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Two Iowa Cooperatives merge

by Ben Nuelle

Two Iowa Cooperatives approve a merger creating the 7th largest grain company in North America. Farmers Cooperative and West Central agreed to merge and it will take effect April 1st. Farmers Cooperative CEO Jim Chism is excited about the merger.

“The merger we believe firmly it will create significant advantages for our combined memberships going forward. We feel we will be able to perform for our members who own the company and our farmers better together than we could have individually,” Chism says.

Chism says the company will be able to better strategically channel capital for fixed assets for projects on the forward curve.

“There will also be advantages on the forward curve from our ability to merge the two grain divisions given the fact the FC has shuttle loading facilities on all major rail lines in Iowa and combined with the fact West Central has a Soy processing facility in Ralston that meshes up nicely. We’ll also have a larger ag input portfolio to level our collective volumes of both companies,” Chism says.

The company will be called Landus Cooperative and West Central President Milan Kucerak serving as CEO. Landus Cooperative will be located in Ames. No jobs are expected to be reduced because of this merger.

Together, West Central and FC have more than 70 grain, agronomy and feed locations in 26 Iowa and three Minnesota counties. Each membership met Iowa’s state voting requirement for a successful cooperative merger as certified by independent auditing firm Gardiner Thomsen.

To approve a merger, Iowa law requires at least 50 percent of each membership (plus one) to vote, with two-thirds of those casting ballots voting in favor of the merger.

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