Farm Credit associations based in Minnesota and North Dakota explore merger
WILLMAR, Minn. -- United FCS, based in Willmar, is exploring a potential merger with the Fargo, North Dakota-based AgCountry Farm Credit Services. If finalized, the merged entity would serve nearly 18,000 customer-members throughout 65 counties i...
WILLMAR, Minn. - United FCS, based in Willmar, is exploring a potential merger with the Fargo, North Dakota-based AgCountry Farm Credit Services.
If finalized, the merged entity would serve nearly 18,000 customer-members throughout 65 counties in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin, totaling more than $7 billion in assets.
Representatives from both associations said in a news release that a merger would expand opportunities and services for the member-owned entities, which have provided credit to agriculture and rural communities for 100 years.
"As a cooperative, our focus is always on meeting the needs and exceeding the service expectations of our member-owners," said Marc Knisely, CEO of United FCS, which provides loans, leases and other financial services to over 6,000 customers in 22 counties in west central Minnesota and north central Wisconsin.
"This opportunity strategically positions the cooperative to be a relevant source of credit and financial services for farm families, agribusinesses and rural homeowners for many years to come.," Knisely said.
With its main office in Willmar, United FCS has 12 branch office locations and 190 locally based employees.
AgCountry Farm Credit Services 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, which also provides agribusiness loans and leases nationwide, maintains offices in 27 locations throughout the territory with nearly 400 employees.
"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," said Bob Bahl, CEO of AgCountry.
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.