Iowa co-ops begin ‘integration’ phase

fc coop elevator editThe unification of two Iowa cooperatives, Ames-based Farmers Coop (FC) and Ralson-based West Central Co-op, is officially underway following approval of the merger by members of both cooperatives.

“The memberships of both cooperatives have spoken rather overwhelmingly,” says FC CEO Jim Chism. “We now enter the integration phase where we have until the first of April to get both company’s platforms and system integrated to operate as one company—as quick as we can.”

Chism sees several advantages for members as a result of the merger.

“One of which is the ability, in a combined cooperative, to be able to better strategically channel capital such that, as we improve our assets, we’ll have more significant footprints,” he says.

The unified cooperative will be known as Landus Cooperative. It will be led by current West Central president and CEO Milan Kucerak and be headquartered in Ames.  Chism tells Brownfield he will assist with the integration process but has not set a date for his departure from the company.

AUDIO: Jim Chism

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