corn harvest
The cooperatives first began considering a potential merger in September 2016.
NEW ULM, MINNESOTA, U.S. — The board of directors of Central Farm Service (CFS), Owatonna/Truman, Minnesota, U.S.; River Region Cooperative (RRC), Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, U.S.; and South Central Grain and Energy (SCGE), Fairfax, Minnesota, U.S., in mid-December approved a move that would consolidate the three companies into one business. The potential merger now will go to a member-vote.

Central Farm Service  Eric Schrader Chair of Board
Eric Schrader, chairman of CFS.

“Agriculture continues to dramatically change,” said Eric Schrader, chairman of CFS. “The global collapse of prices, volatility of markets, increased regulatory mandates, and overall increase in operating expenses have created an opportunity for three strong cooperatives to create a stronger supply partner for our members.”

The cooperatives first began considering a potential merger in September 2016.

“Producers’ needs continue to change, and it is our job as our members’ agricultural cooperative to meet them,” said Bruce Kuelbs, president of RRC. “This merger will create new opportunities in services and innovations for our members, while providing advanced opportunities for our employee base.”

The vote on the proposed merger will be counted on Feb. 21, with a potential effective date on or before Aug. 1.

“It is essential our organizations grow to meet the changes and challenges of the future,” said Larry Dean, president of SCGE. “This merger allows us to control the change we want to see in our organization, rather than having to react to changes out of our control.”

Central Farm Service was formed by the union of ag-focused cooperatives that shared deep commitments to servicing rural patron customers. CFS’ locations span the south-central Minnesota and northern Iowa corridor, offering producer and commercial customers products and services in grain, energy, agronomy and feed.

River Region Cooperative, founded in 1890, is a full-service agricultural cooperative offering its customers access to grain, energy, agronomy and feed services in the Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, U.S., region.

South Central Grain and Energy is a farmer-owned and farmer-focused cooperative headquartered in Fairfax, Minnesota, U.S., with locations in Buffalo Lake, Cosmos, Darwin, Fairfax, Gibbon, Hector, and Stewart. SCGE is a full-service cooperative, offering members services in grain, agronomy, energy and feed.