Valley Wide Cooperative and Bleyhl Farm Service members recently voted in favor of a merger of the two companies. Valley Wide members were 87% in favor of the merger, and Bleyhl members were 95% in favor of the merger. Under the Valley Wide name, the combined cooperative will serve 4,000 members and employ more than 1,300 employees across the Pacific Northwest.
For Yakima Valley customers, the name on the door will change on October 1, and locations, management, crop advisors and energy representatives will remain the same. As Valley Wide customers, growers can access precision agriculture tools, proprietary custom blended crop inputs and online buying options. Energy, propane and fuel customers will be able to access additional technology choices, product assortment and service and installation options.
The merger will add new farm-supply retail locations to the Valley Wide family in Grandview, Sunnyside and Zillah, Washington. The cooperative will maintain all other operations and staff at 80 locations, with an expanded geographical footprint covering Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
“By merging with Valley Wide Cooperative, we are positioning our cooperative and its farmer-owners to take advantage of the leverage, scale and resources of a combined $750M farm supply organization,” says Joel Marcott, CEO of Bleyhl Farm Service. “This alignment will empower our cooperative with the supply chain, capital and network to remain competitive against other agribusinesses while protecting the values associated with the cooperative model. Joining forces creates additional buying power, the diversification of seasonal risk across greater geography and access to resources to meet the challenges of an increasingly competitive industry.”
The Valley Wide Board of Directors will add a Board Director position to represent the previous Bleyhl membership.
“Our mergers are not about becoming part of a big organization that throws its weight around. It’s about local cooperatives in communities across the PNW working under one brand, leveraging that brand and unified volume to take the advantage back to all the communities and customers we serve,” says Dave Holtom, CEO of Valley Wide. “Agriculture and energy are global enterprises—it will take all of us working together to not only compete but to flourish—we intend to do both, and we look forward to the Bleyhl Co-op being a part of it.”