FOSTORIA — Ag Credit, a member-owned Ohio cooperative, has reported record net earnings of $42.4 million for 2013, an increase of $14.6 million from 2012 earnings.
Ag Credit CEO and President Brian Ricker attributed much of the increase in earnings to a one-time special distribution of patronage from Ag Credit’s funding bank, AgFirst Farm Credit Bank.
In April, the cooperative will distribute $23.7 million in patronage refunds to members. This includes the one-time distribution from AgFirst.
Dividends are being paid in a combination of cash and allocated equities. Over 6,000 checks will be distributed to farmers and other borrowers in northwestern and north central Ohio.
Ag Credit has averaged a return of more than 28 percent for the past five years, and has paid patronage to borrowers for 27 consecutive years totaling more than $189 million.
The refunds amount to 40 cents on every dollar of loan interest accrued last year. With the cooperative’s average interest rate of 4.7 percent, this effectively reduced a typical borrower’s interest rate for 2013 to 2.8 percent.
Ag Credit has more than 6,800 customers and $1.43 billion in assets. It is a provider of credit and insurance services to farmers, agribusiness and rural residents in northern Ohio.
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