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Large Indiana Co-op Creates Innovative Business DivisionLarge Indiana Co-op Creates Innovative Business Division

New effort will offer business-type services to customers.

Tom Bechman 1

March 7, 2013

2 Min Read

If you haven't yet heard the name Innovative Business Solutions, you probably will soon, especially if you do business with Co-Alliance, one of the largest co-ops in Indiana. This new business unit formed to offer services to customers that they would have traditionally sought elsewhere, outside of a co-op.

Sometimes, the right help on matters like estate planning or even field scouting – two widely different activities – is hard to find. The mission of the new unit is to help customers find these services by offering them through the co-op. The plan is to use internal resources and outside help when needed to service these areas.


Jeff Griffith will lead the new business division. "I see this as an extension of our relationship with valued customers," he says. "The company is developing a way to bring new, non-traditional services to customers where we can meet their needs through internal expertise and outside resources. I'm looking forward to this new role."

Co-Alliance's move follows a trend that several companies seem to be pursuing – offering customers more specific, more targeted services. Several companies within the seed industry are offering services to help farmers determine more about their cropping operation than just selecting seed. It's all part of taking a more business-like approach to farming, and realizing that many farmers want to be treated like business people.

The new division in Co-Alliance will focus on four key areas as it develops services, Griffith notes. The first is real estate planning and services related to setting up the succession plan for a farm. It's one of those areas where you can't just go to a phone book and find the right person to help you in a matter of minutes.

Other areas include risk management and safety services, help with finding temporary employment and directive field scouting.

You can learn more about Co-Alliance and how to contact them with specific questions at their website, www.co-alliance.com.

About the Author(s)

Tom Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

Tom Bechman is an important cog in the Farm Progress machinery. In addition to serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer, Tom is nationally known for his coverage of Midwest agronomy, conservation, no-till farming, farm management, farm safety, high-tech farming and personal property tax relief. His byline appears monthly in many of the 18 state and regional farm magazines published by Farm Progress.

"I consider it my responsibility and opportunity as a farm magazine editor to supply useful information that will help today's farm families survive and thrive," the veteran editor says.

Tom graduated from Whiteland (Ind.) High School, earned his B.S. in animal science and agricultural education from Purdue University in 1975 and an M.S. in dairy nutrition two years later. He first joined the magazine as a field editor in 1981 after four years as a vocational agriculture teacher.

Tom enjoys interacting with farm families, university specialists and industry leaders, gathering and sifting through loads of information available in agriculture today. "Whenever I find a new idea or a new thought that could either improve someone's life or their income, I consider it a personal challenge to discover how to present it in the most useful form, " he says.

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