Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) and Blair’s Family of Companies (Blair’s) have entered into a joint venture that will own and operate Blair’s seven ag retail locations at Lanigan, Nokomis, Watrous, Liberty, McLean, Lipton, and Rosthern, Sask.

Ron Healey, FCL vice-president of ag and consumer business, says the venture will benefit local Co-op member-owners and the entire Co-operative retailing system.

“Blair’s is a trusted and well-respected local family business with history of serving farm customers and communities for generations, and whose values match our own,” Healey says. “The joint venture is an opportunity for FCL to expand our presence in central and southeastern Saskatchewan.”

For 73 years, Blair’s Family of Companies has provided crop input and animal nutrition products and services to farmers. The new joint venture will offer a broad range of crop input and animal nutrition products and services, FCL says.

Blair’s Texcana Logistics fertilizer terminal located near Hanley, Sask., and farming operations, including Blair’s Ag Cattle Company, are not a part of the joint venture.

Darren Blair, Blair’s chief operating officer, says they believe they are stronger together with FCL and better positioned to provide their customers with the solutions they require.

“As a fourth generation family business, we’ve always strived to be innovative, adaptable, and resilient in meeting the opportunities and challenges presented by the ag retail industry. A key part of our strategy to continue demonstrating value to our customers, employees and communities, has been preparing our business for the future,” Blair explains. “We believe the joint venture with FCL, which shares the same core values and long-term commitment to agriculture as well, will ensure that we continue demonstrating value to our customers, employees, and communities in the future.”

Blair’s Family of Companies management and team will continue to lead the day-to-day operations of the ag retail business.

The joint venture is subject to standard closing conditions, including Competition Bureau and other regulatory clearances.

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