


Your Teen Wants to Learn

Your teen has a natural curiosity about money, especially when they witness early on how it impacts their list of wants. The information and habits they are collecting today will influence their money management abilities and chances for financial success as an adult. There is no better time than now to foster their curiosity and share these most critical life lessons.

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It seems like a simple concept, but not always easy to put into practice. Whether it be an allowance from family or wage from an employer, your teen will form good habits by following this golden rule to managing their money.


Budgeting can be an overwhelming task even for an experienced adult. Start your teen out with the simple challenge of tracking their expenses. This is the first step to understanding where their money goes and if it was spent wisely.


There are advantages and disadvantages to paying with cash, paying with a debit card, and paying with a credit card. Your teen will benefit from knowing the differences and when to choose one over the other.


Borrowed money comes with a price and sometimes that cost can be substantial. How interest and fees affect the use of money is information your teen needs to know from both the loan and saving perspective.


Receiving that first paycheck can be a bit disappointing if no one has ever explained why ‘take home pay’ is less than expected. Understanding withholdings like taxes, benefits and other payroll deductions will help prepare your teen for this reality.


Being in debt is not necessarily a bad thing, but the wrong kind of debt can be dangerous. Explaining the difference between secured and unsecured debt can give your teen insight to proper debt management.


Students are familiar with the A, B, C, and D grading system, which makes a credit score scale easy to understand. Your teen may not have a credit score today, but they will benefit from knowing they have an influence over their financial grade.

Independence | 5 | 800.440.6573 *annual percentage rate | NMLS# 657864 Balloon BUYING OR REFINANCING A HOME Rise Above the Noise with Two More Years of Fixed Rate Protection Five year balloon mortgage with an additional two years at a competitive low rate.

Before entering the market as a buyer, Krogman highly recommends getting pre–approved by a mortgage lender and staying on top of the market and current listings. Oftentimes, properties are selling in a matter of days, so it’s important to be ready to place an offer as quickly as possible. The competition between buyers is at an all–time high, and this has changed the bidding process significantly. “Seeing cash offers for over the asking price is not uncommon, but what is alarming is how far over asking people go to get an offer accepted,” explains Krogman. In addition, buyers are foregoing inspection contingencies, which agents haven’t noted any significant issues with this decision in our local markets. What they have noticed, is sellers are able to sell their homes for almost 10% more than what they could have previously. Of course, this also caused the buyer to offer or spend 10% more.

You would think these market conditions would have everyone putting their home up for sale, but that is not the case and here is why. Even if a seller can move their home for over the asking price, will they be able to find a house to buy once their home has been sold? Secondly, if they do locate a house will they need to plan to spend over the asking price for their offer to be accepted on the new home.

For those in the bidding stages of the home buying process, Ryan had some useful suggestions for creating a more enticing offer. He recommended not making your offer contingent on the sale of another property and minimizing as many contingencies as possible.

Unfortunately, the buyers that have been hit the hardest by the new playing field are the first–time home buyers, as they have loan contingencies that cannot be waived. This makes it difficult to compete with buyers who have the means to waive those contingencies. In some cases, the result for first–time buyers is offering over asking price or have relatives purchase properties for them with the intent of buying it back in the future.

While the market is in an unprecedented condition, it is important to stay prepared and informed for when you’re able to make an offer on a new property. To get familiar with your options and get pre–approved for your new home, stop in to your local Dakotaland branch. Meet with one of our experienced mortgage loan officers and prepare your next steps to best tackle the housing market.

For those in the bidding stages of the home buying process, Ryan recommends not making your offer contingent on the sale of another property and minimizing as many contingencies as possible.

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MAKING IT HAPPEN in a small town

In 1978, Jeff Kelsey graduated from Wessington Springs High School. He confesses at that time he had no idea what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. Having two sisters in Oregon they encouraged him to come “to the land of opportunity,” so the young man headed west. He took the first job he was offered at a roofing company. Scared to death of heights, Jeff quickly decided that was not his calling and went to work in a lumber mill when the job became available. The loss of his dad in 1979 and the fact he was just plain homesick, brought Jeff back to the foothills of Wessington Springs.

Looking for a career that kept his feet on the ground, American State Bank quickly became a solid influence in Kelsey’s life as he made a 15–year career commitment to the banking industry. During that time, Jeff made two decisions that would prove to be a constant in his life. First, Kelsey sought out classes and became proficient in tax preparation. Next, he became a licensed insurance agent. “Little did I know then how important those two decisions would be to the course of my long–term career,” shared Kelsey. Another wise decision Jeff made took place in 1988 when he married his wife, Karen Jeff admits he was baptized by fire in the banking business. With no secondary education, he learned from the ground up working in the teller line, running a proof machine, typing up loans, doing taxes, selling insurance and eventually was named Vice President/Branch Manager.

After leaving the banking industry late in 1994, Jeff took employment with Stan’s Feed & Grain in 1995, but stayed true to his bookkeeping, tax, and insurance talents. In 1996, Jeff’s wife, Karen, entered the insurance business, and they converted the front entry of their house into a home office. Eventually they moved to a building built on the same property as their home, to house the insurance and income tax/bookkeeping businesses. These businesses are known today as Kelsey Service Agency, Inc.

In early 1998, the Kelseys applied for a Pioneer Seed contract and in August were notified they had been approved for a Pioneer Seed Dealership. This was the

Little did I know then how important those two decisions would be to the course of my long–term career
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Jeff Kelsey

beginning of Kelsey Seed & Ag Service, LLC. The dealership would require a warehouse and for the first time the Kelseys would need to hire staff. Kelsey had become a member of Dakotaland Federal Credit Union and pursued funding for his newest venture. “Looking back, this was a pivotal point in my career, which set several other wheels in motion,” relayed Jeff. Surprisingly, one of those wheels started to roll over a game of pool. Yes, over a friendly game of billiards, Kelsey hired a young Lake Area Tech graduate, by the name of Jason Schley. Jeff claims there was just something about Jason. Schley was a local kid with a lot of ambition and that relationship proved to fuel many of the opportunities and growth Kelsey would take on over the next two decades, starting with Jason’s suggestion to add agricultural chemical sales to the already substantiated seed business. A ‘yes’ from Jeff raised the Alpena based company to a full–service chemical and seed retail status.

In the meantime, family joined the family businesses. Daughter, Shawn, stepped into an Office Manager position and later obtained her insurance license to eventually oversee the Kelsey Insurance Agency, which she still does today. Shawn’s husband, Dean, came into the fold in 2009, when an investment was made into spray application equipment expanding the chemical and seed business to include ground application services and K–O Custom Spray was born. The business continued to grow over the next several years, but as it sometimes happens, family outgrows the family business structure. For the Kelseys that meant K–O Spray would eventually be sold off and Jeff relied on a third party to support his chemical application service. In 2014, once again Schley prompted Jeff with a business idea. Jason had always been passionate about plant

and soil health and he had a vision for a soil and tissue laboratory. Kelsey was skeptical and struggled to see how a high–tech venture such as this would work in a small town like Alpena. His research took him as far away as Temple, Texas and to a wealth of knowledge coming to him out of South Dakota State University in Brookings through a retired business contact. With the purchase of a private residence in Alpena and some creative renovations, Jason narrowed his focus to the soil lab and together Next Level Ag LLC was created. article continues on page 15

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5 Easy Clues

to Discovering a SCAM

It is safe to say scammers have become highly skilled today at tricking us with fraudulent calls, text messages and emails. At Dakotaland, our number one priority is the safety of your personal information and financial resources. Dakotaland knows that providing the best security possible requires your vigilance as well.

In a few words, when dealing with the very–convincing email or texting scams of today, slow down, ‘don’t click,’ call the entity on their published number to verify. Also with phone scams, I have similar advice. Hang up when someone calls, then call back at a published number before you do anything. Unfortunately, no incoming call, email or text can be trusted on its own merit. So, I have listed additional tips to help you decipher the difference between a good contact and a bad scam.

It’s an Emergency

One of the easiest ways for a scammer to get your attention is to create an emergency. When someone you know is supposedly in trouble or a bill is suddenly overdue, red flags should go up for you. These are common tricks to coerce you into doing something in haste which you wouldn’t normally do. If someone calls insisting you act urgently, hang up and make a call to the person who is supposedly in trouble or call the published number of the business you allegedly owe money to. Verify the situation and do not rush to meet their demands.

Asking for Personal Information

Scammers love to impersonate a government agency such as the IRS or a trusted business like your credit card company, utility company or financial institution. They act as if they know you and proceed to ask you for personal information to verify or secure your accounts. Millions of us have been part of data breaches impacting our private data also. Scammers can get access to that data and use it to “prove” they are legitimately calling you. How else could they know so much about you? Don’t fall for it. Instead, hang up and call the business or agency on their regular published number or the customer service number on the back of the actual credit card to validate the request. Legitimate companies advertise that they do not ask for personal information by calling you.

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Needing Access to Your Computer or Cell Phone

When you have been notified that your computer, laptop or cell phone has been compromised, BEWARE! If anyone asks to remote into your device to install software, help you reset a password or update your security, the answer is always no! Disengage from this person immediately, power off your device if you are concerned they got access and contact your local computer or cell phone representative if you feel your device has been compromised. Remember, no company is monitoring your computer for security updates – only you can keep your devices secure. Run the updates from the device operating system settings icons or menus. Install a trusted antivirus product. If you are not sure how to do that, reach out to a vendor or person you trust to help.

Contacting You Unexpectedly

Everyone has experienced scammers using local phone numbers spoofed to try to get you to answer, “because your car’s extended warranty has expired.” Unfortunately, we have reached a point where any unrecognized number on your personal devices is likely a scam (your work calls may be different, of course.)

If you use a cell phone, store known callers in your contacts list. If a number not in your contacts is calling, let it go to voicemail. Then use your cell phone’s caller blocking features if the call is unwanted. To avoid most of these calls, place your land line and cell phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry operated by the Federal Trade Commission. Nearly every email and cellular system has a means to mark messages as “junk” or “spam” or block. Use those features and beware of emails and texts from non-contacts. Don’t click on any links, open the web browser and access the secured website of the organization emailing you. Links in emails are truly getting more dangerous, so remember “don’t click”.

It's too Good to be True

Wow! You won a million dollars or an all-expense paid Caribbean cruise and all you must do is call in the next 30 minutes to claim your prize. It looks legitimate and it sure would be terrible if you missed out on all that money. But the fact is, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Before you call that number, do your research. There are many great resources out there, but South Dakota residents can visit the South Dakota Consumer Protection Office of the Attorney General website at fastfacts.aspx to determine if the offer has been reported as a scam.

In the US, one in ten adults will fall victim to a scam or fraud every year. If you feel you have been the target of a scam, it is important to first take immediate measures to protect yourself and your assets. Dakotaland can help, call us. Your next step may well be reporting the incident to your local police department.

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One of the incentives in obtaining a credit card are the perks and rewards that come with it. Depending on your personal spending habits, some credit cards may fit your needs better than others. However, the Dakotaland Federal Credit Union VISA® Credit Card offers a five–star rewards points program, while still offering an incredibly low interest rate, no annual fee and increased security with purchase alerts. While you are taking advantage of your savings, be sure to check out some of the rewards you can receive when you use your Dakotaland VISA® Card at

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Why Dakotaland’s VISA® Credit Card Tops Your Shopping List
Stephanie Head Card Services Representative


Within the Scorecard Rewards program, card holders receive points that are redeemable on merchandise. Merchandise can range from Apple AirPods to Michael Kors sunglasses and more, making Christmas shopping a breeze.


Another perk of the Scorecard Rewards program includes travel and fuel discounts. Cardholders can use their points to buy flights, luggage, hotel rooms and more. If you’re a frequent traveler, these rewards are a no brainer.



for the...

You can never go wrong with good food, and it tastes even better when it’s free. Redeem your Scorecard Rewards points as gift cards to all your favorite restaurants or gift them to your favorite foodie.

Event Junkie

This perk is one of our favorites, and it’s perfect if you love attending local events. Whether it’s a concert or tickets to a football game, cardholders can redeem their points to purchase tickets to their favorite events.


If the latest gadget or electronic device catches your attention, you’re going to love this line up. Scorecard Rewards can make that tablet, Fire Stick or Bluetooth speaker the next addition to your collection.

As a Dakotaland VISA® cardholder, you can earn an

based on your purchases.

It is also important to know unused points will expire annually after six years beginning 12/31/2028.

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unlimited number
To apply for a Dakotaland VISA® Credit Card and start earning reward points, check out:
of reward–lending/personal–loan/visa
as Nice Twice Double Feels transfer your balance to a DAKOTALAND VISA® CREDIT CARD at the low rate of apr* 7.90% Use your DAKOTALAND VISA® Credit Card to Earn DOUBLE REWARD POINTS 14 | Independence *annual percentage rate | Offer Expires 12/31/2022 | Intro. Rate Applies Until 01/01/2024 | No Transfer Fee | Some Restrictions Apply

article continued from page 9

Moving forward a few more years, Jeff’s son–in–law, Travis Hohn, who had been involved in agricultural lines of business since 1998, took on a partner and approached the Kelseys about buying into Kelsey Seed and Ag Service, LLC. Starting in 2019, both Jeff and Karen had experienced some health concerns which led them to seriously consider their succession plan and along with that came the opportunity to place a lifetime of business development into the hands of the next generation. It sounded like the final chapter, but for those who know Jeff Kelsey, they will affirm there are likely to be several additional chapters to this book. Case in point, in 2020 it was announced the Red Hog Pub & Casino in Alpena was scheduled to close. At first blush, Jeff thought it would be a good idea to purchase the establishment as he and Karen had been in the bar business at one time as owners of the Sunset Bar & Grill in Wessington, SD. Later he started to rethink the idea, but it was too late. Between the encouragement from his daughters, Shawn and Tara, and a partnership opportunity, the Kelseys re–entered the bar and casino business.

To date, Kelsey keeps his hands in the business where it all started, Kelsey Service Agency Inc. They have three office locations in Alpena, Wessington Springs and Woonsocket providing bookkeeping, tax preparation and insurance products. Jeff loves to keep busy, but when not at work, he and Karen can be found enjoying their family of four daughters, 14 grandchildren and five great–grandchildren, camping, fishing and winged sprint car racing.

When asked the key to his success, Jeff is quick to acknowledge he surrounded himself with good people and gives a lot of credit to his employees and family. He also believes slow growth was his saving grace. “I never got too far ahead of myself, which allowed me to stay independent and able to financially sustain our growth,” reported Kelsey.

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I never got too far ahead of myself, which allowed me to stay independent and able to financially sustain our growth.
— Jeff Kelsey | Alpena, SD

Dakotaland CEO, Ryan Goehner, along with credit union board members and staff, announced the construction plans for a new branch location in Aberdeen at a ground breaking ceremony July 19, 2022. The new branch building will encompass a 11,000 sq ft, two story layout with a drive up and Advantage ATM services all located at the new 224 6th Avenue SE address.

HTG Architects, a Credit Union League (DackCU) Associate, is the design partner and Quest Construction of Aberdeen is the general manager of the project. A 2023 summer completion date is anticipated.

NOVEMBER 14 | Scholarship Applications Available All branch locations 24 | CLOSED In observance of Thanksgiving 28 | Christmas Coloring Contest Begins All branch locations DECEMBER 3 | Madison’s Magical Christmas Sponsored in Part by DFCU Madison Armory 5 | Dakotaland Night with Santa Brookings Branch 13 | Dakotaland Night with Santa Watertown Branch 18 | Coloring Contest Ends All Branch Locations 22 – 23 | Christmas Open House Refreshments Served at All Branch Locations 24 | CLOSED In Observance of Christmas Eve 26 | CLOSED In Observance of the Christmas Holiday JANUARY 2 | CLOSED In Observance of New Year’s Day 16 | CLOSED In Observance of Martin Luther King Jr, Day 19 | Dakotaland Night with The Wings Hockey Aberdeen 20 | Dakotaland Scholarship Deadline Drop Off at Any Branch Location FEBRUARY 4 – 5 | Home Show Sponsored in Part by DFCU Brookings & Aberdeen 20 | CLOSED In Observance of Presidents’ Day
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FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC 1371 Dakota Avenue South, Suite 100| Huron, SD 57350 | | 605.353.8777 Dakotaland Financial Services, LLC. is a separate entity from Dakotaland Federal Credit Union. Don’t Trust it to an Amateur Call Us About Our Professional Services bookkeeping • payroll • tax preparation

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