CULLMAN, Ala. — Alabama Farm Credit, a rural lending cooperative serving northern Alabama, has distributed a record $6.3 million cash patronage to its customers. This amount was based on the co-op’s solid 2013 financial results and was approved by the Alabama Farm Credit Board of Directors. Customers received their checks in late March.
Because Alabama Farm Credit is a cooperative, its stockholders share in its ownership — and its earnings. When the lender does well, a portion of its earnings is returned to borrowers in the form of patronage. Patronage payments reduce the cost of borrowing from Alabama Farm Credit.
“Patronage is a cornerstone of the co-op business model, and we are proud to continue the tradition of giving customers their fair share of the co-op’s earnings,” said Loyd Rutherford, chairman of the cooperative’s member-elected board of directors. “We’ve returned more than $27.7 million to our stockholders since 1998.”
A part of the nationwide Farm Credit System, Alabama Farm Credit finances farmers, agribusiness firms, rural landowners and country homeowners. The co-op is headquartered in Cullman and has offices in Albertville, Athens, Cullman, Talladega and Tuscumbia.