CHATHAM, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 17, 2014) - AGRIS Co-operative board president Jim Maw proudly announced at the co-operative's annual meeting this week that $800,000 in patronage has been returned to its farmer-owners.

Combined sales for 2013 for AGRIS Co-operative amounts to more than $282 million, up $66 million from 2012. Based on these positive results, over $2 million has been put into retained earnings to support further upgrades and improvements for the co-operative.

"Your co-operative is working hard to strengthen its position in the marketplace right now and for the future," said Maw to owners who attended the annual meeting. "Significant investments in your co-operative are being made with the agreement to acquire the Thamesford elevator, the expansion of the Thamesville elevator and plans to improve fertilizer blending capacities for our owners and customers."

In his year-end report, Jim Campbell, AGRIS Co-operative general manager reviewed operational highlights from 2013. "Factors such as increased wheat acres planted, new and diverse weed resistance programs, and commodity prices that continued to reward farmers for high yields all helped drive the positive financial results we experienced this past year."

Retained earnings at the end of the year were $14.5 million and total owners' equity now exceeds $18 million or 31.8 per cent of total assets. "I'm pleased to report on behalf of the board of directors that your co-operative continues to have a solid balance sheet and appropriate earnings to support the ongoing investments we are making to better serve our owners and customers," added Campbell.

The election of four directors for the co-operative was held and re-elected to a three-year term were Larry Pajot from Windsor, Paul Repko from Kingsville, Richard Tanner from Appin and newly elected was Pat Vanheule from Thamesville. The board of directors met immediately after the meeting and conducted the election of officers. The following were elected; as president - Jim Maw from Mooretown, vice-president - Larry Pajot from Windsor and secretary - Paul Repko from Kingsville.

Co-operative Young Leader participants who were sponsored by AGRIS Co-operative this past year, made presentations about their experiences while attending the youth leadership program. They were Emma Anger, Amy McDonald, Samantha Vink, Anna Papineau and Ashley Sauve.

GROWMARK Ontario human resources manager, Barry Hannah recognized the AGRIS director's commitment to training and development. Directors Scott McGeachy and Stan Towers were presented with their certificates for completion of the GROWMARK Certified Director program. Kym Fysh, regional director for GROWMARK, gave an informative presentation on the history of the GROWMARK System and its continued successful growth throughout Ontario and the United States.

AGRIS Co-operative Ltd. is a one-hundred-per-cent farmer-owned grain marketing and farm-input supply company that serves 1,200 farmer owners in 14 locations in Essex, Kent, Elgin, Middlesex and Lambton Counties. It is a leader in Precision farming technology, seed, agronomy and petroleum services. The co-operative is a partner of Great Lakes Grain, a grain merchandising company. AGRIS Co-operative is a member-owner of GROWMARK, Inc. and markets products and services under the FS banner.

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Contact Information:

AGRIS Co-operative Ltd.
Jim Campbell
General Manager

Southern Co-operative Services
Terry Stevenson
Communications Manager