RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, US — Rockingham Cooperative will invest $17 million to upgrade and expand its grain handling and feed manufacturing operations at its Dayton mill in Rockingham County, Virginia, US.

The cooperative has committed to purchasing more than $11.6 million or 30,000 tonnes of soybeans, corn and barley over the next three years. The cooperative has 5,156 member farms across 25 states.

The cooperative received a $100,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund, which will be matched by Rockingham County.

“Rockingham Cooperative has long provided a firm foundation for the success of our members for the past 100 years,” said Keith Turner, feed division manager for Rockingham Cooperative. “This AFID grant, combined with the major investment from Rockingham Cooperative, serves as a statement that the Commonwealth of Virginia and Rockingham Cooperative are committed to preserving and advancing the agricultural industry in Virginia. Through this expansion, Rockingham Cooperative is poised to continue its bedrock support of the agricultural industry in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, and beyond for the next 100 years.”

Driving the cooperative’s decision to expand were surging out-of-state demand for its custom feed blends, as well as a constant focus on keeping feed costs low for its members through ongoing improvements in operational efficiencies. These efficiencies will be further bolstered with the installation of an on-site solar energy system capable of supplying low-cost, green energy for up to 90% of the mill’s needs.

This project will benefit both Virginia grain producers, as well as the thousands of farmers across Virginia and beyond who rely on Rockingham Cooperative’s quality feed products and competitive prices, government officials said.