New farm cooperative, Agtegra, launches in 60 SD and ND communities
Monday, March 19, 2018
Agtegra, the big newly merged farmer-owned cooperative, was “officially launched” on Feb. 1, according to the officials who launched it out of Aberdeen.
“This is our first day in this new cooperative,” said Agtegra’s CEO Chris Pearson in a news release. “There is a lot of excitement here from all the work that has gone into preparing us for this moment. Our members have been very honest with what they expect from us and our employees have worked long and hard to make sure we’re ready.”
Formed by two former coops with long histories – North Central Farmers Elevator based in Ipswich and South Dakota Wheat Growers headquartered in Aberdeen -- by a vote of their members last fall, Agtegra’s name is going up on signs all over the region.
Starting Monday of this week, crews were putting up signs at the grain elevators and fertilizer storage and distribution sites in 60 communities across central South Dakota and south central North Dakota.
Agtegra has a fertilizer storage facility in Pierre, and grain storage and fertilizer and agronomy services in Highmore.
Agtegra has 6,770 farmer-owners and up to 20,000 “equity holders,” which include current members as well as former members who did a certain amount of business each year with the two predecessor co-ops, said Greg Smith, Agtegra’s director of communications.
Two years ago, the members of the two previous co-ops rejected the merger idea.