BRAINARD – This week, the Boards of Directors for Frontier Cooperative and Midwest Farmers Cooperative voted to sign a definitive agreement and are calling for a member vote on unification.

Signing the definitive agreement means the boards approved moving forward with a member vote to unify the two cooperatives. This decision came after completing due diligence during which employee teams evaluated the benefits and risks of this unification.

Neil Stedman, board chair for Midwest Cooperative, said he was happy with the extensive investigation completed as part of the due diligence process.

“During the due diligence period we heard from both members and employees to ensure that we are making the right decision for both cooperatives. We wanted to understand all concerns and challenges that could impact our cooperative now and in the future,” Stedman said.

Greg Sabata, board chair for Frontier Cooperative, was also positive about the process.

“I am excited about this opportunity for Frontier Cooperative and Midwest Farmers Cooperative,” he said. “As a board, we always want to look to the future so we can make decisions now that will benefit us in the long-term. This unification will allow us to continue to grow, compete and succeed in Nebraska.”

During the due diligence study, employee teams identified specific benefits for both members and employees that demonstrated to the Boards the suitability of moving forward with this unification at this time.

The benefits identified include strengthening member service to continue investing in technology, talent, assets, and programs; the ability to implement the best practices of both organizations; the ability to compete and grow more effectively over a greater combined area, capacity and capability; and the ability to strategically position the company for the future.

“This is a unification of equals. Midwest Farmers Cooperative has a similar culture to us, is similar in size and has similar services,” said Randy Robeson, CEO of Frontier Cooperative. “We want to be better able to support our members and their farming operations as a result of this unification.”

Meetings begin March 20 for Midwest Farmers Cooperative members. Meetings will be held that day at 10:30 a.m. at the Johnson County Fairgrounds in Tecumseh and at 3:30 p.m. at the Cass County Fairgrounds in Weeping Water.

March 21 meetings are 10:30 a.m. at Parker’s Smokehouse in Ashland and 4 p.m. at Fair Center in Syracuse. A March 22 meeting will be held at 8:30 a.m. at the American Legion Hall in Bennet.

Dates and times for the Frontier Cooperative Members were not immediately available Friday morning.

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