The historic Rockingham Cooperative will invest nearly $17 million to upgrade and expand the grain handling and feed manufacturing operations at its Dayton mill in Rockingham County. Founded in 1921 to save Shenandoah Valley farmers money on feed and fertilizer, the Rockingham Cooperative now boasts 5,156 member farms across 25 states, enjoying annual revenues of nearly $130 million. Through this expansion, the Cooperative will add jobs and has committed to purchasing more than $11.6 million, or 30,000 tons, of Virginia-grown soybeans, corn and barley over the next three years.
"As Virginia's largest private industry, our agricultural sector draws its strength from the diversity of our production and the entrepreneurial spirit like those who make up this farmer-member cooperative," said Governor Glenn Youngkin. "I thank Rockingham Cooperative for its commitment to the Commonwealth and wish them all the best during their next 100 years of service to the farmers of Virginia."
"Rockingham Cooperative is an invaluable partner to Virginia's agricultural industry, whose expansion will have far-reaching benefits to farms in the Commonwealth and beyond," said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr. "It's through partnerships like this one formed 100 years ago, that continue to make the Virginia agricultural community second to none. I am grateful to Rockingham County for its partnership with the Commonwealth to support this important project."
"Rockingham Cooperative has long provided a firm foundation for the success of our members for the past 100 years," said Rockingham Cooperative Feed Division Manager Keith Turner. "This AFID grant, combined with the major investment from Rockingham Cooperative, serves as a statement that the Commonwealth of Virginia and Rockingham Cooperative are committed to preserving and advancing the agricultural industry in Virginia. Through this expansion, Rockingham Cooperative is poised to continue its bedrock support of the agricultural industry in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, and beyond for the next 100 years."
"More than a century ago, Rockingham Cooperative grew out of a local, communal need of the farming community. The Cooperative and particularly its feed division, Rockingham Mill, continues to support local farms and serves customers far beyond the Valley," said Rockingham County Board of Supervisors Chair Sallie Wolfe-Garrison. "The expansion of Rockingham Mill is a testament to the Cooperative's success in providing service today while planning for and anticipating the needs of tomorrow. Rockingham County is so very fortunate to have enterprises such as Rockingham Cooperative continuing the legacy of providing quality agricultural products throughout the region, the Commonwealth and beyond."
"Rockingham Cooperative has served our region's farms for over a century and we truly value its commitment to supporting local growers and producers," said Delegate Tony Wilt. "Their expansion directly impacts the heart of our economy, agriculture and addresses the increased market demand for high quality animal feed."
"As an integral part of the Shenandoah Valley's rich agricultural history, this expansion highlights Rockingham Cooperative's passionate dedication to serving its members and Rockingham County's continued commitment to supporting farms and agri-businesses," said Senator Mark Obenshain. "This strategic infrastructure investment will position the Cooperative to more efficiently and effectively serve its member farms for many more years to come."
Headquartered in Rockingham County, the Cooperative is a mainstay within the Commonwealth's leading agricultural region, the Shenandoah Valley, which accounts for more than a third of all agricultural sales in Virginia. Driving the Cooperative's decision to expand were surging out-of-state demand for their custom feed blends, as well as a constant focus on keeping feed costs low for its members through ongoing improvements in operational efficiencies. These efficiencies will be further bolstered by the Cooperative's installation of an on-site solar energy system capable of suppling low-cost, green energy for up to 90% of the mill's needs. This project will benefit both Virginia grain producers, as well as the thousands of farmers across Virginia and beyond who rely Rockingham Cooperative's quality feed products and competitive prices.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services worked with Rockingham County and Rockingham Cooperative to secure this project for the Commonwealth. Governor Youngkin approved a $100,000 grant from the Governor's Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund, which Rockingham County will match with local funds.
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