Whatcom Farmers Cooperative moves forward with merger proposal

Voting members of the Whatcom Farmers Cooperative have approved a merger proposal with CHS Inc., a global company owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives across the U.S.

The proposal will become effective in July, pending final approval by the CHS board of directors, according to a company news release.

Customers shouldn’t notice much change at WFC as a result of the merger, said John Pogue, controller at WFC. The current management team and operations will remain in place. Still to be decided is whether to keep the WFC name, Pogue said.

WFC Board Chairman Jeff Bedlington said that the cooperative will remain a locally based company. WFC, which sells farming and homeowner products, has stores in Lynden, Bellingham, Ferndale, Blaine and Nooksack.

“We are excited for the opportunities that CHS and WFC can provide for our employees and customers,” Bedlington said in the news release.

One advantage of the merger for WFC is the increased purchasing power that comes with a larger company. According to the CHS website, the company has nearly 11,000 employees in 26 countries.