The Pennsylvania-based feed, ingredient and poultry company announced last week [Sept. 30] that it completed a “definitive purchase agreement” with Risser Grain, LLC covering a series of grain and fertilizer operations.
Risser Grain sells and manages feed ingredients and grains including corn, wheat, soybeans and barley, according to company information.
The Wenger Group, Inc, which includes Wenger Feeds, LLC; Nutrify, LLC and Dutchland Farms, LLC, has more than 350 employees and operates multiple feed mills in two states, according to company information. It is a provider of swine and poultry feed along with ingredient solutions and niche market eggs in the Mid-Atlantic region.
The two companies previously developed a “strategic relationship” and Risser had been a key ingredient supplier for Wenger Group for several years, said Cher Rineer, public relations and communications manager with the Wenger Group.
“Acquiring this business creates infrastructure benefits that allows The Wenger Group to scale itself as market demand for grain consumption increases in the Northeast,” she told us.
The acquisition is anticipated to help the company establish stronger relationships with grain producers and be more competitive in terms of accessing bushels in the northeastern market, she said. Adding, “Staying close to and being more informed about the NE grain producers’ needs provides a sustainable and longer-term business approach.”
The acquisition of the grain company includes several grain managing locations including storage and processing space for millions of bushels of grain, according to company information. The arrangement also includes a fertilizer facility with production capacity and the Martinsburg feed mill.
The agreement expands Wenger Group’s series of feed mills to nine facilities with the focus of addressing producers regionally, Rineer said. “The network also gives our customers peace of mind as we can shift production if needed to always meet their needs,” she added.
In August, the two companies had announced an “expanded business relationship” as Wenger Feeds started to operate Risser Grain’s feed mill in Martinsburg, PA.
Acquiring the feed mill provides Wenger Group a way to address “needed incremental manufacturing capacity” and the ability to meet increasing customer requests for feed, said Rineer.
“Our goal was to increase our capacity in poultry and swine feeds,” she said of the kinds of feed that will be generated at the facility. “We acquired a location in Benton, PA earlier this year that allowed us to enter the dairy market as well.”
“Expanding into grain operations further strengthens our reliability and sustainability as a manufacturer of feed for protein producers,” said Phil Rohrbaugh, president and CEO of The Wenger Group. “The acquisition will also enable us to better support our agronomy partners, who play a critical role in the food supply chain and how we meet our customer needs.”
Going forward, the next step will be working with Risser employees, said Rineer.
“The Risser team has been welcomed to our team, so it is our intention that the Risser team continue to provide the exceptional service they always have to their customers,” she said.
Following the acquisition, Risser becomes a subsidiary of Wenger Group, but the Risser Grain brand is set to remain, and it will be operated by Brent Risser, who continues as president of Risser. Risser employees are set to stay in place, according to information from the company.
The strategic combination should provide more attention to regional grain producers, added Risser.