AgSouth Farm Credit CEO Bill Spigener recently announced that the customer-owned cooperative had net earnings of $39.9 million during 2015.
"The association remained strong in 2015, and we are able to once again announce a healthy return of profits to our members," he said.
Members served by the Statesboro branch in Bryan, Bulloch, Candler, Emanuel, Evans and Jenkins counties received $3.8 million of the total amount. AgSouth Regional Vice President Rodney Fowler said:,
"We're extremely proud of our patronage program, and especially happy that we're able to return a significant portion of our profits to our members this year, Farm Credit's 100th year in business and our 25th straight year of returning profits."
Alisa D. Gunter, chief financial officer for AgSouth, explained the distribution:
"Twenty-seven percent of the interest earned will be returned to our members in the form of patronage and allocated surplus. Of this $26 million, our stockholders will receive checks in the amount of $8 million (30 percent of the total distribution), with the remaining 70 percent, or $18 million, going into an allocated surplus account to be released at a later date at the discretion of the board.
"AgSouth has historically returned allocated surplus on a five-year revolvement, and this money we hold in reserve allows us to continue to remain strong and better able to serve our members."
The association also returned an allocated surplus of more than $18 million from fiscal year 2010 to its members, for a total cash distribution in 2016 of nearly $26 million.
"For every dollar the association returns to its members, an estimated $5 to $10 is actually spent in the communities we serve through payments for goods and serves to local merchants," Gunter said. "For example, a member might purchase a truck through a dealership, the dealership then pays a bonus to its salesman, who has money to purchase his own goods and services.
"Our cash distribution of nearly $26 million this year will have an economic impact on the counties we serve of an estimated $130 million.
"We are proud to be able to support our farmers and rural communities in this manner."