FC, West Central merger finalized to form Landus Cooperative

Landus CooperativeDocuments signed establishing Landus Cooperative; much work yet to be done in integration process  

Landus Cooperative was established April 1 with final merger agreement signed by farmer board members of Farmers Cooperative Company (FC) and West Central Cooperative.

Landus Cooperative is a farmer-owned agricultural cooperative, headquartered in Ames, that has a global reach and a local touch with more than 725 full-time employees at locations in more than 70 communities in Iowa and Minnesota and approximately 7,000 member-owners.

“While today’s signing ceremony to formalize Landus Cooperative is historic for our employees, our communities and the greater cooperative industry, we are focused on what this merger means for our customers and members going forward,” said newly appointed chief executive officer Milan Kucerak, who formerly served as president and CEO at West Central.

“Merging two strong cooperatives allows further diversification throughout the supply chain and opens local and global opportunities for added value and growth on behalf of our members,” added Kucerak. “In short, the purpose of this merger is to make two cooperative organizations better than either one could be separately for employees, members and customers.”

The cooperative’s interim website, now available at LandusCooperative.com, includes profiles of the newly named executive team, board member listing, as well as an explanation of the company name and logo. 

Kucerak noted that, like any merger of two organizations, full integration is still underway.  “We have been preparing for this integration date since the membership vote was announced,” he said. “While our customers and members will immediately begin to see our new logo on vehicles and at locations in addition to equipment and service sharing, complete integration of our accounting and operational systems is likely to take many months.”

Kucerak stressed the cooperative’s transition plans for customers. “We plan to make this transition as easy and streamlined for our customers and their operations as possible.” 

The merger was approved by a vote by each cooperative’s membership finalized on Dec. 18, 2015. Each membership met Iowa’s state voting requirement for a successful cooperative merger as certified by independent auditing firm Gardiner Thomsen.  Iowa law requires at least 50 percent of each membership (plus one) to vote, with two-thirds of those casting ballots to approve the merger.

Landus Cooperative becomes one of North America’s largest grain storage companies and has shuttle-loading access on all seven, major Iowa rail lines. The diversified farmer-owned cooperative offers precision agronomy services with more than 50 agronomists on staff; a proprietary, member-owned brand of soybeans;  expert grain marketing services; as well as corn and soybean processing including a facility in Ralston, Iowa which manufacturers SoyPlus®, a high bypass protein soybean meal for dairy herds across the globe. 

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