Farm Credit East Board Approves $30 Million Advance on 2020 Patronage

Farm Credit East

In light of COVID-19’s impact on Northeast agricultural businesses, Farm Credit East’s Board of Directors recently approved the distribution of an advance payment on 2020 patronage dividends to provide members with additional liquidity and cash flow this summer. 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 will receive this payment in late July.

For the full year 2020, Farm Credit East is targeting patronage of 1.25% of average eligible loan volume, so members will receive an advance on that expected payment equal to about 0.50% of current loan volume for the average customer.

“One of the Board’s guiding principles is maintaining the value of customer ownership,” said Board Chair Laurie Griffen, of Stillwater, N.Y. “We’re fortunate to be part of a financially strong organization, and both the board and management remain committed to returning that value to customer owners through patronage dividends and competitive interest rates.”

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 $918 million in dividends from ownership of their cooperative.

“Farm Credit East’s strong financial capacity enables us to continue to grow with customers and withstand economic cycles,” noted Farm Credit East CEO Mike Reynolds. “We hope this advance payment on 2020 patronage gives our members some added flexibility as they adjust their operations to overcome some of the challenges resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.”

FARM CREDIT EAST is a member owned cooperative that extends more than $7.8 billion in loans and has 20 local offices in its seven-state service area. In addition to loans and leases, the organization also offers a full range of specialized financial services, such as tax preparation, payroll, record keeping, appraisal, and consulting for farming, forest products and commercial fishing businesses. Farm Credit East is governed by a 16-person board of directors, comprised of 13 customer-elected, one customer appointed and two outside appointed directors. For more information, visit FarmCreditEast.com.

 

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