Land O’Lakes reports doubled half-year earnings as it marks centenary

The co-op has unveiled a statue to mark its 100th anniversary

US dairy co-op Land O’Lakes has reported a 9% increase in half-year sales of US$8bn, with net earnings up 99% to $236m.

The financial results came in as the co-op marked its 100th anniversary with the unveiling of bronze statue called Rooted in Tomorrow. The sculpture, modelled after an image of a Land O’Lakes member and grandchild walking the farm, “symbolises how our co-operative is celebrating a century of innovation and fostering relationships”, wrote communications manager Brooke Dillon in a blog post.

The statue is the work of Minnesota artist Deb Zeller, the granddaughter of a former Land O’Lakes farmer.

“This opportunity was inspired by many recollections of working around our farm with my dad, a proud Land O’Lakes dairy man,” said Ms Zeller. “In farming, we say we manage so the next generations can thrive. I see this work telling that story — the little girl is leading the family farm into the future, encouraged by the strength and character of those who raised her there.”

The co-op, which has a number of anniversary celebrations planned, said its strong financial performance “reflects strength in crop inputs and animal nutrition and higher pricing across the portfolio to offset rising input and supply chain costs.

“Net sales accelerated in the second quarter as farmers invested in their crops and animals,” it added. “The company continued to leverage its differentiated brands and reported stronger performance across all business units on a year-to-date basis.”

But president and CEO Beth Ford warned that the coming third quarter “could be our toughest year-over-year comparison in our historically smallest quarter, as during 2020, Covid-19 drove above normal retail purchasing.

“I’m proud of the team that continues to lead strong performance, both in sales and in voice, as we advocate for and deliver for our member owners.”

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