It’s not every day that a brand new credit union is launched! Maine Harvest Federal Credit Union is just that, having held their ribbon-cutting ceremony on October 8 at their new facility, located at 69 School Street in Unity, Maine. We celebrate the opening of Maine Harvest, along with their signing of a new five-year outsourcing agreement with Synergent to provide Symitar® Episys® core processing. Maine Harvest FCU also has signed agreements with Synergent for mobile deposit capture, statement processing, shared branching, share draft, electronic check collection, cards, mobile banking, and direct marketing services.
“The days when the local farmer knew their local banker are over – but we plan to change that,” says founder Scott Budde. “Maine Harvest will be able to meet farmers’ needs because we intimately understand the nuances of agricultural lending.”
Chartered and regulated by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), Maine Harvest will soon serve over 100 small farmers and food producers – deploying over $12M in loans within the next six years.
“How appropriate that this credit union is located in a town named Unity,” NCUA Chairman Rodney E. Hood said. “Credit unions are organized through, and operate on, the principle of people working together to support one another.”
The founders are former Wall Street professionals who, over the last six years raised $2.4M in philanthropic capital and drafted a 1,000 page application to successfully gain a federal charter. Maine Harvest is one of two credit unions chartered by the NCUA in 2019.
Maine Governor Janet Mills cut the ribbon and noted, “the work of Maine Harvest will help keep legacy farmers on their land, ensure others scale and grow, and attract young farmers to our renowned eateries and craft breweries – all while improving Maine’s economy. Maine is an agricultural beacon for the nation and will continue to be, with the help of Maine Harvest Federal Credit Union.”
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, the granddaughter of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who in 1934 signed the Federal Credit Union Act, is a founding member and the credit union’s first depositor.
Other ribbon-cutting ceremony attendees included U.S. Senator Angus King, a representative from U.S. Senator Susan Collins’ office, U.S. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, U.S. Congressman Jared Golden, NCUA Representative Mike Sinacore, and Commissioner Amanda Beal of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry.
Financial and other support for Maine Harvest has come from a variety of sources, with the vast majority coming from philanthropic donations and grants. The final piece of funding was donated by Synergent and other Maine-based businesses.
“Our entire team is thrilled to be powering the technology solutions to help Maine’s newest credit union grow and succeed,” said Scott Johnsen, Synergent’s Senior Vice President of Operations. “Getting an opportunity to work with a credit union from inception doesn’t happen very often and we are honored the Maine Harvest team has put their faith in us.”