Farm Credit East reported today strong 2017 financial results, showing continued growth in loans coupled with strong earnings, which allowed for record patronage dividends of $60 million paid to eligible customer-owners in February.
Farm Credit East’s 2017 net income grew to $160 million. Following more than two decades of growth, the cooperative closed out the year with $1.3 billion in capital and $6.6 billion in loan volume, a five percent growth from the previous year. This level of equity allows the cooperative to finance customers’ growth and to work with customers through industry cycles.
Farm Credit East continues to be the leading lender to Northeast agriculture providing approximately 70 percent of the credit to farm businesses and serving more than 14,500 farmers, commercial fishermen and forest products producers. Farm Credit East maintains competitive interest rates for its customers and continues to share its success with eligible customer-owners through patronage dividends.
Farm Credit East Board Chairman Matt Beaton commented, “We are very pleased with our results this year, which enabled us to pay $60 million in patronage to farmers, commercial fishermen and forest products operations in the seven states we serve.”
This record patronage dividend payment returned, on average, 22.5 percent of the interest eligible customers earned in 2017. Over the past 22 years, Farm Credit East, and its predecessor associations, has declared a combined $713 million in patronage.