In March, Farm Credit Mid-America will pay a record $186 million in cash Patronage dividends to eligible customer-members. Last year, the financial services cooperative returned $146 million back to customers.
“Last year farmers faced serious challenges,” said Bill Johnson, Farm Credit Mid-America president and CEO. “Spring and fall flooding that delayed planting and harvests, low prices and trade uncertainties.
“It was a year of enormous stress, and while situations have improved some, there’s still a lot of unease, so we’re very happy to be able to return to them money they can reinvest into their operations and communities.”
With this year’s Patronage, the total returned to Farm Credit Mid-America customers will be nearly a half-billion dollars. Patronage is not a guarantee – the association’s board annually has to approve the program, and not all customers will receive a check.
“Patronage is a powerful benefit of belonging to a cooperative and we’re fortunate that our strong financial position ensures we can continue to provide reliable credit through good and challenging times, now and into the future,” said Johnson.
In addition to Patronage, customer/owners participate in annual Board of Director and Nominating Committee Elections, and vote on issues that influence operations.
Ohio customers will receive more than $53 million, Indiana customers more than $58 million, Kentucky customers more than $44 million and Tennessee customers nearly $26 million.
The amount each eligible customer will receive is proportionate to their transaction level with the Association during 2019. Since patronage is considered taxable income, customers will receive IRS forms related to this year’s patronage in January 2021. Farm Credit Mid America encourages recipients to speak with their financial advisors.