Coops – Build Economic Power
The heat of summer has turned into the beauty of fall. Once again, we can celebrate harvest bounty and see the fruits of our labor. We can enjoy all the preparation of spring, the growth of summer that will be discovered during this harvest season, and a sense of pride and purpose. The harvest season always promotes the cooperative spirit of working together, which is on full display. Collectively coming together during this season makes the journey more rewarding and fulfilling.
Every October, we celebrate Cooperative month around the world. National Co-op Month is an annual opportunity to raise awareness of a trusted, proven way to do business and build communities. Cooperatives are a vital pillar of the U.S. economy and contribute essential goods and services to rural America and worldwide. Coops and their members are typically civically engaged and eager to contribute to the local economy. More than 30,000 cooperatives are operating in the country, and these coops account for nearly 2 million jobs and 350 million members. American cooperatives generate more than $660 billion in annual revenue, but their sustainability and unique structure motivate thousands of people to start and join co-ops every year. The cooperative business module fosters inclusivity - often times bringing underserved communities together to create and build wealth. At United Cooperative, we “Build Economic Power” through the goods and services we provide, the jobs we create, the community investment we make, and the economic returns we provide through cash patronage dividends and our equity redemption revolvement program we deliver each year. Under the theme “Build Economic Power,” this year’s theme is also a chance to leverage our shared cooperative identity in the face of some of the biggest challenges we face: supply chain and logistic issues, worldwide insecurity, and economic doubt. When I think about the economic power of United Cooperative, I am reminded of the seven Cooperative Principles, specifically, Democratic Member Control, Members Economic Participation, and Concern for Community, along with having a robust equity capital management program that provides value for the cooperative and its members.
At United Cooperative, we have invested in the future through the construction projects we facilitated in 2022. These projects impact all our members economically by anticipating current and future needs, maintaining efficiencies, and adding value to every ton, gallon, or bushel we service. These upgrades are made possible by building back in the communities and for the farmers and members who place their trust and loyalty in United Cooperative. Below are some of the major construction projects that are complete or being completed:
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 2.6-million-bushel grain terminal
South Beaver Dam – A 30,000 sq ft warehouse and office remodel
Reedsburg – Upgraded liquid facility and 16,000 sq ft warehouse
Fall River - Transload plant with rail unloading capacity and track storage
Center Valley – A 8,100 ton dry and 2,400 ton liquid fertilizer Agronomy facility, a 2.2-million-bushel grain storage facility, a 24,000 sq ft warehouse, office and maintenance shop.
Boscobel - Load out storage and tracks to load 110-car unit trains
Shawano Agronomy – A 6,600-ton dry plant addition
Deerfield - Dry fertilizer plant expansion
“Build Economic Power” is undoubtedly a defining theme for our equity programs. By being a member of United Cooperative, you can participate in the economic impact through our cash distribution and equity revolvement programs, enabling you to build back on your farms. I am proud to announce on behalf of United Cooperative an equity revolvement of more than $12.2 million of stock (all of year 2012 cooperative member stock), as well as the percentage of stock committed to being revolved per plan of merger agreements. In addition, United Cooperative paid over $1,048,000 in member requests for those older than 77 and estate settlements. All totaled, United Cooperative will have paid over $13 million in cash for stock revolvement in 2022.
This equity revolvement is an ongoing commitment that United Cooperative makes to its members and is one unique deliverable of a member-owned cooperative. As you, your friends, and your neighbors purchase products and services from United Cooperative, your cooperative generates a profit. Profits are needed to re-invest in your cooperative and “Build Economic Power”.
Thank you for your valued partnership with United Cooperative. We will continue to uphold our brand promise of building a solid cooperative for our members through our employees, our goods and services, and sustainability efforts and profits. This focus is why our members can “Rely on Us.” Together we will all be able to enjoy the Economic Power of our cooperative system.
Have a safe and productive harvest.
President and Chief Executive Officer