Roughly 88 percent of Andale members voted Dec. 10 in favor of the merger, according to a press release.
The next day, Kanza’s stockholders provided their input, voting unanimously to accept the merger with Andale, creating a producer-owned agribusiness footprint that covers Harvey, Pratt, Reno, Sedgwick and Stafford counties.
The combined company will be called Kanza Cooperative Association.
The joining of the two companies creates a business with roughly $270 million in gross sales and a net profit of $8.6 million. It will offer services in grain, crop production, fuels and farm supply, along with other various programs and products.
The two companies have been in merger discussions since June, citing the changing agricultural marketplace and the need for strategic growth to further meet those needs.
Earl Wetta, Board Chairman of Andale, and Mike Christie, Board Chairman of Kanza, stated at the outset of the talks that it is important that the cooperatives grow "in size and scale to effectively continue to serve our members to be able to supply them with the products, services, and risk management tools that today’s producer expects and deserves.”
Both companies bring a wealth of experience to the merger, said Bruce Krehbiel, chief executive officer of Kanza.
"(Andale's) rich 75-year history, blended with Kanza’s 100 year history, brings a wealth of intellectual property to this union, said Krehbiel. "I commend the boards of directors of both firms to have the foresight to bring together two such longstanding, successful cooperatives.”
Cooperative mergers and partnerships continue to happen across Kansas over the past five years.
Nickerson-based Farmers Cooperative Elevator and Sterling’s Farmers Coop Union finalize a merger agreement March 1 2014, becoming Central Prairie Co-op. Members of Farmers Cooperative Association based in Manhattan voted March 6 2014 to merge into Moundridge’s Mid-Kansas Cooperative.
The Cairo Cooperative Equity Exchange, which has locations in Kingman, Pratt and Reno counties, purchased ownership in western Kansas grain company Skyland Grain last spring - becoming a part of Skyland Grain joint venture.
The moves have all been made in an effort to keep relevant amid the growth of modern agriculture.
This isn't the first merger attempt for Andale in recent years. The cooperative tried to merge with Halstead-based Farmers Co-op Elevator in March 2014, but that unification was voted down.