DLGC Message from President Susan Holler

Happy New Year DLGC members:

I hope the New Year is starting off well for all of you. I would like to thank Jeff Petersen for his 6 years of service to DLGC. Jeff was instrumental in negotiating and maintaining our contract with Superior Farms. We greatly appreciate his efforts to give the co-op this opportunity. I would also like to welcome back our newly elected board member David Peterson. David has previously served on the board and will join the board to help the co-op move forward. Thank you to both Jeff and David.

At the Annual Meeting, Dr. Dwayne Beck, Director of Dakota Lakes Research Farm, spoke about Conservation Agriculture. His presentation was thought provoking as we evaluate our farming practices and how they affect the future of agriculture. After an enlightening discussion session, Dr. Beck invited DLGC to the research farm in Pierre, SD for a personalized tour.   We will coordinate our visit with activities at the research farm to maximize this opportunity for our 2017 summer meeting, date TBA.

The bylaws revision passed at the annual meeting in Aberdeen so we are now better poised for the future of the co-op. In 2019, DLGC will celebrate its 20th Anniversary. The bylaws revision was a big task taking over a year to finalize. Thank you to all who participated in the process. Also, thank you to all who voted and especially to everyone who attended the annual meeting. The weather in December can be challenging and this past annual meeting was no exception. We are looking at options to make it easier to attend the meetings and network with other members. With the updated bylaws in place we now turn our attention to the Uniform Marketing Agreement (UMA), Subscription Agreement, and Articles of Incorporation (Articles) to bring all of our official documents into line. Initially, I thought this would be an easy process but as most things do, it is turning out to be more challenging than anticipated. When each of us joined the co-op, and signed the UMA, we agreed to the 1 share 1 lamb policy. Each share we owned allowed us to deliver 1 lamb through DLGC. Over time, as the co-op underwent changes, this policy has not been enforced. As we tried to rebuild, after determining marketing our own product was not feasible, we allowed members to deliver extra lambs to keep a viable relationship with our main packer, Superior Farms. Most recently, there have been 3 members who have been delivering the vast majority of the lambs thus allowing us to maintain our contract. As new members join, we need to be clear on what the policy will be. How many shares above the 50 shares minimum will they need to own? And how many lambs will that entitle them to deliver? As with all issues there are 2 sides. If we continue with the stated policy of 1 share 1 lamb the discussion will include:

Pros: 1. Increased communication between members for buying or leasing shares; 2. Give value to shares of members who would like to sell; 3. Make share #s equitable for those for those who own shares; 4. Currently, low purchase price on shares for those buying.

Cons: 1. May limit delivery numbers just when deliveries are increasing; 2. Personnel needed to track shares to make sure members have adequate # of shares; 3. Delayed implementation – UMA, Articles, and Subscription agreement revision in 2017; 4. Time frame for compliance.

We have set up a committee to review this policy and propose how the aforementioned agreements should be worded. Please contact committee members, Jeff Young, Chad Hasbargen, and David Petersen with your input as we work together to benefit members and position DLGC for future business. Many opportunities await us when we work together cooperatively!

Thank you for your participation, Susan Holler

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