Weeks after Hurricane Florence left its mark, and then most recently by Hurricane Michael, many parts of the east coast was left in devastation. From Florida to North Carolina, some farmers lost their crops, livestock operations and equipment, families lost their homes and business owners were left with heartbreak.
They say that during or after a disaster, one can see the true character of others. I believe that statement holds truth and within the last few weeks, I have been reminded how proud I am to be a part of the communities we serve and of the Farm Credit system.
I have seen and heard countless stories of devastation and situations where families have lost literally all of their earthly possessions. However, through the tears, they often have a sense of hope and comfort, as they know, with the support of their faith, family and community; WE can rebuild and overcome this tragedy.
Rebuilding takes time… many volunteer hours, supply donations, hot meals delivered, a shoulder to cry on and cash to pay for repairs. With a passion for the people and communities we serve, team members have devoted countless volunteer hours to serve the needs of others.
In addition, the Board of Directors announced an early patronage distribution of $10.67 million to be paid to our customer-owners on October 30, 2018. By declaring an early patronage, customer-owners will receive patronage based on the first two-thirds of the year in October. The Board of Directors then plans to declare an additional patronage for the remaining one-third of the year, which upon declaration in late 2018 would be distributed to its members in April 2019.
Over the next few months, our team members will continue to work with all of our customers to assist during the rebuilding process. I know it will be challenging and emotionally draining at times, but as a community, I urge you to lean on each other, help each other and together, we can overcome.
As a simple reminder that we are in this together, please stop by a Cape Fear Farm Credit branch and ask for a ‘Together we are Farmer Strong’ yard sign. Display this simple reminder at your home, business and/or farming operation. A reminder that as neighbors are helping neighbors, we are in this together.
Thankful for each of you,
Brad Cornelius, CEO
Cape Fear Farm Credit