Taking the story of the cooperative to customers in the field, management and board members of Southern States Cooperative, a VA-based farm supply retailer, participated in five regional leadership conferences in key cities throughout the southeast this past December. Meetings were held in Raleigh, NC, Annapolis, MD, Blacksburg, VA, Valdosta, GA and Louisville, KY.
Farmers in attendance heard reports from new Southern States President and CEO Jeff Stroburg, as well as other senior members of the cooperative’s management team. Stroburg addressed the previous two challenging years for both the cooperative and growers in general, as well as voicing optimism for the future.
Strategies for the four new retail stores in the Charlotte, NC market were discussed as well as forecasts for the agronomy and livestock sectors in 2016.
With continuing volatility in the commodity markets and the uncertainty of weather in an El Nino year, women and men who have tied their livelihoods to the land need the most up-to-date information available on trends and prices so they can make informed decisions on crops to plant, feeds for their livestock and fuel for their operations.
Chuck Connor, president and CEO of the National Council of Farmers Cooperatives, enlightened the attendees about actions and legislation that could impact the agriculture industry.
The regional conferences included farmers and livestock operators who have been elected to leadership roles by their peers to serve on local cooperative boards. These local elected board members are vitally important in representing the cooperative membership from the local communities.
“It is always a pleasure to visit with our members,” said Steve Patterson senior vice president of corporate marketing and communications. “It provides the opportunity to give members an update on their cooperative while also gaining valuable feedback in return.”
Southern States is a Richmond, VA-based farm supply and service cooperative, founded in 1923, which now has more than 200,000 farmer-members. As one of the nation’s largest agricultural cooperatives, it provides a wide range of farm inputs, including fertilizer, seed, livestock feed, pet food, animal health supplies and petroleum products, as well as other items for the farm and home. The cooperative serves its members and non-member customers through 1,200 retail outlets in 23 states. Please visit http://www.southernstates.com for more information.