SANTA ROSA - American AgCredit will complete its merger with Farm Credit of the Heartland based in Wichita, Kan., effective Nov. 30.

The merger will make the joint association the seventh-largest Farm Credit cooperative in the U.S., totaling $4.8 billion in assets with a combined customer base of 6,430 members. The headquarters will stay in Santa Rosa and maintain the name American AgCredit.

The boards of directors of both organizations released the following statement supporting the merger.

“We believe the combined organization will be financially and operationally stronger than either association individually. Combined, they will be better positioned to deliver competitively priced credit and related services, continue a cash dividend and provide a well-capitalized association that can withstand cyclical downturns, adverse weather conditions or other factors that depress the profits of our members.”

This is the fourth merger since 2000 for the Santa Rosa-based American AgCredit, which has continued to grow its capital and loan portfolio despite the financial challenges in the lending marketplace.

“It is our fundamental goal to ensure that the association remains a safe, well-diversified organization that can meet the needs of a marketplace that is constantly changing. The merger with Heartland will diversify our risk and at the same time strengthens our core structure, allowing us to respond to regulatory and competitive demands more efficiently,” said Ron Carli, chief executive officer of American AgCredit.