Landmark Services Cooperative Hosts 87th Annual Meeting

COTTAGE GROVE, WI, January 24, 2020 – Landmark Services Cooperative held the 87th annual meeting on January 23, 2020, at the headquarters in Cottage Grove, WI.

The meeting was called to order by Board Chairman Jim Lange. Lange then welcomed guests and introduced the board of directors prior to giving his chairman’s report.

Secretary Kevin Klahn reported on the minutes from last year’s annual meeting and informed the group that these were available as members arrived and had been approved at the January 2019 board of directors meeting.

Chairman Lange gave the chairman’s report including topics addressing logistics issues with fertilizer, Landmark’s new Evansville fertilizer plant, Cottage Grove feed mill upgrades, securing energy supplies for our customers, board of directors’ training, and a recap on the donations made through the Landmark Gives Back program including scholarship recipients, summer lunch programs, breakfast on the farm, Lennox Feel the Love program, and the Second Harvest Foodbank contributions.

Jeff Brandenburg, independent auditor, stated that CliftonLarsonAllen found Landmark’s financial statements to be accurate and issued an unqualified opinion on the financial statements.

Chief Financial Officer Keith Arnold presented the financial report comprising of an overview of the 2019 statement of operations performance, consolidated balance sheet, financial analysis for fiscal years 2015-2019 of working capital, local net worth and cash returned to patrons. Arnold also touched on Landmark’s patron note program.

President and CEO Jim Dell provided the management report and opened by thanking Landmark’s members, board of directors and employees. Dell’s report provided a recap of the 2019 fiscal year and an overview of Landmark’s equity, section 199A deduction, capital expenditures, and $1.3 million in total patronage to be paid back in cash in 2020. Dell also discussed the focus of the 2020 fiscal year to be ‘2020 and Beyond,’ which includes evaluating and optimizing staffing needs and Landmark’s asset base, improving sales growth, growing Verity Financing, completing key capital expenditure projects within budget, and improving communications to our members.  Dell also recapped Landmark’s current fiscal year to date.

Director John Blaska announced his retirement from Landmark’s Board of Directors. John served on the board for 25 years. During his time, John helped spearhead steady growth of the Cooperative, mostly through various mergers and acquisitions.

Mike Hinz, nominating committee chair, reported that this year’s nominating committee worked very hard to recruit qualified board candidates for the expired term of retiring Landmark Director John Blaska. The candidates for the at-large director position were Brian Brown of Belleville and Josh Hiemstra of Brandon. Hinz shared the winning election results in which Brian Brown will serve a new three-year term on the board of directors. Hinz then announced the 2020 nominating committee: Jim Fahey, John Blaska, Rick Austin, Scott VanderVeen, and eastern and northern district positions to be determined.

After the meeting the board reconvened in a special session to elect board positions. The 2020 board is as follows: Jim Lange, Board Chairman; Jon Prochnow, Vice Chairman; Kevin Klahn, Secretary/Treasurer; Brian Brown, Director; Sandy Larson, Director; Keven Schultz, Director; Max Wenck, Director.

President and CEO Jim Dell concludes the management report and fields questions from Landmark members during the annual meeting held on January 23, 2020.