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Farm Credit Services of America and Frontier Farm Credit CEO Announces Retirement

Omaha, Nebraska – (February 13, 2017) – Farm Credit Services of America (FCSAmerica) and Frontier Farm Credit today announced that Doug Stark has informed the Boards of Directors of his plan to retire as president and chief executive officer. Stark will continue to serve until his successor is named but no later than March 1, 2018.

The Boards are forming a search committee to identify a new CEO.

Stark has served as president and CEO at FCSAmerica since 2005. Under his leadership, the financial cooperative’s assets have grown from $9.7 billion to $25.8 billion as of September 30, 2016. Annual net income from 2005 to 2015 grew from $144 million to $514 million.

Under a strategic alliance formed with FCSAmerica in 2015, Stark also serves as president and CEO of Frontier Farm Credit. The Association had assets of $1.9 billion on September 30, 2016, and net income of $31.2 million in 2015.

“It has been an honor to lead our teams and work with our Directors in fulfilling our mission,” Stark said. “Our Associations are as strong as they’ve ever been, and I’m confident our Boards will select a leader who not only continues our record of success but also takes our organizations to new levels of effectiveness and performance.”

Nick Hunt, chair of the FCSAmerica Board, said, “Doug has done a superb job as CEO. He’s built an unrivaled organization in terms of financial stability, internal culture, and excellence in business processes and technology. We’re especially well-positioned to continue serving customers as we transition to a new leader.”

Bill Miller, chair of the Frontier Farm Credit Board, added, “Doug’s vision and his passion for serving others are exceptional. We are grateful for his leadership, his integrity and the legacy he’s created at our Associations.”

Stark joined FCSAmerica in 1980 as an assistant loan officer. Prior to being named CEO, he served for eight years as the organization’s chief credit officer. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wyoming.

About Farm Credit Services of America and Frontier Farm Credit

FCSAmerica and Frontier Farm Credit are customer-owned financial cooperatives proud to finance the growth of rural America, including the special needs of young and beginning producers. FCSAmerica provides credit and insurance services to farmers, ranchers, agribusiness and rural residents in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. Frontier Farm Credit serves eastern Kansas. Learn more at www.fcsamerica.com and www.frontierfarmcredit.com.

Frontier Farm Credit to Distribute $9 Million Cash-Back Dividend for 2016

Cooperative has returned $69 million to farmers, ranchers in past 13 years

OMAHA, NEBRASKA – (December 15, 2016) – Frontier Farm Credit, a customer-owned financial cooperative, has approved a record cash-back dividend of $9 million for 2016 for eligible customer-owners.

This is the 13th consecutive year that Frontier Farm Credit has returned a share of its profits to eligible customer-owners. Since 2004, Frontier Farm Credit has returned a total of $69.2 million to farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses and rural residents in its territory of eastern Kansas. The 2016 cash-back dividend checks will be mailed to eligible customer-owners in March 2017.

The Frontier Farm Credit Board of Directors also approved a 2017 patronage program, demonstrating its commitment to a cooperative business model that ensures farmers and ranchers share in the association’s financial strength.

Each year, farmers and ranchers use their cash-back dividends from Frontier Farm Credit to invest in their operations and families and support their rural communities. The portion of earnings that are retained by Frontier Farm Credit are used to build the cooperative’s financial capacity to continue serving agriculture.

“In a challenging agricultural economy like today, it is more important than ever that farmers and ranchers have a lender they can depend on,” said Doug Stark, CEO and president of Frontier Farm Credit. “The 2016 cash-back dividend is a testament to our cooperative’s financial strength and commitment to sharing a portion of our annual profits with our customer-owners.”

About Frontier Farm Credit

Frontier Farm Credit is a customer-owned financial cooperative proud to finance the growth of rural America, including the special needs of young and beginning producers. With nearly $2 billion in assets and $382 million in members’ equity, Frontier Farm Credit provides credit and insurance services to farmers, ranchers, agribusiness and rural residents in eastern Kansas. Learn more at www.frontierfarmcredit.com.

Farmland Values Continue Steady but Gradual Decline

A steady but gradual decline in farmland values continued into the first half of 2016 across the states served by Frontier Farm Credit and Farm Credit Services of America (FCSAmerica). Iowa has experienced the greatest decline in average farm values – about 20 percent since the market’s 2013 peak. Nebraska and South Dakota farmland has declined by a more modest 12.5 and 4.8 percent respectively.

Demand for farmland also is down. Public land auctions declined 8 percent in the first six months of 2016 compared to the previous year. This percentage includes public auctions in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming, as well as Kansas, where FCSAmerica works in alliance with Frontier Farm Credit to monitor farmland values.

Across the five states, lower farm incomes and per-acre profitability continue to put downward pressure on farmland values. Unlike last year, when a strong livestock market led to increased demand for pastureland, values on both pasture and cropland are generally down in 2016. This reflects lower commodity prices for grain as well as cattle.

Twelve-Month Change in Value
State Cropland Pasture
Iowa -5.7% -1.8%
Kansas -0.9% 0.8%
Nebraska -4.7% -2.2%
South Dakota -3.2% -3.1%
Wyoming 1.1% 20.8%

The fall in commodity prices has outpaced the rate of decline in farmland values and FCSAmerica continues to forecast a soft landing for agriculture as the current market correction brings supply and demand back in line.

Below is the average change in benchmark farm values, with the number of benchmark farms appraised in each state noted in parenthesis:

State Six Month One Year Five Year Ten Year
Iowa (21) -4.0% -5.6% 19.6% 139.4%
Kansas (7) -2.0% -0.2%
Nebraska (18) -4.5% -4.4% 68.5% 212.3%
South Dakota (23) -3.6% -3.5% 79.1% 208.3%
Wyoming (2) 7.8% 10.6% 35.8% 67.7%

Trends in farmland values by state include:

IOWA: Fourteen benchmark farms declined in value during the first six months of 2016, while seven showed no change. The average sale price for cropland has reached a 5-year low, but average land quality continues to be at historically high levels.

iowa

KANSAS: Two benchmark farms increased in value, three were unchanged and two declined in value. Benchmark farms in Kansas were appraised for the first time in 2015. As a result, historic data is unavailable. Much of the increase in cropland prices seen in the second quarter of 2016 was attributable to two farmland sales.

kansas

NEBRASKA: Two benchmark farms increased in value, four were unchanged and 10 declined an average of 7.5 percent. Lower sale prices for dry and irrigated cropland were due, at least in part, to deterioration in the average soil quality of land sales.

nedryland

neirrigated

SOUTH DAKOTA: While three benchmark farms increased in value, eight lost value.  As a percent of total sales, public auctions have grown significantly, increasing 65 percent from a year ago.

SouthDakota

WYOMING: A benchmark farm comprised of cropland saw no change in value in the first half of 2016, while the second, a pasture unit, increased in value 15.6 percent. Farmland sales were too few to accurately discern any trends.

Frontier Farm Credit Customer-Owners Elect Two to Board of Directors

Frontier Farm Credit Customer-Owners Elect Two to Board of Directors

Omaha, Nebraska – (March 23, 2016) – Frontier Farm Credit stockholders elected two producers to the financial cooperative’s Board of Directors:

Ronald Dunbar raises a variety of crops and hay on his farm near Princeton, Kansas. He also maintains a beef cow herd and backgrounds and finishes cattle.

Jennifer Gehrt owns a cattle ranch in near Alma, Kansas, and is associate director of information systems at Kansas State University.

Dunbar and Gehrt ran as incumbents. Each will serve a four-year term that runs from April 1, 2016, to March 31, 2020.

For full election results, including to the Nominating Committee, visit https://www.frontierfarmcredit.com/2016-candidate-information/2016-election-results.

About Frontier Farm Credit

Frontier Farm Credit is a customer-owned financial cooperative proud to finance the growth of rural America, including the special needs of young and beginning producers. With more than $1.9 billion in assets and $357 million in members’ equity, Frontier Farm Credit provides credit, insurance and business services to farmers, ranchers, agribusiness and rural residents in eastern Kansas. Learn more at www.frontierfarmcredit.com.

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For media and communications inquiries, please contact Judith Nygren, Corporate Communications & Public Relations Specialist, at 402.348.3346.

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Change in Cropland Values Mixed in Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming

Frontier Farm Credit Reports Second Year of Overall Decline

OMAHA, NEBRASKA (January 13, 2016) While cropland values generally held steady or showed slight declines in the last half of 2015, farmland prices overall ended lower for the year in eastern Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. This marks the second consecutive year that lower commodity prices have put downward pressure on farmland values.

Frontier Farm Credit and Farm Credit Services of America (FCSAmerica) compile thousands of farm real estate transactions and monitor 71 benchmark farms twice a year to provide the most comprehensive data on farmland values in the five-state region. The most recent update to the long-running farmland study is based on data from July 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015.

The significant decline in farmland prices anticipated by some forecasters since the market’s 2013 peak has not fully developed, with drops in commodity prices outpacing declines in farmland values to date. But the impact of lower profit margins is reflected in adjustments to the market for both cropland and cash rental rates.

“There is a heightened attention by producers to their cash flows and how to position their cost of production at a level to align with what appears to be corn prices in the $3.25 to $4.25 range for the foreseeable future, barring a drought or some other unexpected demand or supply-side event,” said Mark Jensen, senior vice president and chief risk officer for Frontier Farm Credit. Fortunately, many farmers are in a strong financial position resulting from previous record profit years.”

The range of decline in cropland values is wide. Some regional areas have experienced little to no change, while others have seen farmland prices drop 20 to 30 percent. Jensen cautions that average values can be somewhat misleading.

“Specific regional influences, such as the quality of the cropland and local interest, can play a big part in the final sale price,” he said.

Below is a state-by-state snapshot of farmland activity through the end of 2015:

Eastern Kansas Cropland values dipped during much of the year, but rebounded to levels comparable to the fourth quarter of 2014. The average per-acre price in the eastern part of Kansas was just shy of $5,000 at the close of 2015.

Iowa The average price of $8,682 an acre in the fourth quarter of 2015 was comparable to values in the previous year, but still 14 percent below peak 2013 prices. The average quality of purchased land also improved during 2015, indicating the uptick in per-acre price was driven more by quality than the market. The highest dollar per-acre sale during the fourth quarter was $18,100. However, only 18 percent of all fourth quarter sales exceeded $10,000 per acre. This was down from 26 percent in 2014.

Nebraska Average benchmark values held steady in the last half of 2015 and declined 2.4 percent for the year. Five of 18 farms increased in value, while three showed no change. The farms that decreased in value declined an average of 4.2 percent.

South Dakota Prices for unimproved cropland rose in the fourth quarter of 2015, finishing the year at an average per-acre price of $5,500, second only to the 2013 record high of roughly $6,100 an acre. The number of sales in 2015 declined 28 percent compared to 2014.

Wyoming Completed sales were down 52 percent compared to 2014, making it difficult to identify trends from a small and diverse base of transactions. Sales that did occur, however, were for an average per-acre price of $1,000 in the fourth quarter of 2015, down from the $1,400 average that held steady during the previous four quarters.

About Frontier Farm Credit Frontier Farm Credit is a customer-owned financial cooperative proud to finance the growth of rural America, including the special needs of young and beginning producers. With $1.88 billion in assets and $357 million in members’ equity, Frontier Farm Credit provides credit and insurance services to farmers, ranchers, agribusiness and rural residents in eastern Kansas. Learn more at www.frontierfarmcredit.com.