North Central Farmers Elevator and South Dakota Wheat Growers approve unification agreement
The Boards of Directors for North Central Farmers Elevator (NCFE) and Wheat Growers (WG) have voted to approve the Unification Agreement that would unify the two cooperatives into a newly named, member-owned and locally governed cooperative, pending a vote by members of both cooperatives in June. The Agreement includes a provision for the newly formed cooperative to be named CentraGro Cooperative, as well as the new Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws.
“The vote on the Unification Agreement taken by our Board members reflects the overall support we’ve heard from our membership over the past several weeks,” said NCFE Board President Richard Osterday. “More and more, people understand that our main objective in moving forward with the proposed unification is to build on our past successes to create an even stronger, more competitive future for our members. The financial savings, alone, are quite significant, especially by eliminating duplication and building efficiencies.”
After announcing the initial Letter of Intent in March, leaders from NCFE and WG have focused on the due diligence steps required during a unification process.
“With the thorough due diligence that we’ve conducted, we have even more confidence in the benefits that our patrons will experience as a result of a unification,” said WG Board President Hal Clemensen. “These benefits will translate into increased patronage, a stronger balance sheet, and more investment in products, services and facilities to better serve our member-owners.”
The approved name, CentraGro Cooperative, reflects the value and benefits of the unification while combining elements of the cooperatives’ current names.
“Our Board members understand the member value that we would generate by unifying to create CentraGro,” said NCFE General Manager Mike Nickolas, “and through the due diligence findings, they see the benefits validated. Due diligence was an important step to ensure that we all understand the potential synergies and risks for our member-owners.”
Added WG CEO Dale Locken, “Now that the Board members have approved the Unification Agreement, including CentraGro as the new name, we want to focus on sharing the details with our member-owners. We look forward to meeting with them in the coming weeks to make sure they have the information they need before the vote.”
For a schedule of upcoming NCFE/WG member meetings, the voting process, and other information regarding the proposed unification, visit www.growingtogether.coop. Questions can be submitted on the website or by calling 1-888-429-4902 (WG) or 1-800-658-3353 (NCFE).