VERONA, Wis. — AgSource members and staff gathered for the cooperative’s annual meeting earlier this year in Bloomington, Minn. Member-elected delegates, including dairy producers from Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota, participated in educational seminars, elected board members and recounted a successful year. Sessions were also held to discuss the proposed merger of AgSource and parent company Cooperative Resources International (CRI) with Koepon Holding BV, the parent company of Alta Genetics and Valley Ag Software.
“AgSource’s mission is to improve the management decision tools available to every dairy or crop farm we touch,” states Pat Baier, AgSource’s Chief Operating Officer, “We are proud to report a successful year and continued progress toward our mission.”
Baier addressed AgSource delegates and staff, thanking them for their time and dedication to the cooperative. “We know dairy producers have a choice, and we appreciate their decision to work with AgSource,” says Baier. “Between our tremendously hard-working staff and our valued members and customers, our cooperative continues to improve our position.”
AgSource reported an increase in total revenue of more than 1 million dollars, with a high percentage coming from new members and customers. For the third straight year, AgSource saw an increase in net margin. Diligent and proactive cost control measures from employees also help contribute positively to the bottom line. In summary, AgSource increased working capital and remains in a strong cash position, paying down debt.
Highlights from the 2016-17 fiscal year include an increase in monthly processing rates to 91.7%, and growing interest in milk-based diagnostic testing. In addition, AgSource formed a joint venture, named Co-DairyLytics LLC, with one of its largest members, Eastern Wisconsin DHIC, to improve laboratory efficiencies and performance for all members.
During his presentation, Dan Diederich, AgSource board president and dairy producer from De Pere, Wis., shared the following message about the proposed the merger. “Being a part of a cooperative is being collaborative. This is evidenced by our recent LLC lab partnership with Eastern Wisconsin DHIC, as well as in our product development when we teamed up with the University of Wisconsin to create KetoMonitor®. We are stronger together.”
“The proposed merger business model preserves our cooperative principles. It will also allow for greater synergies and innovation, which translates to better products and services for our members and customers. The same field technician will still come to your farm each month for testing,” notes Baier, “And AgSource will continue to have members, delegates and a board of directors.”
Currently, the merger is in the business planning and due diligence phase. Once completed and following management recommendations and board approvals, the formal merger proposal will require the support of two-thirds of CRI voting delegates. The delegate vote is expected to take place in May. The merger could then formally occur by early to mid-summer.
AgSource Re-elects Leaders
AgSource delegates unanimously re-elected Annette Trescher of Cashton and Matt Gartman of Sheboygan. Directors whose seats were not up for re-election included Dan Nodolf of Belmont, Wis., Gordon Schmidt of Gaylord, Minn., Sam Zimmerman of Ringle, Wis., Robert Prahl of Wausau, Wis., Carrie Mess of Johnson Creek, Wis., and Pam Selz-Pralle of Humbird, Wis. At its reorganizational meeting, the AgSource Board of Directors re-elected Daniel Diederich of DePere, Wis., as President, Annette Trescher of Cashton as Vice President and Matt Gartman of Sheboygan as Secretary. Diederich and Trescher will also represent AgSource on the Cooperative Resources International (CRI) Board of Directors.
AgSource is the largest, full-service dairy management information provider in the country, conducting research and development, field data collection, laboratory analysis and diagnostics, management information, meter service and outreach and education. Through the laboratory division, AgSource serves the soil, plant tissue, water, milk, manure and food testing needs of customers from across the globe. AgSource is a member-owned cooperative and a subsidiary of Cooperative Resources International. Learn more at www.AgSource.com.