East Central/Select Sires delegates and NorthStar Cooperative common stock owners officially voted in favor of merging the two cooperatives.
The news comes about two months after the board of directors for East Central/Select Sires, based in Waupun, and NorthStar Cooperative, based in Lansing, Mich., announced reaching a unanimous decision to work toward unifying the two business entities under the name CentralStar Cooperative Inc.
“We appreciate our members’ votes of confidence in this merger,” said Paul Trierwieler, NorthStar Cooperative board president. “As CentralStar Cooperative, we have more than 150 years of combined experience serving the dairy and beef industries in the Midwest.
“Joining two organizations which are financially strong, customer-focused cooperatives better positions CentralStar to establish the next generation of integrated services that are necessary in today’s market for farm profitability.”
Steve Abel, president of East Central/Select Sires board of directors, added, “The next step is for employees and management staff to iron out logistics in preparation for the May 1, 2019, merger date. Inventory organization, delivery, accounting, communication, customer care and employee benefits are just a few of the areas in discussion.
“This process is difficult, but will be very rewarding, so please have patience with our team during this transition.”
Currently, NorthStar Cooperative serves dairy and beef producers in northern Wisconsin, Michigan and north of U.S. Highway 50 in Indiana. East Central/Select Sires serves dairy and beef producers in southern Wisconsin.
There is no overlapping territory between the two cooperatives, so once the merger is final, service will continue as usual for patron members. Combining cooperatives will create greater value for members and customers, the entities said.