Market conditions for community banks are so tough that even a spirited cowboy is seeking the cover of a larger organization.

Mountain Valley Bank in Walden, Colo., agreed last week to merge with Platte Valley Financial Services in Scottsbluff, Neb. The merger is more of a reunion than an acquisition; Platte Valley was the $157 million-asset Mountain Valley's biggest shareholder when it was started in 2004.

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