Sterman Masser Potato Farms forms a new company
Sterman Masser, a partner member of Fresh Solutions Network, formed the Lykens Valley Grain Co. through an acquisition by Sterman Masser Potato Farms from Perdue Agribusiness. The purchase includes the Upper Dauphin Grain Center in Pennsylvania, renamed Lykens Valley Grain. Sterman Masser will use the facility to store all the grain they grow and harvest, in addition to local farmers' wheat, corn and contracted soybeans.
"The addition of Lykens Valley Grain to our family of companies is part of our long-term vision and commitment to growth and development of quality potatoes. The acquisition helped to preserve jobs in the local community, continue to be a place for the valleys' local farmers to sell and store their wheat, corn and beans, and provided a great business opportunity for Sterman Masser Inc., which will eventually enable us to expand our potato packing operations in Sacramento,” said President Dave Masser. All former Perdue Agribusiness employees at the facility have been hired by Sterman Masser Inc. to assist with grain center operations.
"Lykens Valley Grain will offer soybean storage for this fall's harvest to farmers who choose to market and sell their soybeans to Perdue Agribusiness. LVG will dedicate capacity for Perdue soybean storage and will be purchasing corn from local farmers who do not have drying capability or on-farm storage capacity," said Michal Pechart, chief operating officer of Sterman Masser Inc. "Additionally, Sterman Masser Inc. will provide both fertilizer storage and a blending plant along with logistic services for Perdue Agribusiness in the form of hauling soybeans to their Bainbridge, PA, extrusion plant." Future upgrades to the grain center include a significant increase in storage capacity for corn and beans, facility security, and increased staffing and hours of operation.
According to Sterman Masser Inc. Senior Agronomist Jonathan Price, the acquisition will also assist in marketing cash crops such as wheat, corn, and beans. "Masser’s have been growing potatoes for eight generations in Schuylkill County. We practice a sustainable three-year crop rotation that includes two off-season plantings of cover crops," said Price, explaining the environmental benefits. "Diversifying the crops grown on our potato ground reduces the need for inputs to grow quality spuds. Having three unique crops builds organic matter levels in the soil, as the unharvested crop cover returns nutrients and carbon to the soil — directly reducing the amount of fertilizer needed for the crop. Additionally, pest and disease cycles are interrupted when potatoes are not continuously grown in the same field."
"This acquisition is important to the process of growing better potatoes and reducing our carbon footprint, which is fundamental to the philosophy of the Fresh Solutions Network of independent, family-owned farms," said Kathleen Triou, president and CEO of Fresh Solutions Network. "Masser Potato Farms is investing in sustainable farming practices, regenerative farming, and strategic growth opportunities which will ultimately enable us to efficiently deliver the highest quality potato products to our retailers and their customers."