Whatcom Farmers Co-op could merge with Minnesota-based cooperative

Whatcom Farmers Co-op is considering merging with CHS Inc., a much-larger cooperative with its global headquarters in Minnesota.

Voting producers from both agriculture-based organizations are being asked to approve the proposal, both cooperatives announced Tuesday, Feb. 17.

Lynden-based WFC said the proposed merger would help the organization stay strong into the future.

“We have been a successful company because we have always planned for future sustainability,” Jeff Bedlington, president of the WFC board of directors, said in a news release Tuesday. “This decision is about looking ahead to what can help ensure we continue to stay financially strong and viable for the next generation and the one after that.”

Representatives for both cooperatives also said they were looking for opportunities to grow and expand.

WFC was formed in 1982, when Whatcom County Grange Supply and Western Farmers Association merged.

It offers farming supplies and hardware and has stores in Lynden, Nooksack, Bellingham, Blaine and Ferndale. The cooperative also sells fuel.

CHS supplies energy, crop nutrients, grain marketing services, animal feed, food and food ingredients, as well as business solutions that include insurance, financial and risk management services.