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About the Farm Credit System

Plains Land Bank is a Federal Land Bank Association (FLCA) and a part of the nationwide Farm Credit System (FCS), a multi-billion network of rural lending cooperatives, established by Congress in 1916. Together, FCS organizations provide farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses, and rural homeowners with more than $260 billion in loans, leases, and related services. This is over 40 percent of the credit needed by U.S. agriculture and testimony of FCS’s financial stability and power. 

As a cooperative under the FCS, we support rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services. 

Our success is due in no small part to our stockholders. The very people we serve, from farmers to ranchers, are in charge of Plains Land Bank. They get to decide what’s best for them instead of a group of outside investors. All 72 independent FCS institutions are governed by their customers, which account for over 500,000 farmers, ranchers, and agricultural producers.

Thanks to its participation in the FCS, Plains Land Bank can finance land in Texas and provide members with unique benefits, including:

  • Competitive interest rates
  • A seat at the decision-making table
  • Patronage dividends

Not sure what patronage is? A short explanation: they are a portion of the bank’s annual earnings. It might seem too good to be true, but it’s actually the norm for our members. 

Here’s how it works. Plains Land Bank’s net income is used in two ways. First, as capital to keep expanding its financial strength, and secondly, to pay patronage dividends to its stockholders. Taking out a farm loan can be overwhelming, but these dividends lower the cost of borrowing from our Plains Land Bank members. When you borrow, you buy stock equal to 2% of your loan amount, and up to a maximum of $1,000.  At the end of each fiscal year, patronage dividends are shared among stockholders, so everyone gets money back. When Plains Land Bank is doing well, you earn more patronage. To give you an idea, in 2019, we returned $8.5 million in patronage cash to our members. Some of them used that generous patronage check to pay down their loans, expand their businesses, go on a vacation, or even fund their children’s education.  

Don’t worry about how many acres are needed to qualify for a Farm Credit loan. We don’t have acreage restrictions, so we can finance small and large properties alike.

You don’t have to be a seasoned farmer to enjoy our perks. We designed a special program to offer financing support to the young, beginning, and small (YBS) operators through the YBS Loan Program.

Taking out a farm loan can be difficult for people that are just starting in the industry. All of our successful members started out with the help of a first foundational loan. 

Here’s how to determine if you qualify as a YBS borrower:

  • Young Farmers are farmers, ranchers and harvesters of aquatic products who are 35 or younger. 
  • Beginning Farmers are producers who have been farming, ranching or harvesting aquatic products 10 years or less.
  • Small Farmers are farm, ranch or aquatic harvesting operations that earn less than $250,000 in annual gross sales.