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AGP held its 36th Annual Meeting on January 16 and 17 in Omaha, NE. Member participation was outstanding with approximately 1,000 people in attendance.
The Annual Meeting theme of “Shared Values, Shared Success” highlights AGP’s dedication to business values that include integrity, communication, and teamwork. AGP shares these values with its member-owners, employees, and other stakeholders in pursuit of business success.
During the annual meeting, member-owners elected three directors to serve on the AGP Board for three-year terms. Re-elected to new terms were Chuck Schafer, General Manager of North Iowa Cooperative in Thornton, IA and Jay Sunderman, Producer from New Market, IA. Dean Thernes, President/CEO of Farmers Pride Cooperative in Battle Creek, NE is a newly-elected Director to the Board. Thernes replaces former Director Randy Robeson, who recently retired.
Various speakers updated the member-owners on fiscal 2019 successes and provided insights into future AGP business and industry opportunities. “Not only did AGP achieve strong fiscal 2019 results with record member business, the Company once again did so in a manner that reflects the cooperative values we all believe in and share collectively,” stated Board Chairman Brad Davis in his address to the attendees. “Let us share in this success today, understanding the values that underpin our strategic approach to this business reflect the Midwestern values that have made American agriculture the powerful force that it is.”
Chief Executive Officer Keith Spackler, said AGP’s success is measured by achievements in accordance with the Company’s mission to provide competitive markets, to add value to agricultural products, and to generate a competitive rate of return, all for member-owners and producers. “During fiscal 2019, our team dedication and commitment resulted in outstanding successes ranging from marketing and operational milestones to record financial achievements to growth initiatives,” said Spackler. “We acknowledge the challenging market and business conditions affecting many of our member-owners and producers, and thus we share our success with you – that is what being a cooperative is about and why it is our mission.”
Scott Simmelink, AGP’s Chief Financial Officer, said the Company’s financial position remains very strong. He emphasized the strength of AGP’s balance sheet which provides the Company the flexibility to capitalize on market opportunities and deal with adverse business conditions.
Senior Vice Presidents Mark Sandeen, Chris Schaffer, and Troy Alberts each highlighted the success of the past year and discussed future opportunities within their respective business units.
AGP honored four individuals for their past leadership and contributions to AGP during a special recognition session. Randy Robeson retired from the AGP Board of Directors after many years of service to the Company and the cooperative system. Retiring Chief Operating Officer and Group Vice President Cal Meyer was recognized for his 34 years of service and leadership with AGP. Also honored were retiring AGP executives Steve Hansen, Vice President Engineering, and Steve Johnson, Vice President Information Systems.
Looking ahead to fiscal 2020, CEO Keith Spackler said agriculture and agribusiness in general are experiencing more moderate market returns relative to those of a few years ago. “For our first four months of fiscal 2020, our base returns are good though down significantly from last year. But with the benefit of the recently reinstated biodiesel tax credit, anticipated earnings for the full year will again be significantly above average. However, regardless of conditions, we will continue to optimize AGP’s business to the benefit of our owners.”
Following the business meeting, keynote speaker Dr. Kevin Hassett, a leading global economist, gave a thought-provoking presentation providing key insights on the complex dynamics of world events and relationships shaping markets and the economy.
AGP’s 2020 Annual Meeting is scheduled for January 21 and 22, 2021.