The boards of directors of North Central Farmers Elevator and Wheat Growers voted to approve the name for the cooperative, which will have 900 employees in North and South Dakota serving more than 60 communities and approximately 7,850 member-owners and 22,600 equity holders. 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.
“We knew we needed to choose a name that allowed us the ability to adapt to changes in the ag industry,” said Chris Pearson, chief executive officer of Wheat Growers and the newly appointed leader of Agtegra. “We knew not to limit ourselves to a geography, or to just one commodity crop or another. We also heard from our members through this process that to them, strength, stability and dependability are key characteristics they value from us. They want us grounded in agriculture, and they want us to stand together with them for the long haul – always holding a connection to our past and looking into the future.”
Pearson said that in the three months since the vote to merge, the employee teams of Wheat Growers and North Central 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,” Pearson 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. We’re excited about the progress we’ve made and looking forward to introducing this new farmer-owned cooperative to our members in a few weeks.”The cooperative recently announced the purchase of a fertilizer plant in Kimball, South Dakota, U.S., from Gavilon and plans to expand the North Central aerial application service.