Farm Credit East Approves Special Cash Patronage

Farm Credit East’s Board of Directors recently approved the distribution of a mid-year patronage dividend of $15 million to more than 11,400 farm, fishing and forestry business owners and operators across Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.

This special, one-time patronage payment is based on 2018 year-to-date interest through June and equates to about 11 percent of stockholders’ interest costs. This payment is expected to be paid in October 2018 and is separate from the $60 million patronage dividend that was paid in February 2018 based on 2017 earnings.

Board Chair Matt Beaton, of Wareham, Mass., noted, “As a board, our philosophy is that funds not required to operate or capitalize our cooperative should be returned to members. This special, one-time dividend reflects Farm Credit East’s strong financial position and so we are pleased to be able approve this patronage payment to our customer owners.”

As owners of their financial cooperative, Farm Credit East’s customers share in the financial success of the cooperative through patronage dividends. Since the patronage program was first adopted, customer-owners of Farm Credit East (and predecessor cooperatives) have earned $728 million in dividends from ownership of their cooperative.

“This special, one-time patronage dividend is possible because of continued strong earnings including several extraordinary items that have put Farm Credit East ahead of its 2018 financial plan,” added Bill Lipinski, Farm Credit East CEO. “Paying patronage dividends, while also maintaining strong capital levels, is a key part of the value-proposition of the Farm Credit East cooperative. We have the capacity to continue to grow with customers and withstand economic cycles as the leading financial partner to the Northeast agriculture, commercial fishing and the forest products industries.”