AgPlus

1204 Saint Olaf Ave N
PO Box 149
Canby, MN 56220
507-223-7241
301 East 1st Street
PO Box 128
Minneota, MN 56264
507-872-6182

Patrons Approve Merger

By Pete Schmitz, General Manager

It may not look or feel like spring, but the calendar says it’s here and at some point soon we’ll be in the fields. I will summarize this weather by saying we are hardy northern Midwesterners and winter is nothing more than another series of days in our lives to which we adapt.

I would like to bring everyone up to speed on the merger discussions between FCA, Lyon County Farm Service of Ghent and Prairie Pride of Marshall. On Dec. 27, 2018, FCA suspended merger talks due to uncontrollable delays, which were hampering our ability to make critical lending and insurance decisions. Then, on Feb. 14, 2019, the boards of directors and managers of the three cooperatives met at KB’s in Ghent. We discussed key processes and ironed out critical concerns.

Ultimately, those in attendance decided unanimously to restart the merger process and move to a patron vote. The merger was enthusiastically recommended by the board of directors of Farmers Cooperative Association.

Factors favoring our recommendation to merge were:

  • Mergers and acquisitions are part of FCA’s history of growth.
  • A projected $1 million is saved annually.
  • Patron equity is protected.
  • Critical sales mass to help pay for the increasing cost of services.
  • The cooperative is kept relevant in the industry.
  • Improved career paths for employees are provided.
  • The significant decline in farm numbers is addressed.

The voting members of all three cooperatives used absentee ballot to cast their votes, with the voting period beginning on Feb. 21 and concluding on Mar. 21. The merger was approved by the following margins:

  • Patrons of Farmers Cooperative Association – 68.35%
  • Patrons of Lyon County Farm Service – 78.4%
  • Patrons of Prairie Pride – 94.6%

The first day of business for the new cooperative will be Aug. 1, 2019. Thanks to all the patrons from each organization who participated in the process.

As we begin a new chapter in our history, we hope to be your trusted supplier again this year as you make your purchase decisions for home, farm and auto needs.

Happy Easter, and please stay safe this spring.

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