Co-ops Consider Joint Venture

Luckey Farmers and Sunrise Cooperative plan new Agronomy and Grain Hub to improve Market Access for local farmers.

Published on: Dec 11, 2013

Luckey Farmers Co-op and Sunrise Cooperative have entered discussions to explore a joint venture in developing a state-ofthe- art grain and agronomy hub in Wood County near S.R. 6 and U.S. 23 just a few

miles west of I-75 near Bradnor. The new facility would use the prime location, latest grain handling technology and access to CSX main rail to serve their farmer members and customers.

"We are in the beginning stages of organizing the structure of the LLC and gathering the necessary information required to build a facility of this nature," said Andy Swerlein, Luckey Farmers CEO. "This venture will expand both cooperatives' presence into Wood County and grow both organizations with the goal of returning equity and value to our member owners."

Co-ops Consider Joint Venture
Co-ops Consider Joint Venture

Currently, Sunrise Cooperative has seven facilities (three seasonal) in five counties and serves 3,240 farmer members. Luckey Farmers has 9 facilities and serves more than 2,000 farmers members in 6 counties. Today, all of Luckey Farmers grain handling facilities are in locations where grain must be trucked to other terminals. The new hub will allow farmers better access to other markets for selling their grain and for receiving better size, scope and product availability for incoming agronomy supplies.

The speed of grain handling with today's technology will provide access to other markets and end users who can enjoy better size, scope and product availability.

If plans continue moving forward, the LLC aims to break ground in Spring 2014. The new facility could begin serving customers in 2015.

Four Ohio cooperatives make the USDA's annual top 100 largest agricultural cooperatives list. United Producers, Inc. of Columbus, placed 19th, Trupointe Cooperative of Piqua placed 45th, Heritage of West Mansfield placed 53rd and Sunrise of Freemont was 54th on the list of top farm cooperatives.

Farmer, rancher and fishery cooperatives posted record sales and income in 2011, surpassing the previous record sales year of 2008 by $10 billion while besting the old income record by $500 million.