JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Members of the Missouri Farmers Union have decided they needed a credit union of their own, and if everything continues to go as planned that’s just what they’ll soon have. MFU received its certificates of approval and organization from the Missouri Department of Economic Development’s Division of Credit Unions in December, and Steve Burdic, an MFU member and president of the soon-to-be Missouri Farmers Union Credit Union, said all the MFU is waiting for is approval of its application for insurance from the NCUA to be able to begin accepting members and deposits. The last time a state-chartered credit union was formed in Missouri was seven years ago in 1998 for VFW CU of Kansas City. That credit union recently merged with Pentagon FCU. Missouri Farmers Union CU will have an association field-of-membership that will include the nationwide membership of MFU which currently numbers 1,500 members and their immediate families. MFU was founded in March 1999 by Missouri family farmers concerned with the lack of profitability in production agriculture, dwindling market opportunities and deteriorating conditions in rural Missouri. Burdic said anyone can join MFU. He explained that the idea of forming the credit union was member driven. “They saw a need to have a lending institution that is part of their community, we have a lot of folks in our farming community that need more money to do business with,” Burdic said. “There were community banks here, but they were bought out by larger banks.” According to Burdic, MFU has received indication from other credit unions that are interested in depositing money with the new credit union and purchasing loans from it as well. Once it’s operational, MFUCU intends to start out with making consumer loans and establish a track record with that before it expands in to other lending areas. Burdick said the CU would like to be able to offer farm operating loans “because it’s hard for farmers to get loans these days.” He added that MFUCU is also open to making micro business loans down the road. These won’t be huge loans, he said, “but something small especially for young people who may want to buy a couple of pigs so they can begin raising them.” In the beginning, MFUCU will share the five-person staff of MSFU as well as their facility in Jefferson City. Eventually, Burdic said the credit union hopes to get its own facility “after we see how busy we get.” -

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