Ridgeland, MS - First South Farm Credit announced today that it will distribute $26 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 our member/borrowers, 2021 was a record year. As a result, the First South Board of Directors has declared a record cash patronage of $26 million, representing a refund of 22.65% of the interest earned on loans by our member/borrowers. This continues our commitment to the cooperatives principal of returning earnings to our customer,” said John Barnard, CEO of First South.

“This is the 27th consecutive year for First South to continue the commitment of sharing in our success with our member/borrowers,” stated Trey Martin, Chairman of the First South Farm Credit Board of Directors. “Over this period of time, First South has distributed patronage refunds, totaling over $440 million, to our member/borrowers.”

Barnard said, “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 10,700 member/borrowers with loans outstanding totaling over $2.8 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.