The Southern States Cooperative, Inc. board of directors announced today that Jeffrey Stroburg, the president and chief executive officer since May 2015 will retire from the cooperative effective June 30, 2021. 

Steven M. Becraft, the cooperative’s chief operating officer will assume the president and CEO role July 1, 2021.

“Jeff brought a depth of cooperative experience and a desire to create a profitable business model to Southern States,” said Curry Roberts, chairman of the board of directors. “His steady leadership style has positioned Southern States for its future success as an ag-retail cooperative.”

Prior to joining Southern States, Stroburg served as president and CEO of West Central Cooperative for 16 years. In that role, he led the spinoff of the company’s biodiesel business to form the Renewable Energy Group and assumed the role of chief executive officer and chairman of the board. He remains board chairman of REG.

Steve Becraft will serve in a combined role as both CEO and COO. Becraft brings more than 30 years of industry experience in the agronomy and ag-retail markets, with five years in key leadership roles at Southern States, including serving for the last three years as the cooperative’s COO.

“Steve’s external experience, combined with his knowledge of Southern States, our owner-members and patrons, positions him to lead the cooperative to complete the Board’s mission to return the cooperative to consistent profitability,” said Roberts.

Becraft said he was looking forward to “working with our dedicated and hard-working employees to reach our potential as an ag-retail cooperative,” said Becraft.

A leadership transition plan will begin immediately in preparation for Stroburg’s departure at the end of the cooperative’s fiscal year on June 30.

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