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Producing Excellence

Mid-South Synergy

Navasota, TX

Products: Electricity and water

Size of Operation: 28,742 electric customers; 4,350 water customers

In Business Since: 1940

Farm Credit Partner: CoBank

Working with Farm Credit Since: 1994

Texas-based Mid-South Synergy’s roots are in the power industry: It was founded in 1940 as an electric cooperative serving rural communities northwest of Houston. But in the late 1990s, the co-op took the unique step of expanding into the rural water business. Since then, it has invested tens of millions of dollars to install pipes, wells, pumping stations and water storage facilities inside its service territory.

“It has been a great move for us,” said Kerry Kelton, Mid-South Synergy’s chief executive officer. “Providing water services has enabled us to better serve our membership, and also served as a strong source of growth for our business.”

CoBank has long served as a lender to Mid-South, providing loans that have financed the cooperative’s electric distribution systems. In 2014, Mid-South again turned to CoBank for $17.5 million in financing for new water infrastructure.

“It made sense to work with a trusted financial partner who knew both of our industries well,” Kelton said. “CoBank understands that water utilities require a lot of up-front capital with a longer term rate of return. They worked with us to structure this deal to best serve our long-term strategy and our success.”

“Cooperatives like Mid-South Synergy play a vital role in the rural economy since communities need access to reliable, high-quality water in order to be sustainable and economically strong,” said Dave Dornbirer, CoBank sector vice president and manager of the bank’s rural water portfolio. “It is extremely gratifying for us to serve as Mid-South’s financial partner and to support them as they grow and plan for the future.”

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