Midwest Grain Sale Going Down (Under)

Cindy Zimmerman

Midwest Grain By a 2 to 1 margin, the shareholders of Midwest Grain Processors last week approved a deal to sell majority ownership in their cooperative to Australian company Global Ethanol. Over 1,000 of the 1,300 members of the co-op in Lakota, IA turned out for the vote on Thursday. Dave Nelson, Midwest Grain Processors’ board chairman, told Agriculture Online “The turnout for the vote was unbelievable. It was better than a Presidential election turnout.” Not to mention more decisive. With 717 votes in favor and only 348 opposed, we probably won’t be hearing calls for a recount. However, those who were opposed to the deal remain opposed to the concept of foreign ownership in domestic fuel production. According to the Des Moines Register, “There wasn’t enough time to digest the information or investigate it thoroughly,” said Lennon Brandt, a farmer from Swea City. “I thought the vote might be close, but when people aren’t informed, they tend to trust the board.”
It’s the first time a foreign company has bought control of an ethanol co-op, but those in the industry believe the growth potential means it’s probably just the beginning.