Thursday, November 14, 2013

MKC and Frontier Ag moving forward with merger discussions

The boards of directors for Frontier Ag and MKC have unanimously approved to move forward with the processes required to merge the two cooperatives. The cooperatives announced in September their plans to explore the potential of an alliance.

Board members from both cooperatives met earlier this week
to discuss the merits of a merger.
Frontier Ag President and CEO, Brad Cowan, commented the boards and management teams of both organizations spent the past sixty days completing the due diligence necessary to get to this point.

"We felt the time was right to pursue a merger," stated Cowan. "Combined we have the potential to position ourselves strategically for the future, creating tremendous opportunities for our members."

MKC President and CEO, Dave Christiansen, noted the cooperatives share a similar culture and vision, are comparable in product and service offerings, and are financially sound. "Both cooperatives focus on improving customer experience" stated Christiansen. "Together we have the potential to increase our relevance in the industry which will leverage our vendor relationships." The benefits this will deliver to our stockholders, employees, customers and communities are significant. "

Although the boards of both co-ops have endorsed the idea of a merger, each membership will be asked to approve it.

About Frontier Ag: With annual sales of $490 million, Frontier Ag, Inc. is a full-service cooperative, offering grain, feed, agronomy, energy, and transportation products and services to over 5,700 members in eleven (11) counties throughout northwest Kansas.

About MKC: With annual sales of $450 million, MKC is a full-service cooperative offering grain, feed, agronomy and energy products and services to over 6,400 members in eleven (11) counties throughout central Kansas.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

MKC, CoBank and Land O' Lakes join forces to support ag education

By Kerry Watson, Director of Communications

Supporting ag education has always been important to MKC. Whether we are joining forces with local schools to teach children how agriculture affects their life every day or providing financial assistance to schools to make sure students have access to programs and educational opportunities outside of their classroom, we want to support those who share our passion for ag education.

Dave Christiansen, MKC President & CEO noted that MKC and its employees take pride in supporting the development of our future leaders. "We feel the groups we choose to support says a lot about our company."

The Walton 21st Century Rural Life Center is just one of the area schools that MKC likes to support. The school first caught the attention of MKC in 2009. Just a few years earlier the school was close to being closed due to declining enrollment. They transitioned to a functioning charter school in the fall of 2007, a good fit for the surrounding community because of its strong agricultural roots. Now the school integrates agriculture into all areas of its curriculum.

The school’s popularity has grown along with outside support to keep it and now there is a waiting list to get in to the school. Moving forward with expanding the classrooms, the school has relied on outside contributions to help offset those costs. In an interview last year with the school’s principal, Natise Vogt, commented the growing pains and state budget cuts makes support from people like MKC even more vital.

Michael Walton, CoBank Representative (center),
and Jeff Naysmith, MKC Representative (at right),
present a donation to be used for the school's
building project.
In recent years the school has also captured the attention of Land O’ Lakes and CoBank, thanks to MKC. Both entities have matched MKC’s donations to the school helping to donate over $14,000 since 2009.

Robert Engel, CEO for CoBank, commented on MKC’s commitment to the school while improving the quality of life in their communities. "We’re delighted to join with MKC in support of the Walton Rural Life Center."


Monday, November 4, 2013

MKC employees help each other in time of need

By Nichole Gouldie, Communications Specialist

To give employees an opportunity to support their colleagues in times of crisis, MKC allows employees to donate a portion of their vacation time. The donated vacation time is then turned into a monetary donation to the employee in need.

On September 30, a member of the Burns team suffered a heart attack a few hours after she got home from work and passed away unexpectedly.

"Clella Kellogg was working as a counter specialist at Burns and was an energetic, hardworking employee who could put a smile on everyone’s face like few others," said Matt Porter, Burns location manager. In addition to her husband who drives truck locally, Kellogg left behind three children at home, two of which are disabled and require unique schooling and medical attention.

Through email, Porter asked everyone to please consider donating vacation time in Kellogg’s name. Eighty employees responded and within 24 hours a significant donation was raised for the family.

"When I delivered the check to Clella’s husband and children, I explained how MKC employees pulled together to help out their family," Porter said. "They were very grateful and appreciative before they opened the check, and were speechless and emotional after opening the check. The entire family was overcome with a sense of relief and gratitude."

Porter said until that point the family was unsure how they would pay for the funeral services. "Mr. Kellogg told me the donation from MKC’s employees gave their family peace of mind since they did not have to worry about putting food on the table or returning to work before they were ready," he said.

"I was personally blown away by the generosity of our company and made me very appreciative to be working for a company that treats all employees like family," Porter said.