At their annual meeting last week in Chicago, the GROWMARK system reported record sales of $8.5 billion for 2010-2011, with the 2nd highest net income ever at $182 million..
Chairman of the board Dan Kelley, an Illinois grain farmer, says it has been a very good year for GROWMARK and agriculture in general. “Agriculture has been one of the stellar industries in this economic downturn over the last 2-3 years,” he said. “We have now recorded our best seven years in the history of the GROWMARK system, which is 84 years.”
Kelley says they have a long term commitment to homegrown fuels, like ethanol. “We were one of the pioneers in ethanol, probably over 30 years now since we pumped the first gallons of ethanol,” said Kelley, noting that they market rather than produce the fuel.
Listen to my interview with Dan Kelley here. GROWMARK President Dan Kelley
Renewable Fuels Association board member Ray Defenbaugh of Big River Resources West Burlington was at the annual meeting last week, as a director on the Riverland FS board in Illinois.
Defenbaugh says GROWMARK really demonstrates how well the cooperative system works. “A lot of our ethanol plants are cooperatives, GROWMARK’s a cooperative and we work well together. They recognize the importance of (ethanol) to agriculture,” he said, adding that ethanol helps support grain prices allowing farmers to afford the rising costs of fertilizer, equipment and other inputs.
Listen to or download the my interview with Ray here. Ray Defenbaugh, Big River Resources