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Southern States announces new President, CEO

Jeffrey Stroburg will retire from the cooperative, effective June 30.

The Southern States Cooperative Board of Directors has announced that Jeffrey Stroburg, president and chief executive officer (CEO) since May 2015, will retire from the cooperative effective June 30, 2021. Steven Becraft, the cooperative’s chief operating officer (COO) will assume the president and CEO role on July 1, 2021.

“Jeff brought a depth of cooperative experience and a desire to create a profitable business model to Southern States,” said Curry Roberts, chairman of the board of directors. “His steady leadership style has positioned Southern States for its future success as an ag-retail cooperative.”

The board of directors completed a thorough evaluation of the cooperative’s leadership needs and selected Steve Becraft to lead the organization, who will serve in a combined role as both CEO and COO. Becraft brings more than 30 years of industry experience in the agronomy and ag-retail markets, with five years in key leadership roles at Southern States, including serving for the last three years as the cooperative’s COO.

“Steve has consistently demonstrated his loyalty to Southern States and our employees as he led efforts to establish a profitable business model for the cooperative and create strong wholesale partnerships,” Jeff Stroburg, current Southern States president and CEO said.

Roberts commented, “Steve’s external experience, combined with his knowledge of Southern States, our owner-members and patrons, positions him to lead the cooperative to complete the Board’s mission to return the cooperative to consistent profitability.”

A leadership transition plan will begin immediately in preparation for Stroburg’s departure at the end of the cooperative’s fiscal year on June 30.

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