Patronage Program

As a farmer-owned cooperative, we know that a little extra capital can make a big difference in your operation – paying for new equipment, initial operating costs for the upcoming season, payroll and more.

So, in the Spring of 2019, we will return $146 million – the largest amount we've ever distributed – to Patronage-eligible customers through our Patronage program.

In the last 3 years, Farm Credit Mid-America has returned $262,000,000 to its customers through the patronage program: $28 million in 2016, $88 million in 2017, $146 million in 2018

The way we see it, the hard work and resilience of our customer-owners contributed to our success in 2018. Patronage allows us to give back a portion of what we earn directly to those who deserve it most.

Our mission is to strengthen rural America's farmers and agriculture, and to that end, Patronage is one benefit of belonging to our cooperative. It means that Farm Credit Mid-America is in a strong position to provide sound credit through good and challenging times, now and in the future. In fact, over the last three years, we've distributed a total of $262 million to our customers-owners through Patronage.

For more information about the Patronage program click here for the guidelines for the Patronage program.

Frequently Asked Questions

    • What is patronage?
    • Patronage is the name for the capital that a cooperative returns to its customers.

    • What is the patronage calculation based on?
    • Patronage-eligible customers receive patronage that is proportionate to their transaction level with Farm Credit Mid-America.

      Patronage is based on the customer's contribution to the net income of the company, specifically a customer's contribution to net interest income and origination fees in proportion to the association's total net interest income and origination fees.

    • When and how will patronage checks be delivered?
    • Association leaders will deliver Patronage checks by hand and others will arrive by mail the week of March 25-29, 2019.

    • Will interest rates go up to pay patronage?
    • No. Patronage is based upon profitability and is not funded by rate increases and rates are not increased to pay Patronage. Interest rates change daily and are market driven.

    • Why doesn't Farm Credit Mid-America distribute all of its earning as patronage?
    • Capital not distributed as patronage is used to sustain your cooperative, invest for the future and keep your cooperative financially strong for unforeseen circumstances.

    • Is my patronage payment taxable income?
    • Patronage is generally taxable income. All customers will receive a 1099-PATR in early 2020 for the amount of their patronage received in March 2019. Please consult your tax advisor.

    • Who will be the payee on the patronage check?
    • The Patronage check payee will be the "payor of record" (primary customer) in our loan accounting system as of December 31, 2018. This is the person whose taxpayer identification number appears on any IRS reporting associated with the customer's account.

    • How does paying patronage benefit Farm Credit Mid-America?
    • Patronage enhances the relationship that Farm Credit Mid-America has with agriculture customers by returning capital directly to them. It also enables the cooperative to more optimally manage capital levels, as payout is determined at year end.

    • In addition to patronage, what are other benefits to membership in this cooperative?
    • In addition to Patronage, customer/owners can participate in annual Board of Director and Nominating Committee Elections, and can vote on issues that might influence the operations of the association.

    • Will I receive patronage in the future?
    • Returning Patronage is a decision the Farm Credit Mid-America board considers and makes each year. It's not a guaranteed payment, but rather a return of our earnings that is paid to Patronage-eligible customers of Farm Credit Mid-America, according to board resolution.

      Each year, the Board of Directors evaluates the Association's net income and determines distribution of a portion of the capital to customers through the patronage program. The terms of the program and payout are determined on an annual basis. Additionally, customer eligibility requirements must be met each year.

    • I received a patronage check last year but did not receive one this year. Why?
    • Patronage is an annual program, so there are a couple possible reasons you did not receive a check. The Patronage Program for 2016 included consumer products, while the 2017 and 2018 Patronage Program did not include them. Future Patronage Programs may or may not include certain customers or loan types, just as the potential exists not to have patronage payout at all. The terms of the program and payout are determined on an annual basis. Your loan type or terms may have changed.