Board of Directors

  • Ross Gerth
    Secretary, Princeton

    Ross Gerth is a fourth generation farmer. Ross, along with his brother and mother, operate Gerth Farms, LLC, northeast of Princeton, MN. Together they raise corn and soybeans. Ross and Gerth Farms have a long history, going back to Princeton Co-op, Central Rivers Cooperative, and now Federated Co-ops. “We have always been a Co-op supporter and continue to purchase all our agronomy, propane, and fuel needs through Federated Co-ops,” states Ross.

    For the past 16 years, Ross has worked full time as a Mechanical Designer in Elk River. Ross lives in Princeton with his wife Michelle and their son Grayson.

  • Craig Mold
    President, Rush City

    “It’s fascinating how the regional co-op, the local co-op, and the farmer work together to get the crop in every year,” says board president Craig Mold, adding, “I look at the co-op as an extension of my farming operation.”

    Craig comes from a family of very active co-op members.  His grandfather was a charter member of Land O’Lakes®, and his father has served on various co-op boards. Craig was elected to the Pine City Co-op board in 1986 and served as its chairman through that organization’s merger with Central Rivers Cooperative. On the Central Rivers board and then on Federated Co-ops’ board, Craig held the office of vice-chairman. He currently serves as Board President for Federated.  He also serves on the Chisago County Soil and Water District as supervisor and on the Chisago County Planning Commission.

    Craig and his son, Andre, grow corn and soybeans on their Rush City farm. In addition to a son, Craig and his wife Margaret, have two daughters and two granddaughters.

  • Paul Berning
    Director, St. Michael

    The Bernings have 350 milk cows and farm 600 acres of corn and alfalfa.  Paul is a past STMA youth hockey and baseball board member, Wright County ADA, and 4-H project leader.  Paul is currently on the Munson Lakes, Nutrition board of directors.  He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and an usher at St. Alberts Church.  Paul is married to Stacy and they have four children: Blake, Brandon, Brady, and Isabelle.

  • Brad Rootkie
    Director, Brook Park

    “Because I am mainly a bulk fuel customer, I believe I bring a different prospective to the board. I am honored to represent you on your Co-op board.”

    Brad Rootkie lives in Brook Park and is a Logging Contractor. Brad has served 20 years as a Supervisor for Brook Park Township and has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Timber Producers Association since 2008. He also serves on the council board at his church. Brad started as a member of the Kanabec Co-op in 1984. Brad has been farming since the age of twelve and now lives on his grandfather’s farm with his wife Sherry, where his youngest daughter, Hallie, raises 4-H show cattle. His oldest daughter, Lindsey, attends the University of St. Thomas.

  • Mark Carlson
    Director, Moose Lake

    Director Mark Carlson has served on the Federated Board since 2007.  Prior to the merger with CAP-Trico, he had served on the board since 1992.  Mark appreciates the opportunity to contribute to a cooperative which provides quality staff, products, and services for the patrons.

    Mark has been employed by the State of Minnesota for 43 years and is the director of a vocational program in Moose Lake that provides work opportunities for people with disabilities. Mark’s leadership experience is exhibited in his service as Silver Township clerk, Covenant Church Council chair, and Moose Lake/Willow River high school varsity softball coach. Mark has been married for 43 years to his wife Lucia.  They operate a small Angus cow/calf operation, which has been in the family since 1892.  The couple have three daughters, a son, and seven grandchildren.

  • George Gimpl
    Director, Hinckley

    “Co-ops have always served farmers in this area,” says George Gimple. The director adds, “Now, in many cases, they’re the only ones left with the size and strength to serve us.” Private companies left the area as farms dwindled. “The co-op can get better deals on things because they are bigger and can afford to go out farther with services like spraying and feed delivery.”

    George joined the Hinckley Co-op board 15 years ago. He continued to serve as Hinckley merged with Kanabec Co-op, which then joined others to create Federated Co-ops. In addition, George has served on his church board and as an AMPI delegate for 12 years. He has also driven school bus for 39 years and is now a Hinckley Township Supervisor. Asked why he ran, George says, “Someone has to try to be a spokesperson for our area.”

    George, his father Clarence, and his brother, Thomas, operate a beef farm and also grow corn, oats, and hay for sale. Their farm is officially recognized as a “Century Farm” by a regional program, documenting that their farm has been continuously owned by a single family for more than 100 years.

  • Glenn Lood
    Second Vice President, Cambridge, MN

    Glenn Lood comes from a family of great cooperators who sold all their milk and marketed their cash grain through the regional co-ops. So when his Dad stepped down from the Isanti Co-op board, Glenn readily agreed to replace him. Having served on the Central Rivers board and now as a Federated Co-ops director, Glenn sees much opportunity.

    “We have a very strong co-op and I can see great possibilities in both agricultural and energy marketing,” he states. “But we have to make sure we stay strong and don’t sit on our laurels.” Glenn would like to see Federated adopt more ground-breaking concepts, like the propane rail terminal at Cambridge. We have to look at the future and be innovative now that we’re a leader in our communities. Now, more than ever, we need to think outside the box to increase our market share and develop new markets for our products, and develop new products for our market.”  “We have the team and the resources and ability to get whatever we need to get this job done.”

    Glenn, retired from dairying in 1996 and crop farming in 2007, now rents out much of his land but still raises corn, soybeans, hay, and wildlife food plots. He and his wife Karen, a registered nurse, have three adult children: one son and two daughters.

    Glenn enjoys volunteering at his church and in the community.  Other passions he has are family, hunting, and antiquating.  

  • Pete Ripka
    Director, Ogilvie, MN

    “An independent company can pull out of a market if it’s not profitable, but a co-op stays,” says Pete Ripka when asked why member-owned businesses like Federated Co-ops are important. “Instead of making money for an individual or a company, co-ops focus on maintaining strong businesses that can provide their members with a reliable supply of agronomy and energy products.”

    Pete has served at various times on the boards of Mille Lacs Ag Service, Central Rivers Cooperative, and Federated Co-ops, Inc. As a long-time director on the American Dairy Association board of Kanabec County, Pete currently serves as its chairman. He is also a South Fork Township supervisor.

    Pete and his brother, Steve, milk 180 cows. They raise all of their replacement heifers, and crop about 700 acres south of Ogilvie. The Federated Co-ops director has two daughters and two sons. When he is not working on the dairy farm, Pete can usually be found with his wife, Stacy, attending one of his children’s sporting events.

  • Darlene Smith
    Director, McGregor, MN

    Recalling her first impressions of C.A.P. Propane Plus after election to the board in 1987, Darlene realized that the co-op is very much in the business of serving those with whom we do business. Darlene has served continuously as a director through mergers with Trico Oil & Propane and Federated Co-ops, Inc.

    Darlene and her family bred, trained and showed Golden Retrievers and Beagles for 25 years, showing dogs throughout the U. S. and in Canada. She also served as Chairman, and in other capacities, for the Duluth All Breed Dog Show, as a director on the Members Co-op Credit Union board, on her church council, and as an EMT with the McGregor Ambulance Service for 12 years.

    The California native moved to Minnesota in 1970 with her husband, McGregor native Ronald Smith, who then taught for 34 years in the McGregor School District. Darlene worked as the high school secretary prior to retirement. The entire family enjoys fishing and hunting, including whitetail deer and ducks. Darlene particularly likes hunting bear. In addition, Darlene has said, “I am truly blessed with two wonderful daughters and sons-in-law and five beautiful grandchildren.”

  • Todd Steffen
    Director, Ogilvie, MN

    Todd Steffen ran for the Kanabec Co-op board in 1999 because he had an investment in the co-op. “I thought I would take my turn and help run it,” he states. He adds, “When you’re a farmer looking in, you wonder why they do the things they do.” Now that he has served on Federated Co-ops board since 2000, he understands those decisions better. “The co-op needs to survive to continue serving its members,” he states.

    Having also served as a township supervisor and as chairman of the planning commission, Todd believes co-ops are still important. “True, the company has grown and the customer base is more diversified,” says Todd; “but Federated Co-ops is still a good company that looks out for the patron. “They give the profits back to the customer, and that’s something a private business doesn’t do,” he points out.

    Todd and his dad Bob raise corn, beans, wheat, and feeder cattle on a farm south of Mora. He and his wife Sharon have three daughters: Chelsea, Katie, and Mariah.

  • Mike Wayrynen
    Vice President, McGregor, MN

    “If you spend money on a product you’re going to be using all the time, why not buy from a cooperative which you own, instead of a company whose owner is putting money in his pocket? When the customer is the owner, you’re putting the profits back in your own pocket,” reasons director Mike Wayrynen.

    Mike ran for the C.A.P. Oil and Propane board when his uncle retired from the board in 1988. He served as chairman for five years; and after the C.A.P. Tri-Co merger, he served as vice-chairman. He is currently vice-chairman on the Federated board.

    Mike carried mail for 21 years and also operated an insurance agency which he purchased from his uncle in 1989. He has been married to his wife, Darla for 42 years. Their daughter, Ranae husband Jason and their son live nearby. Mike and Darla’s son, Matt, and his wife Kindra Live on the family farm. “I’m proud that Matt is the fourth generation to live on the farm my grandfather homesteaded,” Mike says. Mike sold his agency four years ago, but still works part-time. His daughter, Ranae, is also an agent there. Mike says, “I still enjoy working with my clients, but I enjoy helping at the farm in my spare time. It’s also been an honor and a pleasure to have served on your cooperative board for the last 28 years.”