ENFIELD, Conn. — Farm Credit East, ACA, the Northeast’s largest agricultural lending cooperative, announced its distribution of a record $70 million in cash patronage dividends to more than 11,250 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 about a 1.04% reduction in their effective interest rate as a result of this patronage distribution.
As owners of their financial cooperative, Farm Credit East’s customers share in the financial success of the cooperative through patronage dividends. This $70 million patronage distribution is in addition to the one-time special patronage of $25 million that was paid to customer-owners in October 2019.
Since the patronage program was first adopted, customer-owners of Farm Credit East (and predecessor cooperatives) have received $888 million in dividends from ownership of their cooperative. This is the 24th consecutive annual patronage payment paid by Farm Credit East.
“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,” said Board Chair, Matt Beaton, of Wareham, Mass. “Being able to consistently pay patronage dividends to our customer-owners reflects the strength of our cooperative.”
“Paying patronage dividends is an essential component of the value our cooperative provides to members,” said Mike Reynolds, Farm Credit East CEO. “By focusing on strong earnings and sound lending practices, Farm Credit East is able to continue to pay patronage dividends and build capital levels, which allows us to continue as the leading financial partner to the Northeast agriculture, commercial fishing and forest products industries.”
–Dallas Kriebel,Farm Credit East