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CSS Farms acquires Agri-Pack, additional farms

The recent acquisition of Agri-Pack LLC in Pasco, WA, and its Northwest farming operations extends the South Dakota-headquartered potato and onion grower-packer-distributor’s presence to 13 U.S. states.

According to Trish Lovell, sales and marketing director at Agri-Pack, the alignment is a positive move in every direction.

IMG 3158-2Trish Lovell and Larry Denke will continue to handle sales at the Pasco office of CSS Farms and its wholly owned subsidiary Agri-Pack. The longtime potato and onion sales agents are shown at the recent National Onion Association meeting in Richland, WA. “CSS Farms took over Agri-Pack on July 1,” Lovell said. The growing arm of Agri-Pack, Carr Farms, has become part of CSS Farms, and the packing facility will continue doing business as Agri-Pack.

Laurie Widdowson, CSS Farms marketing and development manager based in Kearney, NE, said in addition to the Pasco farm, which was acquired earlier in the year, CSS has a potato farm in Mattawa, WA, where the crop is grown primarily for french fry processing and chip potatoes. An organic farm in the Fairview area of the Columbia Basin began two years ago as well, and a seed potato farm in Ione, OR, is the third Northwest growing operation of the CSS family of farms.

Lovell said that CSS Farms is adding equipment to the Agri-Pack facility “to handle the chip potato program they already had,” and she emphasized that onions will remain a major component of the Agri-Pack program.

With more than 30,000 acres in production in the 13 locales, CSS Farms has expanded its focus with the Agri-Pack facility, Widdowson said.

“This is an excellent opportunity for us to grow in another part of the industry and reach the consumer directly,” Widdowson said. “CSS Farms takes great pride in our people, our crops and the communities we serve. We are pleased to be a part of the charming Columbia Basin.”

She said efficiencies will be maximized at Agri-Pack, and it will serve as the packing facility for the Northwest’s production.

Lovell said the core values of CSS Farms — its commitment to excellence, dedicated teamwork, innovation and farming lifestyle — mesh well with those of Agri-Pack. “We are really excited to be part of a growing company with great values and a family feel,” she said.

The operation started new-crop red onions on July 31 and potatoes on Aug. 1, and Lovell said, “We hit the door at full speed.”