SALEM, Ohio – Service will remain uninterrupted for customers of the former Simmons Feed and Supply after the company recently sold its retail sales and supply truck divisions.
Witmer’s Feed and Grain purchased the retail feed division, and Agland Co-op bought the supply truck.
Jay Simmons, owner of the newly named Simmons Grain Company, said the company decided to focus on its wholesale business and crop elevator.
“Because of competition, we could sell truckloads of soybean meal 200 miles away, but local mills didn’t want to buy from us because we were a retail business,” Simmons said.
Still in grain. Increases in bulk grain sales and a decrease in retail sales, coupled with a need for more room to operate, led to the decision to focus on the wholesale service.
“We’re still in the grain buying business, and can fix farmers up with minimum price contracts,” Simmons said.
The company continues to market bulk grain and soybean meal locally. The company eliminated all bagged feed, which can now be purchased at Witmer’s Feed and Grain near Columbiana.
New venture. Construction of an oil refinery is currently in progress at Simmons.
“We hope to be online and mixing products within the next few weeks,” Simmons said, noting that dust control and crop oil should be available in the spring.
Farmers prefer the crop oil, a biodegradable product made from soybeans, because it’s not petroleum based, he said.
“We all hate to see beans leave the Columbiana and Mahoning county area when they can be processed and put back out on the farms,” he said.
“It just makes better sense to do what we can with our local crops,” he said, adding that the company had previously shipped the oil to a California refinery.
< b> Operations. Neither Witmer’s nor Agland operators foresee any changes in their businesses.
“We’ll provide the same service that Simmons did, just under a new name,” said Mike Witmer.
The company’s Columbiana and Garfield facilities will continue to offer manufactured feed, and Witmer believes the acquisition will help the mill continue its efficiency. Witmer’s also purchased a bulk grain truck from Simmons.
Fred Lamb will continue to operate the route supply truck for Agland. The route truck services a number of farms in northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania.
“We wanted to keep the customer connection that Fred had. Other than that, we hope to see the route grow and add to our total animal health program,” said Fred Winters, Agland general manager.
The truck will continue to stock animal health and vet supplies as well as dairy dips, acids, boots and gloves.
Locations. Simmons Grain Company is located at 600 Snyder Rd., Salem; Witmer’s Feed and Grain, 3770 Renkenberger Rd., Columbiana; and Agland Co-op’s Canfield branch is at 364 Lisbon St., Canfield.
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