Northwest FCS Lends Outside Its Territory

A recent Farm Credit System loan for $2 million to finance a new Exxon gas station and convenience store in Sheridan, Wy., almost certainly is yet another example of an FCS lending abuse. This gas station is located at an Interstate highway interchange in a city with a population of about 18,000. While some farmers and ranchers may patronize the gas station and store, they are more likely gas up at a nearby farm co-op store. Many of the station’s customers most likely have no connection to or affiliation with agriculture, other than that they eat food—hardly the nexus to agriculture that is supposed to characterize FCS lending. Most interestingly, this loan was made by Northwest FCS, the fourth largest FCS association, even though Wyoming lies within the chartered territory of FCS of America (FCSA), the largest FCS association. While Sheridan is just a few miles south of Montana, which lies within Northwest’s territory, that proximity hardly justifies Northwest lending in FCSA’s territory. It will be interesting to find out what the FCSA management thinks about this loan once they find out about it.

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About Author

Bert Ely

Bert Ely is a consultant specializing in banking issues. He writes ABA's Farm Credit Watch.