January 31, 2020
Premier held a successful annual meeting on Tuesday, January 28th, 2020 at the Community Center in Thomasboro, IL. The original Annual Meeting was scheduled to take place on Thursday, December 19th but was formally reconvened for January due to communication issues between the United State Postal Service (USPS) and Premier that affected the proper recognition of submitted proxy assignments. As many of you are aware, in the original Annual Meeting notice mailed to our members we included a notice allowing members who are not able to attend the annual meeting to formally assign their voting privileges to a board member or other members who are expected to attend. In essence, a member that does not plan to attend the meeting can formally identify a “Proxy” or person that will be in attendance to be responsible for submitting votes on their behalf.
While we continue to work with the USPS to get to the root of the communication issues, sufficient proxy authorizations were received prior to the January 28th reconvened meeting and a quorum was established.
Jack Murray, Premier’s board president, presided over the Annual Meeting which began at 9:00 am. Doug Hansens, Secretary of the Premier board of directors, shared the minutes of the 2018 meeting. Jack then welcomed John Rassi, principal at Premier’s auditing firm of Clifton Larson Allen, to discuss the 2019 fiscal year financial performance. John discussed improved bottom line performance and subsequent increases to both patronage distributions and members’ equity holdings.
Jack then outlined capital expenditures completed in fiscal year 2019, as well as, historical cash distributions to Premier’s members over the past six (6) years. In 2019 Premier hosted two Advisory Committee events where members shared insights of their operations and what their current and future needs are as it relates to Premier Cooperative’s offerings. Additionally, Jack shared that Premier hosted various groups from throughout the world that were in the Champaign area to learn more of US farm production. Lastly Jack thanked members for their business and further elaborated on Premier members’ response to the Harvest Newsletter in preparing for a long and unique harvest this past fall.
Next, Jack welcomed Tim Hughes, Chief Executive Officer of United Prairie, LLC to discuss United Prairie’s performance during the 2019 fiscal year. Tim also shared the recent successful acquisition of Miller Ag who’s team is now part of the successful team serving the agronomic needs of farmers throughout central Illinois.
Bob Carlson discussed the Seven Cooperative Principals, focusing on the importance of Democratic Member Owner Control and Concern for Community. Premier will focus on community support in the areas of Education, Agriculture, Safety and Feeding the Hungary. Bob shared examples of such support in which Premier partnered with CoBank, CHS and Land O’Lakes to present philanthropic donations to 4-H, FFA and the Eastern Illinois Food Bank. Additionally, Premier is proud of its relationship with the Champaign County Farm Bureau and their remarkable scholarship programs.
Jack introduced Jeff Suits as the chair of the Premier Nominating Committee. Jeff shared the Nominating Committee’s recommendation to recognize incumbents for reelection to the Premier board of directors. A unanimous vote was cast electing Greg Miller, Dwight Huffstutler, Roger Miller, Joseph Kuntz and Steve Hettinger to 3-year terms on the Premier board of directors.
As no new business was introduced, those in attendance were thanked for their time and attendance and the 2019 Annual Meeting was adjourned.