Farm Credit Services of America, a customer-owned financial cooperative, has approved a 2014 cash-back dividend of $160 million to its eligible customer-owners. FCSAmerica serves the credit and risk management needs of farmers, ranchers, agribusiness and rural residents in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. The lending cooperative is headquartered in Omaha.
The 2014 cash-back dividend represents the largest annual dividend approved by the cooperative's board of directors. Since 2004, FCSAmerica has distributed $990 million to its eligible-customer owners. Eligible customers can expect 2014 payments to be distributed in March 2015.
Lending co-op's board also approved a dividend plan for 2015
The FCSAmerica board also has approved a patronage program for 2015, ensuring a portion of the cooperative's earnings will be returned to farmers and ranchers for the 12th consecutive year. Through the first nine months of 2014, loan volume at FCSAmerica was up about 4% to $21 billion. Profits increased about 6% to $373.5 million over the same period.
"Cash-back dividends are one of the unique aspects of our cooperative model," said Jeremy Heitmann, a southeast Nebraska family farmer who serves as chairman of the FCSAmerica board of directors. "We are proud to return a portion of net income to those farmers and ranchers whose decision to do business with FCSAmerica strengthens the cooperative for all our benefit."
"Our customer-owners use their dividends to invest in their operations, their families and local communities," says Doug Stark, CEO and president of FCSAmerica. "In the past 11 years, that has amounted to nearly a billion dollars that FCSAmerica has returned to its customer-owners to benefit agriculture and main streets across our four states. The portion of earnings retained each year by FCSAmerica helps build the cooperative's financial capacity and strength to serve borrowers through all economic cycles, now and into the future."
Cash-back dividend details: As a cooperative, FCSAmerica is uniquely positioned to return a portion of its profits through cash-back dividends to its customer-owners. Cash-back dividends are based on the average daily balance of a customer-owner's eligible loans. Generally, the more eligible loan business that farmers and ranchers do with FCSAmerica, the more they benefit financially from the patronage program.
About Farm Credit Services of America: Farm Credit Services of America is proud to finance the growth of rural America, including the special needs of young and beginning producers. With assets of more than $22 billion, FCSAmerica is one of the region's leading providers of credit and insurance services to farmers, ranchers, agribusiness and rural residents in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. Learn more at fcsamerica.com.