ROCKLIN, CA. —Farm Credit West, ACA recently announced in a press release the Board of Directors has voted to distribute a patronage dividend to customer-owners equal to 150 basis points (bps) or 1.50% of eligible average outstanding loan balances in 2020. This patronage dividend includes a special pandemic related relief payment of 50 bps distributed to customers during the summer of 2020. Distribution of the additional 100 bps cash patronage will begin in February 2021.
“The dramatic events of 2020 imposed significant challenges to growers and agribusinesses throughout our chartered service area, none of which could have been anticipated,” said Sureena Thiara, Chair of the Board of Directors at Farm Credit West. “While growers and agribusinesses are very familiar with managing the unpredictable, as a member-owned association we felt it was our duty to do everything in our power to support our customers during these challenging times.”
The combined 150 bps patronage distribution for 2020 represents the highest payout Farm Credit West customer-owners have received since the program’s inception in 2002. In each of the years 2018 and 2019, Farm Credit West distributed 100 bps in patronage dividends to customers.
“At a time when many agriculture producers and agribusinesses are reacting to government regulations and health official recommendations to manage the COVID-19 Pandemic, our customers can be confident their lender is committed to their success,” added Mark Littlefield, President and CEO of Farm Credit West. “Distributing an additional and unexpected 50 bps in Patronage dividends mid-year was the infusion of cash needed to keep many of our customers’ operations thriving during a highly tumultuous time.”
Since the Patronage program’s beginning 18 years ago, Farm Credit West has paid $884 million in cash dividends to customer-owners.