Spokane Journal of Business

Northwest Farm Credit Services posts jump in earnings

$58.1 million in refunds sent to shareholders

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Northwest Farm Credit Services, the Spokane-based agricultural lending cooperative, has reported net income of $237 million for 2013, an increase of 26 percent compared with income of $187.3 million the previous year. 

Meanwhile, the cooperative says it’s distributed to its stockholders patronage refund checks totaling $58.1 million. Stockholders include farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses, commercial fishermen, timber producers, and cooperatives located primarily in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska.

Northwest Farm Credit Services’ loan portfolio grew last year by 1.8 percent to a total of $9.2 billion as of Dec. 31, says Linda Hendricksen, senior vice president of marketing. Nonaccrual loans, on which the association isn’t collecting interest, declined nearly 50 percent, ending the year at $86.6 million.

Phil DiPofi, the cooperative’s president and CEO, attributes the earnings gain to another positive year for Northwest agriculture and to growth in its lending portfolio.

“Significant reductions of our nonperforming loans and the continued growth and diversity of our lending portfolio contributed to our earnings and capital,” DiPofi says.

Annually since 2000, the cooperative has shared earnings with customer-owners, which it says lowers their net cost of borrowing money. The cooperative says it has issued patronage checks to nearly 10,000 customers for 2013 based on stockholders’ eligible annual average loan volume. It distributes most of the cash in January, based on the association’s overall financial performance in the previous calendar year. 

For 2012, it sent patronage refund checks totaling $54.8 million. Since beginning the patronage program, the cooperative says it has paid out a total of $434.5 million to borrowers.

Northwest Farm Credit Services provides nearly $12 billion in financing and related services. The cooperative leases a 61,400-square-foot office building at 1700 S. Assembly for its headquarters here.

Treva Lind
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