Southern States Cooperative Annual Meeting Recently Held

The eighty-eighth annual stockholder’s meeting of Southern States Cooperative was held on Wednesday, November 17 at the cooperative’s Richmond, Va. headquarters. Members of Southern States’ Board of Directors, stockholders and guests were given an overview of the cooperative’s performance during fiscal 2010, which ended in June.
President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas R. Scribner reported total sales of $1.69 billion for the year with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $39.4 million. A decline in gross margins over 2009 was largely offset by savings in operating expenses of just over $7.3 million.
With the start of a new fiscal year, Scribner voiced reason for optimism in the ag industry. “The worldwide demand for food and fiber will continue to provide agriculture with growth opportunities,” he said, adding “serving agriculture is our bread and butter, and we will maximize our success by staying focused and serving our members accordingly.”
Eddie Melton, Chairman of the Board of Directors, told the group in light of the difficulties encountered in 2010, the Board was especially pleased with the year’s results, and proud of the accomplishments.
“Nothing is more important than maintaining a financially sound cooperative with consistent earnings, in order to serve its members and be there for the long haul,” he said.
Melton said, “Taking care of member needs is a part of why cooperatives are formed in the first place. In that light, the Board appreciates Southern States’ efforts to help their members during this challenging year.”
He added, “Whether it is introducing new, lower-cost feeds or finding a way to make the row crop and livestock customer more profitable, we  know that recognizing these circumstances and taking action to assist, differentiates us from other agri-businesses.”
Founded in 1923, Southern States is a Richmond, Va. based farm supply and service cooperative with more than 300,000 farmer-members.
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