Seed World

Southern States Announces New President & CEO


The Southern States Cooperative, Inc. board of directors announced that Jeffrey Stroburg, the president and CEO since May 2015, will retire from the cooperative effective June 30, 2021. Steven M. Becraft, the cooperative’s COO will assume the president and CEO role on July 1, 2021.

“Jeff brought a depth of cooperative experience and a desire to create a profitable business model to Southern States,” says 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.”

The board of directors completed a thorough evaluation of the cooperative’s leadership needs and selected Steve Becraft to lead the organization, who 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 has consistently demonstrated his loyalty to Southern States and our employees as he led efforts to establish a profitable business model for the cooperative and create strong wholesale partnerships,” Stroburg says.

“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,” says Roberts.

“I am grateful for the Board’s confidence and look forward to working with our dedicated and hard-working employees to reach our potential as an ag-retail cooperative,” says 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.