Southern States cooperatives announce merger

Four Southern States cooperatives in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia have announced plans to merge into an all-new organization, Freedom Ag and Energy Cooperative.

The Board of Directors of the cooperatives in Winchester, Va., Oakland, Md., Buckhannon, W.Va., and Petersburg, W.Va. 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 January 1, 2023.

The new, combined Freedom Ag and 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 businessese.

The cooperatives share similar visions and values. No jobs will be eliminated, and overall employment is expected to increase over the next 12 months.