JEFF MANDERSCHEID, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD
The UFC board of directors, alongside the management team, is constantly seeking ways to empower and uplift our patrons. We firmly believe that our cooperative is more than just a business venture. It is a platform that enables our patrons to grow and prosper together through the products and services we offer, all of which are underpinned by the financial backbone of your co-op: allocated equity.
What does all this mean for our member-owners? Our past four plus years are great examples of substantial growth, increased value and profitability. The business has performed well which has resulted in strong profits, reduced debt and well-managed cash flow. Staying true to our mission and the core principles of the cooperative system, rewarding our member-owners with strong patronage and equity retirement is a priority of ours for fiscal year 2024.
UFC’s existing equity retirement policy allows member-owners to receive their payout at age 69, and then again at age 79 and annually thereafter. While this policy has served UFC member-owners well, your board of directors is focused on improving this policy and accelerating the payout process for future generations. Due to year-over-year increased profitability, we have the financial flexibility to accomplish this. We will continue to pay out existing retirement equity to those who meet the age requirements as part of the original policy for those 65 and older. Ournew equity program will focus on the year of which the equity was issued to help us better serve all demographics.
Increased profitability has also given us an opportunity to distribute cash patronage back into member-owners’ pockets before age 69. We recognize that expediting this process and sharing profits in a timelier manner with our member-owners can positively impact you and your operation. This shift will also allow us to demonstrate the value proposition of the co-op ecosystem to our next generation of patrons. Ensuring the financial stability of your cooperative, as well as returning profits and added value to UFC patrons will continue to be our top priority!
Equity retirements are crucial elements of UFC’s ethos, empowering our member-owners to thrive in an ever-changing agricultural landscape. We appreciate your continued support and loyalty and look forward to another great year. We extend our heartfelt gratitude for your unwavering support and loyalty, eagerly anticipating yet another remarkable year ahead.