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PRAIRIE DU SAC -  Stockholders have approved a proposal to merge three Farm Credit organizations in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Effective July 1, 1st Farm Credit Services, AgStar Financial Services and Badgerland Financial will become Compeer Financial. The new organization’s headquarters will be in Sun Prairie, Wis., and each organization’s existing office locations will continue to provide local service.

The boards of directors for 1st Farm Credit Services, AgStar Financial and Badgerland Financial began exploring a potential merger in February 2016 and unanimously recommended moving forward in August. Stockholders received ballots and detailed information about the proposal in March, after the Farm Credit Administration granted preliminary approval to proceed. Votes were tallied at special stockholder meetings in each association’s corporate offices on April 7, with the outcome in favor of the merger.

As Compeer Financial, the new organization will operate in 144 counties through 47 offices in parts of Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Compeer Financial will have nearly 50,000 clients, and $18.6 billion in assets.

“We would like to thank each cooperative’s stockholders for their participation in this process and their support of the merger proposal. We are confident in the positive impact the unified organization will provide for our rural communities and agriculture,” said Badgerland Financial Board Chair Mark Cade.

“We look forward to continuing the relationships established through our separate organizations and strengthening those connections with enhanced resources and deeper in-house expertise,” said AgStar President and CEO Rod Hebrink, who also has been selected to lead Compeer Financial.

In addition to drawing on each organization’s strengths, the merger provides expanded capital that will help Compeer Financial invest in technology and other resources to support its client base. It also creates a more diverse portfolio that will create additional stability and better position the organization to share its earnings with stockholders through a cash patronage program.

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