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For those of you that made it to the annual meeting, thank you for taking part in the governance of your great organization.   For those of you that were unable to attend, I would like to give you a quick recap of the 2017 fiscal year at your coop.
  Your board of directors and management team began the year with our annual strategic planning session in Wichita to make plans for the future of your organization.  The focus of the board and management continues to be to grow your business by adding grain handling and storage capabilities at several of our locations.   They also continue to focus on the profitability of your cooperative to ensure the long-term sustainability of this great organization.
  We took the first steps toward these goals this year by building an additional 350k bushel concrete bin at our Scott City elevator and beginning the construction of a new 1-million-bushel facility with two 15k bushel per hour legs at our Selkirk facility.   That facility will be completed later this spring and will be ready to take a wheat crop this June.  This facility will greatly improve the efficiency of the operation.  Your board will continue to evaluate our storage needs and make plans to address them in the coming years.  We also made great strides on the profitability of the organization with posting almost 1 million dollars in local earnings this year.   We will continue to build on this success and make your organization stronger.
  In the grain department, the 2017 fiscal year began with large grain stocks in the elevator and on the ground.   With the large 2016 fall crop, margins were thin as the market was flooded in our area.  However, we were able to make good margins on a bunker of white wheat to get the year off to a good start.  Everything looked to be setting up for another good wheat crop, but wheat streak mosaic and an April 29 and 30 blizzard had a different plan for us.  The wheat crop came in at well below average, but like usual, our farmers came through with a high protein crop and gave us plenty of marketing opportunities.  Margins held firm, but we have been slow to buy in the crop as the grain markets have been held down by large global surpluses and the strong dollar.  While the wheat crop was not what we had hoped for, the moisture situation was excellent for a great fall crop.  The fall crop came in late due to September rains, but when it did come in, it did not disappoint.   We handled over 6.6 million bushels of corn which is by far a company record and over 5.6 million bushels of milo.  The corn market has been very saturated in our area, but there continues to be very strong export demand for milo which has brought the basis levels together on the two commodities.
  While the grain department was having one of its best years in the history of the Scott Coop, the crop production department was faced with many challenges.   The low commodity prices have made the ag retail industry very difficult.  Chemical and fertilizer prices continued to decrease this year and along with them margins.   While our staff did a great job controlling expenses, there are only so many things under their control and profitability was a challenge.  We continue to make changes as the market demands to continue to add value for our member-owners.  Our crop production staff is back to full force and preparing for a great year.   They have already sold twice as much prepaid fertilizer as last year and they are on pace to have a great seed year.   They continue to work with the chemical companies to get you the best deal possible and will be putting out their bookings pricing soon.
  The fuel department continues to have very strong volumes but face the same margin challenges as the crop production department due to increased local competition.   The stations continue to struggle to be profitable, but they are a very valuable service for our customers.   Your board and management are working diligently to find answers to ensure we can continue to offer this service.
  Overall, the 2017 fiscal year was a very successful year.  We are putting the pieces in place to strengthen the financial position and ensure a strong future for this great organization.  It is a pleasure to work with such great customers and employees. 
Jason Baker, CEO
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