Farm Credit refunds customers

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Colonial Farm Credit recently returned almost $877,000 to its customers in Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District, and Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) joined the Suffolk agency officers in a special ceremony to announce that farmers and rural residents would be getting the refunds.

Customers at Colonial Farm Credit obtain loans for home purchase and construction, land and farm purchases, equipment, farming expenses, horses, and livestock purchases. Along with the Suffolk office, there are branch offices in Chesapeake, Courtland, Farmville, Hughesville, Louisa, Mechanicsville, South Hill, Tappahannock, Waverly, and West Point. There are additional service offices in Amelia, Dunkirk, Fluvanna, Goochland, Dinwiddie, Lynchburg, and Powhatan.


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Colonial Farm Credit provides financing to more than 5,500 farmers, agribusinesses and rural homeowners in 45 counties in eastern Virginia and 5 counties in southern Maryland.

During the ceremony, Forbes joined the agency’s director John R. &uot;Bobby&uot; Darden III and Robert H. Spiers Jr., and as he noted, the checks will certainly come in handy for farmers who suffered through last year’s problematic crop season.

&uot;From hams to small grains, from peanuts to tobacco, Virginia’s Fourth District is famous throughout the world for its quality agricultural products,&uot; said Forbes. &uot;Last year, many farmers suffered through the drought and low prices for the products they produced. These refund checks will make the 2003 season a brighter and more profitable one for them and help boost the economy of the entire district. I join with them in expressing appreciation to Colonial Farm Credit.&uot;

Greg Farmer, Colonial Farm Credit’s president, said the patronage refund is equivalent to 10 percent of the interest Farm Credit customers paid on their loans during 2002. He added that the refund checks help reduce the customer’s borrowing costs and returns money to the community.

Based in Mechanicsville, Colonial Farm Credit is a Virginia-based customer-owned financial cooperative, sharing its profits each year with those who use its services. This year alone, the company’s board of directors approved a record cash refund of $3.1 million.

Farmer also said refunds average $525 per customer. In 2002, Colonial Farm Credit provided $484 million in financing to nearly 6,000 farmers, agribusinesses and rural homeowners in 50 counties in eastern Virginia and southern Maryland.

Along with all their services, Colonial Farm Credit also provides educational scholarships. Scholarships of $1,000 are awarded annually to individuals who exhibit an aptitude for learning and a desire for self-improvement through education. Recipients must be of at least college age and reside in one of the counties served by Colonial Farm Credit.

The Foundation also financially supports organizations that provide education and community enrichment. Programs and services offered through agricultural commodity organizations and youth organizations such as 4H, FFA, and Scouts are typical of such projects. Since 1991, over 460 scholarships have been awarded for a total of more than $450,000.