Norfolk FS

Norfolk FS

April 03, 2006 17:44 ET

Spring Marks A Fresh Start For Co-Op Members In Haldimand-Norfolk

WATERFORD, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 3, 2006) - This marks the first full week of service for Norfolk FS, and a fresh start for co-operative patrons of the area.

Norfolk FS is the company owned by Norfolk Co-operative Co. Ltd. and GROWMARK, Inc. It is managed by FS PARTNERS GP, a management company created by neighbouring co-operatives and GROWMARK, their regional co-operative. Ownership of assets allowing Norfolk FS to operate transferred on Mar. 31.

"This new organization, Norfolk FS, has the financial wherewithal to adapt new technology and grow," says farmer Marshall Schuyler who serves as one of the farmer representatives on the Norfolk FS board of directors. Fellow director and farmer Ric Dendauw says that he is pleased to see that the farming community is continuing to benefit from a co-operative organization, even though Norfolk Co-op won't be delivering the services directly.

FS PARTNERS CEO Jaye Atkins says that Norfolk FS is keeping the best of its predecessor to maintain top services. He acknowledges that some difficult decisions had to be made.

One is to close the Jarvis branch in mid April. Atkins says that Waterford is the hub of agronomic activity for Norfolk FS, and customers will receive their services from there. Some bagged feed will be available at Waterford, and Dairy Production Specialist Andy Richardson will maintain contact with feed customers. Feed will be produced by Land O'Lakes certified mills in Wingham and Mitchell, predominantly. Atkins adds that the co-operative system owns these feed plants and it has an alliance with Land O'Lakes. "It makes sense to more fully use the resources we have," says Atkins.

Six locations comprise the Norfolk FS group: Aylmer, Courtland, Delhi, Hagersville, Straffordville and Waterford. Grain storage capacity is about 4.5 million bushels, keeping Norfolk FS a leader in Norfolk-Haldimand for grain handling. The organization also has significant shares in marketer Great Lakes Grain Inc. Petroleum delivery will continue through Central Ontario Energy Alliance ("COEA").

GROWMARK is a co-operative owned by local co-operatives in Ontario and the Midwest United States primarily. Members of GROWMARK market products and services under the FS banner. For more information, visit: www.fssystem.com.

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