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FVC returns $1 million in cash patronage refunds to members PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 21:08

By Russ Pankonin

The Imperial Republican


Patrons of Frenchman Valley Coop received $1 million in cash patronage dividends for the fiscal year that ended Jan. 31, 2014.

General Manager Doug Ohlson reviewed the coop’s fiscal report during their annual meeting at the Broken Arrow Winery in Imperial Tuesday morning.

Ohlson said the coop’s board approved a total of $2.5 million in patronage dividends with $1.5 million allocated to members as a non-qualified dividend.

Members pay taxes on the cash dividend with FVC paying the taxes on the non-qualified portion of $1.5 million.

Ohlson said the board opted to distribute those cash dividends in May versus waiting until the annual meeting.

That gets the cash back into the hands of members sooner, he added.

The local savings generated by sales in fiscal 2013-2014 totalled $4.3 million.

This year, the coop received patronage dividends from the coop suppliers FVC does business with. That totalled $7.3 million compared to $5.85 million for the year that ended in 2013.

Ohlson said decreased grain volume in 2012 and 2013 impacted this year’s sales, which totalled $580.7 million compared to $695.2 million for 2013.

He told patrons to expect a similar situation in grain sales for the 2014 fiscal year underway.  He said there’s just not the inventory of grain to be sold this fiscal year.

While this year’s wheat harvest will go down in the record books, he said the coop won’t see the uptick in sales until the 2015 fiscal year. That’s because much of the wheat produced this year won’t be sold until next year.

Ohlson said the coop took in a record total of 15.2 million bushels of wheat across its system this year.  That compares to 6.8 million bushels received last year.

That increase in inventory will make a positive impact going forward in the 2015 fiscal year, he said.


Facility improvements

Ohlson said the coop is just about complete with a new agronomy center at its Wheatland, Wyo., location.

They had hoped to have it completed by last April but Ohlson noted it will be ready for next year’s crop season.

He said it’s a key market for the company because it rests in an area with more than 65,000 acres irrigated with surface water.

Another project completed this year was the purchase and remodeling of the T-Junction facility at the corner of Hwys. 6/61.

After purchasing the property, the coop fully remodeled the building into a new convenience store and installed new concrete around the building and pump bays.

Since it opened about two months ago, Ohlson said they have been very pleased with the results.

In an effort to make better use of employees, Ohlson said they have closed the store at the main station in Imperial. The service side of the operation will continue to operate there and the fuel pumps are accessible 24 hours a day with a FVC gas card or credit cards.

Ohlson said the gas pumps at the new store make it easier and more convenient for trucks and farmers to get fuel. He said they have also seen an uptick in fuel sales from over-the-road vehicles.

Earlier this year, the coop acquired the Agfinity Coop station in Benkelman.

He said the station was 180 miles from the Agfinity’s headquarters and it didn’t fit well into their trade territory.

He said they were approached by Agfinity and said it’s been a good acquisition for FVC.


Board members re-elected

Three board members were re-elected to the board, all running unopposed.

They included Max Kaiser of Imperial, Duane Grosbach of Enders and Larry Flohr of Chappell.

Jim Haarberg of Imperial serves as president with Rick Taylor of Enders as vice-president and Kaiser as secretary.

Other board members include Steve Leibbrandt, Imperial; Jay Geu, Sidney; William “Dudes” Tines, Venango; Dale Dueland, McCook; Rich Keiser, Wauneta; and John Culek Jr., Pine Bluffs, Wyo.

Associate board members include Jim Broz, Hayes Center; Galen Meeske, Imperial; Bryan Kroeker, Grant; and Mark Halstead, Dix.