MetLife, Inc. announced that it originated $3.3 billion in agricultural mortgage loans in 2013 through its Agricultural Investments Department, an increase of nearly 10 percent year-over-year. MetLife is one of the largest agricultural lenders in the insurance industry, managing an agricultural loan portfolio of more than $12 billion.

“Our agricultural mortgage business performed very well in 2013, and MetLife was able to strengthen its position as a leader in the agricultural lending industry,” said Robert Merck, senior managing director and global head of agricultural investments for MetLife. “Our customers know they can rely on MetLife as a trusted source of financing for the long-term growth of their business, and this drives our success year after year.

Consistent with the company’s strategy to grow its business in international markets, MetLife continued to increase lending in Brazil, the largest economy in Latin America. MetLife originated $285 million in agricultural loans to Brazilian producers of cotton, grains and oilseeds, among other crops. MetLife is also actively marketing its agricultural loan services in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Agricultural lending provides MetLife with investment opportunities that match the long-term liabilities the company writes through its insurance products.

“We grew our business both domestically and internationally in 2013 because our customers value our prudent risk management and long-term approach to business,” said Barry Bogseth, managing director and head of MetLife’s agricultural portfolio unit. “In 2014, we expect to continue our growth by identifying superior agricultural lending opportunities in the United States and abroad, especially in key emerging markets such as Brazil.”

MetLife’s Agricultural Investments Department oversees an agricultural portfolio of more than $12 billion, consisting primarily of mortgages for farms, ranches, food production, agribusiness and timberland. MetLife has provided agricultural financing solutions since 1917 and is one of the largest agricultural mortgage lenders in North America. MetLife has agricultural investments offices in Fresno, Calif., Overland Park, Kan., Memphis, Tenn., and a consulting office in Sao Paulo, Brazil.