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Farm lender still offering loans
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STATESBORO — AgSouth Farm Credit has distributed more than $45 million in profits to its borrowers in Georgia and South Carolina this spring as a result of record earnings in 2010.
AgSouth is a financial cooperative that provides loans to farmers, agricultural businesses and rural communities. Its borrowers are its owners. They receive a portion of the annual profits each year.
Borrowers received $26.25 million in 2010 profits last month, more than $7 million of that in cash. The remaining $19 million will be held in an account to build capital. AgSouth returned another $19 million in cash to borrowers this month from 2005 profits.
“2010 was a record earnings year for AgSouth,” CFO Alisa D. Gunter said. “We made nearly $36 million, and this $26.25 million distribution represents a return of over 72 percent of those earnings.”
AgSouth has returned profits to borrowers for the past 20 years.
“While other lenders are closing their wallets, we’re still lending and putting our profits into the pockets of our customers,” AgSouth Farm Credit CEO Bill Spigener said. “This year’s refund of $26.25 million amounts to an average return of more than 25 cents on every dollar of loan interest accrued in 2010.”
AgSouth Farm Credit provides loans for farmland, equipment and agricultural production; crop insurance; leasing; and home mortgages. The association has more than 7,240 members. It is headquartered in Statesboro, with administrative offices in Spartanburg and Orangeburg, S.C. AgSouth serves 59 Georgia and 34 South Carolina counties.
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