Frequently Asked Questions About Farm Credit

Who is Farm Credit?
The Farm Credit System is a nationwide network of cooperatively owned banks and lending cooperatives whose mission is to provide agricultural producers and rural America with a reliable source of credit at a reasonable cost.

Is Farm Credit a government entity?
No, it is a network of privately owned cooperatives.

Who owns Farm Credit lending cooperatives?
Farm Credit co-ops are owned by their borrowers, who also are co-op stockholders. The stockholders elect the board of directors who set policy and oversee management of the association. This ownership structure assures that a Farm Credit institution is accountable to its customer-stockholders, and decisions are made in the best interest of the customers.

Is Farm Credit regulated?
Yes, Farm Credit is regulated by the Farm Credit Administration, an independent federal agency, whose board members are appointed by the President of the United States. For more information, visit

What makes Farm Credit different from other lenders?
A major difference between Farm Credit and other lenders is that Farm Credit can return its profits to its borrowers, and it often does. Patronage refunds reduce the effective cost of borrowing for Farm Credit customers.

Are Farm Credit interest rates competitive?
Yes, Farm Credit’s rates are competitive with other lenders. And, when they share their profits with their borrowers through patronage refunds, Farm Credit’s rates are even more competitive.

Do Farm Credit loan officers have any special qualifications?
Farm Credit loan officers typically have extensive education and experience in agricultural financing, banking, business and/or mortgage lending. In most cases, they live in the community, often grew up in an agricultural or rural area, and have a good understanding of local land values. Some loan officers are also certified rural real estate appraisers.


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