Did you know being a Farm Credit member lets you share in our profits?
You read that right – since 1988, Farm Credit of Northwest Florida borrowers have received over $96 million in patronage distributions.
Get answers to the most commonly asked questions about patronage here:
- What is a patronage distribution?
Patronage is a distribution of earnings by a cooperative to members based upon the amount of business the member does with the cooperative. Annually, our Board of Directors review capital and operating needs to determine the portion of our earnings we can distribute back to members. Here’s another way to think about patronage…banks and large companies distribute their profits to third-party shareholders. As a cooperative, Farm Credit returns our profits to you, our borrowers.
- How is my share of patronage determined?
There are several ways patronage distributions can be determined. Currently, each member’s share of the distribution is based on the proportion of interest earned on their loan(s) to the total interest earned by the Association. So, the more business you do with Farm Credit, the greater your potential patronage distribution.
- What are the different ways patronage can be paid?
Patronage can be distributed in a number of ways, including:
Cash: the amount paid directly to members the year it is declared by the Board of Directors.
Allocated Surplus: the amount of patronage credited in your name and subject to future retirement in cash by the Board of Directors. This allows the cooperative to retain needed funds for capital and operating expense, yet have an option to return the funds to the members who helped create the earnings at a future date. Allocated surplus can be on either a Qualified or Nonqualified basis. Since 2012, the Board has elected to make patronage distributions for current year earnings as a single cash distribution.
- Is patronage taxable?
Yes, you will receive a 1099PAT for any cash patronage distribution. Allocated surplus is taxable either when declared (Qualified Allocated Surplus) or when paid in cash (Non-Qualified Allocated Surplus). You should consider consulting your accountant or tax planner about your patronage distribution.
- When will I get my first patronage check?
Your first patronage refund is usually received the year after you take out a loan.
- How does patronage benefit me?
Patronage reduces your cost of borrowing by putting Farm Credit profits back in your pocket. Our members use their share of patronage for everything from making improvements to their home or farm to funding a family vacation.
- How do I qualify to receive patronage?
When you begin a lending relationship with Farm Credit of Northwest Florida, you make a minimal investment in the cooperative of $1,000 or 2% of your loan amount, whichever is less. $1,000 is currently the maximum investment in the cooperative regardless of the amount you borrow or if you have multiple loans. This investment qualifies you to fully share in patronage payments. Currently, this investment is retired back to you when all your loans with Farm Credit are fully liquidated.
- Are patronage payments guaranteed?
The Association is committed to the cooperative principle of returning patronage – and we have a great track record of doing so! Since patronage is based on the cooperative’s financial performance, capital and operating needs, the amount or timing of distributions cannot be guaranteed.
- This seems too good to be true--how can I find out more?
Call and talk with one of our Rural Lending Experts. We would love to hear about your plans and dreams for your life in the country, as well as share more about patronage and other unique benefits of being a part of Farm Credit.
The Farm Credit of Northwest Florida’s Board of Directors is elected by the stockholders of the Association. The Board is responsible to keep the cooperative operating on a sound financial basis. The amount and timing of patronage distributions, retirements of equities such as stock/participation certification investments and allocated surplus are all at the discretion of the Board.