More than 40,000 customers and almost 9,000 Indiana and Michigan farmers will begin doing business with the new Ceres Solutions Cooperative, effective September 1. That’s because, at the recommendation of their Board of Directors, hundreds of members voted in favor of the merger between Wabash-based North Central Cooperative, and Crawfordsville-based Ceres Solutions LLP late last fall.
Since the almost unanimous positive vote, employee teams have been going about the business of serving agronomy, energy and feed customers as usual… plus working behind the scenes on what all hope will be a smooth transition.
For local customers, who will still be served by the same local teams in the same locations, the main difference they may notice is a new logo on the North Central side, and on the Ceres Solutions side, a renewed commitment to the business philosophy of being centered on the customer.
“There was not much geographic overlap, so our employees have been reaching out to each other to tighten the service network we have across Indiana and up into Michigan,” says new Board Chairman Rob Versprille from his family farm near Cicero, Indiana. “We are certain to go to market stronger as one. Plus, we are fortunate; this partnership is between two financially sound, successful entities with two very like-minded cultures.”
A group of 12 representative directors has been elected to support and champion key initiatives of the cooperative. They are: (alphabetical order): David Bayne (Twin Lake MI), Rick Brubaker (Warren IN), Norm Gable (North Manchester IN), Dale Johnson (Clarks Hill IN), Rex Marchino (Vincennes IN), Howard Rippy Jr (Ladoga IN), Rick Risley (Kentland IN), Tom Schwenk (Rochester IN), Del Unger (Carlisle IN), Rob Versprille (Noblesville IN), Randy Waling (Rensselaer IN), and Gary Wilson (Wabash IN).
Ceres Solutions Cooperative President and CEO Jeff Troike shared the enthusiasm both teams feel for the merger. “We believe the strengths to be gained will be significant, and our customers should know: our local commitment to serving their needs remains the same.”