You Can Help Prove our Corn is Produced ‘Sustainably’

In his report at GGC’s recent annual meeting, former Chairman Jason Medhaug discussed the demands for sustainability measurements from within the food supply chain.  Measurements normally revolve around three issues: the Environment; the Community; and Economic Sustainability.

The trend for sustainable food production is gaining momentum as food and beverage companies jump on board to demonstrate to consumers that they are responsible corporate citizens.  Cargill, Coke, and Pepsi are among those companies who have made a sustainability commitment.

As a supplier to the food industry, Cargill is working to meet ‘sustainability’ measurement expectations of their customers with the assistance of farm operators who participate in a survey.  Several Golden Growers members are assisting Cargill by utilizing the Fieldprint Calculator for measurement purposes.

The Field to Market organization’s Fieldprint Calculator is emerging as a key tool to show producer sustainability.  The Fieldprint Calculator collects in-field data and provides comparison information on such metrics as water use, greenhouse gas emissions and soil erosion, among others.  Producers can compare their performance to local, regional and national averages.

Cargill can provide additional information on the Fieldprint Calculator and will assist GGC members with data entry.  Contact Bill Costello at or call 952-742-2315 for more information.


Legacy Planning for Your Farming Operation

Dan Peterson of e4 Brokerage, LLC met with the GGC Board of Directors at their June meeting to discuss Nationwide Financial’s ‘Land As Your Legacy’ planning program.  “In the next 20 years, 70% of farming operations will transfer form one generation to the next.  In order to preserve the farm for the next generation, planning is critical,” said Peterson.

Nationwide Mutual Insurance is one of the largest insurers of farming operations in the country and 10 of their 16 Board Members are farmers.   Their ‘transitional’ planning program was driven by an interest to preserve a family’s farming legacy.

Elements of a successful transitional plan include:

  • Succession planning;
  • Business planning;
  • Risk management;
  • Financial independence planning; and
  • Estate planning.

“This transition program takes a very deliberate approach,” said Peterson.  It starts with goal setting and data collection.  It proceeds  in a manner to ‘let the farm speak’ about what is necessary for a successful transition.  One of the most important elements is the family meeting exercise.  “All too often, a transition plan fails because interested family members never talk directly about how a transition will take place.”

Nationwide Mutual does not charge for the development of the plan.

If you would like to learn about successful transition planning visit this program link ‘Land as Your Legacy‘ and/or contact Dan Peterson at


Lori Buckhouse Joins Golden Growers

As of March 1st, Lori Buckhouse joined the staff of Golden Growers Cooperative.  Lori has extensive administrative and bookkeeping experience serving both public and private sector institutions.

Prior to joining the ND Barley Council and ND Grain Growers, Lori worked for NDSU’s Agricultural Systems and Biosystems Engineering Department.

Lori will continue to serve the ND Barley Council and ND Grain Growers organizations through an administrative service agreement.  We are very please to have Lori as a member of the Golden Growers family!


Golden Growers Relocates Cooperative Office

In order to add stability to the organization and further reduce costs, Golden Growers has relocated our cooperative office.

As of April 21st, Golden  Growers will be collocated with the North Dakota Barley Council and North Dakota Grain Growers Association at 1002 main Avenue West in West Fargo, ND.

All three organizations will share office space and administrative services.

Our main telephone number will remain the same, but our Fax line has changed and the toll free number has been discontinued.

Our new contact information is as follows:

Golden Growers Cooperative

112 Main Avenue West, Suite 5

West Fargo, ND 58078

Office: 701-281-0468

Fax: 701-239-7280

Please feel free to stop by our office when you are in the area.


At the conclusion of the Golden Growers Annual Meeting, the Board of Directors elected Mark Harless of Moorhead, MN to be Chairman.  Harless his wife Lenae, and their son Paul farm near Borup, MN raising corn, soybeans, and edible beans.

In addition to Harless, other officers selected include: Nicolas Pyle of Casselton, ND elected as First Vice-Chair, Shaun Beauclair of Stephen, MN elected as Second Vice-Chair, Matt Hasbargen of Fargo, ND elected as Secretary, and Les Nesvig of LaMoure, ND elected as Treasurer.

Golden Growers Members elected Scott Jetvig of Hawley, MN in the East Central District who to replace Paul Borgen of Dilworth, MN who chose not to run for re-election. Larry Vipond of Herman, MN was elected from the Southeast District to replace former Chairman Jason Medhaug of Veblen, SD who retired from the Board. Re-elected to the Board were: Gary Jirak of Breckenridge, MN in the Northwest District; Bruce Speich of Milnor, ND in the Southwest District; and Les Nesvig of Lamoure, ND in the Northwest District.

Golden Growers Cooperative has 1557 members located primarily in North Dakota, Minnesota, and South Dakota. Together with American Crystal Sugar, they own the ProGold wet milling plant in Whapeton, ND operated by Cargill.

Golden Growers Annual Meeting – March 24, 2015

Make your plans now to attend the Golden Growers Cooperative Annual Meeting beginning at 9 am, Tuesday, March 24th at the Courtyard by Marriott in Moorhead, MN

This is a great time to visit with your fellow members, hear what has occurred in the prior year, and learn more about your Cooperative’s Business.

The agenda includes:

9:00 am Morning Short Courses:

  • Developing Rural Leaders (Marie Hvidston, NDSU Extension, Rural Leadership North Dakota)
  • Project Update: NPN’s Nitrogen Fertilizer Plant (Darin Anderson, President, Northern Plains Nitrogen); and
  • Corn Market Outlook (Pat Pithey, Cargill Corn Merchandizing)

10:00 am Annual Meeting: Election of Directors: Review of the Financial Statements; Reports by Chairman Jason Medhaug and Executive Vice President Scott Stofferahn.

11:00 am Guest Speaker: Retail Insights Thought Leader, Todd Hale

11:45 am Lunch

Food Trend Expert Todd Hale To Speak At GGC Annual Meeting

You won’t want to miss this year’s featured speaker! Golden Growers welcomes recognized consumer insights thought leader, Todd Hale.

Mr. Hale’s engaging presentation, Tracking Trends that Matter, will focus on consumer shopping, buying, and consumption behaviors that are driving trends and market reactions in the food and beverage industry.

Todd Hale’s 36 years of experience in the consumer research industry, including 30 years with Nielsen, makes him a frequently sought-after industry speaker. Todd regularly assists manufacturers and retailers with strategic visions to facilitate brand, category and retail sales growth.

Todd earned an MBA and a BA in Business from Wright State University.

Golden Growers Annual Meeting begins at 9 am on Tuesday, March 24th at the Courtyard by Marriott in Moorhead, MN

Streamlined Transfers for Trusts, Joint Tenants, or Tenants in Common

The Golden Growers Board of Directors implemented a new policy to simplify some common transfers.  The policy applies to transfers to trusts and for the addition or deletion of a tenant.

Because of estate planning, many GGC members make requests to transfer their membership interest into a trust or they request the addition of a spouse as a joint tenant.  In other circumstances, we are asked to delete a joint tenant or a tenant in common.

To accommodate these transfers that do not result in a change in membership ID and often don’t result in a change in Tax IDs, the new policy allows for transfers to be processed administratively.

Transferees must agree to succeed to the Uniform Membership Agreement, Annual Delivery Agreement, any Security Agreements on file, sign a new Annual Delivery Agreement for the coming year.

Transfer forms and instructions are posted on the GGC Website under the Membership Tab by clicking on the Transfer Applications/Documents link.

Feel free to contact the Golden Growers office if you have any questions.

Sosland: United States, Mexico draft sweet agreement

The governments of the United States and Mexico drafted an historic sugar trade agreement Oct. 27 in an effort to avoid potential U.S. import duties of more than 50% and the possibility of an escalating trade war. If ratified, it likely will be the biggest news in the sugar market since Jan. 1, 2008, when the North American Free Trade Agreement opened the door to unrestricted trade of sweeteners between the two countries.

But this time the intent is to control sugar exports from Mexico that in the past couple of years have been record high, contributing to lower U.S. sugar prices and loan forfeitures in 2013. If successful, the result also may be reining in sugar cane production in Mexico that has been increasing since 2008, in part because Mexico basically saw the United States as an “easy” market to sell surplus sugar. (more)

Sosland: I.T.C finds injury in sugar dumping case

WASHINGTON — The U.S. International Trade Commission on May 9 made a preliminary determination of injury and will proceed with antidumping and countervailing duty investigations of U.S. imports of sugar from Mexico. The preliminary determination follows a decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce to initiate the case on April 18. U.S. sugar producers petitioned the I.T.C. and the D.O.C. on March 28 claiming subsidized Mexican sugar was being dumped in the U.S. market at a cost of about $1 billion to U.S. sugar producers in the current marketing year.

“Given the low threshold for determining injury in the U.S. I.T.C.’s preliminary determination, we are not surprised by today’s ruling,” the Sweetener Users Association said following the May 9 decision. “The vote simply allows the investigation to continue. However, while U.S. sugar producers had the right to file the petition under U.S. law and the U.S. I.T.C. has at this early stage made a preliminary determination of injury, it should not be assumed that the case has merit. To the contrary, we expect that the U.S. sugar producers will lose when the U.S. I.T.C. is able to complete the full investigation.”  (more…)