American State Bank & Trust recently announced that Douglas Thurman of Hays has joined the bank in a newly created position of executive vice president chief lending officer agribusiness.

Thurman has more than 42 years of agriculture lending experience. He retired last year as president and CEO of High Plains Farm Credit in Larned. In the position since 1999, he grew the agriculture loan business from $30 million to $1.18 billion. He has been farming near his home in Rozel since his retirement.

Before serving as CEO and CCO of High Plains Farm Credit, he worked at US AgBank, Farm Credit of Northeast Kansas, First National Bank of Hays and Garden City PCA.

Thurman graduated from Fort Hays State University with a bachelor’s degree in business and also from the University of Colorado Graduate School of Banking.

Thurman, a native of Great Bend, will office out of the Great Bend Main Street branch.

American State Bancshares is in the process of merging its two separately chartered banks, which will create the state’s 15th largest bank with consolidated assets of $675 million.

Subject to regulatory approval, the merged bank will be known as American State Bank & Trust, with branches throughout western and central Kansas, including Great Bend, Salina, Concordia, Garden City, Holcomb, Larned, St. John, Macksville, Clyde, Belleville, Augusta, Rose Hill and Wichita.