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The True Value of Cooperatives

 

By Tod Clark, General Manager

I’ll grant you that I’m extremely biased, but I believe a cooperative is the best business model there is when you consider the total value of what we bring to our member owners. We deliver that value in the form of:

  • Well-trained and experienced people you can trust for advice that benefits your bottom line.
  • Facilities that are well-maintained, updated and expanded to meet the demands of today’s production agriculture.
  • Responsive services that meet your specific needs.

Then there’s the extra value provided uniquely by Country Partners Cooperative, the business that’s locally owned by the customers it serves. As a cooperative, 100% of our earnings stay local. What do we do with those earnings? Only three things:

  • We invest in facilities/rolling stock.
  • We pay patronage commensurate with the owners’ use and our profitability.
  • We pay equity earned by the members over time.

Take this past fiscal year for example. Due to the strength of our balance sheet, your cooperative allocated 100% of its net income from last fiscal year to our owners. More than $4.3 million was returned to the members who supported and used the goods and services provided by Country Partners.

Ask yourself — what are some of the new ag sector competitors doing with their profits?

Here’s what we’ve done with ours. In addition to the patronage checks members received as the results of a financially successful fiscal 2018, the board of directors recently approved the redemption of $1.6 million in equity. This payment follows the $2.1 million in equity that was paid back to members during fiscal 2018.

We also invest in our communities. Country Partners donated more than $100,000 in 2018 to fire departments, FFA, 4-H, community events, hospitals and schools. Ask yourself — what are some of the new ag sector competitors doing in terms of community support?

Finally, the direction and vision for Country Partners Cooperative is set and driven by a locally elected board of directors chosen by the membership of the company. Your feedback is welcomed and encouraged, and we want to hear the ideas you have to help your company bring you more value. Visit with your board members or come in to discuss issues with management. We are here for, and because of, you, our members.

 

 

 

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