February 20, 2024

Press Releases

Farm Credit East Announces Record Distribution of Patronage Dividends


ENFIELD, CONN. — Farm Credit East, ACA, the Northeast’s largest agricultural lending cooperative, announced its distribution of $120 million in cash patronage dividends to 12,500 farm, fishing and forestry business owners and operators across the Northeast. On average, this represents a 1.25% reduction in eligible customers’ effective interest rate. In addition, the board approved a special one-time patronage distribution based on 2023’s outstanding financial results, for a total of $130 million of earnings returned to customer-owners.

As owners of their financial cooperative, Farm Credit East’s customers share in the financial success of the cooperative through patronage dividends. This cooperative model enables Farm Credit East to offer competitive interest rates up front, and then through continued success, return a share of net earnings to customer owners via patronage dividends.

This $130 million total patronage is a combination of $120 million in patronage dividends based on 2023 cooperative earnings, along with a $10 million special patronage payment the board of directors recently approved, resulting from the Association’s strong results which exceeded financial targets.

“The board of directors is committed to maintaining a cooperative that combines in-depth expertise with financial strength to be a long-term partner to our members,” said Board Chair, Laurie Griffen, of Stillwater, N.Y. “The board’s philosophy is that funds not needed to operate or capitalize the business should be returned to members, and given the Association’s success in 2023, the board was pleased to approve a special patronage to members.”

“Paying patronage dividends is an essential component of our cooperative’s value proposition,” said Mike Reynolds, Farm Credit East CEO. “Strong growth in our business, coupled with continued investments in strategic technologies and partnerships, enabled us to achieve strong financial results in 2023. We are very pleased to share our cooperative’s success with our members through this year’s patronage dividends.”

Since the patronage program was first adopted, customer-owners of Farm Credit East (and predecessor cooperatives) have received more than $1.4 billion in dividends from ownership of their cooperative. 2024 is the cooperative’s 28th consecutive annual patronage payment.



Tags: patronage, cooperative