The members of Luckey Farmers, Inc., Woodville, OH and Ida Farmers Cooperative, Ida, MI have approved the merger of their cooperatives at each of their special meetings held October 3, 2023. The effective date of the merger will be February 1, 2024.
After holding a series of informational meetings, both Cooperative Boards were pleased that the memberships approved the boards’ recommendation for the merger. John Moore, Luckey Farmers Board Chairman, shared that “we are confident that together, we will become an even stronger cooperative and be better positioned to improve on our already strong portfolio of products and services that we offer. Both cooperatives have employee teams that take pride in their work and will continue their strong culture of service and commitment to our customers.”
“On behalf of our Boards, management and employee teams, we appreciate each and every member who cast a ballot in this cooperative merger,” said Ida Farmers Board Chairman, Bryan Otto. “We look forward to realizing the advantages of combining our cooperatives while still maintaining local ownership.”
Each cooperative met their respective State Cooperative Law and individual Bylaw requirements for a successful cooperative merger vote. For Luckey Farmers, the current Bylaws state that a quorum necessary for any vote or other action by the Members is at least 10% of the Members in the Association participating in person or by Absentee Vote. If the Association has more than 500 members, 50 Members participating in person or by Absentee Vote constitute a quorum. Ohio Cooperative Law requires approval of the merger by at least 60% of the member votes cast. Luckey Farmers had 307 members that participated in the vote, with 86% voting in favor of the merger.
For Ida Farmers, the current Bylaws state that 50 members of the corporation present in person shall constitute a quorum at all meetings of the members for the transaction of business except as otherwise expressly required by statute or by the Articles of Incorporation. The merger requires a quorum present at a special meeting called by the Board and the approval by a majority of the member votes cast. Ida Farmers had 117 members that participated in the vote, with 87% voting in favor of the merger. The ballot counting of both memberships had oversight and were tabulated by representatives of each cooperative’s audit firms that were present at the special meetings.
This merger vote highlights the members’ request for their cooperative to do more working together than either business could do separately. The leadership team genuinely values the members’ confidence in a combined cooperative as they prepare for integration and execution.
Together, Luckey Farmers and Ida Farmers will have 11 locations across northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan providing products, programs and services through its grain, agronomy, energy, and feed divisions to meet the needs of agricultural producers across its footprint. The newly unified cooperative will be headquartered at the current Luckey Farmers office located in Woodville, Ohio.
The initial board of directors will consist of twelve directors with representation from each geographical district. More information and further updates will be provided in coming months as integration plans are finalized.