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First South Farm Credit Distributes Over $21 Million in Cash to its Member/Borrowers

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Ridgeland, MS - First South Farm Credit announced today that it will distribute $21 million in patronage refund checks to its member/borrowers in April.  A patronage refund is a payment from a cooperative to a member/borrower based on its earnings and financial performance in proportion to the borrower’s use of the cooperative.  “Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our employees and direction of our Board of Directors, 2020 was a record year for First South,” said John Barnard, CEO of First South. “We are pleased to announce that our Board of Directors approved a cash patronage distribution of $21 million to our member/borrowers, representing 18.7% of interest paid on loans.”

“This is First South’s 26th consecutive year of returning a patronage refund to it members, while still preserving and maintaining a strong capital position,” said Daniel Mattingly, Chairman of the First South Farm Credit Board of Directors. “In fact, First South has declared approximately $414 million in patronage refunds over that 26 year period.  “2020 was a challenging year as with all due to the COVID-19 virus, but with the hard work of the First South dedicated employees, we continued to serve the membership.”

Barnard stated, “By offering competitive interest rates and distributing a portion of our profits to our member/borrowers, we reduce their effective cost of borrowing.”

First South Farm Credit is a member-owned cooperative providing short-, intermediate- and long-term financing and related services to full- and part-time farmers, agricultural-related businesses and rural landowners in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.   First South serves approximately 9,600 member/borrowers with loans outstanding totaling over $2.4 billion through its network of 44 branch offices in its three-state territory.  As a part of the national Farm Credit System, First South Farm Credit has been serving rural communities for over 100 years.