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CG&S board approves merger with MKC

Staff writer

Cooperative Grain and Supply announced Monday that its board of directors has approved a merger between CG&S and Mid-Kansas Cooperative, based in Moundridge.

Informational meetings are planned for CG&S members, followed by a special meeting Nov. 22 to vote on the merger.

If approved, the merger would add five locations to MKC’s 36 grain facilities, which include elevators in Florence, Peabody, and Burns.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, MKC is one of the nation’s top 100 largest ag cooperatives, ranking 71st. It has locations from Manhattan to Abilene on the north, to McPherson on the west, to Wichita on the south.

General manager Lyman Adams likened the merger proposal to when two Hillsboro cooperatives, one in Marion, and one in Lehigh joined together in 1966 to form CG&S. Canton and Canada joined later.

Adams said the proposed merger is the greatest opportunity for expanded services and facilities and increased savings and equity redemptions for farmer owners that he has seen in his lifetime.

“Agriculture continues to change and evolve at a rapid pace, which in turn requires our cooperative to have the vision to change and expand our abilities to compete in a global marketplace,” he said.

CG&S board president Jim Enns said the decision to merge wasn’t an easy one.

“It’s been tough,” he said. “We’ve been watching the situation for years. Iowa and Nebraska have experienced unbelievable consolidations. Several years ago we discussed a merger with Agri Producers, but that didn’t work out. Our footprint is pretty small.”

He said the board’s biggest concern was for the employees and the services they could provide. The proposal has satisfied most of the board members in that regard, Enns said.

CG&S already participates in TMA, the grain-marketing arm of MKC, and participates with Countryside Feed LLC.

If the merger is approved, Enns said, CG&S patrons would increase their share of the profits generated by the train-loading facility at Canton, which is half-owned by MKC.

“This merger is not about giving up but will position CG&S to create value for our owners long into the future, just like our founders in 1966 formed Cooperative Grain and Supply,” Adams said. “It will be a long term benefit to our members and our employees.”

Informational meetings will be 7 a.m. Nov. 11 at Canton Community Center, 7 a.m. Nov. 15 at Marion Senior Center, and 6:30 p.m. Nov. 17 at Hillsboro United Methodist Church.

The voting meeting will be 7 p.m. Nov. 22 at Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren church, with registration at 6:30 p.m.

Last modified Oct. 27, 2016

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