By C.J. Miller
Hoosier Ag Today
Indiana-based agriculture and energy cooperatives Co-Alliance and Ceres Solutions have announced that both boards and memberships have approved a merger and will become Keystone Cooperative effective March 1, 2024.
Once the merger is completed, the company is expected to have an annual revenue of $3 billion with 20,000 farmer-owners throughout Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois.
According to the cooperatives, their newly merged company will also have over 1,700 employees with 195 locations focusing on agronomy, energy, grain, as well as swine and feed production.
The boards have chosen Kevin Still, current President and CEO of Co-Alliance, to be the President and CEO of Keystone Cooperative. Ceres Solutions current CEO Jeff Troike will become the Executive Vice President of Keystone Cooperative, Inc. alongside Co-Alliance’s current Executive Vice President, Scott Logue.
Keystone Cooperative will be headquartered at the site of the current corporate headquarters for Co-Alliance at 770 N. High School Road on the northwest side of Indianapolis. Ceres Solutions is currently based in Crawfordsville.
“Keystone Cooperative brings together two financially strong, legacy-rich and highly successful cooperatives. This historic merger creates a cooperative t is equipped to navigate the ever-changing markets of today’s agriculture and energy industries,” said Still. “This powerful combination will build a cooperative that maximizes efficiencies, capitalize on technology, and has the resources to enhance our customer experience while preparing for the needs of our future stakeholders.”
“Our membership has recognized the value of this combination, and we are looking forward to achieving our promise of a cooperative that is focused on the success of our members, the vitality of our rural communities, and providing an unparalleled return for our farmer-owners,” said Troike.
In addition, Ceres Solutions has announced this week that the company will return $33 million in patronage to its members based on last year’s earnings, according to Troike. $21.5 million in cash will go back to members. In addition, equity from 2008 through 2013 totaling $11.5 million will also be redeemed.
Last November, Co-Alliance announced it was paying back $57 million in patronage to its farmer-members who did business with the cooperative in 2023. Fifty million will be paid back in cash, while the remaining seven million will be returned in equity.