August 29, 2005 06:00 ET

GROWMARK, Inc.: FS Cooperatives Earn Performance Improvement Award

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 29, 2005) - Seven FS member cooperatives were recognized by GROWMARK, Inc. for business performance improvement during the GROWMARK Annual Meeting in Chicago Friday.

While introducing the award winners, Dennis Farmer, GROWMARK vice president of member services, said, "The vitality of our local members is the foundation of the success of our entire cooperative system. Continued success in our business today requires perseverance, toughness, and innovation. More than ever before, our farmer-customers depend on us to provide them with not only the products and services vital to the operation of their farms, but the advice and answers to the tough challenges and questions facing them in this economy."

GROWMARK measures the improvement in the performance of member cooperatives based on return on invested capital. Over a five-year time frame, each cooperative's return on invested capital improvement is measured in comparison to other cooperatives in the System. From this measurement, the Performance Improvement Award was developed.

The cooperative with the most measurable improvement was Heritage FS, Inc., based in Gilman, Ill. Ron Asher is the general manager and Tom Roselius was the president for the time period measured.

Ranking second was Manitoulin Livestock Co-operative, based in Gore Bay, Ont. Dennis O'Connor is the manager, and John McNaughton is the president.

In third place was La Co-operative de Pointe-aux-Roches, based in Pointe-aux-Roches, Ontario. Charles Desmarais is the manager, and John Sauve is the president.

Ranking fourth was RIVERLAND FS, Inc., based in Knoxville, Ill. Ron Blotna is the manager and Mike DeSutter is the president.

Tying for fifth were Huron Bay Co-operative Inc., New Century FS, Inc., and New Horizon FS, Inc.

Jeffrey Hurst is the manager of Huron Bay Co-operative, based in Teeswater, Ont., and Murray Vincent is president.

New Horizon FS, based in Tipton, Iowa, was managed by Kendall Miller during the time period measured, and Robert "Jay" Hartman is the president.

New Century FS, Inc., based in Grinnell, Iowa, is managed by Dwayne Jacobs, and Kevin Herink is the president.

GROWMARK, Inc. is a federated regional cooperative that provides agriculture-related products and services primarily in the Midwest and Ontario, Canada. FS-brand farm supplies and related services are marketed to farmers in these areas by nearly 100 GROWMARK member cooperatives. Visit the GROWMARK Web site at

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