2008-03-26 / Agriculture

Farm Credit members receive refunds

Southwest Georgia Farm Credit members will receive checks totaling more than $4 million, which represents the cash portion of a $5.8 million 2007 patronage distribution.

The balance of the distribution is placed in an account in their names. After using these funds to capitalize the association for five years, and with sound financial conditions, the board of directors can decide to retire the allocated surplus.

The patronage refund essentially reduces the cost of borrowing money. Since 1988, Southwest Georgia Farm Credit has provided a patronage refund to its members. More than $90.6 million has been returned over the past 19 years.

"Despite economic uncertainty in 2007, our member cooperative has produced a successful financial year, allowing us to distribute cash back to our stockholders," said Bobby Brooks, chairman of the board of directors for Southwest Georgia Farm Credit.

"Our customers have come to understand that there is a significant difference between doing business with Farm Credit and doing business with other kinds of lending institutions," said Richard Monson, president and CEO of Southwest Georgia Farm Credit. "Through our patronage refund program, our members benefit when we are able to return our profits to them. Essentially, we lower the cost of borrowing. While most businesses return their profits to their investors, Southwest Georgia Farm Credit makes a cash distribution to our customers. It's the true benefit of doing business with a cooperative."

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