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Farm Credit Okays Badgerland, AgStar & 1st Farm Merger
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 03/07/2017

The region's three main Farm Credit institutions are another step closer to becoming one. Badgerland Financial, AgStar Financial Services and 1st Farm Credit Services received preliminary approval from the Farm Credit Administration for their proposed merger. The move comes about six months after each of their boards voted unanimously to recommend to their respective members and stockholders that the three groups pool their assets together.

Last year, the financial institutions said they were in the process of evaluating a potential collaboration; and that if such a deal were to occur, the three cooperatives combined would create the nation's third largest Farm Credit group with about $17 billion in total assets.

Stockholders will now receive disclosure packets with specific information about the proposed union, with each of the organizations planning to hold separate informational meetings this month to answer questions. The members will then vote on whether they support the idea of merging, which would become official on July 1 if enough votes are cast in favor of the idea.

It has already been determined that Rod Hebrink of Ag Star would lead the merged association. The new company will be called Compeer Financial, with headquarters being in Sun Prairie and would be governed by 14 member-elected directors and three outside appointed directors.

Badgerland Financial, based in Prairie Du Sac, serves 33 southern Wisconsin counties with 17 locations. The co-op's loan volume between its more than 16,000 members is about $3.8 billion. AgStar Financial Services, headquartered in Mankato, Minnesota, has 13 branch offices in 69 counties in Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin, while the Normal, Illinois-based 1st Farm Credit covers 42 counties in northern Illinois at 16 individual sites.

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