Farm Credit Services of America, a customer-owned financial cooperative, has approved a 2013 cash-back dividend of $145 million (the largest in its history) to its eligible customer-owners. FCSAmerica serves farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses and rural residents in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. In Iowa, eligible FCSAmerica customers will receive approximately $65 million. The final number is subject to change once final calculations are completed in 2014.
The $145 million distribution marks the cooperative's 10th consecutive year of returning a significant portion of its earnings back to its eligible customer-owners. Since 2004, FCSAmerica has distributed $830 million in cash-back dividends.
"We are 100% owned by the farmers and ranchers we serve, and our mission is to serve agriculture through good times and bad," says Robert Bruxvoort, board chairman and an Iowa farmer. "As a cooperative, our earnings are either returned to customers or retained to maintain a strong balance sheet for future generations of producers."
FCSAmerica to distribute record $145 million cash-back dividend to customer-owners for 2013
Gerry Greve, an FCSAmerica customer who farms near Elk Horn, Iowa, also runs a fuel supply operation in town. "I like being part-owner of a financially sound lender," Greve says. "I like the fact my cooperative returns its earnings to the people who helped generate the success. We're all rural Main Street consumers, so the earnings go back to our communities, and that strikes a chord with me."
The FCSAmerica board also approved a patronage program for 2014 at their meeting last week. The board will determine the amount of the cash-back dividend for the 2014 program in December 2014.
"It's clear from our financial results and subsequent cash-back dividend that our customers are passionate about our cooperative business model," says Doug Stark, FCSAmerica president and CEO. "We're proud to return yet another strong cash-back dividend. At the same time, we retained a significant portion of net earnings as a capital reserve, which gives our cooperative greater flexibility to continue serving agriculture."
Cash-Back Dividend Details: The board of directors has paid cash-back dividends, available as part of its patronage program, every year since 2004. For 2013, each customer's cash-back dividend from the program is based on the customer's average loan volume during the calendar year. The more eligible loan business a customer has with the cooperative, the more they benefit financially from the patronage program. Eligible customers can expect 2013 payments to be distributed in March 2014.
About Farm Credit Services of America: FCSAmerica is proud to finance the growth of rural America, including the special needs of young and beginning producers, says Stark. With more than $20 billion in assets, 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 the FCSAmerica website.