North Central Farmers Elevator, Wheat Growers announce new co-op name

Operations of combined co-ops set to begin Feb. 1.

The boards of directors of North Central Farmers Elevator and Wheat Growers have approved the name Agtegra Cooperative for their new cooperative that will officially launch Feb. 1.

Wheat Growers chief executive officer Chris Pearson, who has been chosen to lead the new Agtegra Cooperative, said the boards focused on choosing a name that would represent the rich history and bright future the two cooperatives share.

“We knew we needed to choose a name that allowed us the ability to adapt to changes in the ag industry,” Pearson said. “We knew not to limit ourselves to a geography or to just one commodity crop or another. We also heard from our members through this process that, to them, strength, stability and dependability are key characteristics they value from us. They want us grounded in agriculture, and they want us to stand together with them for the long haul – always holding a connection to our past and looking into the future.”

Pearson said Agtegra Cooperative reflects all that. “That’s a lot to pack into one name, but we believe Agtegra is a name that grounds us in agriculture and points to the high level of integrity and dependability that we will seek to achieve serving our member-owners today and into the future,” he said.

“In the end, we listened to our members and allowed their input and opinion to guide us through this process,” Pearson added.

Pearson said in the three months since the vote to combine, the employee teams of Wheat Growers and North Central have been laser focused on building a new cooperative committed to delivering value to its members.

“We’re combining two legacy-rich organizations into one. We are preparing to create new efficiencies, expanding the use of new technologies, creating new opportunities for our employee team – all aimed at creating more value for our members,” Pearson said. “We’re excited about the progress we’ve made and look forward to introducing this new farmer-owned cooperative to our members in a few weeks.”

When Agtegra begins operation Feb. 1, it will be a farmer-owned agricultural cooperative headquartered in Aberdeen, S.D., with 900 employees in North and South Dakota serving more than 60 communities and approximately 7,850 member-owners and 22,600 equity holders. In addition to offering grain and agronomy services, the cooperative will offer its members aerial application services, fuel, animal feed and precision agriculture hardware and software products and services.

“Merging two strong cooperatives into one gives us the ability to expand the services and capabilities we offer our member-owners,” Pearson said. “Our purchase of the Kimball fertilizer plant from Gavilon announced yesterday and our plans to expand the North Central aerial application service across our entire trade area are two great examples of the high-quality products, services and efficiencies that we can provide our members from this new cooperative.”

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