Two Wisconsin-based cooperatives, Landmark Services Cooperative and Countryside Cooperative have officially merged as of 12:01 a.m. CST on March 1, 2021.
“As we focused on the benefits the merger would bring, we quickly realized that growing together would only make us stronger,” said Board Chairman Jim Lange.
“The board is excited for what the weeks, months and years to come will look like for the new co-op.”
Members of both boards determined that joining the resources of two long-standing, successful cooperatives will increase their competitive advantage in ever-changing local and global agriculture markets and drive increased value to members and employees.
Countryside members voted ‘yes’ to the merger in August 2020.
For both cooperatives, this is another chapter in the long and storied histories of mergers and growth—one that is focused on making our new cooperative better for members, customers, employees and communities.
As these two organizations come together to create one unified business unit, we want to acknowledge that the legacy of the mother companies will remain strong.
“Landmark and Countryside are committed to proactively facing the challenges in the marketplace and helping our members and employees thrive,” said Jim Dell, Landmark CEO and President and CEO and President of the new cooperative.
“The board and employees of the new cooperative will live the mission of “advancing our customers through innovative and responsible solutions” while focusing on our vision “customer success powered by engaged employees,” and all while adhering to our values of safety, integrity, passion, accountability, and financial responsibility.”
The newly formed cooperative is in the process of rebranding, working on a new trademark name, logo development and more with an external marketing agency.
A name and branding announcement will come later in 2021. In the interim, the new cooperative will be co-branding digital platforms and documents such as statements.
The new cooperative will serve more than 26,000 members, employ over 800 people (includes full-time, part-time and seasonal), and generate annual sales in excess of $600 million.
The combined organization will be headquartered in Cottage Grove, WI.
The cooperative will continue to maintain operations and staff at multiple locations, with an expanded geographical footprint covering Southern and West-Central Wisconsin, Northern Illinois, Eastern Iowa, and Eastern Minnesota.
The new coop will offer benefits including innovative logistics opportunities, sharing of agronomy assets, and backup feed mill options.
“The board of directors feel positive about this decision to merge two strong organizations. This decision allows the new cooperative to compete within the ag industry while being profitable and protecting our members’ equities,” said Board Vice Chairman, John Creaser.
“The hard work and dedication that every one of our employees has given to our new organization to make today and future days possible does not go unnoticed.
"Without the support from the staff and our board of directors, this merger would not have been possible,” commented Dell.