NorthStar Cooperative Stockowners Receive $420,000 in Patronage & Dividends
Dairy and beef producers who are stockowners of NorthStar Cooperative received more than $420,000 in patronage and dividends for the Cooperative’s fiscal year-end results. During the 2007 fiscal year, sales increased 5 percent, bringing NorthStar’s consolidated revenue to $18 million. Income from operations was up $53,000 over the prior year, bringing the total to $609,000; the second highest in NorthStar’s history.
Powered by strong income from operations and investment income, Net Income was 4.2 percent of sales. “This is a great range for a cooperative to be in,” noted Gary Smith, NorthStar Cooperative Executive Vice President and General Manager. “It allows us to pay back strong dividends to our members (stockowners) and have the working capital to grow the business.”
Earlier this year, the NorthStar board of directors approved a patronage allocation of $395,000 to common stockowners, of which, 55 percent was paid in cash. This sizeable patronage allocation means that on average, common stockowners received a 4.5 percent return on their annual expenses with the Cooperative in 2007.
Additionally, the board also approved a 69-cent dividend on shares of Class A Preferred Stock, the highest ever. 2007 marks the ninth consecutive year a preferred stock dividend was paid. Payments and reinvestments of more than $25,000 were dispersed to preferred stockowners in February. In addition to this record dividend, the value of NorthStar’s Preferred Stock increased to $23.25 per share. Since its introduction in 1999 at $10 a share, this series of stock has experienced an annual growth rate of 11.1 percent.
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 increased semen unit sales by 4 percent, marketing an all-time high of 736,000 units of semen. DHI Services experienced a 6.8 percent growth, reaching 252,000 cows on test in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin. Additionally, NorthStar’s Ag Products and Technologies business contributed $2.2 million to the Cooperative’s total revenue.
While the patronage-based business units turned in outstanding performances, Antel BioSystems, Inc. (AntelBio), a subsidiary of UniStar, Inc., a wholly owned company of NorthStar Cooperative, Inc., also experienced tremendous growth in revenues and sample volume. An animal disease testing facility, specializing in developing tests using the milk platform, AntelBio again expanded its testing options in 2007 and now offers Johne’s, leukosis, BVD and progesterone testing.
“2007 was a year of many notable results for our Cooperative,” said Mike Heckaman, Argos, Indiana dairy producer and president of the NorthStar Cooperative board of directors. “New product and service offerings have had a positive effect on the value of stock, as well as having brought more value to producers. The board of directors is pleased with the Cooperative’s results and we are excited about the future.”
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 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.
Kelly Bristle Ekovich