The Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives salutes…

Livestock farmers in the Midwest may be familiar with this month’s cooperative. United Producers, Inc. (UPI) was formed in 1999 through the consolidation in operations of Producers Livestock Association in Ohio/Indiana and MFA Livestock in Missouri. During the following two years, UPI also joined with Interstate Producers Livestock Association in Illinois and the Michigan Livestock Exchange in Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky. The original identities were established in the 1930s and have provided needed livestock services to their farmer members for more than 70 years.

UPI has a total of 38,000 members across the Midwest, with more than 5,100 in Illinois. It has 13 auction barn and collection point facilities within the state, and its Coordinated Feeder Services (CFS) division is headquartered in Salem, Ill. UPI also conducts several sheep pools throughout the state. Company-wide, it markets 3 million head of livestock a year.

The cooperative business model allows UPI to offer a variety of services to its members including livestock marketing, risk management and financing. It has good relationships with feedlots and backgrounders and works closely with major packing plants, including a major plant in Illinois.

“At United Producers, we understand and embrace the concept of the cooperative,” said President and CEO Dennis Bolling. “Our heritage is rooted in helping to create a better quality of life for our farmer members, their families and their communities. Over the years, as our business has ebbed and flowed, one thing has remained constant – when we help our members succeed, we succeed. It’s really that simple – and that’s the beauty of a cooperative business model. Everyone has a stake in the success of the organization – each employee and each member. And, given the current environment in our country, I see cooperatives becoming even more popular for two reasons. First, since the members are the owners this gives them a vested interest in the success of the organization. Second, people realize that there is a service mentality that cooperatives have at their very core.”

To learn more about United Producers, go to its website at