Central Ohio cooperatives combine, buy SunMark

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ASHLAND, Ohio – Town & Country Co-op was formed by the consolidation of Equity Exchange, Wooster; Medina Landmark, Medina; Town & Country Co-op, Lagrange; and Agri Mark Farmers Co-op, Ashland, and began operations under the new name Jan. 1.

The members of the four cooperatives approved this consolidation in March. The new headquarters are in Ashland.

Board of directors. The board of directors and the officers of the combined cooperative are:

David Conrad, Grafton, chair; David Eichelberger, Ashland, vice chair; Bob Ternes, Elyria, secretary; and Al Holdren, Ashland, president and CEO.

Other board members include Larry Alexander, Big Prairie; Rick Boreman, Burbank; Bill Boss, Burbank; Brian Cadnum, Hinckley; Jim Crocker, Valley City; Irvin Gresser, Sterling; and Earl Stitzlein, Loudonville.

Town & Country Cooperative will have a combined workforce of 180 employees in 15 locations. Combined sales will be more than $70 million, with total assets of over $32 million.

Products, services. The new cooperative will continue to offer the products and services members and customers expect from their farm supply cooperative, including agronomy, feed, petroleum, farm machinery and 11 grain handling facilities.

In addition, the cooperative has convenience stores at Elyria and Lodi, a full-service gas station at Lagrange, and three card-lock fuel stations.

“By consolidating our cooperatives we expect our members, patrons and shareholders to benefit from the efficiencies of the combined operation,” Holdren said.

“We’ll be more efficient in our operations, initially saving on locations, equipment and people. Instead of four headquarters, there will be one.

“This in turn will enable us to return profits in the future to our members through patronage refunds, as well as have more capital reserves for future business development.”

Other acquisition. Town & Country Co-op has also purchased 50 percent of SunMark, Ltd., owned by Sunrise Cooperative of Norwalk, to become the sole owner of the company.

SunMark is a 1.2 million bushel train loading grain elevator on the north side of Mansfield.

It will now become one of the operations of Town & Country Co-op. Mike Badger, former manager of SunMark, will become the manager of Town & Country’s grain division.

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