Golden Oval Eggs shareholder meeting yesterday followed a tour of the cooperative's new Winnebago County egg production and processing operations.

Farmer-owners and Iowan state and local officials toured the operation that began egg production August 1.

Following the daylong tours, a celebration reception was held at the Branding Iron Restaurant in Thompson where Secretary of Agriculture Patty Judge addressed the Golden Oval Eggs' shareholders and said, "Golden Oval Eggs is a tremendous economic boom for this county and this state. Value-added agriculture is where we need to be. When I tell you what I think farmers should do, I am talking about my farm; my husband and I have farmed for 30 years. I am sick and tired of having producers labeled as polluters. Farmers produce low cost food for the world and they are doing it in a way to conserve the soil and water on their land. Golden Oval Eggs is a model for the rest of the state."

Joseph Jones, program coordinator for value-added agriculture of the Iowa Department of Economic Development, also told the meeting that, "this is a great example of value-added agriculture."

Doug Yeager of the Winnebago County Board of Supervisors welcomed Golden Oval Eggs and said, "From the beginning of working with Golden Oval Eggs, I have been impressed with the openness and honesty of the Board of Directors and management. Having 150 people working on this project has had such a positive impact on our county."

Following the reception, shareholders convened for the fiscal year-end business meeting where management reported on fiscal year 2000 results and management projections for fiscal year 2001. Golden Oval Eggs' fiscal year ended August 31, 2000.

Chairman of the Board of Directors Brad Petersburg congratulated shareholders on their commitment and investment in capturing more of the farm-generated profits for the family farm.

Vice President of Operations Terry Heying reported on the challenging construction schedule achieved at the new Iowa facility and the current expansion progress, where egg production will continue to increase through December 2001.

Chief Financial Officer Dennis Pap reviewed a fourth consecutive year of profitability in an adverse industry environment of record-breaking low egg and corn prices. Critical to this achievement were the experienced work force, state of the art operations, and cost consciousness.

Vice President of Shareholder Relations Marie Staley reported that share value remained strong. She reviewed share trading activity and corn delivery management.

President and Chief Executive Officer Dana Persson reviewed the outstanding company accomplishments in both Iowa and Minnesota in quality assurance, customer service, and environmental stewardship while the cooperative became a more significant supplier in the liquid egg industry through the Iowa expansion.

Mr. Persson discussed the impact of continued adverse market conditions in this current fiscal year and positive market trends of increased egg consumption. He reported on flock welfare concerns, the humane treatment of Golden Oval Eggs' birds, and the company's ability to meet changing requirements. He stated, "Golden Oval Eggs is and will continue to be positioned as a high quality supplier, meeting consumer demands."

Established in 1994, Golden Oval Eggs is an agricultural cooperative owned by 700 farmers committed to assuring the future of the family farm.