Southern States president, CEO to retire

The Southern States Cooperative Inc. President and CEO Jeffrey Stroburg will retire and will be succeeded by Steven M. Becraft, the cooperative’s chief operating officer.

Will be succeeded by cooperative’s chief operating officer, effective July 1

The Southern States Cooperative Inc. board of directors has announced that Jeffrey Stroburg, the president and CEO since May 2015, will retire from the cooperative effective June 30. Steven M. Becraft, the cooperative’s chief operating officer (COO) will assume the president and CEO role on July 1.

“Jeff brought a depth of cooperative experience and a desire to create a profitable business model to Southern States,” said Curry Roberts, chairman of the board of directors. “His steady leadership style has positioned Southern States for its future success as an ag-retail cooperative.”

The Board of Directors completed a thorough evaluation of the cooperative’s leadership needs and selected Steve Becraft to lead the organization. He will serve in a combined role as CEO and COO. Becraft brings more than 30 years of industry experience in the agronomy and ag-retail markets, with five years in key leadership roles at Southern States, including serving for the past three years as the cooperative’s COO.

“Steve has consistently demonstrated his loyalty to Southern States and our employees as he led efforts to establish a profitable business model for the cooperative and create strong wholesale partnerships,” Stroburg said.

“Steve’s external experience, combined with his knowledge of Southern States, our owner-members and patrons, positions him to lead the cooperative to complete the Board’s mission to return the cooperative to consistent profitability,” said Roberts.

“I am grateful for the Board’s confidence and look forward to working with our dedicated and hard-working employees to reach our potential as an ag-retail cooperative,” said Becraft.

A leadership transition plan will begin immediately in preparation for Stroburg’s departure at the end of the cooperative’s fiscal year on June 30.

Southern States Cooperative is a Richmond, Virginia-based agricultural retailer and service cooperative that provides a wide range of production inputs, including crop nutrition, seed, livestock feed, animal health supplies, energy solutions, as well as products for the farm and home. Founded in 1923, the cooperative is owned by more than 200,000 farmer-members, and serves its members and non-member customers through 87 company-owned retail locations, primarily in the states of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Kentucky.

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