March 6, 2006
For Immediate Release

NorthStar Cooperative Stockowners Earn 4.9% Return on Purchases

On average, a 4.9 percent return on purchases is what stockowners of NorthStar Cooperative, Inc., are receiving in the mail right now. The news of a patronage allocation to common stockowners and a dividend on preferred stock was declared after the board of directors of the Lansing, Michigan Cooperative approved the 2005 audited financial report.

“Again we exceeded our previous years’ sales revenues and achieved our second highest operating profit in NorthStar’s history,” remarks Gary Smith , NorthStar Cooperative general manager.“ With record high sales revenues which exceeded $15 million, the board wanted to share the success with the producers who have invested in the Cooperative.”

The NorthStar board of directors approved a 62-cent dividend, representing $23,043 be paid on all shares of Class A Preferred Stock of record at the close of the fiscal year, making 2005 the seventh consecutive year a preferred dividend has been paid. In addition, the board declared a patronage dividend allocation of $376,978 and approved paying 50 percent in cash. In total, nearly $400,000 is being distributed to stockowners.

“NorthStar’s stockowners typically own one share of common stock, as well as shares of preferred stock,” noted Smith, “and these stockowners received on average a 4.9 percent return on their annual expenses with the Cooperative in 2005. For a producer who spends $10,000 with the Cooperative, they received $490 in cash and allocated credits. Not many agricultural suppliers can say they offer that kind of benefit.”

The ability to pay such returns to stockowners is the result of NorthStar’s patronage-based business units performing beyond expectations. NorthStar’s A.I. business unit had its best year ever marketing 684,640 units of semen, which generated over $9.1 million in revenues. Continued growth in the DHI Services business unit meant NorthStar had 228,000 cows on test in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin. Even with this growth, NorthStar’s DHI Services continued to provide the fastest turnaround time of all DRMS affiliates, assuring producers the quickest receipt of their testing information. In addition, NorthStar’s Ag Products and Technologies business unit experienced its highest revenue year ever with sales in excess of $1.9 million.

While the patronage-based business units turned in outstanding performance, Antel BioSystems, Inc. (AntelBio), a subsidiary of UniStar, Inc., a wholly owned company of NorthStar Cooperative, Inc., experienced tremendous growth with a 39 percent increase in revenues. An animal disease testing facility, specializing in developing tests using the milk platform, AntelBio offers Johne’s and Leukosis testing and in 2005 made BVD testing options available to veterinarians.

As a result of NorthStar’s strong sales and financial performance, as well as the appreciation of non-patronage investments, the value of Class A Preferred Stock increased 25.7 percent over 2004’s value. Now valued at $20.52 a share, NorthStar’s preferred stock has grown at an average rate of 12.3 percent over the past five years.

NorthStar Cooperative, Inc. is a stock based cooperative, owned by dairy and beef producers in Michigan , Indiana and Wisconsin . Originally formed in 1944 as an artificial insemination cooperative, NorthStar Cooperative, Inc. is now comprised of sales and service for NorthStar-Select Sires, Ag Products and Technologies, DHI Services and Antel BioSystems, an animal disease testing center. Based in Lansing , Michigan , NorthStar provides sales and service to producers, veterinarians and industry members across the United States . For more information, visit www.northstarcooperative.com.

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For More Information Contact:
Kelly Bristle Ekovich, Director Member Relations and Promotions
P O Box 23157 , Lansing , Michigan 48909
Phone: 1.800.631.3510 (extension 624)                 Email:bristleekovichk@northstarcooperative.com