Contact: Eric Vinje
Willmar, Minn. – Providing reliable and consistent credit to agriculture and rural communities has been Farm Credit’s mission for 100 years. In an effort to better expand opportunities for member-owners, the Boards of Directors for AgCountry Farm Credit Services, based in Fargo, N.D., and United FCS, based in Willmar, Minn., have agreed to explore a merger of the two associations.
Together, the merged organization would serve nearly 18,000 customer-members throughout 65 counties in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin, totaling more than $7 billion in assets.
“We believe that our culture, values, and vision make this a natural fit,” said Greg Nelson and Brad Sunderland – who serve as board chairs for AgCountry Farm Credit Services and United FCS, respectively.
“Our Board is always seeking ways to better serve our current and future member-owners, and we believe that a merger of our two associations prospectively positions us for greater long-term success,” says Bob Bahl, AgCountry CEO.
“As a cooperative, our focus is always on meeting the needs and exceeding the service expectations of our member-owners,” said United FCS CEO Marc Knisely. “This opportunity strategically positions the cooperative to be a relevant source of credit and financial services for farm families, agribusinesses and rural home owners for many years to come.”
Prior to completion, the merger is subject to the approval of the two Boards, both association’s wholesale funding bank, Farm Credit regulators, and each association’s stockholders. If approved, the merger would be effective July 1, 2017.
AgCountry Farm Credit Services is an independently owned and locally governed lending institution that provides credit and financial services to more than 12,000 farmers and ranchers in 18 counties in eastern North Dakota and 25 counties in northwest and west central Minnesota. AgCountry also provides agribusiness loans and leases nationwide. Offices are maintained in 27 locations throughout the territory, with nearly 400 employees.
About United FCS:
United FCS is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture and the nation’s rural economy. Serving over 6,000 customer-members, United FCS has a primary focus in a 22-county service area in West Central Minnesota and North Central Wisconsin providing loans, leases and a wide array of financial services through 12 branch office locations and 190 locally-based employees.