This year's regional stockholder meetings, held March 31 and April 2, were marked by positive comments and reports of record-setting financial results, presented by Panhandle-Plains Board Chairman Randy Darnell and Chief Executive Officer Gregg Lloyd.
$12.7 Million Record Income
First off, Darnell announced record income of $12.7 million in 2014, and detailed the series of events that contributed to these strong results.
"Our largest income year ever was the result of profits on our retail side, and closing the books on an ethanol plant loan we had dealt with for some time," said Darnell. He explained that the retail side generated record earnings, a direct result of our borrowers' performance on their loans. In addition, the sale of the ethanol plant added some $1.7 million to the association's bottom line in 2014 and allowed the recapture of a significant amount of capital that had been placed into loss reserves some years ago.
$7 Million Cash Patronage
There was also more good news. Based on these excellent 2014 results, he said, the board and management were able to declare a record $7 million cash patronage this year.
"This returns 39 percent of the interest our borrowers paid on their loans in 2014," Darnell said.
Finally, looking ahead to the Farm Credit System's 100th anniversary next year, Darnell called on members to tell their neighbors, "Come to the Land Bank and let's grow together."
Seven Percent Loan Growth
Lloyd's review of 2014 financial results was just as positive. In addition to record-setting income, the association set a new loan volume record of $464 million, which represents 7 percent net growth from 2013. Lloyd described the 2015 cash patronage as evidence of the association's culture.
"When the association does well, our customers do well, and the cash patronage becomes a part of the board and management's culture for operating the association," said Lloyd. "It has been the board and management's choice since 2004 to pay our customers patronage 100 percent in cash each year."
Patronage Lowers Borrowing Cost
Lloyd described how the cash patronage has a significant impact on the cost of borrowing. Considering the average patronage is now over 20 percent, a customer with a 5 percent interest rate on their loan effectively pays less than 4 percent.
In closing, Lloyd assured members that Panhandle-Plains Land Bank is meeting the challenges of regulation, technology and competition, and stands ready to meet our customers' financing needs.
Hopper Retires, Miller Elected
At each of the meetings, the board recognized retiring director Ronnie Hopper of Petersburg, who had decided not to run for another term. The board commended Hopper for his 23 years of leadership and dedication to the association.
In the board elections at the meeting, Perry Kirkland was re-elected to Place IV and Rusty Henson to Place IX, while Lyle Miller of Floydada was elected to fill Hopper's seat on Place VIII.