CRI Focuses on Positioning Cooperative for the Future
Cooperative Resources International (CRI), the holding cooperative consisting of AgSource Cooperative Services, GENEX and MOFA Global, took steps to further the organization's mission during 2016.
"It was a challenging year," stated Chairman John Ruedinger, addressing member-elected delegates at the CRI annual meeting. "Low milk prices for members and customers, coupled with a strong dollar, contributed to reduced revenues for your cooperative. Challenging as the year was in the face of economic adversity, CRI and its subsidiaries accomplished some significant steps to position your cooperative for the future."
The CRI annual meeting was held January 24-25 in Bloomington, Minnesota. The event included a review of fiscal year 2016 results. In attendance were 86 percent of the cooperative's elected delegates, hailing from 26 states. During the two-day event, those attendees also took part in 10 educational sessions aimed at providing cooperative and farm management insight.
In his report, Ruedinger said the cooperative has set the pace as a global leader and activities during 2016 helped chart the course for continued leadership.
"While 2016 did not deliver our desired financial results, CRI staff worked hard to advance the spirit of our strategic plan," he said.
CRI revenues for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016, totaled $189,965,755. Those revenues were down from fiscal year 2015.
Among Ruedinger's highlights for the year was an update to the GENEX Ideal Commercial Cow (ICC$) index, which provided dairy producers around the world the opportunity to breed for even healthier commercial cows. The economic-based genetic index was updated to include proprietary health traits for subclinical ketosis, metritis and foot health.
In addition, AgSource took steps to improve efficiency and capacity by expanding its DHIA dairy program offerings outside the Midwest to herds west of the Mississippi River and in the Northeast. To provide greater efficiencies in DHI testing services, AgSource and Eastern Wisconsin DHIC formed a joint venture called Co-DairyLytics LLC. On the laboratories side, AgSource expanded and upgraded processing technologies for soil, water, milk, food and environmental testing. Furthermore, the Ellsworth, Iowa, laboratory was relocated to a new, larger, fully integrated facility.
The year's accomplishments also included further organization of CRI's robust research program known as the International Center for Biotechnology (ICB). Scientists with the ICB conduct cutting-edge research spanning several animal species and specifically focus on advances in reproductive technologies, molecular and cell biology, along with DNA and genomics research.
"We visualize the CRI ICB being instrumental in delivering technological innovations and providing substantial proprietary business advantages to the CRI subsidiaries," explains Ruedinger. "2016 included a prime example, as ICB research contributed to the development of the new GENEX proprietary health traits."
In closing, Ruedinger shared, "While 2016 showed the world has become a more intense global marketplace, your board of directors and management team focused on bringing about positive changes that will continue to allow CRI to be a global leader in production agriculture. We are charting the course for our future and have set the stage for new and exciting happenings in 2017."