AgSouth Farm Credit CEO Pat Calhoun announced that the customer-owned cooperative is distributing $8 million in special patronage this month. This is in addition to the record-breaking $39 million distribution received by the cooperative’s members earlier this year.
In the Association’s mission to support rural America, AgSouth Farm Credit’s Board of Directors met in May and approved an additional one-time, all-cash distribution to help support its members and the rural communities it serves during these difficult and uncertain times.
“Thanks to the continued support and loyalty of our members, we are financially strong enough to provide this additional distribution to our members in these challenging times,” Calhoun said. “The nature and purpose of our cooperative is to help our rural communities and support them through good and bad times. We are extremely happy to be able to provide this to them.”
“It is refreshing to see a company like AgSouth putting money back in the hands of farmers in an attempt to help save such a vital industry as agriculture. These extra funds are sure to help our farm in a huge way, we plan to offset some of our high input cost in order to make a better return this year,” said Shaun Page, owner of Page Farms in Ellabell, Ga.
For Jessica Donnelly, co-owner of MJ’s Gardens in Eastover, S.C., this special patronage will help her and her husband with the upkeep of their blueberry farm.
"I didn't grow up on a farm like my husband, Mike, so I didn't realize the surprise expenses that can come with owning a farm. Even if you're not making a single dollar in profit, there are still supplies that have to be purchased, equipment that needs to be fixed, or you're always going to be missing that one specific tool that does the one specific job you have to get done,” Donnelly said. “For us, the extra patronage funds are going to be used toward getting our tractor fixed which will directly impact our ability to cut out a nature path on the land. I cannot explain to you how happy the farm that Mike and I own makes me, and we hope to be able to share that happiness with others because of the support provided by AgSouth.”
This year’s patronage distribution marked the Association’s 32nd consecutive year of distributing patronage to its member-borrowers. Through its patronage program, AgSouth has returned over $550,000,000 since 1988.
AgSouth Farm Credit provides loans for land, equipment and production agriculture; crop insurance; leasing; and home mortgages. The Association serves 93 South Carolina and Georgia counties and is headquartered in Statesboro, Ga. AgSouth is an equal housing lender and an equal opportunity provider.