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Country Visions and Kettle Lakes Cooperatives pursue merger

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Breaking Ground for a new state-of-the-art agronomy facility!

This week, representatives from Country Visions Cooperative and Kettle Lakes Cooperative, along with several of the contractors involved with this project officially broke ground at the site located in the industrial park in Plymouth, WI. Weather permitting, larger equipment will replace the shovels next week as the construction process begins. A goal of completion in early 2018, puts this plant in operation before the spring planting season next year for the Cooperative.

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Reedsville, WI (April 14, 2017) The Board of Directors at Country Visions Cooperative and Kettle Lakes Cooperative have formally signed letters of intent to pursue a merger of the Cooperatives. Discussions started as an agreement between the two Cooperatives and their Agronomy divisions for a joint venture in a new facility, but developed into merger talks as the possible efficiencies were realized for all divisions within their operations.

Country Visions is a farm supply Cooperative operating in eastern Wisconsin and in the UP of Michigan. They have sales of $158 million from divisions including agronomy, grain, petroleum, propane and retail stores. Country Visions is also a 60% owner of CP Feeds which manufactures and sells over $146 million in feed to area farmers.

Kettle Lakes Cooperative is a farm supply in eastern Wisconsin currently operating just south of Country Visions trade area. Kettle Lakes sales of $40 million come from divisions including agronomy, grain, feed and retail. Kettle Lakes is also a 50% owner of Co-Energy Alliance, which sells petroleum and propane to area customers.

Under terms of the merger agreement, the Kettle Lakes Cooperative voting membership will vote on June 30, 2017. According to Country Visions CEO, Steve Zutz, if approved by the membership, the joint organization will begin business on September 1, 2017. “There will be membership informational meetings prior to the vote in June to discuss the specifics of the plan of merge,” said Zutz.

Both board members and management of the two successful Cooperatives feel the merger will enhance the value of the Cooperative to the membership. Better purchasing power and new joint operations will drive efficiencies for the business. The two Cooperatives have already announced the building of a new state-of-the-art agronomy facility in the industrial park in Plymouth, WI. This plant will enable the Cooperatives to continue to deliver the goods and services the customers have come to appreciate from their businesses.

Assessing that wheat field

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As a grower, you or your agronomist will want to venture out into your winter wheat field to assess winter injury and see what you need to consider for spring treatments. Your Country Visions Agronomist will work with you to assess your field and make recommendations based on that information.  Though it is a bit premature to make any rash decisions regarding crop destruction, it is time to look at the condition of the plants and check the temperature of the soil.  Growers and consultants can either reassess in a week or pull plants from the field and place in warm environments. Milk houses and kitchens work perfect. Watch Country Visions Agronomist,  Loree Johnston LaChey, in this video on wheat assessment.

wheat assessment video

winter wheat 2

Agronomy.. good news, bad news in the field

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field photoLook at this. There is enough water standing in alfalfa and wheat. It’s not the best case scenario. It freezes, it thaws, it freezes, it thaws, it is almost 60, then it’s back down to 16.  My advice – be prepared. Talk to your agronomist about a backup plan. Do some reading – UW and Nebraska.

Here’s another point to ponder – its thawed on top, but still frozen underneath – in spots. The good news – I only sink so far.  field photo 2The bad news, my poor dog is a smelly, muddy, wet mess when she gets in. The even worse news – this could lead to frost heaving.

Also, for those who are considering xtend beans and its new chemistry – make sure to keep up on this. It’s changing almost daily. www.xtendimaxapplicationrequirements.com Check it out. Or make sure to work closely with your favorite Country Visions Agronomist. I hear they are pretty smart people. :)

Excerpts from notes by Loree Johnston LaChey, Agronomist at Country Visions Cooperative

The results are in! Corn and Soybean Plot Results

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Evaluating data to determine what products will benefit our growers is one of the many processes Country Visions Agronomists use when working with customers. 

IMG 2025Crops were planted on land in the Wisconsin counties of: Brown, Calumet, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, La Crosse, Manitowoc, and Sheboygan. These plot results list products with details from harvest including % of moisture, bu/acre, yield rank, and more. 

2016_Plot_Results_part_1.pdf
2016_Plot_Results_part_2.pdf

Contact a Country Visions Agronomist if you would like to discuss the results. 

Deadline is March 31 for 2017 Scholarship

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Country Visions Cooperative and CP Feeds Partner to Offer 10 - $1000 Scholarships-

Reedsville, WI (February 6, 2017) Country Visions Cooperative and CP Feeds, LLC have established a scholarship program to recognize and reward area students. A total of 10 graduating high school seniors, whose parents are active members of these agriculture based companies, will each receive a $1,000 scholarship.  Investing in the future is important to these companies as displayed through their support for student education and the growth of their companies. Country Visions recently constructed a new agronomy facility in Wrightstown, WI that will open this year, completed an addition and remodel at their Manitowoc Rapids C-Store, and have other projects in the planning stages. CP Feeds is expanding their business with construction of a new feed mill in Wrightstown, expected to go into operation in 2018. 

Scholarship Eligibility:

  1. The 2017 graduating high school senior must be enrolled for the upcoming school year in an undergraduate degree program at an accredited college or university, or planning to attend a vocational or technical school.

  2. The parents, parent, or legal guardian of the student must be a member of Country Visions Cooperative and have purchased at least $2000 worth of goods and services in the year prior to application from Country Visions or CP Feeds.

  3. Applicant must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale during their previous educational years.

    Details and entry requirements here  scholarship_ap_17.pdf or contact Judy Schuh at the corporate office in Reedsville by email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. subject: scholarship.

    Deadline:

    Applications, including all required data, must be postmarked or delivered to Country Visions office by March 31, 2017.

    Judging:

    The Country Visions Cooperative and CP Feeds scholarship fund selection committee has sole authority for granting scholarship awards. Scholarship recipients will be selected on the basis of academic performance, recommendations, essay question response, extra-curricular activities, employment experience and completion of application. Preference will be given to students majoring in agriculture.

    All applicants selected as finalists may be subject to a personal interview with representatives of the selection committee. All selections are considered final. All applications and attachments become the property of Country Visions Cooperative scholarship committee.

country visions logo

 

Country Visions Cooperative is based in Reedsville, WI. The company offers products and services including Agronomy, Propane, Refined Fuels, and Grain Divisions, with Convenience Stores, and Country Stores to serve the needs of their members and communities from East-Central Wisconsin through Menominee, MI.

news fall 13 CP FEEDS logo

 

CP Feeds, LLC is a manufacturing supplier of agricultural mixes and feed ingredients for Eastern Wisconsin with headquarters in Valders, WI.

 

 

What is a Co-op?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines a cooperative as a user-owned, user-controlled business that distributes benefits on the basis of use. Member users, or patrons, own and democratically elect the board of directors, which provides oversight of the co-op. Net earnings are distributed on the basis of proportional use, or patronage, rather than on investment.

Cooperative associations have been organized throughout history to carry out many different activities, often in response to economic and social stress. Cooperative organizations in the United States first appeared in the late 1700's and today co-ops can be found in all sectors of the U.S. economy. Consumer, purchasing and farm supply cooperatives are all organized to provide the specialized goods or services that their member patrons want to buy.

By combining member demand, a co-op can provide better availability, selection, pricing, or delivery of products or services to individual consumers, businesses or farmers. Farm supply co-ops cost-effectively supply input, fuel and agronomy services to farm business owners.