In October, United Suppliers’ and Land O’Lakes, Inc.’s crop inputs and insights businesses officially completed the nearly two-year merger process and are now together as WinField United. With the addition of United Suppliers’ crop nutrients and Canada businesses to the already merged seed and crop protection products businesses, WinField United brings a total agronomy capability for member-owners and customers.
As part of the merger vote in August of 2015, Land O’Lakes, Inc. members unanimously approved a change to the bylaws that allows for a temporary surge by up to four voting directors and one advisory director. The temporary surge, which will be reduced over a series of years, helps to accommodate the cooperative’s new members, and represent the interests of the legacy United Suppliers owners.
The temporary directors are comprised of three cooperative GMs/CEOs and one producer, as well as one CEO of an independent retailer who will serve as a non-voting advisory member. Land O’Lakes advisory directors are individuals who possess qualifications deemed valuable in determining corporate policies. The independent retailer advisory director position, which will be in place for 10 years, joins our three existing advisory members who have expertise in marketing, economics and finance.
Each of these new directors were nominated by United Suppliers and approved by the Land O’Lakes Board.
Temporary Board Directors
Paul Coppin – Reynolds United Cooperative – Reynolds, North Dakota (Three-Year Term)
Paul is the CEO of Reynolds United Cooperative, an Ag Supply cooperative with headquarters in Reynolds, North Dakota. Paul grew up on the family crop and livestock farm in North Dakota. He has been an elected member of the Land O’Lakes Executive Council and is a member of the Land O’Lakes Policies and Resolutions Committee. Paul and his wife, Monica, have two sons and six grandchildren.
Reynolds United Cooperative operates five locations serving the I-29 corridor between Fargo and Grand Forks and has approximately 45 employees. It purchases approximately 95 percent of its Seed and CPP requirements from Land O’Lakes.
Dale Locken – Producer (Four-Year Term)
Since retiring as CEO of South Dakota Wheat Growers Association earlier this year, Dale has been operating a grain farm in Kansas and has recently become a member of Mid-Kansas Cooperative. Prior to becoming a producer, Dale spent almost 40 years on the management side of agribusiness, including 14 years as CEO of Wheat Growers and management positions with Terra Industries, BASF, Rooster.com, Monsanto and American Cyanamide. Dale has a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He and his wife, Susan, have three grown sons.
John McClelland – Garden City Cooperative – Garden City, Kansas (Two-Year Term)
John has been the General Manager of the Garden City Cooperative since 2003. Prior to joining Garden City, John spent most of his career working in the cooperative system, including roles with Farmland Industries, AGP and two local cooperatives. He was raised on a dry land winter wheat, irrigated corn and cattle operation in Colorado and has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural industries management and an MBA with a concentration in finance.
Garden City Cooperative operates approximately 20 locations throughout southwest Kansas and has approximately 150 employees. Founded in 1919, Garden City provides grain, agronomy and petroleum services to its 2,000 members.
Bruce Vernon – The Equity – Effingham, Illinois (Four-Year Term)
Bruce assumed his current position as CEO of The Equity in February 2015. Prior to joining The Equity, Bruce was the VP of International for Koch Agronomic Services in Wichita, Kansas; the VP of Fertilizer for Viterra in Calgary, Alberta, Canada; CMO for Mid-Kansas Cooperative in Moundridge, Kansas; and Director of Crop Nutrient Sales and Risk Management for Agriliance. Bruce and his wife, Jayne, have two grown children, a son-in-law and two grandchildren.
The Equity is one of the largest cooperatives in Illinois, with 17 locations and over 400 full-time employees. The Equity offers a broad range of products to fulfill their customers’ needs including agronomy, grain services, feed, energy and hardware.
Doyle Pearl – Independent Retailer – Advisory Director (One-Year Term)
Doyle is the President and CEO of JB Pearl Sales and Service, Inc., an independent family-owned ag retailer headquartered in St. Marys, Kansas. The business, started in 1961 by Doyle’s father, now employs 45 people and operates from three locations throughout east central Kansas.
JB Pearl Sales and Service offers a wide variety of agribusiness products, services and insights, including crop nutrient, crop input and seed products and applicator services. Doyle, his wife Laura, and their son, Troy, who joined the business in 1994, are all involved in operating the family business.