ABA names recipients of its agricultural banking awards

The American Bankers Association today named the recipients of its Bruning and Blanchfield Awards for significant contributions to agricultural banking. Keith Phillips, SVP and ag division supervisor at First Bank & Trust Company based in Lebanon, Virginia, received the Bruning Award. Receiving the Blanchfield Award—which is presented to a nonbanker for contributions to ag and rural banking—is Steven Turner, an attorney with Baird Holm LLP. Both awards will be presented during the ABA Agricultural Bankers Conference, Nov. 6-9, in Omaha.

Phillips has been in banking since 1977. Most recently, at First Bank & Trust Company, he has grown the bank’s agricultural lending portfolio from $10 million in 2001 to more than $634 million today. He currently oversees the agricultural lending activity of the bank’s primary markets of Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina. Under his leadership, the bank’s agricultural lending division is now the fourth largest in the nation among ag banks and 30th among all U.S. commercial banks.

Turner’s areas of focus include commercial and agricultural financing transactions. He has been with Baird Holm LLP for more than 40 years and is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute having served on its board and as past chair of its Uniform Commercial Code Committee. He is a fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy, is a member of the Nebraska State Bar Association and is active with the American Bar Association, serving on many committees. He has been an instructor for the American Bankers Association School for Agricultural Bankers and the Agricultural Lenders Institute for the past 15 years.