American AgCredit, a leading lender to farmers in the Modesto area and beyond, reported $107.3 million in earnings last year.
The figure was 16 percent more than 2011 and resulted in $45 million in dividends to the member-borrowers who own the association.
The dividends, which topped $34.8 million in 2011, amounted to 1 percent of the members' loan balances. In effect, they saved 1 percentage point in interest on what they borrowed.
"This is the second year in a row that we have handed back 1 percent in dividend earnings to our members, and for 2012, this is the largest cash dividend in our history," said Ron Carli, president and chief executive officer, in a news release.
The Santa Rosa-based lender is the sixth-largest in a federally sponsored network of institutions owned by the borrowers.
It lends money for farm and ranch purchases, operating costs and other needs from branches in California, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas and Oklahoma.
American AgCredit reported loan volume of $5.8 billion at the end of 2012, up from $4.4 billion a year earlier, mainly because of a merger with Farm Credit Services of the Mountain Plains.
The association noted strength especially in wine grapes, nuts, cattle and grain.