Merger and acquisitions in the US agri co-op sector

Farmers Ranchers Co-op and Central Valley Ag have merged in Nebraska, while Minnesota-based Crystal Valley has acquired organic agronomy business of Pipeline Foods

Two agri co-ops in Nebraska which provide feed, fuel and agronomy services have announced a merger.

The Farmers Ranchers Cooperative of Ainsworth membership has voted to approve unification with Central Valley Ag of York.

After a series of informational meetings, accounting firm Gardiner and Co. certified the owners of Farmers Ranchers Cooperative approved the merger with CVA by a majority of 88%.

The unified co-operative will retain the Central Valley Ag name with headquarters in York and Carl Dickinson serving as president and CEO.

“We are pleased that Farmers Ranchers members have voted to unify,” said CVA chair Dave Beckman. “Both boards felt strongly that unification would make us stronger and bring additional value to the members of both co-operatives.

“Central Valley Ag has built a foundation, ensuring a promising future of service and value to its members in agriculture.”

Farmers Ranchers Cooperative chair DJ Hladky said: “We are confident that together we will become an even stronger co-operative for our member-owners with the ability to maintain local farmer-ownership for generations to come.”

Initial merger discussions between the co-ops began in January, with the respective boards individually approving the merger in February after a successful merger study was reviewed.

Farmers Ranchers Cooperative and Central Valley Ag officially will unite into one co-operative on 1 June.

Meanwhile, Crystal Valley, a supply and grain marketing co-operative serving crop farmers and livestock producers in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa, has announced the acquisition of the agronomy business of Pipeline Foods, based in Hope, Minnesota.

Crystal Valley hopes the move will enable it to widen its customer base. Pipeline Foods focuses exclusively on organic, non-GMO and regenerative food and feed.

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