The Southern Plains Co-op held their Annual General Meeting Monday evening and by all accounts, it was a good year.
"Definitely 2017 was a better year than 2016," shared General Manager, Brian Enns. "We've seen some improvements to our operation which was great. Now we're looking forward to 2018 because I think we're going to see a better year ahead."
One exciting project will be the construction of a new card lock.
"We're going to be building a card lock on the bypass here this summer with completion by fall."
He also shared that the budget is looking healthy for the year.
"Our sales for last year were $73 million and that's up from the year before of $65.5 million so we've seen a nice increase. Our net saving for the end of the year were almost $2.7 million which is up from just shy of $2.2 million the year before."
"We had a profit, we were able to allocate back to the members $1.7 million and in June if this year, we'll be paying a portion of that back. Close to one million dollars cash back to our members. Last year we paid back almost $1.5 million cash back to the members."
The equity allocation rates were also set of 1.5% on crop supplies, feed and merchandise, 2% on groceries, 4.5% on gas and clear diesel, 6% on dyed diesel and 9.%% on oil.
"Over the years since we've incorporated, we've returned almost $20 million in cash back to our members."
"Our net savings has been almost $55 million and our total sales since we incorporated back in 1946 is $1.6 billion."
He added that they currently are not carrying any debt.
"We continue to grow year after year which is good to see."
Along with the business success that they've seen, they are also focused on giving back to the community.
"We'll continue to do what we did last year which was very good. It was over $160,000 that we gave out to different organizations in the community. And we participated in a lot of events. The big thing to me was our employees. Last year was huge, it was over 380 hours that our employees volunteered for different events in the communities we serve. To me, that shows that the people who work here are based in the community and they just want to be part of the community and it's an awesome environment to be part of."
Carol McKay, Human Resources Manager, added that she is looking forward to being a big part of the community this summer.
"We're going to have benches barbecues again where we have groups if they want a park bench for their area or green space, they can book a barbecue and the funds will go towards purchasing a bench with their logo and name on it."
They will also be putting on their annual Halloween haunted house and Festival of Lights as well as the many events and organizations they support.
Enns added that last year the board spent time looking at the finances and establishing guidelines on how best to grow while maintaining equity payments to the members. He believes these guidelines which have been set have put them in a good situation to grow and maintain that level of success.
"We've now got the guidelines in place and are looking forward to future opportunities if they come available."
The Board of Directors was also set during the AGM. One member had resigned and another was elected on to the board.
"We have a new board member coming on, Michelle Deichert."
The Board of Directors:
Robert Grimsrud (President)