MSB In The News


One of the first community banks in Dane County to offer interactive teller machine experience
July 5, 2018, McFarland, WI: On Tuesday, July 10th, McFarland State Bank customers will meet VIV, a “smart” ATM that connects customers with a live teller through videoconferencing. VIV will go live at the McFarland location on Tuesday morning, and bank staff will be outside all week from 10 am to 3 pm, to assist all who want to experience a transaction with VIV.
Interactive Teller Machine Fast, Friendly, Functional
VIV, the bank’s nickname for its interactive teller machine (ITM), was launched to meet customers’ expectations for technology that makes banking faster and easier without giving up the high-touch service they’ve come to expect from McFarland State Bank.
“Having VIV means we can offer expanded services to our customers from our ATMs without losing the personalized attention we are built upon,” said Michael Moderski, President and Chief Operating Officer of the bank. “Our remote tellers can do everything customers come inside the branch to do, but now they can remain in their car to complete the same transactions. You could make the argument that VIV might even surpass the in-branch experience because remote tellers are freed up from basic functions like money counting and cash distribution, allowing them to focus exclusively on customers’ needs!”
To access VIVs expanded capabilities, which include check cashing, cash deposits, check reorders, and loan payments, customers simply insert their ATM card like they always do. They can select a traditional ATM experience to withdraw cash or deposit checks. Or they can request that VIV connect them with a live teller, during regular bank hours, who appears on a high-resolution video screen and offers the full menu of bank transactions typically done inside at the teller line.
“Our ultimate goal is that one day, our remote tellers will be available 24 hours a day through VIV so busy families and individuals with diverse schedules can still receive a full-service, high-touch banking visit at any time of day, any day of the week,” confirmed Moderski.
Additional VIV ITM machines will be installed at the Downtown Stoughton and Sun Prairie locations by the end of the summer and at the Kettle Park West branch in Stoughton when it opens in November. About McFarland State Bank
Established in 1904, McFarland State Bank is a locally owned and operated community bank that prides itself on its strong partnerships within the McFarland, Stoughton, Sun Prairie and Middleton communities, and with all of Dane County. With over $475 million in assets, McFarland State Bank provides a full complement of personalized commercial and consumer financial services, developing products for individuals, families, corporations, small businesses and entrepreneurs. For more information,
visit or call 608.838.3141.


April 25, 2018 – McFarland State Bank announces the hiring of Liz Bachhuber to the Bank as Treasury Management Officer. Bachhuber is responsible for building relationships with current and prospective commercial customers by providing treasury management products and services. 

Prior to joining McFarland State Bank, Bachhuber, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Madison native, worked at Wind River Financial, most recently as the company’s Financial Institution Relationship Manager. 

Her extensive background, which included serving local financial institutions as well as hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses, has given her a unique dual perspective to recognize and understand the complexities, challenges and opportunities for businesses. This allows Bachhuber to make the most effective recommendations for her customers. In addition, Bachhuber brings personal insight to the role as she, her husband, and two sons, own a hobby farm that raises and sells free-range chicken and pasture-raised pork.

“Community banking is important because it keeps the web of community relationships strong.” Bachhuber, who lives in Stoughton, added, “Knowing who you are doing business with and that they have a true, vested interest in your success is what thriving communities have always been built on. Community banking allows me to sit down face-to-face with customers and connect on a personal level. Helping drive their success is a favorite aspect of my job and I look forward to meeting with area businesses.”

About McFarland State Bank 

Established in 1904, McFarland State Bank is a locally owned and operated community bank that prides itself on building strong partnerships with consumers and small businesses, not only within the McFarland, Stoughton, Sun Prairie and Middleton communities, but throughout all of Dane County as well. With over $475 million in assets, McFarland State Bank and its 90+ employees provide a full complement of personalized commercial and consumer financial products and services. For more information, visit or call 608.838.3141.


Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation Contact: Kim Johnston, Marketing Manager
Cell: 608-516-5653
Office: 608-729-6900

MADISON, Wis. —McFarland State Bank is the first Wisconsin-based financial institution to close a PACE financing through PACE Wisconsin. The bank recently approved PACE financing for energy efficiency updates to commercial properties located in Stoughton and Waterloo, Wisconsin.

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is a means of financing energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy installations for commercial and industrial properties. PACE financing can fund up to 100% of the cost of building improvements like HVAC, lighting insulation, roofs, renewable energy, water efficiency products, and more.

Uniroyal, based in Stoughton, Wisconsin, is utilizing $355,000 of PACE financing to fund installation of a new roof and energy-efficient lighting. Waterloo Technology Center, based in Waterloo, Wisconsin, received approval for $249,000 in PACE financing to fund an energy efficient HVAC system upgrade and LED lighting improvements. The combination of energy savings and reduction in operating costs achieved through these improvements will help offset the cost of the investment.

PACE financing helped both of these business fund the up-front cost of essential building upgrades that yield significant reductions in energy costs. These improvements helped both the Uniroyal and the Waterloo Technology Center businesses make a positive impact on their bottom lines. Dan Carey, Assistant Vice President of Commercial Lending at McFarland State Bank explained, “As a local community bank, we take pride in our ability to offer customized financing solutions to serve our market. PACE can be a useful tool for funding energy improvements to an existing building, or a new construction project. Project sizes range from low six figures to multi-million dollars. By becoming the first Wisconsin-based financial institution to offer PACE, we’ve added to our lending capabilities which will benefit both new and existing clients.”

PACE Wisconsin, administered by WECC’s Energy Finance Solutions (EFS), facilitates low-cost, long-term loans for commercial energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation improvements. The program’s unique financing model—which includes no up-front, out-of-pocket costs—stimulates the revitalization of aging, inefficient buildings which would otherwise remain stagnant.

“PACE Wisconsin is excited to be part of the economic development solution for the property owners in Wisconsin. Conserving energy and reducing operating expenses continues to be a priority for building owners in Wisconsin, and for local economies these projects help boost property values and create jobs,” stated Jason Stringer, Program Administrator, PACE Wisconsin.
Twenty-seven counties in Wisconsin have already approved an ordinance to participate in PACE Wisconsin—meaning property owners in those counties are now eligible to receive PACE financing. For more information on PACE Wisconsin and how it helps property owners, local governments, and contractors, visit

About PACE Wisconsin 
PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) drives economic development by authorizing municipalities and counties to work with private sector lenders to provide upfront financing—usually for 100 percent of the cost of energy-saving improvements—to property owners for qualified projects. PACE Wisconsin offers an open-market solution for building owners in participating Wisconsin communities. To offer PACE Wisconsin, counties must pass a resolution authorizing execution of the Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement (JPA), and pass the Model PACE Ordinance through the county board of supervisors. Interested communities should contact the administrator at or view more information at

About Energy Finance Solutions (EFS)
WECC’s EFS specializes in financing program consultation, design, and delivery services in support of energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements. Through partnerships with utilities, contractors, and other agencies, EFS offers customers simple, affordable ways to finance energy improvements. EFS is the financing services division of WECC.

About McFarland State Bank
Established in 1904, McFarland State Bank is a locally owned and operated community bank that prides itself with strong partnerships not only within the McFarland, Stoughton, Sun Prairie and Middleton communities, but with all of Dane County and area entrepreneurs as well. With over 475 million in assets, McFarland State Bank and its 90+ employees provide a full complement of personalized commercial and consumer financial services. For more information, visit or call 608.838.3141.


JULY 22, 2017 - McFarland State Bank is proud to announce that Ami Myrland has been promoted to the bank’s Chief Financial Officer post. Ami, who was most recently the bank’s Controller, joined the bank in September of 2011 and has been working in the financial services arena for 13 years. Prior to joining McFarland State Bank, Ami was an auditor at Wipfli, LLP in Madison. Ami shared that, “I am extremely humbled and honored to serve as Chief Financial Officer for our bank. I’m confident that our forward-looking initiatives will make McFarland State Bank the best bank for our clients and our employees.”

Ami serves as a board member for the Wisconsin Chapter of Financial Managers Society (FMS), has been involved with the United Way, and the American Bankers Association’s (ABA) Accounting Committee. Ami earned her bachelor’s degree from Edgewood College in Accounting and Finance. With regards to the importance of community banking, Ami reflected that, “To me, community banking is a stable and prestigious business whose primary focus is to serve all of its customers and partner with them in their success. Growing up in a small town, the community bank was always the face of growth and opportunity and was present for every event. I think these things are still true today and stand at the core of what McFarland State Bank has been all about since 1904.” 

Originally from Clinton, Wisconsin, Ami lives in Belleville, Wisconsin with her husband and their two sons. In her free time, Ami enjoys DIY projects, spending time on the family boat, and playing sports with her boys.

About McFarland State Bank

Established in 1904, McFarland State Bank is a locally owned and operated community bank that prides itself on building strong partnerships with consumers and small businesses, not only within the McFarland, Stoughton, and Sun Prairie communities, but throughout all of Dane County as well. With over $475 million in assets, McFarland State Bank and its 90+ employees provide a full compliment of personalized commercial and consumer financial products and services. For more information, visit


MADISON, Wis. – Habitat for Humanity of Dane County is pleased to announce the purchase of its Eastside ReStore store, located at 4207 Monona Drive.

The dream of purchasing the ReStore East facility would not have been possible without the creative and generous financing provided by McFarland State Bank.

“We are pleased to be able to help Habitat for Humanity in their mission of making home ownership possible for people who might not otherwise be able to afford a home. The funds generated by the eastside ReStore, through its sale of new and used building materials to the public, goes a long way in supporting their efforts,” stated E. David Locke, Chairman and CEO of McFarland State Bank.

“We’re stronger together, and I believe our partnership with Habitat allows our communities to thrive,” Locke added. “As a local community Bank, our work with Habitat is consistent with our mission to serve as a strong financial resource throughout Dane County.”

The building purchase will make the ReStore more profitable with a significantly lower mortgage payment than what it was paying in monthly rent. With lower overhead, the ReStore can generate more funding for Habitat to provide affordable, long-term housing solutions. This has a direct impact on Habitat being able to serve more families and build more homes.

“We are so grateful for the loan/mortgage package McFarland State Bank provided to us,” Valerie Johnson, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Dane County said. “We were given what works out to be more than $1.3 million at favorable rates. This incredible savings will allow us to increase our impact building homes, communities and hope across Dane County.” 

“After renting the store for more than two years, we are thrilled to make it officially ours,” Steve Hanrahan, Habitat ReStore Director said. “We are excited to be staying at this beautiful location and be surrounded by such an amazing community.”

Habitat for Humanity of Dane County provides decent, affordable housing for families who might not otherwise become homeowners. Eligible families pay monthly mortgage payments on a 0% interest loan, and contribute from 325 to 375 hours of sweat equity in the building of their homes. Learn more by calling 608-255-1549 or visit

PHOTO By Kent Sweitzer Photography: (L_R) Steve Hanrahan, Habitat ReStore Director; Jeff Boudreau, NMLS# 664632, McFarland State Bank, Branch Manager – Sun Prairie Office; E. David Locke, McFarland State Bank, Chairman and CEO; Valerie Johnson, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Dane County 


MCFARLAND | December 2, 2016

McFarland State Bank announced the retirement of President and Chief Operating Officer, Steven Swanson, effective December 31, 2016, and the appointment of Michael Moderski, its current Chief Financial Officer, as the Bank’s new President and COO. Ami Myrland, the Bank’s current Controller, will serve as acting Chief Financial Officer. 

“It has been an honor to serve this great community bank where we’ve known our customers by name for 112 years,” said Steve. “I’ll always be proud to have devoted my career to McFarland State Bank and the customers we’ve served.”

Swanson will remain on the Board of Directors for McFarland State Bank following his retirement.

“We appreciate Steve’s long and distinguished service for the past 32 years and are pleased to welcome Michael Moderski into his new role and look forward to a smooth and effective transition of continued strong leadership of the Bank,” said E. David Locke, Chairman and CEO of McFarland State Bank. “As a dedicated and valued Bank employee, Mike has been an effective leader in implementing our vision and principles.”

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Mike for many years and his dedication to community banking coupled with his extensive experience in finance will serve us well as McFarland State Bank aspires to greater heights,” said Mr. Swanson.

A 24-year veteran of the financial services industry with broad experience in banking, Moderski joined McFarland State Bank in 2009. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and business administration from Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Moderski resides in McFarland with his family and serves on the McFarland Education Foundation board.

“I am honored to have this opportunity to serve as President of McFarland State Bank, one of Dane County’s most reputable banks. I’m thrilled at the prospect of leading an organization with such a strong commitment to its clients and communities,” said Mr. Moderski.

About McFarland State Bank

Established in 1904, McFarland State Bank is a locally owned and operated community bank that prides itself in having strong partnerships not only within the McFarland, Stoughton and Sun Prairie communities, but with all of Dane County and area entrepreneurs as well. With over 430 million in assets, McFarland State Bank and its 90+ employees provide a full complement of personalized commercial and consumer financial products and services. For more information, visit


Sun Prairie, Wis., November 15, 2016 – McFarland State Bank is sponsoring "Risk: Tackling Today's HR Trifecta" on Nov. 17 from 8-11:30 a.m. at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.

"For small businesses with limited resources, navigating the complex and constantly changing employment laws can be daunting," remarked Tracy Brooks, marketing director for McFarland State Bank. 

"However, some basic knowledge and sound strategy can help to keep these challenges manage­able. McFarland State Bank is pleased to sponsor 'RISK: Tackling the HR Trifecta,' a seminar in which attorneys from Boardman and Clark will address three core areas that commonly trip up employers in the arena of employment law."

Brooks said the comple­mentary seminar will provide valuable information in an ' easy-to-understand format.

"If you're a small business owner or manager, or want a solid refresher on human resources risks and best practices," Brooks said, "this seminar is for you."

Presentation topics in­clude:

  • Hiring and Background Checks: Best practices for scouting and signing your next big recruit;
  • Overtime and Other Pay ­Issues: Avoiding flags under wage and hour laws; and
  • Terminations: Proper strategies for managing tricky changes to your lineup. 

Participants will learn:

The dangers of using social media in background checks;

  • How the new Department of Labor rules work will affect your pay practices;
  • What you want and don't want to say in a termination meeting; 
  • How job applications, in­terviews, and offer letters can cause legal liability; and
  • How to effectively address disability accommodation situations.

To register, send an e-mail to or call 608.838.3141 or go online to the website:

When replying, indicate your name, business name, email address, phone number and number of seats request­ed for the seminar.

The Alliant Energy Center is located at 1919 Alliant En­ergy Center Way in Madison. 

Established in 1904, Mc­Farland State Bank is a locally owned and operated commu­nity bank in the McFarland, Stoughton and Sun Prairie communities. With more than $425 million in assets, McFarland State Bank and its 90+ employees provide personalized commercial and consumer financial services.

For more information, visit

Posted on November 8, 2016 (Sun Prairie Star - - by: Chris Mertes, Managing Editor) 


Madison-area banks see highest ratings in years

If you’re looking for a Madison area bank that appears to be on solid financial footing, you have plenty of choices.

The grades local banks are getting from an independent bank rating service, Bauer Financial Services, are the highest they’ve been in years.

Of 69 banks in south central Wisconsin analyzed by Bauer, 45 of them — or 65.2 percent, nearly two-thirds—received the highest mark, five stars, or “superior,” based on financial data they submitted to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. as of Dec. 31, 2015.

A year earlier, 40 of 73 banks in the area, or 54.8 percent, drew five-star rankings from Bauer.

Ratings from a second independent service,, were not yet available for Dec. 31.

The strong showing is not surprising, said Terry McEvoy, of Portland, Maine, a bank analyst with the Stephens financial services firm.

“It’s a bright picture. The banking industry overall is extremely well capitalized. The industry has enjoyed years and years of financial profitability since the banking crisis (ended),” McEvoy said.

A dozen area banks boosted ratings this year while only two declined.

McFarland State Bank and National Bank of Waupun took the biggest jumps. Both scored five stars, up from 3.5 stars, or “good,” a year ago.

E. David Locke, CEO and chairman of McFarland State Bank, said his institution is finally scoring higher after cleaning up bad loans it inherited when McFarland State Bank took over Evergreen State Bank after state regulators closed the ailing Stoughton bank in January 2011.

“It took us, probably, two and a half years to remediate problems that that bank had,” Locke said. “You assume there are going to be some losses in fixing the troubled assets.”

Last year, 2015, was “the first full year of the bank being totally reengineered,” he said.

McFarland State Bank, founded in 1904, was one of four bidders for Evergreen State Bank. The others were all from out of state — two from Illinois and one from Michigan.

Most of Evergreen’s problems involved local, commercial loans, Locke said.

For the most part, the businesses did not close.

“People got themselves stabilized. They had to get themselves right-sized for the amount of revenue ... compared to the amount of debt,” Locke said. “We helped a lot of those borrowers get back on their feet by providing advice and being patient.”

As of Dec. 31, McFarland State Bank reported total assets of $431.1 million and net income for the year of $8.9 million.

Low end of the scale

Only three area banks were given marks of three stars (“adequate”) or lower, based on their yearend data. All three were unchanged from last year, when six banks were on the lower end of the scale.

Mid America Bank, Janesville, received three stars; Home Savings Bank, Madison, got two stars (“problematic”); and Guaranty Bank, of the Milwaukee area, zero stars.

Home Savings went through a major structural change in 2014, transforming itself from a mutual savings bank to a stockbased savings bank with the sale of shares primarily to customers, employees and the community.

With gross proceeds of about $9 million, Home Savings, founded in 1895, had more capital on hand, making it easier to grow its loan portfolio while diligently working through its loan losses, said bank president Jim Bradley.

“We’ve improved in areas that may be considered in those ratings,” Bradley said. “Our loan portfolio is very strong right now.”

Home Savings has been profitable for the past two quarters, with net income of $48,000 for the last three months of 2015 and $58,000 net income for the first three months of 2016.

Assets totaled $135.2 million in the most recent quarterly report, ending March 31, with only 0.17 percent of loans classified as troubled.

Bradley said Home Savings had loans, issued prior to 2009, that could not be fully paid off. “We’ve just been diligent in working through those,” he said.

It is also the only Dane County based bank listed as “outstanding” by regulators for community reinvestment. “That’s a measure that’s really important to our customers and our community,” Bradley said.

Guaranty Bank also has made progress in reducing loans that soured but it still has a way to go, according to its Dec. 31, 2015, financials filed with the FDIC.

Established in 1923, the fourth generation, family owned bank has more than 120 locations, including three in the Madison area, all located in Copps grocery stores.

Guaranty had assets of $1 billion with a net loss for the 2015 fiscal year of $390,000. It listed almost $50 million worth of loans that are at least 90 days overdue, 6.7 percent of total loans.

Guaranty also had total risk based capital — a measure of a bank’s ability to weather operating losses — of 4.8 percent, well below the level that regulators expect.

But in a year-end statement to shareholders of the bank’s holding company, Guaranty Financial Corp., board chairman Gerald Levy said the bank has made “strides toward a return to sustained profitability during 2015. We are confident in our continued progress.”

Guaranty Bank officials could not be reached for comment.

Statewide, Bauer Financial grades 3.3 percent of Wisconsin banks as “troubled” or “problematic” — comparable to the nationwide figure of 3.2 percent.

Mergers on the move

While local banks appear to be on stronger ground, several financial institutions combined their resources in 2015:

WPS Community Bank, Monona, was acquired by Starion Financial, of Bismarck, North Dakota.

Bank of Poynette and Cambridge State Bank — sister banks, both owned by John T. Vucurevich Foundation, of Rapid City, South Dakota, merged and became United Community Bank, based in Poynette.

First Bank, Tomah, changed its name to Partnership Bank — with headquarters in Cedarburg — and Town & Country Bank, Watertown, merged into it.

So far in 2016, AnchorBank, Madison, was purchased by Old National Bank, of Evansville, Indiana.

And there will likely be more mergers and acquisitions in the area, said analyst McEvoy.

“The Midwest is responsible for over half of the bank acquisition activity in 2016,” he said.

McFarland State Bank’s Locke is among those interested in adding to his company. “We actually have been looking at acquisitions,” he said. “We’ve got the capacity to do an acquisition.”

Locke said he has been talking to potential acquisition targets for about a year — “somewhere within an hour’s drive” — but not in the Milwaukee area.

Having more capital available is one reason that Locke agrees more banks will be merging.

Another factor, he said, is the increase in regulation that has affected all banks.

“We probably pay four times what we used to pay 15 years ago, related to regulation,” he said.

Locke, a member of the board of directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, said he’s been lobbying lawmakers to simplify the rules for smaller banks with less than $1 billion in assets because they don’t take on the risk that big banks do.

“To regulate our bank the same way as Bank of America just doesn’t make any sense,” Locke said.

published May 21, 2016 (Wisconsin State Journal by: Judy Newman, 6082526156)

photo credit: Amber Arnold - State Journal


Madison, Wis., June 1, 2015 — Madison Gas and Electric Company (MGE) today announced a financing partnership with seven regional and locally owned banks operating throughout MGE's service territory.

The $40 million unsecured revolving credit facility will be used for general corporate purposes.

"Raising capital in MGE's service area helps form strong partnerships," said Jeff Newman, MGE Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. "We've put in place a new form of financing that provides us with liquidity and diversifies our lender base. In the process, we've established new relationships with banks operating within MGE's service area that are also our customers."

The seven banks participating in the financing agreement have a combined 102 branches across MGE's service territory.

The U.S. Bank National Association, one of the participating banks, also served as lead arranger and administrative agent. Other participating banks include:

  • AnchorBank
  • Associated Bank (syndication agent)
  • Capitol Bank
  • Home Savings Bank
  • McFarland State Bank
  • State Bank of Cross Plains

"Supporting our local banks is a good fit for MGE," said Gary Wolter, MGE Chairman, President and CEO. "As a community energy company, we partner with local businesses and organizations to help ensure strong economic growth throughout our community."

"One of the great things about MGE is they realize and value the spirit of local involvement. They do more than talk about the importance of supporting local business and communities ... they live it," said McFarland State Bank Chairman and CEO E. David Locke. "Our bank has been supporting the Dane County area since 1904, and we applaud and thank MGE's board and management for making this opportunity possible here at home."

CFSD Group LLC served as an advisor to MGE on this financing arrangement.

About MGE

MGE generates and distributes electricity to 143,000 customers in Dane County, Wis., and purchases and distributes natural gas to 149,000 customers in seven south-central and western Wisconsin counties. MGE's parent company is MGE Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq: MGEE). The company's roots in the Madison area date back more than 150 years.

Posted on June 1, 2015 (Wisconsin Bankers Association - Banker News)


MADISON, December 9, 2013 – The Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago (FHLBC) recently awarded more than $28 million through its competitive Affordable Housing Program (AHP) to help finance 99 affordable housing projects located primarily in Illinois and Wisconsin. Care Net Pregnancy Center of Dane County through McFarland State Bank was awarded $396,000 for The Eagle Harbor Apartments project. These funds will help finance the construction of 36 units of affordable housing to be located on the east side of Madison, Wisconsin.

“The 2013 AHP awards will assist in the purchase, rehabilitation, and new construction of more than 4,500 affordable housing units through 99 projects,” says Sam Nicita, Community Investment Officer at the FHLBC. “This is nearly double the number of projects that received an AHP award last year. We are thrilled to provide this level of support to projects that meet the important housing needs in our communities by offering safe affordable housing options.” For 2013, 143 applications were received requesting over $43 million in AHP funds.

Care Net Pregnancy Center of Dane County applied for the highly competitive AHP funding through McFarland State Bank, one of more than 750 FHLBC’s member institutions in Illinois and Wisconsin. Christina Smith-Wilkie, Assistant Vice President of Commercial Lending at McFarland State Bank served as a financial resource to Care Net with her knowledge of the AHP and was able to assist throughout the submission process. This is McFarland State Bank’s first AHP award.

“It is with great pleasure that Care Net Pregnancy Center of Dane County accepts the AHP award for Eagle Harbor Apartments,” states Liz Osborn, Executive Director. “We look forward to partnering with McFarland State Bank in providing greatly needed affordable rental housing. Additionally, empowerment services will be offered to all tenants who chose to participate.”

Eagle Harbor Apartments will be located on donated land adjacent to the Care Net Pregnancy Center of Dane County located at 1350 MacArthur Road in Madison. Anticipated completion is August of 2014.

Posted on December 18, 2013 - (McFarland Thistle - Dennis Ottosen, Managing Editor) 


A few years ago, Stoughton drew the interest of a Norwegian television station as a director and producer for the foreign channel visited the city looking to get an idea about what life was like in the area.

This summer, the community has drawn a local television station in for a closer look at the chamber, local businesses and the community.

Madison’s CW57 (WBUW) spent two weeks in July filming for the program “Destination Stoughton.” The program features seven 3-minute interviews with local businesses and an introduction by the Chamber of Commerce director Erica Dial. The program is set to premiere at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15.

McFarland State Bank was the driving force behind bringing the program to Stoughton, president Steve Swanson told the Hub this week. The bank had previously worked with CW57 on a similar program in McFarland. Swanson said the program is a great way to highlight what the community has to offer.

“There’s no reason that Stoughton shouldn’t be considered one of the top destinations for a business or family to relocate because of all it has to offer,” Swanson said. “We felt like Stoughton is a bit of a hidden gem.”

The half-hour program will highlight seven local businesses – McFarland State Bank, Nordic Nook, Deak’s Pub and Grill, Stoughton Tumblers, Stoughton Utilities, Lotus Salon and the Chamber’s Visitor Services department.

Each business serves as sponsors of the program by paying $1,000 for their own three-minute segment. Swanson said they were asked to fill out questionnaires which Dial read and directed questions to highlight the business during an on-camera interview. Crews spent a few hours each day during a two-week period in late July filming the interviews and gathering extra footage for the program, Dial said.

Being on camera wasn’t easy at first, Dial said, adding that she was surprised about how long it took to shoot the different segments.

“It took two hours to get a minute and a half of video,” she said.

Swanson said he was impressed with the production value when the bank was part of the program for McFarland. That positive experience, in part, lead bank leaders to try to get a show taped in Stoughton, he said.

Another reason, Swanson said, was that the bank wants to be a leader in the Stoughton community.

“We feel that it is our role as a community bank to promote Stoughton,” Swanson said. “So many of our employees call Stoughton home. We take pride in the community.”

Swanson approached the chamber, the school district and the city, he said. The superintendent, mayor and chamber leadership all seemed to be on the same page about Stoughton needing to do a better job promoting itself.

“Stoughton has a lot to offer,” Swanson said. “Why is it that Stoughton doesn’t seem to be on the radar when people are thinking of moving to Dane County? I think part of it is that people don’t understand what Stoughton has to offer.”

Both Swanson and Dial said they hope the program will garner some interest in the city. The show will be aired at least 12 times during a four-week period starting Aug. 15.

In addition to the air time on CW57, the businesses and chamber will get copies of their three-minute segments and the whole show to use to promote themselves.

Dial said the chamber plans to put the video on their YouTube channel, Reveal Stoughton, and on their website,

Program schedule

“Destination Stoughton” will be shown on Madison’s CW57 (WBUW) a minimum of 12 times in a four-week period with the premier at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15.

The channel can be found over the air at channel 57-1, on Charter Cable on channel 2 and Direct TV on 57.1.

Posted on August 13, 2013 - (Stoughton Courier Hub - By: Mark Ignatowski)


Destination McFarland is a half hour television program that takes an in-depth look at some of the businesses that make McFarland a great place to dine, play, shop and stay.

The show, produced by CW57 with the cooperation of the McFarland Chamber of Commerce, takes a unique look at the following McFarland businesses: Spartan Bowl, Spartan Animal Hospital, Symmetry and Balance, Dentistry By Design, McFarland State Bank, McFarland Family Chiropractic (Back to Action) and the Beachhouse Restaurant & Bar.

The program provides the participating McFarland businesses the opportunity to give viewers an inside and sometimes a behind the scenes look at how they do business, create a product, serve customers and make McFarland such a wonderful place.

Each sponsor is given a three-minute segment on the half hour show and the rest of the show is focused on the community in general.

Donna Manring, executive director for the McFarland Chamber, was chosen to host the program.

“It was really a lot of fun,” Manring said. “You can cover a lot of ground in three minutes, so (the viewers) are going to find out a lot about these seven businesses.”

Hosting the show was a unique experience for Manring but it won’t be her first time on TV. Up until about eight years ago, Manring would do an on-air nutrition segment for NBC 15 from time to time.

“Donna did a great job with our (Destination McFarland) segment and I’m sure she did with the others as well,” said Steve Swanson, president of McFarland State Bank.

Manring said the best part of hosting Destination McFarland was the opportunity to learn about the businesses first hand. She said the show shines light on many different aspects of each business. For example how the animal hospital provides care for different exotic animals (she added that viewers will have to tune in to see which ones).

“Sometimes we don’t realize the scope of services that these businesses provide,” Manring said. “You think you know the businesses pretty well, but I learned some things that maybe a lot of people don’t know about the businesses.”

Viewers will also learn some fun facts about each business, like how the Beachhouse used to be a bait shop and a swimming spot for local children in the 40s and 50s.

Over the last couple of weeks CW sent crews to the various locations and Manring conducted interviews with business owners and employees. The camera crews also went behind the scenes of each business to give viewers and in depth look at what each one does. The opening and closing scenes were shot by the gazebo at Arnold Larson Park. Shooting wrapped up last Wednesday.

Before the idea was pitched to the Chamber, CW 57 initially approached Steve Swanson, President - McFarland State Bank, and the bank agreed to be the lead sponsor for the program.

“CW (57) put together this package that was quite frankly hard to say no to,” Swanson said. “You get a lot for the relatively inexpensive price it costs to do this … I was very impressed.”

Swanson, who grew up in McFarland, said he hopes the show will help rid the idea of McFarland only being a bedroom community.

“It’s a great way for McFarland to talk about what McFarland has to offer,” Swanson said. “McFarland probably doesn’t do a great job of promoting itself. There is more to McFarland than it just being a bedroom community. It gives the opportunity to talk about what makes McFarland tick.”

As an added bonus for the businesses that participated, each one will be given its portion of the show in file format to use for promotional purposes.

Swanson said appearing on camera was a new experience for him, and he was a bit worried about “taking all day” getting his shots right. However, he said the CW crews were very helpful during production.

“I can’t even record my voicemail message right on the first try. So I thought it was going to take a while to get the takes right for this three minute TV segment,” Swanson said. “To my amazement I didn’t have to redo anything.”

Swanson said it’s not common for McFarland to be profiled on television like this and it’s a great opportunity for the village.

“I’m guessing there will be a lot of DVRs set in McFarland to watch it,” Swanson said.

Destination McFarland is the second town featured as part of the Destination series. Destination Middleton had so much success with the first program that the city and CW decided to do a second.

Swanson was so impressed by CW 57 that he decided to have McFarland State Bank become the lead sponsor for upcoming shows in Stoughton and Sun Prairie.

“We’ve enjoyed the process so much that we’ve agreed to be the lead donor in Stoughton and Sun Prairie where we have our other two locations,” Swanson said.

CW 57 serves 11 counties in South Central Wisconsin.

Destination McFarland will be shown a minimum of 12 times in a four-week period. It premiered on Wednesday July 17 at 6:30 p.m.

Posted on July 17, 2013 - (McFarland Thistle - Dennis Ottosen, Managing Editor)