West Mansfield, Ohio
From the top of the tallest silo on Heritage Cooperative’s new grain-processing facility in Marysville, Ohio, you can see all the way to downtown Columbus, 35 miles away.
The automated, state-of-the-art facility sits on 277 acres and can hold more than 3 million bushels of grain on behalf of the co-op’s 3,500 farmer-members.
Built with the environment in mind
But what Heritage CEO Eric Parthemore may be most proud of is how environmentally sensitive the new facility is. Opened in late 2015, the Marysville campus is built around a sensitive wetlands area and won a prestigious industry award for sustainable design.
“This is one of the most socially responsible facilities in our entire industry,” says Parthemore. “But it’s also hugely practical for our customer-owners. They can deliver a truckload of grain in about five minutes.”
Longtime relationship with CoBank
To fund this and other infrastructure projects, Heritage relies on CoBank and the Farm Credit System for its financing needs. The relationship extends back more than 25 years to Heritage’s predecessor co-ops: Champaign Landmark and Farmers Commission Company were both CoBank customers when they merged to form Heritage in 2009.
Parthemore gives credit to CoBank’s experience with agricultural lending, resulting in a willingness to stick with borrowers through seasons that are both up and down. “Like a lot of co-ops, we’ve gone through our share of tough times, but CoBank has always stood by us,” he says. “It’s great to work with a lender that understands that agriculture is a cyclical business, one that won’t turn its back on you in a down cycle.”
Looking towards the future
Parthemore is excited about the future at Heritage, especially with the productivity and efficiency provided by the new $40 million Marysville facility, which was financed 50 percent by CoBank, with the remainder funded internally. “Our growth has been tremendous because of the way we serve our members,” says Parthemore. “The new campus is only going to further that growth.”
“We’re thrilled that the bank has been able to grow alongside a co-op as progressive as Heritage,” says Amy Gales, executive vice president of agribusiness banking at CoBank. “As they move into an even brighter future, we plan to be right beside them.”