2019 Land O'Lakes, Inc. Annual Report

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is committed to achieving a prosperous shared destiny by working to advance rural communities across the nation. We do this by building tighter connections between consumers and farmers, and creating valueadded insights, products and services from farmer to fork. We believe we have only scratched the surface of how powerful our cooperative system can be—from lifting up rural communities and connecting with consumers to pioneering, scaling and delivering new technologies directly to the farmgate. As we travel the road to our 100th anniversary, we’ll share the journey together, overcoming challenges and capitalizing on opportunities to serve our noble purpose—just as we have for our cooperative’s first 99 years.



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Dear stakeholders, 2019 was a year unlike any other in the history of

Our Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN business rebranded

Land O’Lakes, Inc. Our industry has been tested by

to reflect its successful Truterra™ Insight Engine

the challenges of the past few years, and this year

tool. The business continues to add key customers

added trade complexities and near catastrophic

and partners, and help position farmers positively

weather. Like everyone, we have not been immune

for climate discussions.

to these challenges, but we have performed well, particularly in our competitive set.

Finally, we continue to support the rural communities in which our members live and work. We

The year marks a strategic pivot for the coopera-

donate through the Land O’Lakes Foundation,

tive. We are heightening our focus on our mission,

take a leadership position in advocating for policy

starting at the farm level. We’re different based on

positions and lead the charge to bring broadband

our unique farmer-to-fork platform, and we are

to all rural areas. We continue to narrow the gap

leveraging that platform even more aggressively.

between the producer and the consumer.

We’ve invested. We’ve delivered innovative prod-

We believe our recent investments, our pipe-

ucts and services, maintained a strong balance

line of growth initiatives and our commitment

sheet and progressed on future growth opportuni-

to our system and the communities in which our

ties. As a farmer- and retail-owned cooperative, we

members work and live will position us and them

know our primary focus is always supporting our

for a successful future together—one that will


form the foundation for our next 100 years.

With both ag and dairy owners, and their businesses and interests, we are able to pull different levers at strategic moments to make sure our members are most advantaged in both premiums and patronage. We are advocating for issues and showcasing needs on a national level with powerful stakeholders and partners. From a financial perspective, in 2019 Land O’Lakes delivered net earnings of $207 million with net sales of $14 billion. We are also proud to have been in position to return $187 million in cash to members in 2019. More specifically, we continue to invest in Dairy Foods to enable our key imperative of market access for our members and support their longterm resilience. Both our Animal Nutrition and Crop Inputs and Insights businesses deepened their engagements with dealers and retailers. In particular, we played to our strength of insights, analytics, services and influence, combined with cost control, to deliver consistent performance.

Beth Ford, President and CEO

Rick Brand, Chairman of the Board


Net sales

Net earnings







Business unit performance




$4 billion


$4 billion




$5 billion


FARMER TO FORK Creating value-added insights, products & services


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An omnichannel approach to serving farmers


he WinField United omnichannel approach to e-business is beginning to take hold and help retail-owners and their local growers thrive in an ever-changing economic and agronomic landscape. Research shows there is no one way to approach growers with increasingly large and sophisticated farming operations. They want a face-to face relationship, they want brick and mortar and, of course, they want digital. Our comprehensive, deliberate and research-based approach provides retail-owners the insights, purchasing and fulfillment capabilities to make it easier and faster for their growers to do business with local retailers. Currently, we have about 80 retail-owners on the e-business journey with us. This translates to more than 23 million acres enrolled in our R7® Tool plus 71 live websites executing over 600 digital campaigns that generate 1 million page views per month which, more importantly, drove $1.3 billion in topline sales in 2019.

Securing the “bag”


pray drift continues to be an important topic in agriculture. This year, WinField United researchers discovered that even if a drift reduction adjuvant (DRA) is included in the spray tank, flexible membranes called “bags” are created that can break and create many fine droplets that can easily drift where they shouldn’t. After identifying this occurrence, we found that InterLock® adjuvant disrupts the formation of these flexible bags so that bag breakup is less likely to occur. The research conducted at the WinField United Innovation Center showed that including both InterLock adjuvant and a DRA in the tank, along with a water conditioner, reduced driftable fines by 60 percent. As a result, WinField United’s InterLock was named AgriMarketing’s 2019 Product of the Year nearly 20 years after its initial introduction.

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So confident, we’ll share your risk


t a time when farmers need confidence and consistency in products and services more than ever, WinField United is responding with a service warranty program designed to help them meet yield goals while getting the most from every dollar they spend. The Advanced Acre™ Prescription Program uses our system’s more than 6 million annual data points, best-in-class products, innovative technology tools and local expertise to create some of the most actionable insights in agriculture. WinField United is so confident in its capabilities that if the prescription is executed and participating farmers don’t achieve 95%* of predetermined yields based on the plan and their actual production history (APH), the business is now offering a money-back service warranty on its agronomic advice. It’s just another example of how we’re building a suite of services aimed at meeting the needs of the grower and retailer of tomorrow. *Percentage goals for the APH crop yield vary per prescription plan.



n addition to increasing topline sales performance, the acquisition of Vermont Creamery has provided valuable insight into new and emerging markets. To prepare for the growth ahead, Vermont Creamery kicked off a facility expansion project with a groundbreaking ceremony in May. The production facility expansion will take place over three phases, increasing the creamery’s Websterville, Vermont, footprint by 38 percent, including the renovation of the existing fresh cheese facility. This year Vermont Creamery launched its 82 percent butterfat cultured stick butter in Sea Salt and Unsalted varieties, packaged in 100 percent recycled cartons, and more product launches are planned for 2020.

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s a nearly century-old organization, Land O’Lakes is proud of our heritage and has never forgotten our cooperative roots. Research has shown that consumers care about this heritage, too. They are excited when they learn Land O’Lakes is farmerowned. So as we approach our 100th anniversary, we are fully embracing this treasured history and showcasing our greatest strength—our farmer owners. We’re eager to share that message with shoppers and extending that farmer-owned story to our packaging is arguably our most direct vehicle to communicate with them. Land O’Lakes has begun introducing new packaging for LAND O LAKES®-branded products. The new packaging features farmers, who serve as the foundation of the cooperative’s membership and history, and connection to communities across the country. This packaging reflects the foundation and heart of our company culture and connects consumers to the farmer-owners whose milk is used to produce the great products they know and love.


etween selling milk to partners and processing it into dairy products, we don’t just manage billions of pounds of milk, we provide a reliable outlet through seasonal fluctuations, adverse weather, and during holidays where others take the day off. It’s one of our primary responsibilities as a cooperative — providing market access and adding value to member milk production. Pulling it off takes planning and preparation, constant maneuvering and dedication. Our team works every day in partnership with our members forecasting production, managing relationships with partners and monitoring inventory at Land O’Lakes production facilities. As a farmerowned co-op, we understand the power of partnership in tackling complicated challenges.


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aunched more than three years ago, Truterra, LLC (formerly Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN), has served as an industry leader and catalyst for on-farm stewardship, ag tech and innovation. This past year, Tate & Lyle and Truterra launched a landmark sustainability initiative on 1.5 million acres of U.S. corn. Under the program, participating corn farmers in the Midwest will receive customized support through their local agricultural retailer. The Truterra™ Insights Engine will support corn farmers in the new program to make data-informed decisions about their farms, with acre-by-acre insights to drive environmental improvements and help optimize their businesses. Truterra™ ag retailers utilize these insights as part of their precision agronomy advisory services to growers.

Strengthening our position through partnerships


Farmers are stewards of the land

he long-term partnership with Campbell Soup Company on sustainable wheat sourcing was expanded to include an additional 60,000 acres of wheat in Ohio. Truterra also launched a major partnership with Nestlé Purina PetCare, supporting a new commitment to bolster environmental stewardship practices on 50,000 acres of farmland. This work supports sustainability in the Nestlé Purina grains supply chain to the scale of more than 9 million bushels annually over the next two years, utilizing technology and insights from the Truterra™ Insights Engine. Truterra also received a $1.5 million award from The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to help Midwest farmers test innovation on-farm in a joint project with the Soil and Water Conservation Society.


his year Truterra also expanded its reach and influence with policymakers, bringing one of its growers before the Senate Agriculture Committee. Matt Rezac, a corn and soybean farmer affiliated with retail-owner Frontier Cooperative in Nebraska, testified before the committee on climate change. Rezac reinforced that economics and environmental stewardship can and must go hand-in-hand as farmers strive to deliver climate solutions. When taken as a whole, Truterra’s efforts helped earn Land O’Lakes, Inc. a place on the Fortune 2019 Change the World list that recognizes companies using the creative tools of business to help the planet and tackle society’s unmet needs. This was the second recognition for Land O’Lakes in the past three years.

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Helping retailers with e-business


hen it comes to offering e-business solutions, we believe we have a competitive advantage by working through our network of locally owned and operated dealers and cooperatives. This year Purina launched a pilot program with Centerra Co-op in Ohio, making Purina products available for purchase on Centerra’s website. The Purina team offers expertise and tools that make e-business a possibility for those whose resources would be limited otherwise. Purina hopes the pilot program with Centerra will encourage other dealers and member cooperatives to think about adopting digital offerings into their business as an additional way to meet customers where they shop. This is a great example of how we can pair modern digital tools with local relationships to offer the best possible customer experience.

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An investment in gut health


n August, Purina opened the Center for Animal Metabolism and Microbiology (CAMM) at the Purina Animal Nutrition Center in Gray Summit, Missouri. The CAMM was an investment to help study the digestion of cows and the gut health of animals. CAMM plans to expand its research to include more dairy, beef, swine, equine and possibly companion animals. The research is designed to help Purina better meet the needs of producers and customers with products and programs that target specific biology of the animal and their gut microbiome. Understanding ways we can influence microorganisms will be key to driving animal health and performance in the future, and CAMM puts Purina in a unique position to continue to be a leader in animal nutrition.

Supporting calves’ natural defenses without antibiotics


ovine respiratory disease is a common problem affecting North American beef cattle. Purina’s RX3™ Immune Support Technology is a first-of-its-kind offering that helps prepare calves’ natural defense for an improved response to stress and respiratory challenges. This technology is a precise combination of prebiotics, probiotics and plant extracts that helps to specifically address bovine respiratory disease in cattle and create a healthier immune system without the use of antibiotics in the formula. As a leader in the animal nutrition space, Purina is approaching its work in a way that mirrors modern human nutrition: focusing on wellness, prevention and the microbiome. 9 LAND O'LAKES, INC.

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s dairy farms in China continue to grow with increased sophistication and production efficiency, evolving dairy feed practices are driving demand for enhanced animal nutrition and productivity. Land O’Lakes, Inc. and Royal Agrifirm Group announced a China joint venture focused on dairy nutritional products and services. The new company, Agrilakes, will leverage existing market knowledge, insights, technologies and research capability. Both partner companies bring experience operating in China to the joint venture. Land O’Lakes currently leverages capabilities and proprietary products of its subsidiary businesses Purina Animal Nutrition and WinField United crop protection to help improve dairy productivity in China. We also operate a training facility in China, the Dairy Farming Institute, in partnership with Nestlé.

Let’s talk about WinField United Canada


he WinField United Canada business operates across Canada through a regionally segmented go-to-market strategy. With WinField United, brands and offerings such as the R7® Tool, InterLock®, CROPLAN®, spray technology solutions and other products are now available to help Canadian customers scale up with greater customization and efficiency. Canadian ag retailers are highly engaged in the proprietary products and services offered by WinField United Canada. For example, the clinics program has helped double sales volume for InterLock from 2018 to 2019, as farmers and agronomists see the value in the newly emerging adjuvant segment in Canada. The initial success of this and other proprietary products and services like CROPLAN and e-business has formed a solid foundation for ongoing growth and market differentiation for WinField United Canada moving forward.

Bidco launches new feed manufacturing mill in Kenya


and O’Lakes and Bidco Africa began a feed business partnership in 2016 called Bidco Land O’Lakes. Since then, the partnership has proven there is strength in combining forces. This year Bidco Land O’Lakes officially opened a new state-of-the-art manufacturing animal feed plant in Nakuru, Kenya. Processing at the plant will follow rigorous standards, including testing ingredients for quality, and testing for the right mix of nutritional elements. The world-class capabilities of the plant will offer Kenyan farmers products designed to help them deliver on quality and performance. In addition to the Bidco Animal Feeds brand, the plant has added new Land O’Lakes Advanced Nutrition products to target progressive livestock producers who focus on high performance and productivity from their animals.

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BUILDING TIGHTER CONNECTIONS between consumers & farmers


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WORKING TO CONNECT RURAL COMMUNITIES THROUGH BROADBAND Lack of broadband can impact farmer productivity and business profitability, not to mention the quality of life in rural communities. Land O’Lakes, Inc. is shedding light on the issue of rural broadband access and is seeking crosssector support to find solutions. Our cooperative model provides direct access to these communities, which makes us an authentic advocate and ideal partner to pilot potential solutions. Our leadership position on this issue was recognized this year when Land O’Lakes Chief Technology Officer Teddy Bekele was named chair of new Federal Communications Commission Precision Ag Task Force. This task force will work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop policy that promotes the rapid, expanded deployment of broadband to further the use of precision agriculture technology. 13 LAND O'LAKES, INC.


Since 2012, Land O’Lakes, Inc. has been working to help members struggling to obtain quality, affordable health insurance. Over the years this has expanded to include a group plan piloted with several co-ops in Minnesota. This year the Land O'Lakes, Inc. Cooperative Farmer Member Health Plan expanded into Kansas, offering coverage to farmer-members of participating co-ops. In 2019, we also hosted Harvesting Hope events in partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Harvesting Hope events invite Land O’Lakes members, employees and members of the community to learn about the signs of depression and a three-step process to help prevent suicide. Land O’Lakes is looking for opportunities to offer similar events in other geographies in 2020 to broaden the reach and support of mental health in our member communities.

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Supplemental work opportunities program off to a great start


Land O’Lakes is deeply concerned about the economic challenges our owners face and is committed to providing support as we navigate this challenging time together. In addition to direct product and services aimed at supporting members and their businesses, we also launched a new Supplemental Work Opportunities Program (SWOP) to help farm families earn additional income while balancing work and life. During the initial pilot, eight members received training from York Solutions to work at home part-time completing technology projects on behalf of the Land O’Lakes IT organization. Land O’Lakes continues to try to engage members in flexible ways and is committed to providing products and services that can make a difference for members’ bottom line, for their families and our co-op community.

Three-fourths of counties with the highest rates of food insecurity exist in rural areas—many times, the same farming communities that produce much of the nation’s food. One way we’re combatting rural hunger together is through the Land O’Lakes Member Match Program, which allows memberowners to double their community giving through matching funds from the Land O’Lakes Foundation. Another way we’ve worked to address hunger is through the First Run program we started with Feeding America in 2010. Through this program, we deliver food to foodbanks by the truckload. We’ve donated over 5 million pounds of macaroni and cheese to communities across America since the program began and, in 2019, we donated 515,790 pounds of product to food banks nationwide.

A new name built upon a timeless value This year, the affiliated nonprofit Land O’Lakes International Development changed its name to Land O’Lakes Venture37. They kept “Land O’Lakes” at the forefront of their name due to the longstanding affiliation with Land O’Lakes, Inc., as well as the positive brand reputation around the world. “37” is the approximate percentage of the Earth’s land where farmers grow crops and raise livestock. “Venture” reflects the idea that we’ll need to work in new and different ways—across continents, cultures and markets—to help farmers and their communities realize their full potential. Venture37 and Land O’Lakes, Inc. continue to find strategic and meaningful engagements together as we pursue our common purpose of Feeding Human Progress. The name change was announced in August and has resonated with audiences far and wide. Venture37 also announced seven new Africa-based projects in November. 15 LAND O'LAKES, INC.

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A PODCAST SERIES ABOUT OUR MEMBERS, FOR OUR MEMBERS We’ve always embraced new ways of reaching our member owners, starting with the “Land O'Lakes News” pamphlet in 1925, to radio programs, meetings, magazines and now digital platforms. Our newest communication tool is a podcast series called “Something Greater” that features members, Land O’Lakes leaders and employees discussing topics that directly affect our members’ businesses. The first season highlighted conversations from Land O’Lakes, Inc. leaders on topics such as ag tech, advocacy and innovation. In season two, we’re diving deeper into issues that impact our communities such as sustainability, rural hunger and broadband. The podcast has proven to be a great tool for reaching a wide audience, with listeners in more than 700 rural and urban towns.


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SHARING OUR STORY ON 60 MINUTES Four months after a producer from 60 Minutes approached Land O’Lakes, Inc. about a possible opportunity to be featured, we were able to seize this opportunity to showcase our innovation, our people and our cooperative. 60 Minutes’ longform style allowed us to tell the story of modern farming to an unfamiliar audience and feature a variety of people representing different aspects of the food value chain. The segment featured Chief Executive Officer Beth Ford, Chief Technology Officer Teddy Bekele and several of our member-owners including Dotterer Dairy, Rib-Arrow Dairy and Estrem Farms with input from CFS (Central Farm Service). Through this opportunity, millions of Americans learned more about our cooperative model, the importance of farmers and rural communities, and the forward-thinking innovation at play in modern farming.


This year was marked by uncertainty as it related to many agricultural issues. Flooding throughout the Midwest in the spring held back planting, there was continued market volatility and uncertainty as it relates to trade. Land O'Lakes, Inc. worked tirelessly to advocate every day on issues affecting our industry. This included the need for open trade through agreements like the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and commonsense disaster aid for farmers through a new Market Facilitation Program. These efforts included members and employees participating in top-level meetings with the administration, making hundreds of Congressional office visits and coordinating targeted outreach campaigns around key issues.

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FROM FARM TO FREE THROW Land O’Lakes, Inc.’s relationship with key universities focuses on developing technology and creative minds because we know what it will take to solve the challenges facing our industries and communities. In April, we hosted Land O’Lakes Bot Shot, a robotics competition featuring students from seven universities competing to see who could build a robot capable of mastering a “jump” shot. If today’s students can teach a robot to sink a bank shot from half court, we figure their brainpower can influence satellite imagery and soil maps for better crop management or the robots used for the care and milking of dairy cows. Four qualifying semifinal teams competed in a game of ‘H-O-R-S-E,’ that ultimately ended in a tie with the teams from South Dakota State University and University of Wisconsin-Madison being named Bot Shot champions.


CHALLENGING PERCEPTIONS ABOUT OUR FOOD SYSTEM This year, Land O’Lakes, Inc. returned to South by Southwest, a multi-genre festival and conference in Austin, Texas, with an immersive activation that explored the current state of our food system and what the future may look like. The Copernicus Project hosted several interactive experiences that spurred open conversation about the issues our food system faces, exploring the intersections between health, technology and food security. The activation, which drew thousands of attendees, featured innovators from academia, technology, food production, NGOs, public health and more, and it engaged the audience in dialogues that challenged their perceptions of the food system. The Copernicus Project dove deep into the opportunity of our lifetime: The chance to reinvent and re-examine the future of our food.

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SHOWCASING GREENHOUSE GAS SOLUTIONS WITH MARS WRIGLEY IN PITCH EVENT Land O’Lakes, Inc. worked together with Mars Wrigley to accelerate dairy sustainability by hosting a special pitch event that showcased on-farm solutions that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This approach sought to elevate the promising new products and services at greater scale, helping advance solutions that benefit the dairy industry and Land O’Lakes dairy members. Land O’Lakes member-owners helped vet potential participants for the August pitch event, which was presented live before an audience of 150 members, including dairy farmers and ag-retail leaders. While in Minneapolis, the selected participants also received direct feedback from member-owners during a series of mentoring sessions aimed at helping them further improve their solutions for on-farm use.


Board of directors Xavier Avila

Duane Hershey

Mark Berning

Bruce Holland

Lynn Boadwine

Scot Janssen

Rick Brand

Jeff Johnson

Rick Brubaker

Cornell Kasbergen

Paul Coppin

Neal Keppy

Joey Fernandes

Jeff Lakner

Tulare, CA ●

Aberdeen, SD ●

John Habedank

Howard Liszt

Laton, CA ●

St. Michael, MN ●

Sioux Falls, SD ●

Ames, IA ●

Crawfordsville, IN ●

Reynolds, ND ●

Ulen, MN ●

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Cochranville, PA ●

Van Buren, AR ●

Stacyville, IA ●

Buffalo, MN ●

Tulare, CA ●

Eldridge, IA ●

Wayzata, MN ●

Dale Locken

Stan Stark

Dan Mains

Jeff Troike

Haviland, KS ●

Moundridge, KS ●

Newville, PA ●

Crawfordsville, IN ●

Stephen Mancebo

Bruce Vernon

Doyle Pearl

Galen Vetter

Effingham, IL ●

Tulare, CA ●

St. Marys, KS ●

Lake City, MN ●

Levi Ransom Nicholson, PA ●

Nic Schoenberger

● Ag member ● Dairy member ● Advisory member

Kiel, WI ●

Paul Schweiger Beaver Dam, WI ●

Dan Siemers Newton, WI ●


Senior leadership




Loren Heeringa SVP & Chief Human Resources Officer

Teddy Bekele SVP & Chief Technology Officer

Tim Scott SVP & Chief Marketing Officer

Yone Dewberry SVP & Chief Supply Chain Officer

Heather Anfang SVP, U.S. Dairy Foods

Jerry Kaminski EVP & Chief Operating Officer

Bill Pieper EVP & Chief Financial Officer

Tim Leviny SVP, Asia-Pacific & Global Dairy Ingredients

Matt Carstens SVP, Truterra

Beth Ford President & Chief Executive Officer

Lisa Deverell SVP, Feed B2B

Pete Kappelman SVP, Member & Government Relations

Dave Hoogmoed President, Purina Animal Nutrition & EVP, Land O’Lakes, Inc.

Sheilah Stewart SVP & General Counsel Brett Bruggeman President, WinField United & EVP, Land O’Lakes, Inc. Thea Keamy SVP, Corporate Strategy & Business Development

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Chris Roberts EVP & Chief Customer Officer John Ellenberger SVP, Land O’Lakes Venture37

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