Frequently Asked Questions
Who Can Be a Member of FCA?
Anyone can be a member of FCA. If you are an agriculture producer, you can be a voting member called a Class A member. An agriculture producer is defined according to the federal fuel tax exemption definition of having $10,000 in agricultural sales annually. If you are not an agriculture producer you can classify as a Class B member and have all the rights as a Class A member except voting rights.
How Does Someone Become a Member?
The customer must fill out a membership application and pay a one time purchase price of $10.00 in stock. The stock fee cannot be charged on the account. It must be in cash or check.
What Are the Benefits of Membership?
All members who do business during the year will share in the profits if the business volume is high enough to accumulate a cash check of $10.00 or more. The additional benefits of Class A membership is that they can vote at any meeting of members, and can serve on the Board of Directors.
How Does the Member Get Money Back? (Called a Patronage Refund)
At the end of the fiscal year (May 31), the books are audited and the profits are divided out by the amount of business each member did during the year. Of that amount, the Board annually determines how much they pay out in cash, but in recent years, they have pay out 30%. The 70% goes into equity in the patron’s name and accumulated to be paid out as the Board determines. The Board is paying all equity in estates and to members who are age 85 or above.
How Does a Member Request Equity to be Paid?
When a member reaches age 85, they can submit proof of age and a written request for the equity to be paid out. Also when a member dies, his surviving relatives can request the estate to be paid out. A copy of the death certificate and a written request must be submitted. We have forms for both request options. The stock certificate should be submitted with the requests. If the stock certificate cannot be found, a loss form can be submitted. Age payments are made when all paperwork is in order. The Board considers the estates monthly, and they are paid out as soon as the Board approves the payment.
How Much Do I Need to Spend to Qualify for a Patronage Refund?
That varies by year, and depends on the profits generated by the business volume and expenses. A good rule of thumb might be in excess of $1,000. It almost always takes that much business to qualify, but it can be more or less.
When is the Annual Meeting Held?
It is usually held the second Saturday of November. Patronage from the previous fiscal year is paid out at this meeting, picked up in the office after the meeting, or mailed out within 60 days after the meeting.
Can Someone Have a Joint Membership?
A joint member could be a possibility but each membership in FCA must provide a single social security number or a federal identification number for reporting the patronage earned to the IRS. So any joint membership would most likely be between people who file taxes jointly, such as husband and wife. In a joint membership that is a Class A membership, either one could cast the one vote allowed per membership. In the case of a single membership, a proxy form would need to be signed for a spouse to vote for the member.
How Does a Joint Member Receive an Equity Retirement?
When the Board authorizes the equity to be paid out, the individual whose social security number is provided will be the one used for membership, determining payout. In the case of a joint member where the husband’s social security is used and the husband dies, the membership could pass directly to the wife, or it could be claimed as an estate and paid out as an estate. If the wife dies however, the husband cannot claim payout for the wife’s share. The membership is in the husband’s social security number and he is still living.
What is the Difference Between an “Account” and a “Membership”?
An account is where the customer is in our accounting system and usually has charging privileges, but some accounts may not be able to charge. Just because the customer has an account, they may not have applied for membership. But any customer that is a member must have an account, regardless if they can charge. So all members have an account, but all accounts to not have a membership.