ENFIELD, Conn. — Farm Credit East, ACA, the Northeast’s largest agricultural lending cooperative, announced its distribution of a record $65 million in cash patronage dividends 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. On average, eligible customers received 20.5 percent of the interest earned in 2018.
As owners of their financial cooperative, Farm Credit East’s customers share in the financial success of the cooperative through patronage dividends. This $65 million patronage distribution is in addition to the one-time special patronage of $15 million that was paid to customer-owners in October 2018 based on the first six month of 2018 earnings.
Since the patronage program was first adopted, customer-owners of Farm Credit East (and predecessor cooperatives) have earned $793 million in dividends from ownership of their cooperative. This is the 23rd consecutive annual patronage payment paid by Farm Credit East.
“Being able to consistently pay a healthy patronage dividend to our customer-owners reflects the strength of our cooperative,” said Board Chair Matt Beaton, of Wareham, Mass. “The board of directors is committed to maintaining a financially strong cooperative that combines in-depth expertise with strong customer-value and a long-term commitment to the industries we serve.”
“Paying patronage dividends, while also building capital levels, is a key part of the value-proposition of the Farm Credit East cooperative,” said Bill Lipinski, Farm Credit East CEO. “By focusing on strong earnings and sound lending practices, we continue to grow as the leading financial partner to Northeast agriculture, commercial fishing and the forest products industry and do our part to maintain investor confidence.”
— Farm Credit East
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