Grain News


Wheat Growers (SD) Annual Meeting Highlights Continued Financial Strength and Liquidity

Date Posted: January 24, 2014

Wheat Growers member-owners gathered in Huron January 15 for the 2013 annual meeting with the theme, “Planted Here.”

Board President Hal Clemensen said the theme, “…says a great deal about your cooperative, its mission, its people and its goals.”

CEO Dale Locken noted that Wheat Growers finished with a record year in terms of sales that resulted in $27.5 million in income for the cooperative.

He added, “You can have confidence in our financial strength and liquidity….as we continue to be ‘Planted Here,’ building and investing for the coming generations.”

Chief Financial Officer Blake Bomesberger presented the detailed financial report for the year.

Bomesberger noted that Wheat Growers’ sales in 2013 totaled $1.8 billion.

The 2013 tax and patronage recap for the year showed there was an $18 million tax pass through to patrons and over $80 million passed through to patrons in the last five years.

The annual meeting audience also heard from Steve Briggs, Senior Vice President Agronomy and Corporate Marketing; Judy Stulken, Vice President, Human Resources and Organizational Development; Chris Pearson, Senior Vice President, Operations; and Roger Krueger, Senior Vice President, Grain.

Member-owners heard from farmer, rancher, author and nationally syndicated radio broadcaster Andrew McCrea, who shared his insights into how the developing world will affect U.S. agriculture.

The featured lunch speaker was South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Lucas Lentsch, who encouraged farmers to expect Congress to “do their chores” and pass a Farm Bill because it’s a food policy and national security interest.

The final speaker of the day asked Wheat Growers if a drone would be their next piece of equipment.

Robert Blair is a fourth generation Idaho farmer who is an advocate of using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for precision agriculture.

He said agriculture will be the first industry that will be commercially allowed by the Federal Aviation Administration to use UAVs.

For more information, call 605-725-8333.

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