North Central Farmers Elevator, SD Wheat Growers approve Unification Agreement

New cooperative to be named CentraGro Cooperative

The Boards of Directors for North Central Farmers Elevator (NCFE) and Wheat Growers (WG) have voted to approve the Unification Agreement that would unify the two cooperatives into a newly named, member-owned and locally governed cooperative, pending a vote by members of both cooperatives in June.
The Agreement includes a provision for the newly formed cooperative to be named CentraGro Cooperative, as well as the new Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws.
“The vote on the Unification Agreement taken by our Board members reflects the overall support we’ve heard from our membership over the past several weeks,” said NCFE Board President Richard Osterday. “More and more, people understand that our main objective in moving forward with the proposed unification is to build on our past successes to create an even stronger, more competitive future for our members. The financial savings, alone, are quite significant, especially by eliminating duplication and building efficiencies.”
After announcing the initial Letter of Intent in March, leaders from NCFE and WG have focused on the due diligence steps required during a unification process. That work culminated in a final agreement proposal for consideration by the Board members this week.
“With the thorough due diligence that we’ve conducted, we have even more confidence in the benefits that our patrons will experience as a result of a unification,” said WG Board President Hal Clemensen. “These benefits will translate into increased patronage, a stronger balance sheet, and more investment in products, services and facilities to better serve our member-owners.”
The approved name, CentraGro Cooperative, reflects the value and benefits of the unification while combining elements of the cooperatives’ current names.
“Our Board members understand the member value that we would generate by unifying to create CentraGro,” said NCFE General Manager Mike Nickolas, “and through the due diligence findings, they see the benefits validated. Due diligence was an important step to ensure that we all understand the potential synergies and risks for our member-owners.”
Added WG CEO Dale Locken, “Now that the Board members have approved the Unification Agreement, including CentraGro as the new name, we want to focus on sharing the details with our member-owners. We look forward to meeting with them in the coming weeks to make sure they have the information they need before the vote.”
An informational meeting will be held Monday, June 1 at 9 a.m. at the Huron Event Center.
For a full schedule of upcoming NCFE/WG member meetings, the voting process, and other information regarding the proposed unification, visit www.growingtogether.coop. Questions can be submitted on the Web site or by calling 1-888-429-4902 (WG) or 1-800-658-3353 (NCFE).
North Central Farmers Elevator is a full-service, farmer-owned cooperative with product and service areas in grain, agronomy, feed and energy with locations in north central South Dakota and south central North Dakota. Its mission is to excel at providing high-quality services and products that grow member and cooperative profitability and success.
Wheat Growers is a grain and agronomy cooperative in the heart of South and North Dakota. Owned by the members it serves, Wheat Growers exists to provide, with integrity, customers with reliable markets, services and quality products through a safety-oriented, profitable and innovative organization.

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