AMES, Iowa — Zions Agricultural Finance is marking 20 years of growth this month, although its legacy of agricultural lending dates back to Zions Bank’s establishment in 1873.
The Ames, Iowa-based division of the bank has grown to be the leading originator of loans through the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation, known as Farmer Mac. Since its launch two decades ago, Zions Ag Finance has originated nearly $2 billion in Farm and Ranch purchase loans across 44 states.
Over the course of its operations since 1998, Zions Ag Finance has ranked No. 1 each year in originating secondary market Farm and Ranch loans. As of year-end 2016, Zions Ag Finance had $843 million in loan balances of Farmer Mac’s total $3.5 billion portfolio, or 24 percent.
“Zions currently services the largest portfolio of Farm and Ranch loans, and provides great service to its customers,” said Patrick Kerrigan, director of business development for Farmer Mac.
Zions Ag Finance serves primarily as a wholesale lender, working with a strong network of more than 300 correspondent banks and agricultural lending professionals nationwide to offer unique financing options. Zions Ag Finance focuses on providing long-term land financing for farm and ranch acquisitions, refinancing and capital expansion. Its offerings include 30-year fixed rate ag loans and adjustable rate mortgages. It also provides real estate secured Ag-Equity Revolving Lines of Credit with five and ten-year draw periods as well as Lifestyle Ranch Loans for recreational and hobby farm purchases.
In 1996, when legislative changes streamlined the operating structure of Farmer Mac, allowing its guaranteed securities to be more competitive, Zions Bank sought to enter the field by acquiring the agricultural lending division of Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company based in Ames. Since it began originating loans through this division, Zions Ag Finance has grown to service a portfolio of approximately $1.6 billion.
“We’re working to support America’s farmers and ranchers that are raising corn and beans in the Midwest, running cattle in Texas and Montana, planting potatoes and sugar beets in Idaho, or growing pistachios and citrus in California,” said Gary Guy, senior vice president and division manager for Zions Ag Finance. “We have a long history of helping people make their ideas a reality, and we plan on serving the farming and ranching communities with innovative long-term ag loans for a long time to come.”
Dedicated to supporting the long-term success of Farmer Mac, Zions Bank is also among its large shareholders, holding more than 31 percent of shares of Class A Common Stock in Farmer Mac, based on the 2015 proxy statement.
— Zions Bank via PRNewswire
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