Co-ops set records for income for fourth consecutive year

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Heritage Cooperative/Farm Science Review/2009

WASHINGTON — As part of USDA’s observance of October as National Cooperative Month, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced that the nation’s farmer, rancher and fishery cooperatives posted record income and revenue in 2014.

Vilsack previewed a USDA report that shows cooperatives earned $6.5 billion in net income and generated $246.7 billion in total revenue last year. Net income increased 16.5 percent while revenue rose 0.4 percent from 2013. Co-ops set records for income and revenue in 2014 for the fourth year in a row.

Other numbers

Ag co-op employment increased 0.4 percent to 191,000 people in 2014. The number of full-time co-op employees dipped slightly, 0.4 percent, while the number of part-time employees increased by 2 percent.

The total number of ag cooperatives declined from 2,186 in 2013 to 2,106 last year, a drop of nearly 4 percent. Despite the decline, co-op memberships grew by 1 percent, to just under 2 million.

In addition to providing supplies and marketing services to farmers and ranchers, the nation’s co-ops provide telecommunications, energy, financial and other important services.

Top ag co-ops

The USDA’s annual rankings of the nation’s top 100 ag co-ops (link opens .pdf listing) show that 15 of the top 100 agricultural co-ops are headquartered in Iowa, the most of any state. Minnesota is home to the second most top 100 agricultural co-ops, with 12 headquartered there.

Ohio has four top 100 co-ops:

  • United Producers (livestock) is ranked 23rd, with 2014 business volume of $1.24 billion and total assets of $47 million;
  • Trupointe Cooperative, Piqua, is ranked 53rd, with 2014 business volume of $651 million and total assets of $217 million;
  • Heritage Cooperative, West Mansfield, 64th, with volume of $550 million and assets in 2014 of $152 million; and
  • Sunrise Cooperative, Fremont, at 66th, with volume of $544 million and assets of $171 million.

Dairy Farmers of America No. 2

According to the rankings, CHS Inc., a fuel, supply, grain and food cooperative based in Inver Grove Heights, Minn., is the nation’s largest cooperative. It posted $43 billion in revenue in 2014.

Rounding out the top three ag co-ops are Kansas City-based Dairy Farmers of America, with $18 billion in total revenue, and Land O’Lakes, headquartered in, St. Paul, Minn., with $15 billion in revenue.

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