Patronage Program

Sharing profits with our members

As a cooperative, AgSouth is owned by our member-borrowers. One of the most important financial benefits is sharing in the profits of the association through our patronage program. Patronage reduces the cost of borrowing by returning a portion of our net income to our borrowers based on the proportion of interest paid on their loan and total interest earned by the association.

AgSouth Farm Credit patronage distribution history

We have a strong history of being able to return a portion of our profits to our members, and have done so consecutively since 1988.

Fiscal Year Total Distribution Cash Allocated Surplus Allocated Surplus Distributed Special All Cash Distribution % of Interest Earned
1988-2011 $419,379,236 $126,002,654 $293,376,582 $293,710,722   24.25%
2012 $27,911,845 $8,373,552 $19,538,293 $19,295,520   28.01%
2013 $29,307,209 $8,792,163 $20,515,046 $20,078,458   29.30%
2014 $29,921,281 $8,976,385 $20,944,896 $20,944,896   31.41%
2015 $26,454,596 $7,936,379 $18,518,217 $18,518,217   27.52%
2016 $28,480,210 $8,544,051 $19,936,159     28.22%
2017 $32,381,292 $9,714,388 $22,666,904     30.88%
2018 $34,154,537 $10,246,361 $23,908,176     29.80%
2019 $38,900,000 $11,670,000 $27,230,000   $8,000,000 39.39%
2020 $40,001,347 $12,000,404 $28,000,943     34.11%
Total $706,891,553 $212,256,337 $494,635,216 $372,547,813   30.29%
(Average since 1988)

Since 1988, AgSouth has returned more than $592,000,000 in cash and allocated surplus distributed as cash!”

*For the years 1988-2009, amounts shown are on a consolidated basis for comparative purposes. Due to various mergers during this period, the actual interest earned percentages differ from the consolidated percentages reflected. Patronage distribution is subject to board approval and is not guaranteed or implied.

Patronage FAQ

Do you have questions about patronage distributions? Get answers to the most commonly asked questions here:

How can I find out more about my allocated surplus?

If you want to know the details about any allocated surplus on your account, like the amount or year it was issued, you can contact your local branch office. Also, in January of each year, customers receive member’s equity statements that detail the amounts.

You may also want to sign up for AccountAccess. AccountAccess is an Internet-based method for you to view not just the detail of your equity with the Association, but also principal and interest balances and payment due dates.

How do patronage distributions benefit AgSouth Farm Credit as an Association?

Patronage distributions help AgSouth Farm Credit manage its tax expense and maintain a strong capital position. A strong capital position helps all customers because it enables the Association to offer competitive interest rates while ensuring a constant supply of available credit.

How do patronage distributions benefit AgSouth Farm Credit customers?

Patronage distributions benefit customers by reducing their costs of borrowing. The more business a member does with AgSouth Farm Credit, the larger the member's potential patronage distribution.

Unlike corporations, where profits are taxed twice — once when earned by the corporation, and again when distributed to owners as dividends — a cooperative’s profits are taxed only once, when they are distributed as patronage.

How is my patronage distribution issued?

The cash portion of your patronage distribution may be issued to you by check or recorded on the Association’s books in a special account called patronage payable. The board sets a minimum check amount as a way of controlling expenses. Cash distributions below the minimum are set up in the patronage payable account.

Members may request the monies in their patronage payable account in the form of a check, have the funds applied to their loans or leave these amounts on account with the Association.

What is a patronage distribution?

A patronage distribution is one of the great benefits of doing business with a cooperative. As customers and stockholders, members share in the Association’s profits. A customer’s distribution is based on the proportion of interest earned on his or her loan to the total interest earned by the Association. A patronage distribution may be paid in cash, allocated surplus, stock or any combination of these methods.

What is allocated surplus?

The AgSouth Board of Directors, which is elected by the stockholders of the Association, usually opts to hold a portion of the patronage distribution in the cooperative to help keep its operation on a sound financial basis. The retained portion of each customer’s patronage distribution is recorded on the books of the Association in each customer’s individual equity account. This retained patronage distribution is called allocated surplus.

AgSouth Farm Credit’s goal is to operate efficiently and maintain a strong permanent capital base. It is the board’s responsibility to continually monitor the financial position of the Association. The board then determines if and when to retire allocated surplus, and the oldest series of allocated surplus must be retired first.

The patronage distribution history chart reflects a history of allocated surplus revolvements. Remember, however, that all revolvements are determined by the Board of Directors and are based upon the Board’s assessment of the financial performance and future capital needs of the Association.

What is the bottom line on patronage distributions?

The patronage distribution program is one of the great benefits of doing business with AgSouth Farm Credit, as it reduces a member's overall cost of borrowing. The next time you sit down to write a check to another lending institution, ask yourself, “How much of this interest payment will this bank be returning to me?” If your answer is, “None,” then you should consider doing more of your business where you are a stockholder, like you are with AgSouth Farm Credit. Remember, when you own the bank, you share in the profits.

Why can't I receive all of the patronage distribution in cash at the same time?

Patronage distributions issued in the form of allocated surplus can only be retired or paid to members upon approval of the Board. Under the Association bylaws, the Association cannot honor requests from members to retire the individual allocated surplus accounts, and no retirements may occur sooner than five years after the initial issue date.

Each time a patronage distribution is issued, AgSouth Farm Credit will notify eligible members of their patronage distributions. The notification will include a breakdown of the amount paid in cash (by check or patronage payable entry) and the amount paid in allocated surplus.


Patronage Economic Impact

See the approximate breakdown of our 2020 patronage distribution for each of our branches:

Georgia South Carolina
Baxley: $972,070 Aiken: $895,368
Blackshear: $1,804,315 Allendale: $1,036,040
Carrollton: $1,228,480 Anderson: $2,597,376
Douglas: $2,521,959 Batesburg: $1,953,923
Greenville: $1,591,122 Camden: $1,216,867
Griffin: $684,782 Laurens: $1,985,380
Jesup: $684,598 Orangeburg: $1,381,363
Madison: $3,171,313 Rock Hill: $1,511,629
Statesboro: $2,299,902 Spartanburg: $1,428,960
Sylvania: $684,598 St. Matthews: $282,400
Thomaston: $1,341,225 Summerville: $1,263,080
Vidalia: $919,345 Walterboro: $1,008,222


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