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Harvest Land and Co-op Country Announce New Name
Minnesota Ag Connection - 08/10/2017

Harvest Land Cooperative (HLC) and Co-op Country Farmers Elevator (CCFE) announced that Farmward Cooperative would be the new name of their merged companies. The name Farmward Cooperative was approved by the Board of Directors on August 8, 2017 and will take effect on their merger date Sept. 1.

The merger of the two cooperatives was approved by the membership on April 6, 2017. As stated to members in the merger agreement, the unified organization would be renamed.

"In naming the new company, we tried to look beyond the here and now to project where we would like to be three to five years down the road," said HLC CEO, Dave Stuk. "Through that process we looked at different ways to position ourselves in the marketplace. We felt the name Farmward spoke well to who we are, as it is our focus and goal to help our growers move their farming operation forward, into the future."

The name Farmward was formed from two words: Farming and Forward. To help communicate the meaning and purpose behind the name, they will use the tagline: Advancing farming for generations.

"As we look to the future," added Craig Hebrink, CCFE president and CEO, "We understand that the advancement of data and information tools, modern facilities, and cutting edge equipment presents new opportunities for our growers, while also adding a lot of pressure. We want to be here to support farmers through the challenges of new technology, while also helping them reap the benefits."

In the unification study done in September 2016, the boards identified ways in which a merger of the two companies would create value to members, this included enhancing, expanding and extending product and service options, market access, and risk management tools.

"With the merger of our two companies, we have the opportunity to offer our members new innovations, convenience and technology in all areas of our business," stated Roger Kettner, HLC Board Chairman. Calvin Aarons, CCFE Board Chairman added, "Rebranding our cooperative gives us the opportunity to have a fresh start as a unified company and we, as a board, are excited to see what the future holds for Farmward." Until the completion of the merger on September 1, 2017, HLC and CCFE will continue to operate under their current leadership structures as two separate organizations.

Headquartered in Morgan, Minn., Harvest Land Cooperative (HLC), was formed in 1984 with the merger of Morgan Farmers Elevator and Springfield Farmers Elevator. Through growth and expansion over the years, the cooperative is diversified in its offerings, which include grain merchandising and marketing, crop production products and services, bulk feed manufacturing and delivery, and bulk delivery of energy products, including refined fuels, propane, and lubricants. HLC also provides producer financing, leasing, crop insurance, and property & casualty insurance through their subsidiary companies, AgQuest Financial and Northland Capital.

Headquartered in Renville, Minn., Co-op Country Farmers Elevator (CCFE), as it is known today, is the result of the consolidation of many different businesses, including: Sacred Heart Farmers Elevator, Renville Farmers Elevator, Danube Farmers Elevator, Renville Co-op Fertilizer Company, Olivia Farmers Elevator, and Vigaro Farm Market fertilizer. CCFE's core business revolves around grain, agronomy and feed. In addition to its core business units, CCFE also provides financing, leasing and crop insurance to its producers through its investment in AgQuest Financial Services.

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