NEVADA, MO.--- "I hate to say it, but the time of the small co-op, especially an AG co-op, as tough as the markets are everywhere in the world, the days are numbered for all of them," says Jerry Brackenridge, Chairman Producers Grain.
Producers Grain Co-Op Chairman Jerry Brackenridge says the days of their locally owned co-op servicing farmers in the area have come to an end. Dozens of local farmers found out why at an open meeting with co-op board members this evening.
Those losses come from a drop in sales of nearly $5 million as well as repairs to older equipment. Local farmers took the news hard.
There is hope the doors don't have to close. Missouri's largest agricultural supplier called MFA, Inc. is willing to step in. MFA would assume all of the debt and keep the stores in El Dorado Springs, Nevada, Walker, and Moundville open. More importantly, MFA has agreed to keep all 43 workers on the job.
"That was one of the boards biggest concerns right now. They deemed they will need almost all of the employees," says Brackenridge.
MFA will also guarantee that any prepaid money given by farmers for grain or supplies next year will be honored. The members of the co-op will ultimately decide the fate of the company at the yearly meeting on January 29th at the Elks Lodge in El-Dorado Springs. Members will require a 2/3 approval to accept the proposal with MFA, leaving few options for the 80 year old staple of Vernon County.
Farmers become a voting member if they spend $1,000 per year with the company. Company officials say if the membership doesn't approve the plan, the only step may be bankruptcy.