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AGP hosted its 33rd Annual Meeting on January 19 and 20 at the La Vista Conference Center, La Vista, NE. Member participation was again outstanding with approximately 1,000 people in attendance.
The Annual Meeting theme of “Building Sustainable Value” highlighted AGP’s ongoing strategic direction of optimizing returns, investing in assets, and adding value for members. As part of the business meeting, members voted on candidates for the Board of Directors. Re-elected to three-year terms were the following Directors: Chuck Schafer, General Manager, North Iowa Cooperative, Thornton, IA; Jay Sunderman, Producer, Clarinda Cooperative Company, Clarinda, IA; and Randy Robeson, General Manager, Frontier Cooperative Company, Brainard, NE.
Brad Davis, Board Chairman, expressed appreciation to the membership. “Much of our Company’s success is the result of the great support we receive from you, our member-owners, and we thank you for that loyalty and continued business,” said Davis. “I would also like to thank all the management and employees who make AGP such an excellent Company.”
Keith Spackler, Chief Executive Officer, said that while AGP faced challenging business conditions during fiscal 2016 amid the downturn in the agribusiness environment, the Company generated ongoing success ranging from financial achievements to marketing and operational milestones.
Among the highlights, Spackler noted that AGP’s soybean processing production, refined oil volume, and biodiesel output were all the second highest in Company history. Additionally, volume through AGP’s export terminal at the Port of Grays Harbor in Aberdeen, WA was the third highest. Spackler concluded his comments by stating: “Our ongoing commitment to you, AGP’s member-owners, is to pursue success and excellence in all aspects of what we do as we continue ‘Building Sustainable Value’ for your cooperative.”
Cal Meyer, Chief Operating Officer, provided an industry and operational update, along with a substantial review of many successful capital investments. In fiscal 2016, AGP invested in capital projects at all of its processing, refining, and biodiesel facilities, a great achievement for the Company. Importantly, Meyer noted that the Company is well positioned for future growth opportunities due to a strong balance sheet and excellent team.
Amid these operational achievements, AGP generated strong earnings of $100.4 million according to Scott Simmelink, Chief Financial Officer. AGP’s patronage to cooperative members totaled $74 million, and the Board of Directors approved cash patronage of 40 percent. The combined equity redemptions, cash patronage, and component premiums totaled $68.6 million in cash paid to AGP owners. Since its formation in 1983, AGP has now returned over $1 billion dollars to members in cash distributions. “AGP is certainly proud of reaching this milestone,” said Simmelink.
Additional management presenters were Mark Sandeen, Vice President, Processing Marketing; Troy Alberts, Vice President, Refined Oils; Steve Nogel, Vice President, Renewable Fuels; and Johann Schnell, CEO, Protinal/Proagro. Each highlighted the success of the past year, while commenting on the future opportunities within their business units.
AGP's 2017 Annual Meeting is scheduled for January 18 and 19, 2018 at the La Vista Conference Center.