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North Central Co-op to vote on merger with Ceres

North Central Cooperative (NCC), headquartered in Wabash, Indiana, is moving toward a merger with Ceres Solutions L.L.P., and has a new feed mill under construction in White Cloud, Michigan.

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North Central Cooperative (NCC), headquartered in Wabash, Indiana, is moving toward a merger with Ceres Solutions L.L.P., and has a new feed mill under construction in White Cloud, Michigan.

The cooperative, which serves north-central Indiana and regions of Michigan, says its board of directors and that of Ceres unanimously voted to proceed with a member vote on a merger.

David Smith, director of communications and public relations with NCC, said in an email that Ceres, headquartered in Crawfordsville, Indiana, is the right choice for a merger because it has a similar culture and values; it will enhance the value for NCC members, suppliers and employee teams; and it will offer a competitive advantage by the integration of both companies uniting.

An NCC press release said a committee worked for 12 months to ensure the proposed merger is in the best interest of the cooperative and its members.

“While the merger is strongly supported by the committee, the ultimate decision lies with the voting members who are the farmer-owners of each cooperative,” the press release said.

Informational meetings with NCC’s members begin November 21, and a vote will take place in early December.

“There are many dynamic changes occurring within the agricultural community today,” said NCC CEO, Mark Tullis, in the same press release. “We believe the pace of these changes will only accelerate as the next few years unfold. NCC has always taken the position that we must be proactive and not reactive to this reality. This will allow both cooperatives to continue to create long-term value for our patrons while continually serving their local needs.”

“We’ve considered many options for this merger,” said Ceres Solutions President and CEO Jeff Troike. “The merger with NCC, with its emphasis on maintaining local control while delivering significant patronage and equity redemption returns, was determined to be most desirable for our members and employees alike.”

New mill under construction

NCC has broken ground on a new animal feed mill in White Cloud, Michigan, that will manufacture dairy, beef, turkey and swine feeds.

“The mill will have capabilities to increase capacity and efficiency for our patrons,” Smith said. “The mill will have capabilities to pellet feed as well.”

The new feed mill will allow NCC to meet current and future member needs while improving operational efficiencies and quality control and enhancing biosecurity. The mill will be open for all bulk and bag product manufacturing and receiving clean, dry corn.

Smith said concrete work has started and the project is on track to be completed in fall 2017 or early 2018.

“After researching feed delivery and manufacturing constraints for all customers, we found that we can service the majority of our customers with greater efficiency, and this new mill will allow us to do just that,” NCC Michigan Region Manager Martin Hall said in a press release.

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