Farmers in South Dakota question why two strong cooperatives are aggressively moving forward with plans to merge when the local elevators offer them the best opportunity to compare prices and have multiple locations to deliver grain. Leaders at the two cooperatives say the merger is needed to reduce duplication and compete with a growing number of companies coming into the state offering grain marketing and agronomy services.
Optimists nicknamed Brazil's frontier "Soylandia" at the turn of the millenium, describing a country that would suddenly triple its soybean production in the next 15 years and rival the U.S. as world's largest soy producer and exporter. The country's unparalleled farming boom made paper millionaires out of many of Mato Grosso's pioneers. DTN's Marcia Zarley Taylor and Alastair Stewart reexamine the boom years and what's ahead for Brazil's soybean growth as the frontier marks middle age.
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In today’s world of big box stores and a one size fits all mentality, where quality and service often takes a back seat, it's nice to be a part of an organization like Heartland Cooperative Services of Dorchester. For decades, Heartland Co-ops' core-group of localized co-ops, has been dedicated to helping local farmers, agricultural businesses along with smaller north central Wisconsin city folks grow and prosper, as well as helping rural homeowners meet the challenges and enjoy the benefits of country living.
Because we keep quality and service high, prices competitive and expenses down, we have never, in the history of this co-op during my 28+ years at the helm, operated in the red. There are few businesses in any industry that can say that. Twenty-eight years ago, our yearly sales were around $4 million and this year we’ll see approximately $150 million. Best of all, year after year, we have returned those profits to our members...in the last 16 years only, Heartland has returned to it's patron customers, some $25 Million in the form of Cash and Stock!
We are proud of the help we provide our members. Our employees and professionally trained consultants in dairy, feed, agronomy, grain drying, storage and marketing, livestock, fuels, Napa Stores, Lifestyle Stores, lubes and much more have helped increase the efficiency, yield and profits of our farm members and by extension have helped local economies maintain their strength through good times and bad.
We have a new saying around here…”YEP”, Y-E-P stands for Yield, Efficiency and Profits, three pillars to a successful agricultural business. Every service and product we provide to our farm members is focused on one or more of those three areas of business success. It is also a word that comes naturally to us, because it is a friendly way to say yes: Yep… we can help, yep… we have what your business or rural home needs, yep… we provide quality products….and best of all, yep, as a member of a cooperative, when we prosper, you prosper.
As we look forward to the future, we are always excited about bringing in new products, new services and new acquisitions that make economic sense. We are also working on the continual development of our Omega Valley Farmers™, LLC Feed and Consumer products division. We will never forget that Heartland Cooperative Services was built on a foundation of Quality, Integrity and unmatched Services to it's owner/customers and that it will always be the Inventor / Early Adopter of technologies that make sense for it's customer base. YEP, those are the principles that have helped us grow and give back to our members year after year.