CRI Celebrates 20th Anniversary

March 27, 2013 11:30 AM

Cooperative Resources International, the holding company/cooperative of AgSource and Genex, celebrated its 20th anniversary this week at its annual meeting here Bloomington, Minn.

It was good news type of birthday party, with CRI reporting nearly $160 million in sales and after tax income of more than $7 million in 2012.

What’s perhaps more impressive, however, is the amount of growth CRI has experienced in its 20-year history, growing from $23 million in assets in 1993 to $116 million in assets last year. Operating revenues have also shown this same five-fold increase over those two decades, growing from $33 million to $161 million. Income before taxes grew from $276,000 in 1993 to $8.5 million last year.

CRI was originally formed with the consolidation of Wisconsin DHI and 21st Century Genetics. In the early years, CRI grew through mergers with breeding cooperatives Noba, Eastern A.I., Atlantic and LABC. It also merged with the Central Livestock Association, which deals in livestock sales. In addition, 25 agri-businesses that service member needs have also been acquired in that time. Its soil testing business, based in Bonduel, Wis., is now the largest in the country.

But last year was not without its challenges, says Doug Wilson, CRI CEO. "Market volatility, globalization and the drought all impacted the co-op’s performance," he says.

For example, the U.S. embargo of products to Iran because of Iran’s nuclear fission program has meant Genex cannot sell semen there. And domestic political issues within Argentina, which self-prohibit it from purchasing more imports than it exports, have also curtailed semen sales there.

In addition, the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, means CRI has had to prepare for perhaps million more in health insurance costs for employees. Though regulations are not completely written or understood, Larry Romuald, CRI chief financial officer, says it is likely more employees will enroll in the CRI health insurance program than currently do, and that costs will likely increase. Current low interest rates have also burdened CRI employee pension funding—which materializes as an increased liability on CRI’s balance sheet.

Nevertheless, CRI's 2012 financial results were positive, with the cooperative posting its second best year ever. (2011 showed income after taxes of $7.95 million, about $927,000 more than 2012.)

Read more about CRI here

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