In his Executive Vice President’s report, Scott Stofferahn presented detailed results from last year’s member survey.
Stofferahn complimented GGC members for their 80% response rate. “We used best practices to obtain a response, but noboey would have predicted that we would have more than an 80% response rate! This is considered phenomenal for a mail in survey.”
Over the course of 20 years, GGC anticipated changes in member farming status. At the time the cooperative was organized, every member had to be a producer. That requirement was removed in 2009, yet the response shows that 64% of members continue to be producers. Another 12% indicated that htey are retired, but ‘associated’ with a farming operation. Generally these are people who, while retired, maintain an active relationship with their family members who are operating the farm. “For purposes of analyzing data, we grouped producers with these ‘retired, but associated’ members.” Another 24% said that they were retired or not farming with no association with a farming operation.
Electronic Delivery – roughly 2/3 of members are not interested in electronic delivery of newsletters or payments.
When asked about how GGC might pay for value added processing at the ProGold plant, the majority recommended allowing individual members the opportunity to invest. 46% favored using ProGold lease income for this purpose.
While the majority of members (56%) were not interested in value added processing unrelated to the ProGold plant, those who did show interest (46%) had a preference for soybean crushing.
79% of Golden Growers members consider themselves to be ‘accredited investors’, a term defined by the SEC that measures income and assets to decide if someone is a sophisticated investor.
GGC members who meet their annual delivery requirement through direct deliveries to the plant (Method A Pool) also deliver an additional 13.5 million bushels on an annual basis. This means that nearly 2/3 of the annual grind comes from Golden Growers members.
Among Method B pool participants, over 50% produce corn while 33% of Method B respondents said they are not crop producers.
Producer Only Responses:
Compared to twenty years ago, our members are planting more corn and soybeans. Small grains and sunflowers are not nearly as comon within our membership as they were.
57% of Producers have a history of producing specialty crops with edible beans topping the list.
21% of Producers have raised non-GM corn or soybeans for specialty markets.
69% of producers are willing to produce crops for specialty markets.
48% said they were not interested in producing Non-GM corn. Yet 59% would consider producing Non-GM corn if an incentive was offered and 31% indicated that producing Non-GM corn would align with a crop rotation strategy.
90% of producers indicated that they would produce for niche markets that would benefit the long-term stability of the ProGold plant. “We believe this answer shows an underlying commitment by our producers for a successful enterprise,” said Stofferahn.