News, Optimization

Smith Fertilizer & Grain Joins Landus Optimization Model

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Fifth company to join the new-age collaboration network

AMES, IOWA (July 6, 2021) – Landus, a farmer-owned cooperative, and Smith Fertilizer & Grain, a privately-owned agronomy, grain, construction and feed retail business, announced today a collaboration agreement under the new Landus optimization model. Smith Fertilizer & Grain is the fifth company to join Optimization by Landus since the cooperative first announced its new-age alternative to traditional mergers and acquisitions in April.

“We are excited to welcome the Smith Fertilizer & Grain team to our growing Optimization network. They demonstrate a like-minded commitment to leaning into the future of agriculture and putting the profitability of their farmers first,” said Matt Carstens, President and CEO, Landus.

Effective July 6, 2021, Smith Fertilizer & Grain will become an Optimization collaborator with Landus while continuing to maintain separate management, employees, and operations led by Max Smith, President and CEO.

“Our Smith Fertilizer & Grain family is proud of our long legacy of hard work and commitment to doing what’s right for our customers above all else. Collaboration with a company like Landus allows us to continue doing what we do best while growing from our partner’s expertise as well. This model lets us both share in each other’s strengths; It’s collaboration at its finest,” said Smith.

About the Landus Optimization Model

This new model is designed for collaboration and optimization on grain, feed, soybean processing, agronomy, data, technology, logistics, and back-office functions. It also provides the opportunity to maximize capital investments, infrastructure capacity, and employee talent.

Agreements are tailored to the strengths of each party and developed on a case-by-case basis.

About Landus

Landus is a farmer-owned agricultural cooperative headquartered in Ames, Iowa. We employ about 600 full-time employees at locations in more than 60 communities to serve our 7,000 farmer-owners. We are Iowa’s largest agricultural cooperative providing unmatched scale, expertise, facilities, and logistics. Our products and services span the five pillars of agronomy, grain, feed, animal nutrition, and data.

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About Smith Fertilizer & Grain

Smith Fertilizer & Grain is a privately-owned agronomy, grain, feed, fuel and construction business headquartered in Knoxville, Iowa. The company operates eight locations in southeast Iowa. Since company founder Lyman Smith began custom applying fertilizer in 1960 the business has grown to over five million bushels of grain storage and over one million gallons of liquid fertilizer storage. Third generation members of the Smith family hold leadership positions at the company today.

For more information, visit