By GRACE M. MORRISON
Each year the Kansas City Fed’s four boards of directors—representing the head office and the three branch offices—gather in a Tenth District city for a joint meeting.
In addition to providing a setting for discussions on Reserve Bank business, these meetings offer opportunities for Bank officials to interact with people in the hosting communities and gain better understanding of the local and regional economies.
In October 2023, the joint meeting took place in Albuquerque, home of María Griego-Raby, deputy chair of the head office board of directors and president and principal of Contract Associates. Griego-Raby guided Bank President Jeff Schmid, the directors and Bank officers on visits to parts of the Albuquerque community.
One highlight was a tour of Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm in the village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque. Directors and bank leaders learned about the family-run business, which was founded in 1932 as an experimental farm raising livestock, growing oats and corn, and producing a variety of flowers.
Since 1999, the farm has grown lavender and produced lavender products for sale. During the tour, Director of Horticulture Wes Brittenham explained Los Poblanos’ approach to regenerative farming and showed how some of the farm’s fields are dedicated to on-site food production.
The October joint gathering was the first since Schmid became president in August 2023. At a luncheon attended by more than 100 Albuquerque-area business and community leaders, he delivered a speech emphasizing the importance of the Bank’s connections to the communities it serves and detailing his transition “from community banker to central banker.”
“One of the most important parts of what we do as a central bank is connect with people in and around America, and notably, here in New Mexico,” Schmid said.