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Frontier Farm Credit to Distribute $7.5 Million Cash-Back Dividend for 2015

Cooperative has returned more than $60 million to farmers, ranchers in past 12 years

OMAHA, NEBRASKA – (December 16, 2015) – Frontier Farm Credit, a customer-owned financial cooperative, has approved a record cash-back dividend of $7.5 million for 2015 for eligible customer-owners.

This is the 12th 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 $60.2 million to farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses and rural residents in its territory of eastern Kansas. Cash-back dividend checks for 2015 will be mailed to eligible customer-owners in March 2016.

The Frontier Farm Credit Board of Directors also approved a 2016 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.

“Our customer-owners share in the success of the organization with very tangible value returned to them in the form of cash-back dividends,” said Doug Stark, CEO and president of Frontier Farm Credit.

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.

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

East Kansas Farmland Values Rise

Farmland values in eastern Kansas included for first time in long-running benchmark study

OMAHA, NEBRASKA – (July 27, 2015) – Farmland values in eastern Kansas rose nearly 3 percent in the first six months of 2015, while prices and demand for farmland continue to moderate in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. The average value of farmland in Iowa and Nebraska declined during the first six months of 2015. In South Dakota and Wyoming, prices increased but at a slower rate compared to the last half of 2014.

For the first time, farmland values in eastern Kansas are included in the long-running benchmark study that Farm Credit Services of America (FCSAmerica) conducts each January and July. The addition of eastern Kansas is the result of a strategic alliance between FCSAmerica and Frontier Farm Credit and brings the number of benchmark farms tracked by appraisers to 71.

The average change in benchmark farm values is shown below:

State Six Month One Year Five Year Ten Year
Iowa (21) -4.65% -10.45% 71.53% 168.58%
Kansas (7) 2.94%
Nebraska (18) -2.81% -4.37% 113.18% 254.04%
South Dakota (23) 0.76% 3.03% 110.46% 261.34%
Wyoming (2) 6.79% 7.94% 20.12% 72.60%
**The number of benchmark farms by state is shown in parenthesis.

As a whole, benchmark farms decreased in value 1.4 percent in the first half of 2015. The overall decline was driven by reduced prices for cropland. Pastureland in all five states, by comparison, increased, offsetting some of the impact of lower cropland values.

The change in value by land type is below:

Six-Month Change in Value
State Cropland Pasture
Iowa -4.6% 3.6%
Kansas 1.9% 4.3%
Nebraska -3.8% 3.3%
South Dakota -1.1% 4.3%
Wyoming 6.8% 6.7%

The increase in pastureland values was the result of strong livestock prices. The overall decline in cropland values reflected lower grain prices compared to previous years. Profitability on higher priced land remains top of mind for many producers, and the lower grain prices and decreased margins will continue to put pressure on land prices, as well as cash rents. A 2015 survey from Iowa State reported a one-year decline of more than 5 percent in average cash rents for Iowa cropland. Iowa’s average cash rent has dropped nearly 9 percent compared to 2013’s high of $270 an acre.

The market decline that began in late 2013 has been widely reported, and many have looked for comparisons to the farmland crisis of the 1980s. But the two periods are distinctly different, said Mark Jensen, chief risk officer at FCSAmerica. In the 80s, high land prices accompanied by high borrowing levels resulted in over-leveraged operations with few financial remedies. Today, Jensen said, producers face a cash-flow challenge generally tied to higher cash rents and equipment and machinery costs and increasing family living expenses.

“FCSAmerica and Frontier Farm Credit have been working with customer-owners to evaluate options specific to their operations to help manage through this cycle of lower commodity prices and tight profit margins,” Jensen said.

Other six-month benchmark farm trends, by state:

Iowa: Two farms increased in value during the past six months and two farms showed no change in value. The 15 farms that decreased in value declined an average of 6.1 percent.

Kansas: Four of the seven farms showed no change; three showed an increase in value. Benchmark farms in Kansas were appraised beginning in January 2015; historic trends will be available as each milestone year (i.e. 1, 5, and 10) is reached.

Nebraska: Five of the 18 farms increased in value, while two showed no change in value.

South Dakota: Nineteen of the 23 benchmark farm values increased or experienced no change.

Wyoming: Two benchmark farm values increased 6.8 percent.

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

Frontier Farm Credit Customer-Owners Elect Two Board of Directors

Frontier Farm Credit Customer-Owners Elect Two Board of Directors

Manhattan, Kansas (March 27, 2015) – Frontier Farm Credit stockholders elected two producers to four-year terms on the financial cooperative’s Board of Directors, effective April 1, 2014: Larry Hoobler of Manhattan and Lee Mueller of Hiawatha, Kansas.

Larry Hoobler and his wife, Diane, operate a family cash grain farming operation. He was elected to a four-year term, effective April 1, 2015. He joined the Frontier Farm Credit Board of Directors in 2008. His term expires March 31, 2019.

Lee Mueller is president of Laus Creek Farm, Inc., which he operates with his wife, Cara, and parents Jim and Christie. Mueller raises corn and soybeans. He was elected to a four-year term, effective April 1, 2015. His term expires March 31, 2019.

About Frontier Farm Credit With assets of more than $1.7 billion, Frontier Farm Credit is proud to finance the growth of rural America. Frontier Farm Credit serves more than 6,000 farmers, ranchers, agribusiness and rural residents in Kansas with retail offices in Manhattan, Marysville, Hiawatha, Emporia, Baldwin and Parsons. The Association offers agricultural loans, leases, crop insurance, tax planning and preparation, recordkeeping, and payroll services. Learn more at www.frontierfarmcredit.com.

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