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Business with Yourself Just Makes Sense

May 30, 2018

Nearly 10 years ago the member cooperatives of TMA embarked on a journey to rejuvenate their grain handling assets. At that point in time, we could see our customers’ ability to harvest and deliver grain was increasing rapidly and would soon out pace our elevators unloading capacities. This realization has focused TMA’s quest to provide an extraordinary customer experience and remain relevant for the next generation.

The rate of change each of us experience on a daily basis is astonishing. When we started this journey, the average load of grain delivered to the elevator was around 325 bushels. Today it has more than doubled to 775 bushels per load. Examples similar to this type of growth can be found in every aspect of production agriculture and puts an extreme strain on the infrastructures of the entire industry, including your cooperative’s grain elevators. This strain leaves your co-op with the choice to use the existing assets until they are obsolete or to do what our cooperative forefathers did, band together and create infrastructures to support the next generation.

The member cooperatives of TMA have approached the asset renewal plan with one thing in mind, the customer. In addition to new grain storage, legs and green field sites, numerous other projects have been completed improving the customer experience. In several locations, dual scales have been added to eliminate harvest bottle necks and return our producers to the field in a timely manner. The construction of the rail terminal in Canton is also an investment in our cooperatives’ future. This terminal will allow TMA access to new markets, improving harvest time logistics. It will also allow us to capture additional market opportunities which can be passed back to our owners in the form of patronage.

The future of our cooperative and asset renewal plan lies in each owner’s hands. Regardless of the growth of our cooperatives, the decisions are governed by the farmers who use our services on a daily basis, not some faceless investor group. The competition will try to keep us from gaining strength by offering deals that appear to be too good to be true. These offers are intended to convince you to drive by the facilities you own and not do business with yourself.

The following is an example of the true delivered value between the terminal and local cooperative.

It is our responsibility to educate and tell the story of the value of the cooperative system. When you look at the annual patronage allocations, section 199 deductions and freight savings, doing business with yourself just makes sense.

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