Four Southern States cooperatives in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia have announced plans to merge into an all-new organization, Freedom Ag & Energy Cooperative.
The board of directors of the cooperatives in Petersburg, Buckhannon, Winchester, Virginia, and Oakland, Maryland, have all formally voted to approve the merger. Before the process is complete, the members of each cooperative must also approve the deal, with those votes expected by early August. Once finalized, the merger will be effective on Jan. 1, 2023.
The new, combined Freedom Ag & Energy Cooperative will have additional flexibility to capitalize on competitive advantages in ever-changing local and global agriculture markets. The four cooperatives have a long history of serving the agricultural needs of their respective areas. The merger will allow the locations to take advantage of the synergies in their core businesses – petroleum products, agronomy, feed and farm supply, and retail – to strengthen their overall financial position while safeguarding members’ equity and patronage.
The cooperatives share similar visions and values, have matching cultures and care about members’ success, making the merger a natural fit. No jobs will be eliminated, and overall employment is expected to increase over the next 12 months.