In response to the significant hardship the COVID-19 pandemic and related closures have had on agriculture in California and Arizona, Farm Credit West’s Board of Directors recently resolved to distribute a mid-year patronage cash dividend to customer-owners. The association – a cooperatively owned lending institution servicing the agriculture sector – will be distributing a partial advance payment of the 2020 end-of-year distribution this summer.
“Farming and agriculture production is the very center of our communities,” Mark Littlefield, President and CEO of Farm Credit West said on Monday. “As these businesses have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a ripple effect that flows through every distribution channel, ultimately leading to empty shelves at grocery stores throughout the world. It is the mission of Farm Credit West to support the agriculture sector and today we are rising to the moment by providing cash liquidity when our customers most need it.”
Since 2002, Farm Credit West has distributed $828 million in patronage payments to customers and in 2019, increased the total distribution to equal 1% of average loan balances for the year prior. As a member-owned cooperative, the Association reinvests 100% of net income to its customer-owners, whether as retained earnings or cash dividends.
“It is during these tumultuous times that Farm Credit West looks for ways to support the agriculture industry,” said Mark Littlefield. “By distributing an advance patronage payment this summer, we are hopeful this unexpected return in earnings will be a relief to customers most impacted by the Pandemic.
One of the West’s leading agricultural lenders, Farm Credit West and its wholly owned subsidiaries are cooperatively-owned lending institutions providing financial services to farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses. Our offices are located in Arizona and California’s Central Coast, Imperial Valley, South San Joaquin Valley, and Sacramento Valley. The corporate headquarters is located in Rocklin, California. The Farm Credit System is a nationwide network of borrower-owned lending institutions and specialized service organizations created by Congress in 1916. Visit www.farmcreditwest.com.