Agfinity reports financial strength and member focus at 2019 annual meeting
Agfinity Inc. President and CEO Jason Brancel reported on the cooperative’s third year in a row of increased earnings at the 2019 annual meeting in Loveland, Colo. Fiscal year 2019 financial highlights included local earnings from operations of $2.75 million, and net earnings of $5.82 million on net sales in excess of $226 million.
Brancel, who was appointed as CEO in 2016, also reported that working capital improved for the third year in a row, and that leverage decreased to a very low 3% debt to equity ratio. Capital investment in assets to serve member needs in 2019 was $4.5 million. “Your cooperative is financially strong and poised for growth” said Brancel to a full room of cooperative members, employees, business partners and other stakeholders.
“The cooperative’s success, particularly in a tough operating environment in agriculture, is due to strong member and customer support. The transformation of our Agfinity culture over the last several years has created a team of highly engaged professional employees who are focused on the customer experience,” Brancel said. “This isn’t about perfection. It is about continuous improvement; being better today than we were yesterday, and better tomorrow than we are today.”
This sentiment was also shared by Board Chairman Kent Kalcevic, who reported on the focus of the board of directors and on training completed by members of the board in 2019, including the Gettysburg Leadership Experience. Additionally, Kalcevic announced that $5.1 million of earnings have been returned to the members in the form of cash in the past three years through patronage refunds and equity retirements.
Brancel, and his team of executive leaders, conducted an open and transparent Q&A session at the annual meeting, discussing a wide range of topics including operational changes, talent retention, industry issues, and growth projects under evaluation. Kate Greenburg, Colorado Department of Agriculture commissioner was on hand to provide the audience with an update on the department’s initiatives and key issues. Tanner Ehmke of CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange provided an agricultural macroeconomic update, and speakers from Clifton Larson Allen rounded out the agenda with a discussion on farm succession planning.