Proposed merger brings together like-minded farm credit organizations

The CEO of AgStar Financial Services says common philosophies will help in the transition, if stockholders approve a merger with two other farm credit organizations next month.

Rod Hebrink tells Brownfield the Minnesota-based cooperative shares a commitment to agriculture with Badgerland Financial and 1st Farm Credit Services.

“That was the foundation between the three organizations.  And when we looked at the merger and the benefits it creates, for us (one is) the diversification in the portfolios.  Which is a big deal for the financial institutions, together generate geographic diversification (and) commodity diversification.”

He says Badgerland has a strong presence in southern Wisconsin, and 1st Farm Credit operates in the northern half of Illinois.

If the combined 35,000 stockholders vote in favor of the merger April 7th, it becomes effective the first of July.

“I think the key is, from a stockholder and client perspective, we’re not taking competitors out of the marketplace.  We’re chartered to serve specific geographic areas, so there’s no overlap in the territories that we cover today.  So we’re looking to bring together the strengths in what we can add for our clients.  We’re not removing a competitor from the marketplace at all.”

Hebrink would become CEO of the merged organization–called “COMPEER Financial, with headquarters in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.




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