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Boards move forward with merger

The Boards of Directors of 1st Farm Credit Services, AgStar Financial Services and Badgerland Financial unanimously voted to recommend a merger of the three associations to their respective members and stockholders.

Next steps include a review and approval by AgriBank, the funding bank for the three associations, and a regulatory review and approval by the Farm Credit Administration. Both are scheduled to happen during the third and fourth quarters of 2016. As cooperatives, all three associations are owned by their member-stockholders so the proposed merger decision will culminate in the first quarter of 2017 with a stockholder vote.

“This past spring we agreed our associations have very similar commitments to serving agriculture and rural communities,” explained AgStar’s President and CEO, Rod Hebrink. “As we discussed possibilities, we found we’re more alike than we are different. Our similarities, including our positive working relationships and financial strength, offer a strong foundation of synergies that allowed us to move forward with a due diligence process to carefully evaluate if a merger would be in the best interest of our members, clients and stockholders.”

“To effectively work through this process, we all came to the discussions with the understanding that we weren’t looking for one organization to carry their current strategy into the proposed merger, but rather, evaluate how we take the strengths of the three associations and build on them to offer value to our members and stockholders,” added Diane Cole, President and CEO of Badgerland Financial.

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