A Plan with a Purpose
Tim Belstra (left), chairman of Belstra Milling Co., Inc., and Mark Zuchowski, special projects manager. (Photo by Steve Davidson)

A Plan with a Purpose

June/July 2014 | Cover Story | Steve Davidson

A three-phase design plan modernized a northern Indiana feed mill to meet the region’s demand growth for the ‘next 20 years.’

AGP’s Chris Schaffer Discusses Export Strategies

August/September 2012 | Cover Story | Jackie Roembke

With its sights set on positioning the cooperative as the fastest, most efficient by-products shipper in the Pacific Northwest, Ag Processing Inc (AGP) began loading ocean-bound vessels filled with soy meal and DDGS from its new port terminal elevator at the Port of Grays Harbor (PGH) in January 2012. 

According to AGP's senior director of exports Chris Schaffer, who oversees the co-op's export trading operations in the United States, the heightened demand for agricultural products out...

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Expansion Tests Co-op’s Determination

January 2012 | Cover Story | By Jackie Roembke

Two Rivers Cooperative’s general manager, Tracy Gathman is quick to reference the wisdom passed on from agribusinessmen who came before him, specifically his father who spent more than 40 years working [at or for?] a cooperative, and, in this instance, dairyman and long-time cooperative supporter, Nelson Gardner: “Cooperatives have to remember what they started out for: the purpose of a farmer cooperative is to enhance members’ income—and they should keep that at the top of their...

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Talking Turkey with Butterball

October/November 2011 | Cover Story | By Jackie Roembke

Butterball is synonymous with turkey; however, in the instance of its new feed mill, it's happenstance that brought U.S.’s largest vertically integrated turkey producer to Turkey, NC.

The Turkey facility was originally intended to operate as a hog mash mill; however, a downturned economy forced Coharry Farms to put its new-yet-vacant mill up for sale. Meanwhile, in 2010, Seaboard Corporation acquired a 50% ownership of Butterball LLC from Smithfield Foods; Goldsboro Milling Company, a...

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The Feat of Moving Wheat

June/July 2011 | Cover Story | By Jackie Roembke

Southwest of the Wichita Mountains, in the heart of cattle country and Tornado Alley, agribusiness firm Gavilon Grain LLC has staked its claim to export wheat market accessibility. The company, assembled from the acquisitions of ConAgra’s Peavey grain division and DeBruce Companies, holds claim to the No. 3 position for most grain storage in the United States. Just behind Cargill and ADM, Gavilon holds 300 million bushels of grain across 10 states and Mexico.

Now, building off this...

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Plucked For Success

October/November 2010 | Cover Story | By Jackie Roembke

Sanderson Farms, a fully integrated poultry producer, is committed to taking a fresh approach to everything it does, be it the implementation of new technology or the millions of pounds chicken it ships every week. The nation’s fourth largest poultry producer adheres to the same hometown values — honesty, integrity and innovation — that have been with it since the Sanderson brothers founded the company in 1947.

The company has more than 10,000 employees and over 770 independent growers....

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Laying the Track for Success

January 2009 | Cover Story | By Elise Schafer

The poultry industry has seen its share of better days. The price for breast meat has plummeted thanks to a gluttonous supply, and although the price of grain has decreased in recent months, it’s still well above average over the previous 30 years. These factors have forced Tyson Foods and other poultry producers across the nation to cut production and close processing plants’ doors for good. These conditions also contributed to the bankruptcy filing of the nation’s largest chicken...

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It’s Not Your Father’s Co-op

October/November 2008 | Cover Story | By Gerry Whitty

Change is all around us and presents many challenges.

However, if you anticipate and manage for the inevitability that is change, it makes it much easier to achieve short-term success and long-term survival.

Being nimble in managing both your risk and your growth hasn’t always been considered a long-suited skill for cooperatives. Oftentimes, limitations due to cumbersome management structures or rigid bylaws have traditionally made cooperatives less likely to pursue an aggressive stance...

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Growing Back to the Future

January 2008 | Cover Story | Gerry Whitty

In a society where nearly everything we touch is consumed and disposed of seemingly in a blink of an eye, its refreshing to hear of someone whose vision includes breathing new life and purpose into a century-old landmark.

Its even more exciting when that vision includes helping ease two of todays most pressing needs: fuel and food.

In an idyllic rural setting outside of Jefferson, WI, not far from Interstate 94 and situated between Madison and Milwaukee, the aptly named Renew Energy, has...

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