ENFIELD, Conn. — Farm Credit East reported solid 2018 financial results today, showing continued growth in loans coupled with strong earnings, which allowed for record patronage dividends of $65 million paid to eligible customer-owners in February. Farm Credit East’s 2018 earnings also allowed for an additional one-time special patronage of $15 million paid in October 2018.
“Farm Credit East is committed to growing our cooperative to best serve our customers into the future,” said Bill Lipinski, CEO of Farm Credit East. “Our lending and financial services staff will continue to work proactively with customers and we continue to provide the funds to capitalize businesses across all sectors of Northeast agriculture, commercial fishing and forest products.”
Farm Credit East’s 2018 net income grew to $178 million. Following more than two decades of growth, the cooperative closed out the year with $7.0 billion in loan volume, an increase of 5.4 percent over the previous year, and $1.45 billion in capital. 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 15,000 farmers, commercial fishermen and forest products producers. Farm Credit East maintains competitive interest rates for its customers and continues to return a portion of its earnings to 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 two patronage payments on 2018 earnings, totaling $80 million paid to farmers, commercial fishermen and forest products operations in the seven states we serve.”
These two patronage dividend payments combined returned, on average, 1.36 percent of farm customers average daily loan balances in 2018. Over the past 23 years, Farm Credit East, and its predecessor associations, have declared a combined $793 million in patronage.
–Farm Credit East