The membership of Kettle Lakes Cooperative voted "Yes" for the merger with Country Visions Cooperative. A special voters meeting was held on June 30, 2017 in Random Lake to count the mail ballots. The vote was approved by 80.7% of the Kettle Lakes members voting. The Country Visions Board of Directors approved the reverse triangular merger on behalf of their membership.
The newly merged Cooperative will begin business on September 1, 2017. The Co-op will be governed by the nine current Country Visions board members and three from Kettle Lakes. Districts will be established to ensure representation throughout the trade territory.
An informational meeting was held on June 8th as an opportunity for members to ask questions before voting. Country Visions CEO, Steve, and Kettle Lakes GM, Mark, answered questions and gave a video tour of the Co-op's facilities.
The two Cooperatives began their discussions with a plan for a joint venture in a new automated agronomy facility. After additional efficiencies were realized for all divisons within the operations, an intent to merge agreement was signed in April of this year. Construction has started on the new agronomy facility in the Plymouth industrial park to service customers from both Cooperatives in that trade territory. Construction will be completed by early 2018 and the facility will be ready for the 2018 planting season.
Plans for the New Agronomy Facility in Plymouth were on display at the informational meeting for customers to see what is being built.
The newly formed Cooperative will maintain its 50% ownership in the energy joint venture, Co-Energy Alliance with Adell Cooperative, to service propane and fuel customers in the southern trade territory. Country Visions ownership in CP Feeds will remain and offer feed products and services to customers in the southern area that is currently being served by Kettle Lakes. The mill in Random Lake will continue to service feed customers on a limited basis.
The goal of the Cooperative will be to continue to provide a high level of service to the patrons. Many customers will be served by the same employees or location as they have been in the past. Some changes will take place as the efficiencies and rationalizations of the merger take effect over time. Investments in facilities, technology and employees will need to be made to continue to provide a high level of service to our ever-changing industry. Your Cooperative will be much better positioned to do so after this merger.
The Board and employee group looks forward to continuing to be your preferred supplier of agronomy, energy, feed, grain and retail products. Our success depends on your success and together we can grow into the future.
If you have any questions in regards to the merger, feel free to contact your board member or Steve Zutz, CEO.
Steve Zutz, CEO