• Last modified 1409 days ago (Oct. 15, 2015)


Area co-ops to merge

Staff writer

Stockholders of Agri Producers, Inc., a farm cooperative with headquarters in Tampa, have been asked to approve a merger with Alida Pearl Co-op of Chapman and North Central Kansas Co-op of Hope.

A series of informational meetings were held last week in the affected areas.

Agri Producers, Inc. has elevators at Tampa, Durham, Lincolnville, Herington, Gypsum, and Carlton. NCKC has elevators at Dillon, Navarre, and Woodbine.

The headquarters of the new Agri Trails Co-op would be at Hope, where a new office building is in the works. The co-op would have a value of more than $150 million.

Negotiations began in April, Agri Producers manager Stan Utting said. The new co-op would have nine board members, three from each of the current co-ops, including Ken Novak, Kenny Kroupa, and Francis Jirak from Agri Producers.

Utting said the merger would produce the right size to be efficient and yet retain a personal touch.

“These three co-ops have been a good fit from the start,” he said. “We have similar values and goals. We will be a local co-op with local control and customer-friendly service.”

He noted the co-ops have overlaps in membership.

He said the merger would allow farmers to remain competitive with surrounding co-ops as farms get larger and ag technology grows and changes. He said the volume of grain produced would make it more attractive to terminal markets.

Voting meetings will be Nov. 4 at all three co-ops. If the merger is approved, the new company will launch March 1.

Last modified Oct. 15, 2015