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Stockholders Approve Badgerland, AgStar & 1st Farm Merger
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 04/10/2017

Badgerland Financial, AgStar Financial Services and 1st Farm Credit Services will soon be known as Compeer Financial after stockholders approved a merger agreement between the region's three main Farm Credit institutions. The move comes about seven months after each of their boards voted unanimously to recommend to their respective members that the three groups pool their assets together.

Effective July 1, the new company will be headquartered in Sun Prairie and will be governed by 14 member-elected directors and three outside appointed directors. Rod Hebrink of Ag Star has been chosen to lead the merged association.

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 $18.6 billion in total assets.

"We would like to thank each cooperative's stockholders for their participation in this process and their support of the merger proposal," said Badgerland Financial Board Chair Mark Cade in a statement after the votes were counted on April 7. "We are confident in the positive impact the unified organization will provide for our rural communities and agriculture."

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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