Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas reported Tuesday that $25.3 million went back into the hands of Farm Credit members across the state in late February. As a financial cooperative, members share in the profits when their Farm Credit association has a profitable year.
Farm Credit finances farms, homes, land, livestock, equipment, agribusinesses and more. The Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas (AgHeritage Farm Credit Services, Farm Credit Midsouth, Farm Credit of Western Arkansas and Delta Agricultural Credit Association) support agriculture and rural communities across the state.
AgHeritage Farm Credit Services (AFCS) announced in January that it would pay a record $7 million in profits to its customer-owners through its Patronage Program.
The Patronage Program returns a portion of the association’s net earnings to eligible customer-owners. Patronage refunds are based on the proportion of interest paid on an individual’s loan to net interest earned.
“Returning patronage dividends is key to our cooperative values, and we are proud to offer this benefit to our customer-owners,” said AFCS President & CEO Greg Cole. The past few years have been challenging, but having the ability to deliver such strong levels of patronage is a reinforcement of the value that our cooperative provides to agriculture and the rural communities we serve.”
This makes the twenty-fifth consecutive year that Arkansas Farm Credit associations have distributed patronage checks to members. According to the cooperative organization, more than $293 million in patronage has gone to Arkansas members since 1997.