In this issue of the newsletter you will find valuable information about land value trends, online banking upgrade, Nominating Committee results, our patronage announcement and steak feeds. With so much great information, I know when to keep things short so you can get to the good stuff, so here is a quick summary of our March newsletter:
Land values throughout out territory strengthened for pasture ground, remained flat for dry-land crop ground and declined slightly for irrigated and CRP acres. The 2019 trends are consistent with the average land value Kansas trends published by the USDA. When you compare values to 2015 values all ground is down 15-30% from the highs experienced before commodity prices reduced significantly.
High Plains Farm Credit continues to make investments to continue to serve you better. In February, we are launching a significantly improved online banking platform for our stockholders. The new tool will allow you to quickly and easily view account balances, view current day activity, customize accounts with account names, view and print statements, access mobile banking, perform remote deposits, export to Quicken and Quickbooks, and a whole lot more. Learn more about how you can win a $250 gift card in this newsletter!
We continue to have a very active and involved stockholder base. The Nominating Committee met to determine candidates for the Board of Directors and the 2021 Nominating Committee in January. They spent weeks reviewing information and actively contacting potential candidates. Thank you for answering their calls and visiting with them about the governance opportunities available in your cooperative!
This past year marked the largest-ever cash patronage declared by your member-elected Board of Directors. The record $12.5 million cash patronage will return 47% of 2019 earnings and projects to reduce the effective interest paid on eligible loans by more than 1%.
The future will not be without its uncertainties and setbacks, however we are prepared to face the challenges with you. As we work with our stockholders through this extended downturn in agricultural commodity markets, we remain impressed with the tenacity, determination and resilience they have expressed. High Plains Farm Credit is working harder than ever to utilize our lending and agriculture expertise to structure loans to help you today and into the future.
The last two weeks of March is always my favorite time of year. Each branch office is hosting a stockholder appreciation steak dinner. I would like to personally invite you to come enjoy a great ribeye steak, receive a gift, and enter to win door prizes and the grand prize. It is a great opportunity to visit with your neighbors, meet your local directors and High Plains staff. We will also hand deliver those big patronage checks and express our gratitude and appreciation for your business!
High Plains Farm Credit is committed to being a dependable source of credit and a proud, trusted partner in your operation. We appreciate your business and will continually strive to earn your business in the future.