This past Friday, the votes were tabulated and the voices of the members of the Farmers Cooperative Company of Ames and West Central Cooperative Company of Ralston were heard loud and clear with an approval of the merger of the two cooperatives. Through this vote, according to West Central Chair, Susan Tronchetti, members said they were looking to a future of growth and a connection that will maintain local ownership for generations to come. The unification will become effective April 1, 2016, at which time the name will officially be changed to Landus Cooperative. The corporate headquarters for Landus will be in Ames and current West Central Chief Executive Officer and President, Milan Kucerak, will be at the helm. He says the benefits of this merger are innumerable for all member owners.
Kucerak added that according to World Grain magazine, Landus Cooperative will become the seventh largest grain company in North America based on storage capacity. With the approval of the merger, the members have also created benefits for the nearly 700 employees of both cooperatives.
FC Board President and Odebolt farmer, John Scott, said this is an historic event, and they appreciate each and every member who cast a vote. Each membership met the Iowa voting requirements, calling for 50 percent from each cooperative, plus one, with two-thirds of the votes being in favor of the merger. The board of directors, which will be made up of nine directors from each cooperative, will be providing additional details on any changes in coming months as integration plans are finalized and implemented.