ROBSTOWN, Texas — Texas Farm Credit customers are getting cash back this spring – the highest amount in the lender’s history – for the 22nd year in a row.
The rural lending cooperative is distributing a record $12.3 million in patronage dividends to its customers. About 3,800 checks are going out across its 100-county territory.
Patronage lowers borrowing costs by refunding a portion of the interest customers paid on their loans the previous year.
On average, a Texas Farm Credit borrower who had a 5.0 percent interest rate in 2019 effectively paid less than 4.1 percent as a result of the April patronage dividend. The co-op also allocated another $7.8 million of its 2019 earnings to members for future distribution, which will decrease their borrowing costs even more.
“Our customers own the cooperative, so it’s only right they get back a portion of the earnings,” said Mark Miller, Texas Farm Credit chief executive officer. “That’s what sets cooperatives apart from other lenders.
“Every success is fueled by our customers’ trust in Texas Farm Credit. In 2019, we expanded operations, and continued to focus on efficiency, diversification, and responsible fiscal management to add value for our customers.”
Commitment to Its Owners Led to a Solid Year
Texas Farm Credit’s earnings totaled $29.1 million in 2019, second only to its record earnings the prior year. It exceeded the financial projections in its business plan by more than $1 million. The lending co-op finished the year with $1.4 billion in assets and its highest new loan volume ever. Credit quality remained strong, with 98.2 percent of loans classified as acceptable or special mention.
The more the cooperative earns, the more it returns to borrowers through its patronage program. In 2019 it distributed $17.8 million in cash to its customers: a portion of its 2018 earnings in April, followed in December by earnings that had been retained as capital in 2011 to fund growth.
In order to provide greater resources to its customers, the lender expanded and enhanced its crop and pasture insurance programs and home loan services.
Growth prompted the co-op to build a new office in Brenham and open a new branch office in Laredo.
About Texas Farm Credit
Texas Farm Credit finances agricultural operations, agribusinesses, homes and rural real estate, and offers a variety of insurance services. It is headquartered in Robstown, Texas, and is part of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of rural lending cooperatives established in 1916.
For complete financial reports and other information, visit www.TexasFarmCredit.com.
— Texas Farm Credit
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