Mergers and joint ventures continue to occur among Midwest cooperatives. The most recent includes the proposed consolidation of Farmland Industries of Kansas City, MO, and Cenex Harvest State Cooperatives of St. Paul, MN, into a new company called United Country Brands. The board of directors of each farm cooperative approved the merger, pending approval by members in late November. Official merger date is March 1, 2000.

In addition, the two cooperatives recently signed an agreement with Land O'Lakes to form a joint venture company for distributing plant food and crop protection products. The joint venture company is scheduled to begin operations March 1, 2000. It will be equally owned and governed by Land O'Lakes of Arden Hills, MN, and United Country Brands, if members approve the merger.