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AgCountry Farm Credit Services reports:

The Board of Directors from two Farm Credit associations in the upper Midwest have signed a memorandum of understanding that creates terms and conditions for a proposed merger. AgCountry Farm Credit Services (AgCountry), based in Fargo, ND, and Farm Credit Services of North Dakota (FCSND), based in Minot, ND, are currently undertaking due diligence to assess the benefits of a merger for stockholders and to finalize the terms of the merger agreement.

"The FCSND Board of Directors is committed to open-minded consideration of all strategic issues and opportunities that could create material and sustained benefits for our stockholders and staff," shares Bryan Ankenbauer, board chair for Farm Credit Services of North Dakota. "We are constantly working to live out this commitment."

Ed Hegland, board chair for AgCountry Farm Credit Services, concurs. "As Farm Credit associations, we are tasked with serving agriculture and rural America. We believe it is our responsibility to think and act strategically about positioning our cooperative to best serve members' needs, now and into the future," said Hegland.

The merging of two Farm Credit organizations does not reduce competition as each association serves a specific territory in which they do not presently compete.

The objectives of this proposed merger include expanded service offerings, ongoing strong commitment to local communities, increased innovation, improved long-term operating efficiencies, and ultimately, increased value and customer experience for our combined customers/member-owners. In pursuing these objectives, the associations do not anticipate any changes in branch locations or branch staffing due to this proposed merger.

A Farm Credit merger process is very comprehensive, including substantial due diligence, member informational meetings, and required approvals from the Boards of Directors, regulators, and each Association's members. The earliest effective merger date would be January 1, 2022.

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