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East Central/Select Sires and NorthStar Cooperative to merge

March 9, 2019

Two large dairy and beef cooperatives will merge.

Common stock owners with East Central/Select Sires, based in Waupun, and NorthStar Cooperative, based in Lansing, Michigan, decided to bring the two organizations together. They provide semen to dairy and beef producers and also conduct research and perform other services like consultation to help producers shape their herds.

East Central/Select Sires is itself a federation of nine cooperatives and serves the southern counties of Wisconsin. It sells over 500,000 semen units a year, provides over 400,000 services and has more than 100 employees.

The merger date is planned for May 1.

“The next step is for employees and management staff to iron out logistics in preparation” for the merger date, Steve Abel, president of the East Central/Select Sires board of directors, said in a statement. “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.”

NorthStar Cooperative serves northern Wisconsin, Michigan and much of Indiana. It serves over 6,000 customers with about 1,000 members.

There is no overlapping territory between the two cooperatives, so services will continue as before for patrons.

“We appreciate our members’ votes of confidence in this merger,” said Paul Trierwieler, the board president NorthStar Cooperative board president, in a statement. “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.”

The two organizations signed an intent to merge last year and then put it to a vote. The idea is to take advantage of economies of scale and to expand resources and services available to customers.

All CentralStar business locations will remain open for the foreseeable future.