Cooperative Structure

Cooperative Structure

Farm Credit West is a cooperative. Our customers are also our owners and stockholders. The farmers and ranchers who borrow from Farm Credit West elect Directors from among their peers to serve on the Board that guides the Association.

The Co-operative Advantage:

While competitive financial institutions are often eager to fund agriculture clients when markets are strong, they have less flexibility to work with borrowers during downturns as they ultimately report, and are beholden to their stockholders. At Farm Credit West, our stockholders are our owners and customers. We share in your success during good times and are there for you through tough times. We have the stability and flexibility to withstand the volatile nature of agribusiness, and help customers through the inevitable challenging patches.

All customer-members have an equal voice in the business, regardless of their equity share: One member, one vote. At the end of each year Farm Credit West’s earnings are retained for additional lending, or returned as cash dividends to our borrowers. This unique structure keeps Farm Credit West connected to the local communities we serve, and contributes to the strength and stability we’ve enjoyed for 100 years.

The complete Farm Credit System consists of a group of financial cooperatives that serve local and regional agricultural markets throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. As cooperatives, each Farm Credit association, such as Farm Credit West, is owned by its customers, governed by a Board of Directors who are elected by its customers, and shares profits with its borrower-owners through patronage distributions.

The System's 67 Farm Credit associations receive funding through one of four regional wholesale banks: AgFirst, AgriBank, CoBank and Farm Credit Bank of Texas. Farm Credit West receives funding from CoBank along with 22 other Farm Credit Associations. Farm Credit’s funds are raised by the Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation, who issues highly rated notes and bonds on behalf of the four wholesale banks in the Farm Credit System. These bonds are sold on Wall Street in the public market. Investors purchase our bonds and the price we receive directly affects the rates we are able to offer our customer owners.

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