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FDR's granddaughter makes first-ever deposit at Maine's newest CU

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Maine Harvest Federal Credit Union in Unity opened its doors for business on Tuesday.

The institution was chartered to serve food entrepreneurs and farmers in the Pine Tree State. Anne Roosevelt, the granddaughter of former president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, is a founding member of the credit union and made the initial deposit. In 1934, President Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act.

It is only the second credit union chartered by the National Credit Union Administration this year.

There are nearly 8,000 farms that produce $3.8 billion in sales and create 24,000 jobs statewide, Maine Harvest said in a press release. The credit union will offer specialized loans and mortgages to those in the state’s food economy.

“By employing a specialized underwriter with agricultural expertise, it will enable Maine Harvest to lend when traditional institutions often don’t,” the CU said in the press release.

Maine Harvest expects to serve approximately 1,000 members, with the goal of becoming the primary financing source for some 100 small farms and food businesses. The CU said it expects to book $12 million in loans within its first six years of operations.

MHFCU is Maine’s 55th credit union. Members will have access to the Maine Credit Union League’s ATM network through shared branching.

Scott Budde, founder of Maine Harvest FCU, said in the press release that the days when a local farmer knew the local banker “have been over for a while – but we plan to change that.”

“We will be able to meet farmers’ needs because we intimately understand the nuances of agricultural lending,” said Budde.

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