Local ag-lending cooperative Premier Farm Credit will pay a record $6.5 million in cash patronage to its customer-owners in early 2023. The financial services cooperative has returned more than $26 million through its Patronage Program since 2019 and 2023 makes the 26th year a patronage has been paid.
As a customer-owned cooperative, Premier Farm Credit understands that extra capital can make a big difference in a customer’s operation. About 900 checks are going out to member-owners. This year’s patronage represents a cash return of over one-third of the cooperatives’ 2022 earnings.
“Our customers share in the Association’s success through our patronage dividends,” President and CEO Michael Grauberger said. “It’s important to us that we return a meaningful amount while remaining financially sound and focused on serving agriculture and rural communities in northeast Colorado.”
In addition to receiving patronage, customer-owners of Premier are encouraged to participate in the Association in a variety of ways. These include participation in annual Board of Director and Nominating Committee Elections which ensures maintaining a strong Board of Directors who have the ability to vote on issues that influence the operations of the Association, and members also have the opportunity to serve on the Advisory Committee.
“Receiving a Cash Patronage Dividend check demonstrates that the borrowers of Premier Farm Credit are part-owners of a business that’s working for them,” said Becky Lenz, Board Chair. “$6.5 million dollars is a significant payout that goes back into our borrower’s pockets and reduces their average interest rate by over 1%. This also has a positive impact in the communities where our members live and work.”
As part of the Farm Credit System (established in 1916), Premier Farm Credit is a mission-driven lending cooperative owned entirely by its borrowers/member-owners. Sometimes referred to as an Association, Premier Farm Credit serves Northeast Colorado and the surrounding areas with loans, leases, insurance and appraisals for agriculture and ag-related businesses. They also provide rural home loans for residences in small towns and on small acreages. Premier Farm Credit has aggregate loan volume of over $900 million and has offices in Sterling, Fort Morgan, Yuma and Holyoke. You can learn more about them at premieraca.com, or on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram.