Valley Wide Co-op & Bleyhl Merger – Update, August 8th, 2022

NAMPA, IDAHO and GRANDVIEW, WASHINGTON – 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 1st. 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 can look forward to additional technology choices, product assortment, and service and installation options.

This merger will add new Washington farm-supply retail locations to the Valley Wide family in Grandview, Sunnyside, and Zillah. The cooperative will maintain all other operations and staff at 80 locations, with an expanded geographical footprint covering Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

The Valley Wide Board of Directors will add a Board Director position to represent the previous Bleyhl membership. Both cooperatives are preparing their respective operations for the merger, which will take effect on October 1st of this year.

Bleyhl Co-op Employees Video

Dave Holtom, CEO of Valley Wide Cooperative talks about the results of the merger vote between Valley Wide and Bleyhl.

Valley Wide Co-op Employees Video

Check out this update from Valley Wide Cooperative CEO, Dave Holtom on the vote results from the Bleyhl/Valley Wide merger.

Valley Wide Co-op & Bleyhl Merger – Update, June 10, 2022

NAMPA, IDAHO and GRANDVIEW, WASHINGTON,  – This week, both the Bleyhl Farm Service and Valley Wide Cooperative Board of Directors voted unanimously to sign a Letter of Intent (LOI) to pursue a merger with and into Valley Wide Cooperative.

Joel Marcott, CEO of Bleyhl Farm Service, said, “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. This alignment will empower our cooperative with the supply chain, capital, and the 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.”

Bleyhl Farm Service has over 800 member-owners and over 4,000 customers in south-central Washington State, with locations in Grandview, Sunnyside, and Zillah. With $75M in annual revenue, Bleyhl is a diversified, farmer-owned cooperative providing growers with agronomy, orchard & vineyard, energy, and retail services and supplies.

Valley Wide Cooperative, also a locally owned farm cooperative, has experienced growth and success through several mergers over the past 25 years. They pride themselves in the level of service they offer, the quality of their facilities, and the employees on the Valley Wide team. Valley Wide serves its patrons in six states (Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming) at over 80 locations.

“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 together 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. “Let’s face it, 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.”

Both cooperatives will continue the robust due diligence process in the proposed merger. Each cooperative will call a meeting of the members to vote on the proposed merger in summer 2022.

Video From Dave Holtom

CEO at Valley Wide Cooperative

Check out the video from Dave on the Valley Wide and Blehyl Farm Service merger.

Video From Joel Marcott

CEO/General Manager at Bleyhl Farm Service, Inc.

Check out the video from Joel on the Valley Wide and Blehyl Farm Service merger.

To expand the map click on the square on the top right of the map.

  • Blue Markers = Bleyhl Co-op Locations
  • Red Markers = Valley Wide Cooperative & Valley Agronomics Locations within Washington
vwc logo

Valley Wide Cooperative / Valley Agronomics Information

Since 1920 Valley Wide Cooperative (VWC) has empowered agricultural members to increase their bargaining power and gain market share to achieve economies of scale through its four divisions of business: Agronomy, Energy, Feed, and Farm Supply Stores.

Headquartered in Nampa, Idaho, Valley Wide Cooperative provides more than 60 communities with high-quality products and services, and a strong sense of community. With 35 agronomy locations, 20 retail stores, 48 energy (propane, fuel & lubricants) locations and a feed center; farmers, ranchers and growers in Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming benefit from monetary membership returns and affordable pricing.

We take pride in serving those within our community. To date, we have donated more than a million dollars in the form of scholarships, grants and donations.

bleyhl logo

Bleyhl Cooperative Information

When you’re a farmer-owned organization, the local growers are what drives your business and how you do it. We listen to the valley’s farmers, our eight member board of directors, our knowledgeable sales staff working tirelessly in the fields every day, and you, our customer.

We understand to meet your needs and to be a world-class cooperative we must ensure the economic viability of our members, customers and communities.

To achieve this, our business model includes providing the highest quality of service to all farm sizes, reinvesting profits from our partnerships in the form of annual patronage, and ensuring our Co-op’s values align with your needs. Following this, we can provide the most advanced toolbox, at the best value, to ensure a successful crop from year to year.

Our Purpose: Preserve a way of life for our members and communities.

Our PromiseBe a world-class cooperative to ensure the economic viability of our members, customers, and communities.

Retail Locations

Includes: Farm Stores, Convenience Stores, Fuel Islands, Coffee Shops, Carwashes, Deli’s,  etc.

Energy Locations

Includes: Residential & Commercial Propane, Refined Fuels, Lubricant’s/Oli’s, Cylinder Exchange, Appliances, Fuel Cubes, etc.

Valley Ag Locations

Includes: Precision Ag, Crop Nutrition, Adjuvants & Crop Protection, Agronomist/Crop Advisory Team, Fertilizer, Seed Cleaning, Grain Handling, Soil & Water Testing, Etc.

Zillah Location

Includes: Farm Store

Sunnyside Location

Includes: Farm Store, Convenience Store, Agronomy Services, & Energy (Propane, Fuel, & Lubricants)

Grandview Location

Includes: Farm Store, Convenience Store, Agronomy Services & Fertilizer Plant, Energy (Propane, Fuel, & Lubricants)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

What prompted the discussion between the two cooperatives?

What prompted the discussion between the two cooperatives?

Valley Wide and Valley Ag have created and flourished under a model that allows local cooperatives to become part of a larger brand through mergers. The principle of that model is that we (local cooperatives) can do more for our members and customers together than apart. The success of that model has allowed Valley Wide to grow across 5 states and is well known across the PNW. The board and management of Bleyhl Farm Service recognize how critical it is to remain relevant to their members and customers and feel that merging with Valley Wide will accomplish this.

Who is Valley Wide?

Who is Valley Wide?

Valley Wide Cooperative, also a locally owned farmers cooperative that has experienced growth and success through several mergers over the past 25 years. Their history goes back 100 years. They pride themselves in the level of service they offer, the quality of their facilities, and the employees on the Valley Wide team. Valley Wide serves its patrons in five states (Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington) at over 50 locations. Headquartered in Nampa, Idaho, they have three primary business divisions: Agronomy, Energy and Retail.

Who is Bleyhl Farm Service?

Who is Bleyhl Farm Service?

Bleyhl Farm Service has over 800 member-owners and over 4,000 customers in south-central Washington State, with locations in Grandview, Sunnyside, and Zillah. With $75M in annual revenue, Bleyhl has a rich history as a diversified, farmer-owned cooperative providing growers with agronomy, orchard & vineyard, energy, and retail services and supplies.

Are both companies financially sound?

Are both companies financially sound?

While the size or appearance of the companies are significantly different on paper, both have very solid balance sheets from which to operate from. Income statements can change significantly from one year to the next. The balance sheets provide a more enduring picture of the health of the company. In addition, both companies have invested in the brick and mortar of their cooperatives so that neither cooperative is left with aged-out assets.

How does this merger help Valley Wide members?

How does this merger help Valley Wide members?

Anytime a company can add great facilities, great talent and most importantly, 4,000 new co-op customers, it provides benefits on several fronts. It provides added risk aversion through diversification. It provides economies of scale. It gives our brand better recognition and awareness – which helps across the entire VWC geography. Lastly, it adds to our buying power with our global suppliers of fuel, fertilizer, crop protection and supplies. That benefits ALL our members.

How does this benefit Bleyhl?

How does this benefit Bleyhl?

Joel Marcott, CEO of Bleyhl Farm Service, said, “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. This alignment will empower our cooperative with the supply chain, capital, and the 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.”

What changes do you anticipate coming as a result of a merger?

What changes do you anticipate coming as a result of a merger?

Because Bleyhl will be merging into Valley Wide, most of the changes will be perceived by the Bleyhl folks. Having orchestrated many of these mergers before, we understand that the less disruption the better. Employees and customers alike need to be able to count on our unified company to provide stability. Our shared goals are to make this transition as easy as we can and at the same time, make the necessary changes that benefit the employees and the customers.

Will this change the governance of the co-op?

Will this change the governance of the co-op?

Because we are a cooperative owned and governed by its members, representation is important to both Bleyhl and Valley Wide members. Our current (VWC) bylaws allow for the growth of the board from time to time and our established voting districts accommodate a very large trade area as well. With that, we are in agreement that Valley Wide will add one (1) Director to represent the members of Bleyhl to sit on the VWC board. They will also provide an advisory member that is non-voting to participate in the meetings for one year as we transition.

What are the bylaw changes being considered?

What are the bylaw changes being considered?

  • Section 1 of Article II Qualifications – simply removes the requirement to pay 1$ for membership fee
  • Section 1 Article IV Voting Districts – allows the Board to make necessary changes to the districts to protect the representation of the members in each geography. As the company grows or membership grows, adjustments are sometimes necessary so that there is equitable representation of the members across the trade area. At no time will there ever be less than 2 directors in any district.
  • Section 2 Article IV Number of Directors – This proposal is to clean up the language and make it more general in nature, removing reference to individuals previously on the board. It also provides for the board size to be from a minimum of 9 to a maximum of 15 members at the board’s discretion. Any deviation from that would require member approval.
  • Section 3 Article IV Classifications – removes language referencing individuals no longer on the board. The classification of directors is there simply to establish a sound rotation of directors so that no district will experience a loss of all directors in an election.
  • Section 4 Article IV District Elections – simply adds the language “or by electronic ballot” to help identify the various ways that an election may occur.
  • Section 5 Article IV Term and Term Limits – Adds the language “he/she” to recognize female board members.
  • Section 4 Article VII – Cleaning up the language to apply to all former and future individual cooperatives that are now or will be part of Valley Wide and maintain the individual capital accounts represented as they came in through merger.
  • Section 7 Article VII – Gives the board the authority to revolve equity with more discretion and liberty and eliminates the requirement that all VWC and Valley equities be paid out in their entirety before other capital accounts can be paid. The board feels that it needs this flexibility in order to meet the financial needs of the members of today as well as those of the past.
  • Section 11 Article IV – added to allow the use of associate directors if the board feels the need. These one-year terms will expose more of our members to the governance of the cooperative and help them prepare for a place on the board if they so choose to run. These directors will not have voting authority and must meet the same qualifications as the voting members of the board – namely, producers only.