LOUISVILLE, Ky. — This month, Farm Credit Mid-America will pay a record $186 million in cash patronage dividends to eligible customer-members. Of that amount, $44 million will be returned to customers in Kentucky.
“Last year farmers faced serious challenges,” said Bill Johnson, Farm Credit Mid-America president and CEO. “Spring and fall flooding that delayed planting and harvests, low prices and trade uncertainties.
“It was a year of enormous stress, and while situations have improved some, there’s still a lot of unease, so we’re very happy to be able to return to them money they can reinvest into their operations and communities.”
Over the past four years, Farm Credit Mid-America has returned nearly a half-billion dollars in patronage to eligible customers.
“Patronage is a powerful benefit of belonging to a cooperative and we’re fortunate that our strong financial position ensures we can continue to provide reliable credit through good and challenging times, now and into the future,” said Johnson.
Patronage is one of the many ways Farm Credit Mid-America works to secure the future of rural communities and agriculture.
In 2019, the cooperative provided nearly $100,000 in scholarships and educational support to Kentucky students pursuing careers in agriculture, equipping them with the skills and leadership abilities to meet growing industry demands, challenges and opportunities.
Farm Credit Mid-America also collaborates with Feeding Kentucky to combat hunger through its Farms to Food Banks program. Last year, 300 team members from its four-state area gleaned nearly 18,000 pounds of produce and supplemented 72,000 meals for communities in need.
Returning patronage is a decision made by the board of directors each year. While it is not a guaranteed payment, it is a return of Farm Credit Mid-America’s earnings to patronage-eligible customers. The amount each eligible customer will receive is proportionate to his or her transaction level with the association during 2019.
Since patronage is considered taxable income, customers will receive IRS forms related to this year’s patronage in January 2021. Farm Credit Mid America encourages recipients to speak with their financial advisors.
For more information on patronage, visit e-farmcredit.com/Patronage.