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A leading provider of credit and crop insurance, FCSAmerica serves the needs of more than 51,000 farmers, ranchers, rural residents and agribusinesses in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Farm Credit Services of America is a customer-owned financial cooperative based in Omaha, Neb., and is part of the Farm Credit System, a national network of financial cooperatives owned and governed by farmers and ranchers.

“All we do, every day, is meet the financial and risk management needs of farmers and ranchers to support the future of the agricultural industry and rural communities,” company spokeswoman Judith Nygren said.

FCSAmerica provides loans for real estate, operating, equipment, facility and rural homes, plus leasing and crop insurance. However, its services stretch beyond that in the places it serves.

“We also have a community involvement program that supports rural communities and agriculture through grants, donations and employee volunteer activities,” Nygren said.

FCSAmerica gets its funds from money raised by its funding bank, AgriBank, FCB, through selling Farm Credit System-wide bonds to global investors, bringing outside capital to agriculture and rural America.

“FCSAmerica’s vision is to be agriculture’s most valued financial partner, and we have built financial strength to deliver on that vision, in both good and bad times,” she said.

Nygren pointed to FCSAmerica’s cash-back dividend program as an example. The company has returned more than $1.7 billion in cash-back dividends to eligible customer-owners since 2004.

Last year, the board of directors paid a record cash-back dividend equal to 0.90 basis points. The board plans to keep dividends at this level.

“The board is striving to provide some financial certainty for customer-owners who are operating in uncertain times for agriculture,” Nygren said.

It’s a patronage program in that eligible customers share in the association’s net earnings.

The cooperative business model makes FCSAmerica unique, Nygren said: “Not only do eligible customer-owners share in our financial success, they also have a voice in shaping how we serve agriculture. Today, that means we are always updating digital tools that our customers can use to do business in an increasingly technological agricultural industry.”

The company is part of Farm Credit System, chartered in 1916. FCSAmerica has long offered consumer lending, including rural home financing. It recently started offering Rural 1st for those buying or building a rural home.

“We are experts in navigating the complexities of rural home building and buying,” Nygren said.

FCSAmerica has more than 1,600 employees and regularly appears on lists of top employers in the states where it operates.

“It is the result of input from employees,” Nygren said. “We seek highly motivated, positive-thinking people who thrive in a team-based work environment and share a passion and commitment to serving both rural America and each other.”

Amy Hadachek can be reached at amy.hadachek@midwestmessenger.com.

Amy Hadachek is a freelance writer who lives on a farm with her husband in North Central Kansas. She's also a meteorologist and storm chaser. Amy can be reached at editorial@midwestmessenger.com.