Carolina Farm Credit, a stockholder-owned cooperative who provides financing to full and part-time farmers and agricultural related businesses, announced on Thursday (Apr. 8) a cash dividend of over $27 million will be distributed to its members in April. Carolina Farm Credit said the distribution represented its cooperative’s sharing of 2020 profits and the returns reduced a customer’s effective interest rate by nearly 1.6% in 2020.

“Carolina Farm Credit had another successful year in 2020. We are pleased to be able to share our success with our borrowers by putting our profits in their pockets,” said David Coltrane, Chairman of the Carolina Farm Credit Board of Directors, in a statement.

According to the association, it has declared refunds for 33 consecutive years totaling $532.2 million since 1988. Carolina Farm Credit CEO Vance Dalton Jr. said when the organization distributes profits to its borrowers, it allows a reduction in the cost of borrowing. Dalton said this “proves that there are distinct financial benefits in doing business on a cooperative basis.”

Carolina Farm Credit serves over 11,500 members with a territory covering the western half of North Carolina. The association operates a branch office in Monroe.