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Minnesota cooperatives proceed with unification study

Crystal Valley and United Farmers Cooperative members could vote on merger by Spring 2023.

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The boards of directors of Crystal Valley Cooperative, Mankato, Minnesota, and United Farmers Cooperative, Winthrop, Minnesota, unanimously agreed to proceed with a formal unification study, according to a release by Crystal Valley on January 4.

Both cooperatives have strong balance sheets, share common values and company cultures, and have similar operating practices making this an appealing opportunity to explore. The boards of directors believe the best time to consider a merger is when both cooperatives are performing well financially.

A merger could potentially create value for member-owners through improved efficiencies, expanded access to resources and ability to influence supply chains, all while providing enhanced opportunities to attract and retain the best employees.

If the study indicates a merger is beneficial for both parties, a plan would be presented to members for a vote this spring.

The proposed effective date, should the merger be approved, would be September 1, as both cooperatives' fiscal year-end is August 31.

Potential changes

The two boards decided the potential new cooperative board would consist of eight members, four members from each of their current boards to be representatives on the new cooperative’s board of directors.

A cooperative name change could take place if the potential vote to merge passes. Part of the informational meetings and voting process would include a request from members for name suggestions the new board would consider.

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