Bulletin Board: 10/00

Southern States Inc. Buys Agway
Southern States Cooperative Inc. purchased Agway’s consumer wholesale dealer business in July and has assumed all dealer marketing, development, operations, distribution and logistics.

Southern States will supply farm and garden products for 500-plus Agway dealers in 12 Northeast states. These dealers will continue to use the Agway name. Agway will continue to manufacture and sell its Agway and Legends feed products.

The move allows Agway’s dealers to become part of a wider system. Southern States is a member-owned cooperative that has its own independent markets division with 425 stores in 16 states, mostly in the South. The Southern States Cooperative will now operate through over 1,250 retail outlets in 26 states from Maine to Louisiana.

Southern States, founded in 1923, has over 550,000 members. Agway, founded in 1964, is owned by 71,000 farmer-members. Each had revenues of $1.5 billion in fiscal 1999.

In other feed-company news, Purina Mills has emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization protection. It planned to distribute its new common stock to pre-petition creditors in August, and is trading on NASDAQ under the symbol “PMIL.”

Purina Mills, based in St. Louis, has 49 plants for its animal-nutrition products and 2,500 employees. It reorganized under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code last fall after a downturn in commodity prices and agricultural markets. (Purina Mills split from Ralston Purina 10 years ago. Both use the same Purina logo.)


Was There Once An Absorbine Sr.’
Absorbine started in 1892 in a Connecticut farmhouse kitchen. W.F. Young ended an eight-year career selling pianos when he started making Absorbine Veterinary Liniment with his wife Mary Ida. The formula of herbs and oils was not as harsh as other equine therapies of the time. It became popular for horses, and Young then refined the formula for human use, introducing Absorbine Jr. in 1903.

However, he needed a $500 loan to expand his manufacturing operation. He got it from his father Charles, who’d disapproved when he left the piano business, under the condition that he pronounce himself in all advertising as Wilber F. Young PDF — Pa’s Darn Fool. Today, the Young family’s fifth generation continues manufacture Absorbine and products.


West Nile Kills Horse
A Staten Island, N.Y., horse was euthanized Aug. 20 due to West Nile encephalitis, the first equine case this year. The horse, 26, became ill on Aug. 17 with muscle tremors, an inability to rise and evidence of kidney failure. Last year, 25 Long Island horses were clinically ill with West Nile. Nine of those died.

Not all horses infected become ill, and older horses are especially vulnerable. Depression, loss of appetite and fever occur initially. Mild cases may experience a flu-like syndrome, as is with people. Neurological involvement is signaled by circling, loss of coordination, staggering, possible facial or ear paralysis and weakness. Your best defenses are mosquito control and immune-building supplements (see March 2000).

Horses can’t spread West Nile virus. Mosquitoes are the culprits. Six humans in the New York City area have been diagnosed, with no deaths reported. West Nile activity has been detected in much of New York state, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island.

Eastern equine encephalitis, also spread by mosquitoes, has killed five horses in southeastern Virginia and one in New Jersey, with two more Virginia cases suspicious. This is in addition to cases in California, North Carolina and Louisiana. Many Northeastern states have detected EEE activity. Equine symptoms of EEE are similar to West Nile.


California’s Equine Affaire
The popular equine exposition Equine Affaire will add a West Coast stop next year, Feb. 9-11, 2001, at Fairplex in Pomona, Calif. The event originated in Ohio and then expanded to include Massachusetts.

The California show is expecting 400 exhibitors and over 14 nationally prominent clinicians, which will include experts in dressage, reining, hunters/jumpers, western pleasure, Centered Riding, team penning, endurance, English pleasure, camping and more. Admission in California is $10 for adults and $7 for children.

Equine Affaire also will continue Nov. 9-12, 2000, and Nov. 8-11, 2001, at West Springfield, Mass., and April 5-8, 2001, in Columbus, Ohio. For further information call 740/845-0085 or www.equineaffaire.com.

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