DARKE COUNTY – Farm Credit Mid-America, which has a local office in Versailles, is returning $146 million to eligible customers as part of its Patronage program, and under this year’s plan, customers in Ohio will share in more than $40 million of that payout.
“Patronage not only demonstrates the value of belonging to a cooperative – our customers also are our owners – but it has direct and positive benefit for every eligible farmer and agricultural business customer/owner of Farm Credit Mid-America,” Financial Officer Jeff Roeth in Versailles said. “And this is an especially meaningful year because of the challenging economy and market uncertainties our farmers have faced. This year’s Patronage provides real help during a time of real need.”
With this year’s Patronage payout, FCMA will have returned $262 million to customer/owners over the last three years. Patronage is not a guarantee – the association’s board annually has to approve the program, and not all customers will receive a check. Of the association’s $23-billion portfolio, $11.4 billion is Patronage eligible.
“We work hard to do our best for our farmers,” said Bill Johnson, Farm Credit Mid-America president and chief executive officer. “To help them make their operations as successful as can be. Few lenders offer this type of advantage.”
Local office leaders across the four-state territory will deliver Patronage checks by hand – 36,000 total checks that exceed $20,000 – with the remaining arriving by mail the week of March 25-29. The average check amount is about $3,000, and there are 1,000 checks that are greater than $20,000.
The amount each eligible customer will receive is proportionate to the transaction level with FCMA during 2018. Patronage is not funded by rate increases and rates are not increased to pay Patronage. Interest rates change daily and are market driven.