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Serving: IN

Indiana-based Co-op Issue Record Return to Members

Co-Alliance patronage returns total nearly $5 million.

Farmer members in the four member co-ops making up Co-Alliance LLP received record patronage returns for one year. The announcement was made and checks were cut already fro three of the four member co-ops. The fourth will present payments to members in March at its' annual meeting.

Co-alliance, Danville, Ind., wrote checks to stockholders totaling $3.3 million this year, plus providing equity to customers as well to bring the total payout to $4.9 million. Co-Alliance is a huge limited partnership made up of four co-ops, doing business primarily in Indiana, but also in southern Michigan and a few locations in Ohio. The member co-ops include Midland Co-op, Danville; IMPACT Cooperative, Frankfort; Frontier CO-op, Lebanon and LaPorte County Co-op, LaPorte.

Farmers fled many once successful co-ops starting some three decades ago, leading to mergers. All of the member co-ops in Co-Alliance LLP were made up of combinations of co-ops that once served mostly individual counties. While the county co-ops found tit ought to survive, these mega-co-ops, working together, are obviously prospering

Kevin Still, Danville, CEO of CO-Alliance LLP, takes pride in being able to return cash and equity to members who invest in the co-op venture. "The CO-Alliance partnerships committed to four principles: lead our markets, grow member profitability, give back to communities and remember our cooperative roots," Still says. He served as the head man for Midland CO-op before Co-Alliance LLP formed.

Patronage to each individual customer is based on the amount of business a member does with any of the partnering co-ops in the preceding year, this time in '07. Members who couldn't attend annual meetings received checks in the main, officials note. LaPorte's annual meeting is slated for March 13.

Like many other full-service ag supply businesses today, Co-Alliance and it's member co-ops deliver agronomy, seed, animal health, nutrition, grain marketing services and more. The 'more' includes supply fuel for home and other energy products. At leas tone member co-op in the Co-Alliance LLP also has a division that produces livestock.

In addition, Top Land Risk Management Agency, Seymour, now a major player in many areas of Indiana in providing crop insurance to farmers, originated through Midland Co-op, before Co-Alliance formed. Top Land Risk Management is managed by Jack Wagster.

You can learn more about CO-Alliance by visiting www.co-alliance.com.

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