Southern States Cooperative, Incorporated

Founded to provide affordable, high-quality seed for Virginia farmers, Southern States Cooperative has grown into an agricultural powerhouse, serving its more than 200,000 member/farmers, mainly in the mid-Atlantic and southern US states. The co-op makes and/or offers just about everything agricultural to its farmer/owners, including animal feed and fertilizer; seed processing; grain marketing; equine health; diesel, propane, and home-heating services; wholesale farm supplies; financing; and even bib overalls. Its Southern States and Garden South stores sell farm supplies, garden products, and fuel through its retail outlets. Other services include crop services and an aquaculture program.

Geographic Reach

The cooperative, based in Virginia, serves 10 core states, catering to members and non-member customers in 23 Southern States through 1,200 retail outlets.

Operations

Southern States Cooperative operates 120 company-owned retail stores, managed cooperatives, and agronomy facilities. It enlists the help of a private dealer network of nearly 580 locations to distribute products throughout the Southeastern US.

Sales and Marketing

The co-op relies on a dealer network situated mostly in the Northeastern US, specifically in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware.

Strategy

Southern States Cooperative has grown to become one of the nation's largest agricultural cooperatives. To serve its core agricultural customers, the co-op established a new Agronomy Business Unit in 2013. The move involved reorganizing its Wholesale Crops Division to consist of 67 retail stores located in more than a dozen high-volume agronomy districts.

To note, demographic shifts are taking place across the cooperative's region. Among them is urban sprawl, which continues to extend into rural areas of the country. As a result, the cooperative boasts increasing numbers of rural, rural-lifestyle, and suburban customers looking for the same crop-growing services and advice it provides to its members/farmers. To target this new segment and translate its efforts into sales, it maintains a country living/rural lifestyle section on its website.

The co-op is also enlisting the help and technology of Real-Time Kinematic (RTK). The co-op's Precision Agriculture unit made plans in 2014 to offer RTK's technology to its customers in the southeast. RTK is the newest high-tech tool to allow satellite information from the Global Positioning System (GPS) network to guide field equipment with high accuracy. It serves planters, fertilizer applicators, harvesters, and other equipment.

Company Background

Southern States Cooperative was formed as the Virginia Seed Service (VSS) in 1923. In 1930 VSS changed its name to Southern States Cooperative.

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Southern States Cooperative, Incorporated


6606 W Broad St Ste B
Richmond, VA 23230-1731
Phone: 1 (804) 281-1000
Fax: 1 (804) 2811141
www.southernstates.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Private Cooperative
  • President, CEO: John Adent
  • Chairman: John East
  • Pres-ceo: Thomas Scribner

Major Office Locations

  • Richmond, VA
  • Richmond, VA

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