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farmers and others. company’s corporate debt rating was said in late March. “But the good news The session was the first in a series upgraded to “BB+” by Standard and is that CWT will continue to be of topical meetings that NCFC plans to Poor’s, following an upgrade to “Ba1” engaged in efforts to improve the hold; future sessions will look at by Moody’s Investors Service. difficult economic situation that dairy commodity-specific impacts of climate Performance by business unit shows: producers are facing.” legislation, opportunities provided in a • Dairy foods sales of $4.1 billion and cap-and-trade system, and how pretax earnings of $16.3 million in Hog co-op files for bankruptcy legislation might affect the 2008 compared to sales of $4.2 billion Meadowbrook Farms, an Illinois hog transportation infrastructure and and pretax earnings of $28.5 million cooperative that opened in 2002, agricultural trade. in 2007. announced plans in March to file for • Feed sales climbed to $3.9 billion, but Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. It said its assets Record sales, member it proved to be a break-even year for will be liquidated, including a payments for LO’L the unit, compared to sales of $3.1 processing plant in Rantoul, Ill. Land O’Lakes, a Minneapolis, billion and pretax earnings of $30.9 The co-op once had 200 members, Minn.-based dairy foods and farm million in 2007. but was down to less than half that supply co-op, had record net sales of • Layers/Eggs sales, conducted through number, according to press reports. Its $12 billion in 2008, up 35 percent from MoArk LLC, were $606 million with 600 employees were laid off in $8.9 billion in 2007. The co-op also pretax earnings of $29.9 million, up December. It had for many months returned a record $98 million to its from $514 million and $19.9 million been paying below-market rates for hog members. Net earnings of $159.6 the previous year. deliveries, leading to steady erosion in million were just slightly off from • Seed sales notched a new record at member business. 2007’s record $160.9 million. About $1.2 billion, with pretax earnings of Co-op members are unsecured two-thirds of the sales increase was the $33.4 million, compared to sales of creditors who will only collect the $5 result of the company’s acquisition in $917 million and pretax earnings of million the co-op owes them if funds late 2007 of a crop protection products $43.9 million in 2007. remain after payments are made to business. • Agronomy sales, primarily crop secured creditors (typically lenders and President and CEO Chris Policinski protection products, hit $2.3 billion suppliers). said that these results — coupled with with pretax earnings of $112.5 According to press reports, strategic progress
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