The American AgCredit of Santa Rosa buys the agricultural credit of New Mexico

American AgCredit has reached an agreement to buy Farm Credit of New Mexico, the Sonoma County-based agricultural lender announced Thursday.

The deal is expected to close in July 2023 following regulatory and shareholder approval. The acquisition will add more foothold in the American Southwest for American AgCredit, the fourth largest agricultural lending cooperative in the United States of more than 65, which is a network of borrower-owned lending institutions.

The assets of the company formed as American AgCredit in 2000 will increase by $2 billion to $19 billion. Across the country, agricultural business lending accounts for $200 billion in lending.

The planned merger with the Albuquerque-based organization taps into the Sonoma County agricultural lending specialist’s plan to expand in the West.

“The culture and values ​​of the two associations align very well,” CEO Curt Hudnutt said.

From Noble Vineyard Management in North Bay to Wiens Wagyu in Kansas, American AgCredit serves more than 11,000 customers (also called shareholders) in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Kansas, Nevada, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Farm Credit of New Mexico brings 1,000 additional customers to American AgCredit’s customer base.

Hudnutt noted that the challenges farmers are facing due to perilous weather conditions brought on by climate change and the pursuit of greater on-farm innovation are creating an increased need for agricultural customers to seize investment dollars. With electric tractors and robots to reduce emissions and water consumption, respectively, along with the rising costs of most goods, farming has become “a very expensive business”, he acknowledged.

“Farmers are extremely resilient. (Our services) allow them to weather the storm,” he said.

American AgCredit provides financial services such as mortgage financing, equipment rental and crop insurance. It also guarantees interest-free loans for eligible 4-H and Future Farmers of America Ag-Youth programs, among college scholarships to advance the agricultural industry and provide more opportunities for young agricultural workers and entrepreneurs in grass.

With 720 employees currently, American Ag Credit will add another 130 positions as a result of the acquisition.

“The intent is for everyone to have a role,” said Hudnutt, who joined the team in October 2020 – two decades after American AgCredit was formed. Prior to Hudnutt’s arrival, the co-op had merged with the Hawaii Farm Credit in 2019 and the Farm Credit of Southwest Kansas two years prior.

This latest planned merger promises to combine a thriving “talent pool” with Farm Credit of New Mexico and the “cutting edge technology platform” of American AgCredit, Farm Credit of New Mexico’s vice chairman of the board of directors said. New Mexico, Tom Drake, at the Business Journal.

“They’re growing and need people,” Drake said, adding that the sheer size of the California organization provides additional established stability. “We’re excited about the big picture of that.”

Susan Wood covers law, cannabis, manufacturing, technology, energy, transportation, agriculture, and banking and finance. For 27 years, Susan has worked for various publications, including the North County Times, Tahoe Daily Tribune and Lake Tahoe News. Contact her at 530-545-8662 or [email protected]

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