If regulators and shareholders approve a proposed merger of Denver-based CoBank and U.S. AgBank of Wichita, Kansas, the Farm Credit System will be shrunk to four regional and national banks. The other three wholesale banks are based in St. Paul, Minnesota, Columbia, South Carolina, and Austin, Texas. As of today there are only 92 lending associations across the nation.  That compares to more than 1,000 that dotted the country-side during the late 1980s.
The combined bank would serve as a wholesale provider of financing to Farm Credit associations that provide credit and financial services to tens of thousands of farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states. It would also serve as a direct lender to agricultural cooperatives and rural electric, water and communications service providers throughout the country.
The merged bank would continue to do business under the CoBank name and be headquartered outside of Denver, Colorado, but it would maintain U.S. AgBank’s existing presence and operations in Wichita, Kansas, and Sacramento, California. Robert Engel, CoBank’s president & chief executive officer, would be the chief executive of the merged entity.