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First South Farm Credit to Issue 2016 Patronage Checks

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Ridgeland, MS – First South announced today that it will distribute $12.5 million in patronage refund checks to its member-borrowers in April.  Patronage, which is a form of dividend payment, is based upon the association’s earnings and financial performance.  “The amount of patronage/dividend payment each borrower receives is determined by the borrower’s participation in the cooperative.  It represents a savings of approximately 12% of the borrower’s 2015 interest cost,” said Roger Chappell, CEO of First South.
“First South’s 2015 earnings represented another year of strong business performance.  As a cooperative, we are proud to continue our tradition of having our member-borrowers share in our success and profits,” said Gaston Lanaux, Chairman of the First South Board of Directors.  “This is the 21st consecutive year we’ve paid a patronage refund.  Over that period of time, First South has declared patronage totaling over $299 million to be paid to its member-borrowers through patronage refunds and retirements of allocated surplus.”
“When we distribute our profits to our borrowers, it reduces their effective cost of borrowing,” Chappell stated, “and it proves there are distinct financial benefits in doing business on a cooperative basis.  We offer a competitive interest rate up front, then return a portion of our profits back to our membership through the patronage program.”
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 Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.   First South serves over 6,300 members with loans outstanding totaling over $1.7 billion through its network of 42 branch offices in its three-state territory.  First South Farm Credit is part of the nationwide Farm Credit System, which celebrates its 100th year anniversary in 2016.