2022: A Year in Review

Dec 12, 2022
As we close out 2022, I want to reflect on the tremendous momentum we have experienced this year. Our employees and facilities functioned at a very high level, creating growth, timely service, and demand creation. I want to thank the employees for their commitment and dedication and our member/owners for your loyalty and trust. Each of our core divisions saw unit increases and captured efficiencies to provide a good return on our investment. The United Cooperative board has approved many building projects this year to meet the demands of our customers. Below are some of the major construction projects, completed and in construction phases:
  • Waupun - New feed mill construction facility will hold about 8,500 tons of feed ingredients along with 40,000 sq ft of warehouse storage and a new 2.8-million-bushel grain terminal. Operational in 2023-2024.
  • South Beaver Dam – A 30,000 sq ft warehouse and office remodel. Complete.
  • Reedsburg – Upgraded liquid facility and 16,000 sq ft warehouse. Complete.
  • Fall River - Transload plant with rail unloading capacity and track storage. Complete.
  • Center Valley – A 8,100 dry fertilizer Agronomy facility and 3.7-million-bushel grain storage facility. Spring 2023
  • Boscobel – 1-million-bushel Load out storage and tracks to load 110-car unit trains. Operational in 2023
  • Shawano Agronomy – A 6,600-ton dry plant addition. Complete.
  • Deerfield - Dry fertilizer plant expansion. Early 2023.
  • South Beaver Dam – Expansion of the liquid fertilizer plant. Early 2023.
We were blessed with another great crop year. The planting season started later, but strong. We moved a lot of products in a short period. On another positive note, we were able to find the help and the logistics to get this accomplished. Thank you to our seasonal employees and our suppliers for this achievement. The harvest season was similar to last years, with great weather and harvesting conditions. Overall, we enjoyed favorable yields and excellent fall tillage conditions. We also had a considerable amount of fall fertilizer application this year. This should take some of the pressure off our spring planting season. We had logistical problems during the harvest season, both rail and space issues. We have contracted to build about 7.5 million bushels of additional storage throughout our trade territory in the next year, and the grain division is working on a daily basis with the railroad on continued logistical issues! We did pile several million bushels of corn on the ground to help keep the harvest moving. I know we fell short in several areas, and we are working to correct those areas to prevent this from happening again. To our grain customers, thank you for your patience this past harvest season.

December 31st marks the end of our fiscal year and the privilege of being in business for 87 years. While the year and financial numbers will not be final until the audit in early 2023, the cooperative will have another strong year. Planning, execution, product availability, customer service, and loyal members are the foundation for United Cooperatives' success.  

Named a Top America 100 Cooperative
For over 30 years, the National Cooperative Bank (NCB) has released the annual NCB Coop 100, highlighting America's top 100 Cooperatives. These 100 cooperatives are member-owned, member-controlled businesses with a combined revenue of over $255 billion.

Many of these cooperatives that appear on the list are household names and are known worldwide. They represent farm supply, rural electrics, insurance, dairy, organic, retail, and manufacturing with recognizable cooperatives on the list, including CHS, Land O' Lakes, ACE Hardware Foremost Farms, Ocean Spray, Blue Diamond Almonds, and Organic Valley. United Cooperative ranked 28th of the agricultural cooperatives on this list and 55th 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 seven principles of the cooperative business model. Cooperatives provide valuable products and services, further value-added products into the supply chain, and create trade in 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 how we protect shareholder value for our members. That reality is demonstrated through 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 to create a positive customer experience where our farmers can "Rely On Us." It's evident today based on the economic environment, supply chain issues, inflation, and worldwide markets. To maintain this experience, please discuss with your trusted advisors at United Cooperative as you prepare for your 2023 farm plan and inputs. Decision-making, forecasting, planning, and execution all directly impact profitability at the farm and the cooperative.

Stewardship 2022
Lastly, with the holidays upon us, we are reminded that many in our communities are not as fortunate as ourselves. United Cooperative has donated $24,500 to 49 local food pantries. According to local sources, a food pantry can purchase about five pounds of food for every dollar donated. United Cooperative is proud to partner with our local food pantries in our communities in such a worthwhile endeavor. 

Thank you again for your patronage in 2022, and I look forward to an exciting and prosperous year in 2023. All of us at United Cooperative wish you a blessed holiday season. Merry Christmas!

David Cramer

President and Chief Executive Officer


David Cramer

Filed Under: Corporate News