Approximately 136 members along with board members and several employees attended the third annual Cedar Country Cooperative meeting held in the conference room at Bill’s Distributing in Menomonie Feb. 11.
After president Brian Johnson welcomed everyone, secretary Duane Kuester read the minutes from the last meeting and the audit report was given by Roger Van Somerin of Carlson Highland & Co.
General Manager Paul Diemert reported on the year in review and plans for the upcoming year. After beginning with a slide show showing the “Customer of the Year” which happened to be a cow, Diemert presented photos of all six locations within the two districts covered by the cooperative. Highlights of the year included:
• Reduced long term debt by over $4 million, from $4,950,000 in 2012 to $800,000 in 2013
• Redeemed $182,937 in stock retirements
• Net profit margin of $6,246,435 or 8.4%, local co-op net margin of 3.9%
• Returned profits of $1,461,000 in cash and $2,512,000 in stock, returning 8.6% of cooperative members’ purchases or equal to 30 cents per gallon on $3.50 per gallon gas price
Plans for the coming year include building a new fertilizer building at the Elk Mound location.
“With the increase in application and farm size, we can no longer keep up with our current facility,” Diemert said. “The size of the new facility will be 12,000 tons versus the current size of 1,200 tons, an increase of tenfold.”
Diemert also informed the crowd the Colfax car wash owned by the cooperative is currently inoperable due to an underground water leak in the heating system. Some new equipment may be needed to repair the problem but nothing can be done until later this spring when things thaw out.
Re-elected to the board were Morris Husby from the south district and Ken Bjork from the north district. Husby is from Menomonie and has been on the board since 2003. Bjork is a long-time farmer from Colfax and served on the Colfax board when they merged with Menomonie. Justin Albricht and Tim Jackson will serve on the nominating committee for next year.
A fine meal and door prizes were given away after the meeting was adjourned.