Farm Credit Of NM Merger With American Ag Credit Put On Hold

The Farm Credit of New Mexico’s (FCNM) planned merger with California based American Ag Credit, was ordered to be reconsidered by a new vote by FCNM stockholders on Friday, June 16, 2023, by the Farm Credit Administration (FCA), the federal agency in charge of all farm credit organizations, according to attorney Pete Domenici, Jr., who is representing the petitioners.

The merger was voted on by a relatively small number of FCNM members via mail, proxy or in person on May 9, 2023 at a meeting in Roswell, New Mexico.

Long time association member John Keck of Deming spearheaded the petition for reconsideration and shared that “Many members did not vote as a result of the short deadline for the vote or with concerns about the lack of information on the complicated merger and its impacts on New Mexico agricultural borrowers.”

The FCA had received considerably more than the required 15 percent of the membership in FCNM on Petitions for Reconsideration of the May 9 vote which triggered the invalidation of the previous vote.

“The Petitioners asked for a new vote according to the FCAs strict rules, including town hall meetings with the directors and management explaining the reasons and advantages to the FCNM in merging or being taken over by any other Farm Credit Association from another state,” he said. “The Petitioners also asked for at least a 30 day time period to conduct the voting in a transparent manner allowing all interested members adequate time to vote.”

The FCNM is a very strong home-grown Farm Bank owned by its members. It was established in New Mexico over 100 year ago. It is very strongly capitalized and enjoys a great deal of prestige and respect in our state and with elected officials. “There is also a big concern among the members that this prestige and respect would be lost if the merger were to proceed and in the aftermath our members would just be numbers to be administered by an out-of-state giant Farm Bank Association”, Keck stated.

Meetings are being planned to chart out how the process will work from here.