WESTCO celebrates record year

WESTCO President and General Manager David Briggs

Western Cooperative, known as WESTCO is celebrating their best year on record. The 72nd Annual stockholders' meeting was held Wednesday night at the Alliance Performing Arts Center. President and General Manager David Briggs announced in 2013 WESTCO had $181 million in sales, with a net profit of $10.7 million. This week WESTCO will return $3.6 million back to stockholders. The more than 6 - thousand patronage checks will be mailed this week.

Briggs attributes the great year to the success of their customers. For the past several years the agricultural economy has remained strong and when agriculture does well, farmers produce more crops, they (farmers) need more inputs and that allows WESTCO to do more volume. The better the coop does the better the returns back to stockholders.

Starting in January 2014 - WESTCO will be expanding their New Alliance Bean facility at Gering. WESTCO will be putting up four new bins increasing their storage capacity by 100-thousand bags.

With lower prices for corn, New Alliance anticipates the region's dry bean acres will increase in 2014. With more storage capacity in Gering, Briggs looks for New Alliance grow their market share. The expansion of New Alliance Bean in Gering will be completed in July 2014, in time for the fall harvest.

Mark Buskirk and Mark Kimmell, both of Alliance, and Erik Peterson of Gering were elected to the board of directors to serve three-year terms.

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