July 27, 2021
Dear Farm Credit East Customer:
I hope you are enjoying your summer! As life returns to normal, I wanted to provide an update on your cooperative.
First and foremost, we were excited to welcome our entire team back to the office on June 1. Staff is also back out visiting customers’ operations in compliance with state and local mandates. We hope you’re as excited about this return to in-person interactions as we are! We have also lifted the in-office mask requirement for those staff and visitors who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. However, our team will continue to serve your credit and financial services needs however you feel most comfortable, so be in touch with your local Farm Credit East representative to let us know how we can best serve you.
Over the last several weeks, I was pleased to visit with many of our New England customers at summer customer events. I look forward to visiting with customers from the rest of our territory, in person, during our traditional fall customer appreciation meetings. Information on your local events will be forthcoming. This opportunity to visit with so many of our customers is something I haven’t been able to do since becoming CEO, so I am really looking forward to it — especially during such an exciting time for our cooperative.
As we announced in April, we intend to merge with Yankee Farm Credit effective January 1, 2022, assuming all conditions are met and the proposed merger receives stockholder and regulatory approval. The management teams of both organizations have been completing due diligence over the past several months. The merger packet, which contains a thorough analysis of the merger, will be submitted to our regulator and, if approved, will be provided to members prior to the stockholder vote later this year.
In anticipation of this stockholder vote, we’re considering the most cost-effective methods to get these required materials to our members. First and foremost, we want to make sure members have all the information they need to make an informed decision on the merger vote. But we also recognize that as a cooperative, the funds we operate with are ultimately yours, and not having to print and mail packets could provide significant savings. As such, we’d like to provide stockholders who we have an email address for the option to receive the 300-page merger packet (and all other regulatory materials going forward) electronically, such as by email.
Members must opt in to receive electronic delivery. In the coming weeks, please be on the lookout for an email to this effect that will have an opt-in link that is unique to you. If you’d like to provide an email address or ensure the one we have on file for you is accurate, please call your local office. For those who we don’t have an email address for or who do not want to begin to receive electronic communications, you can disregard this opt-in email and we will mail your packet. The merger ballot will be mailed to all voting stockholders, regardless of opt-in status, but you will have the option to vote online, similar to this year’s director elections. To stay up to date on the merger process, you may visit FarmCreditEast.com/Merger.
As I mentioned at the onset of this letter, this is an exciting time for Farm Credit in the Northeast! Yankee Farm Credit has been a partner with Farm Credit East for many years, such as in providing crop insurance through Crop Growers, LLP; investing in startup farm and forestry operations through FarmStart, LLP; and in supporting agricultural organizations and youth and leadership development efforts through the Farm Credit Northeast AgEnhancement grant program. We also share the same funding bank, CoBank, and are equally united in our customer-focused mission to help Northeast agriculture, commercial fishing and forest products businesses succeed. Combining our resources to serve agriculture across the region makes sense and many benefits will extend to members over time. We look forward to the opportunity to combine our highly skilled teams to be a stronger partner to Northeast agriculture, commercial fishing and forest products for generations to come.
Michael J Reynolds
Chief Executive Officer
Farm Credit East, ACA