Wheat Growers, North Central Merger: 6 Things You Need to Know About the New Cooperative
The Boards of Directors of North Central Farmers Elevator and Wheat Growers voted earlier today to approve the name for the new cooperative that will launch in February. Here are six things you need to know:
- New cooperative name — Agtegra Cooperative. The Boards focused on choosing a name that would represent the rich history and bright future the two cooperatives share. “We knew we needed to choose a name that allowed us the ability to adapt to changes in the ag industry,” said Wheat Growers CEO Chris Pearson said. “We believe Agtegra is a name that grounds us in agriculture, and points to the high level of integrity and dependability that we will seek to achieve serving our member-owners today and into the future.”
- New leader — Chris Pearson. Wheat Growers CEO Chris Pearson was chosen to lead the Agtegra Cooperative. Pearson will help guide the employee teams of Wheat Growers and North Central, which he says have been laser focused on building a new cooperative committed to delivering value to its members. “We’re combining two, legacy-rich organizations into one,” he said. “We are preparing to create new efficiencies, expanding the use of new technologies, creating new opportunities for our employee team – all aimed at creating more value for our members.”
- Start date — February 1. The new Agtegra Cooperative that will begin operation February 1 as a farmer-owned agricultural cooperative. In addition to offering grain and agronomy services, the cooperative will offer its members aerial application services, fuel, animal feed, and precision ag hardware and software products and services.
- Headquarters — Aberdeen, SD. Headquarters for Agtegra Cooperative will be Aberdeen, SD, which is the same location of South Dakota Wheat Growers.
- No. of employees — 900. About 900 employees in North and South Dakota will serve more than 60 communities and approximately 7,850 member-owners and 22,600 equity holders.
- Expansion plans. Wheat Growers recently purchased the Kimball fertilizer plant from Gavilon Fertilizer, and Agtegra plans to expand the North Central aerial application service across its entire trade area, Pearson said. “These are two great examples of the high-quality products, services and efficiencies that we can provide our members from this new cooperative.”