2021: A year in Review

Dec 14, 2021
As we close out 2021, I would like to reflect on the tremendous momentum we have experienced this year. Our employees and facilities functioned at a very high level which created growth, timely service, and demand creation. I would like to thank the employees for your commitment and dedication and our member/owners for your loyalty and trust. Each one of our core divisions saw unit increases and captured efficiencies to provide a good return on our investment. United Cooperative was also able to complete many building projects this year to meet the demands of our customers. We finished construction projects in Darlington, Prairie du Sac, and South Beaver Dam. We were also able to start new construction projects in Reedsburg, South Beaver Dam, and Fall River.

We were also blessed with a fantastic crop year. The planting season started early and strong. We moved a lot of products in a short period of time. On another positive note, we were able to find the help and the logistics to get this accomplished. Thank you to our seasonal help and our suppliers for this achievement. The harvest season followed last years, harvest season with great weather and harvesting conditions. Overall, we enjoyed favorable yields and excellent fall tillage conditions. We also had a huge fall fertilizer application this year. This should take some of the pressure off of our spring planting season.

December 31st marks the end of our fiscal year and the privilege of being in business for 86 years. While the year and financial numbers will not be final until the audit in early 2022, it looks like the cooperative will have another strong year. Planning, execution, product availability, customer service and loyal members are the foundational pieces for United Cooperatives success.  

Named a Top America 100 Cooperative
For the past 30 years, the National Cooperative Bank (NCB) has released the annual NCB Coop 100, highlighting America’s top 100 Cooperatives. These top 100 cooperatives are all member-owned, member-controlled businesses that have generated revenues of excess of $228 billion dollars.

Many of these cooperatives that appear on the list are household names and known throughout the world. They represent farm supply, rural electrics, insurance, dairy, organic, retail and manufacturing. Some of the recognizable cooperatives on the list include, CHS, Land O’ Lakes, Foremost Farms, Ocean Spray, Blue Diamond Almonds, and Organic Valley. United Cooperative ranked 41st of the agricultural cooperatives on this list and 75th cooperative overall.

“Cooperatives make a tremendous economic impact in the United States and around the world. Cooperatives employ millions of people, pay taxes, and give back to their communities. They are organized under bylaws and articles of incorporation and follow the 7 principles of the cooperative business model. Cooperatives provide valuable products and services, further value-added products into the supply chain and create trade into the global markets. While cooperatives may offer similar goods and services as publicly traded firms, they use a distinctly different business model. Cooperatives operate for the benefit of their member-owners and communities. Having a vested interest in the cooperative fosters a natural closeness and accountability between owners/members and the cooperative,” the National Cooperative Bank stated.       

It is an honor to be recognized on this prestigious list, however, no matter our size and scale or being mentioned on any list, we are only as good as the returns we generate through profitability and the way we protect shareholder value for our members. That reality is demonstrated though our strong patronage programs to our members by distributing $34.7 million in cash to our customers this year and the re-investment we make within the cooperative every year.

Our vision for the future has to parallel the agricultural changes of our farmers in order to create a positive customer experience and where our farmers can “Rely On Us” This is really evident today based on the economic environment, supply chain issues, inflation and worldwide markets. In order to maintain this type of experience, please have a discussion with your trusted advisors at United Cooperative as you prepare for your 2022 farm plan and inputs. Decision making, forecasting, planning and execution all have a direct impact on profitability at the farm and the cooperative.

Stewardship 2021
Lastly with the holidays upon us, we are reminded that many in our communities are not as fortunate as ourselves. United Cooperative and the Land O’ Lakes Foundation has come together to donate $49,500 to 50 local food pantries. According to local sources, for every dollar donated, a food pantry can purchase about five pounds of food. United Cooperative is proud to partner with our local food panties in the communities we serve in such a worthwhile endeavor. This reflects the cooperative spirit, our mission, passion and is one of United Cooperatives core values.

Thank you again for your patronage in 2021 and I look forward to an exciting and prosperous year in 2022. All of us at United Cooperative would like to wish you a blessed holiday season. Merry Christmas!

David Cramer

President and Chief Executive Officer


David Cramer

Filed Under: Corporate News