CBH Coop is purchasing Finkbeiner Feed & Seed

Farm Forum

On Oct. 1, the final papers were set for signing for CBH Coop to purchase Finkbeiner Feed and Seed in Belle Fourche from Armin Finkbeiner.

According to Jeff Dragseth, general manager of the cooperative, “There won’t be any immediate overhaul of the name on the building and the vehicles, and the staff at Armin’s is going to remain intact.”

He added, “Armin will actually be employed part time for the next year and a half.”

The purchase brings a fourth business unit to Belle Fourche for the Sturgis-based cooperative.

“CBH is not going to go in there and change the dynamics of the business,” Dragseth said. “We want to make it very easy and seamless for the customer.”

He said, “Armin has a very deep history with cooperatives and a passion for the cooperative business over the years.”

That makes the high level of service credited to the current 10 employees part of what Dragseth said is the same culture as CBH.

“Armin is so well respected and has such a terrific business built on his reputation and his name,” he said. “We’re really proud that his employees want to come to work with us.”

The cooperative ownership will benefit from the purchase, Dragseth said. “They are going to be sharing in the company with the products they have purchased. CBH Cooperative is locally owned; it is locally governed. It’s rooted in our community.”

Customers who are at risk in agriculture can become a voting member. Other accounts can join and share in profits from the cooperative, Dragseth said.

The accounting will be changing, Dragseth said, “But that’s behind the scenes; all that

Armin has been offering will be continued.”

He added, “I think it’s key to know that Armin’s going to be here. He’s going to be the mentor, the coach; we expect to learn a lot from Armin with him staying on.”

Armin and Nina Finkbeiner were named Ag Business of the Year at the 2008 Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce ag banquet.

In 2010, Finkbeiner was honored as a Friend of Agriculture by the South Dakota Farm Bureau. He started his own business in 2004 after being involved in the ag industry since was a boy.

Finkbeiner worked for the Isabel elevator in high school and for a few years afterward, then moved on to manage the Faith elevator from 1967 to 1969, before moving to Belle Fourche. He joined the Farmers and Ranchers Co-op there and managed it from 1972 to 1999, when he became a sales representative for Dakota Mill & Grain.

His recent awards for the feed business were shared with employees.