Enfield, Conn. — Farm Credit East’s recently released Annual Report highlighted four Northeast farm operations representing the diversity of the region’s agriculture and the successful farm businesses the financial cooperative serves. As a result of their strong working relationships with Farm Credit East, these businesses have grown, evolved, and in some cases, withstood downturns.
One such growing business is Stony Hill Gardens, LLC, in Chester, NJ. Since working with Farm Credit East, this business has opened a farm market and then bakery. Today, just about every fruit or vegetable that can be produced in New Jersey is grown on this 400-acre farm, from sweet corn, tomatoes and peppers, to apples, peaches, mums and poinsettias.
Another featured farm was LaBrie Farms, LLC, in Northern Aroostook County Maine. This fourth-generation family-run potato operation grows 550 acres of potatoes for processing, table-stock and seed markets, and an additional 700 acres of grains for rotation.
Cook Farms, a 270-cow Holstein dairy farm in Lansing, NY, was also featured. Owner Jeff Cook is the second generation on the farm, which today operates on more than 800 acres, growing corn, alfalfa, canary grass and some rye. Jeff also grows all his own bedding and grain corn.
Johannes Barendse and his wife, Karen, opened River Road Farm and Greenhouses, LLC, in Marcy, NY, after years of experience working for other greenhouse operations. They have increased sales more than five times since opening the business, which grows bedding plants and baskets in the spring, mums over the summer and then poinsettias for the holiday season.
It’s the farm, forestry and commercial fishing businesses such as these that are at Farm Credit East’s core. In the face of challenging times for some industries, the region’s agricultural operations exemplify resilience and their entrepreneurial spirit. Through their continued success, Farm Credit East remains successful.
As such, the 2016 Annual Report also highlighted a successful year for Farm Credit East, showing continued growth in loans coupled with strong earnings. These results allow the cooperative to finance customers’ growth and to work with customers through industry cycles. It also enabled for record patronage dividends of $56 million to customer-owners.
Farm Credit East’s 2016 Annual Report was mailed to customers in March 2017. It is also available on Farm Credit East’s website. Visit FarmCreditEast.com to learn more.