Enfield, Conn., Monday, March 27, 2017 — Farm Credit East reported today strong 2016 financial results, showing continued growth in loans coupled with strong earnings, which allowed for record patronage dividends of $56 million to customer-owners.
“Farm Credit East is committed to growing our cooperative to best serve our customers into the future,” said Bill Lipinski, CEO of Farm Credit East. “We know that some customers face lower net farm incomes, but as we have done through other industry down cycles, our lending and financial services staff will work proactively with our customers.”
Farm Credit East’s 2016 net income was $151.4 million. Following more than two decades of growth, the cooperative closed out the year with $6.3 billion in loan volume, a 3.2 percent growth from the previous year, and $1.2 billion in capital. This level of equity capital allows the cooperative to finance customers’ growth and to work with customers through industry cycles.
Farm Credit East continues to be the leading lender to Northeast agriculture providing approximately 70 percent of the credit to farm businesses and serving nearly 14,000 farmers, commercial fishermen and forest products producers. Farm Credit East maintains competitive interest rates for its customers and continues to share its success with customer-owners through patronage dividends.
Farm Credit East Board Chairman Matt Beaton commented, “We are very pleased with our results this year, which enabled us to pay patronage of $56 million to farmers, commercial fishermen and forest products operations in the seven states we serve.”
This record patronage dividend payment returned, on average, in excess of 25 percent of the interest eligible customers paid in 2016. Over the past 21 years, Farm Credit East, and its predecessor associations, has declared a combined $653 million in patronage.