As we were getting our December Equiery ready for press, Land O’Lakes, Inc. (which owns Purina horse feed) announced that it has signed a letter of intent to acquire Southern States Cooperative, Inc.’s animal feed business.  This letter follows the announcement earlier this year that Southern States had entered into a supply agreement with Land O’Lakes, Inc. through its WinField United crop inputs and insights unit.

According to the press release issued by the company, Land O’Lakes intends to continue to offer Southern States feed and products. “We plan to provide uninterrupted access to the Southern States-branded products customers trust for their animals,” Beth Ford, group executive vice president and chief operating officer, is quoted in the release as saying; “and we will work every day to deliver the quality, innovation and expertise they expect of us.”

Quoted in the same release is President and CEO of Southern States Cooperative, Jeff Stroburg: “We are pleased with the opportunities this partnership with a fellow cooperative brings to Southern States. Our [Southern States] members will continue to receive the same level of service from our retail locations while benefitting from Land O’Lakes’ feed business, Purina Animal Nutrition and their knowledge and experience in manufacturing the quality feed our customers expect.”

Land O’Lakes, Inc., a major international agribusiness and food corporation, is a member-owned cooperative, with 2015 annual sales of $13 billion, making it one of the nation’s largest cooperatives (ranked 215 on the Fortune 500). Brands include LAND O LAKES® Dairy Foods, Purina Animal Nutrition and WinField® United.

Established in 1923, Southern States is a Virginia-based farm supply and service cooperative, is now one of the largest ag cooperatives in the U.S. with more than 200,000 farmer-members in the south and mid-Atlantic area and 1,200 retail locations in 23 states. Products and services include fertilizer, seed, livestock feed, pet food, animal health supplies and petroleum products, as well as other items for the farm and home.

The purchase is expected to be completed in January 2017.