AgMark History & Vision
On May 1, 1999, four grain and farm supply cooperatives in North Central Kansas, Cloud County Cooperative, Concordia; Randall Farmers Cooperative Union, Randall; Delphos Cooperative, Delphos, and Farmway Co-op Inc, Beloit, merged their grain marketing efforts to create AgMark LLC. The management of the four cooperatives had determined that the most strategic move for their business was to create a profitable grain handling system to efficiently and effectively deliver the quality grains produced in this area to North American end users and exporters. The process of utilizing long truck hauls and terminal elevators had become an inefficient movement in the grain supply chain. The key to efficient grain handling in surplus areas is the utilization of the new rail "shuttle loading" elevators much closer to production areas.
AgMark LLC purchased the West Cloud County Co-op elevator facility, located West of Concordia on Hwy. 9. The objective was to upgrade this facility for loading 110 car trains in less than 15 hours on the BNSF rail line. Today this facility also contains high speed drying and cleaning facilities to add value to grain and can warehouse nearly 12 million bushels of grain with future expansion capability.
In May of 2003, the Cloud County Co-op purchased the Delphos Co-op's 10% share in AgMark LLC. Membership in AgMark LLC was 50% Farmway Co-op, 40% Cloud County and 10% Randall Farmers Cooperative Union until 2015.
A second shuttle loading elevator was built and brought on-line at Glen Elder in 2007 by Farmway Co-op. This gave AgMark LLC the ability to merchandise and load Union Pacific 110 car trains which tremendously expanded marketing alternatives.
In February of 2015, a new grain marketing and handling company was formed which is owned by Gavilon Grain and AgMark LLC. AgMark had been exploring opportunities to improve marketing alternatives for bushels in the Eastern trade territory as well as additional destinations for bushels on farm that are more economical going to non AgMark locations. In this process, and after several interactions with Gavilon, it was determined that forming a separate entity called Flint Hills Grain LLC added value for both parties. AgMark owns 20% of this LLC with Gavilon overseeing merchandising and day to day operations of the 110 car shuttle loading facility in Abilene, Kansas located with access to both the UP and BNSF rail lines. Access to these additional markets is an advantage to AgMark and assists Gavilon in its origination needs, a true win-win.
Also in early 2015, AgMark LLC underwent a twofold restructuring process by creating Concordia Terminal LLC (CTLLC) and changing the ownership structure of AgMark. The AgMark shuttle loader in Concordia was the only facility that AgMark owned and operated with all other locations owned and operated by the three cooperatives. Over the first 15 years of AgMark, many things had changed and adapted but the ownership of the shuttle loading facility in Concordia had stayed the same. During various strategic planning sessions, AgMark saw a need to make some changes to be better positioned for potential growth and provide for the needs of each cooperative owner and the producers. The three cooperatives agreed to restructure the shuttle loading facility in Concordia, shifting its ownership to a new entity called CTLLC. Effective February 1, 2015 the former AgMark shuttle loading facility in Concordia is owned and operated by CTLLC which is owned 70% Cloud County Co-op, 20% Farmway Co-op, and 10% Randall Farmer’s Co-op. An additional change was made in February of 2016 with the addition of Central Valley Ag (CVA) as an owner of CTLLC. Today the ownership of CTLLC is 65% Cloud County Co-op, 27% CVA (12% CVA & 20% Farmway Co-op), and 9% Randall Farmers Co-op. AgMark continues to do the grain marketing and Cloud County is managing the day to day facility operations.
To allow for equitable distribution of income and position AgMark for growth, the board of directors changed ownership structure of AgMark so it is based on a three year average of inbound grain volume. Over time, this has allowed AgMark to add three new owners; Pro Ag Marketing of Kensington, Kansas (December 2015), the Kansas locations of CVA of York, Nebraska (May 2016), and Ottawa Cooperative of Ottawa, Kansas (May 2017).
With the merger of Farmway/CVA the new ownership of AgMark becomes: CVA (55.16%), Concordia Terminal LLC (23.55%), Ottawa Cooperative (12.82%), Cloud County Co-op (2.69%), Randall Farmers Union Co-op (3.15%), and Pro-Ag Marketing (2.65%).
Today, AgMark LLC merchandises grain for 52 facilities in Kansas handling over 82 million bushels of grain annually from its main office in Beloit, Kansas.