April 16, 2015
(Albany, NY) Agri-Mark Board Chairman Neal Rea announced today at the 35th Annual Meeting of the dairy farmers that effective May 1, 2015, Ed Townley of Williston, Vermont will become CEO of Agri-Mark, the Northeast’s leading cooperative. Current CEO Richard Stammer will become the Executive Senior Vice President and continue to serve the cooperative in a strategic position aimed to take advantage of his 33 years of service to Agri-Mark and his 45 years of experience in the industry.
“We are blessed to have Ed, who has been a part of Agri-Mark for more than a decade and most recently as the CFO and COO of the co-op – these critical positions in our organization have prepared him for our top role,” said Rea in making the announcement. Ed has worked closely with the Board and Dr. Stammer over the last four years and has been an integral part of every important change we have made to the co-op, as we have strived to be the cooperative of choice. He truly comprehends the complex issues that balance the interests of our farmers’ operations with our Cabot, McCadam, and Agri-Mark branded businesses.”
The transition is effective May 1st , but has actually been a well-planned, gradual transition made over the past two years.
“Ed has been my right hand man and business confidant during my years as CEO and I am very pleased that the Board selected him to succeed me,” said Stammer. “He truly comprehends the competing interests of our farmers’ operations and their branded businesses and is able to condense and explain complex situations for the Board. Most importantly, he respects and cultivates the incredible team of employees we have developed over the years. I will serve as long as he needs me to serve.”
Stammer’s contributions to the cooperative’s growth includes playing a leading role in the farmers’ merger in 1992 with Cabot, investment in the acquisition of the Middlebury plant from a Kraft-owned Swiss cheese facility to Cabot cheddar and Agri-Mark whey and proteins, the enhancement of the West Springfield plant to butter production and the expansion of the cooperative into upstate New York with the merger of the Allied Federation of Cooperatives and the merger with the Chateaugay Cooperative and their McCadam cheese facility. During Stammer’s tenure, Agri-Mark has invested over $100 million in plants and operating equipment. Perhaps the most significant achievement was the growth of the Cabot brand from a small regional cheese maker to the fourth largest cheddar brand in the U.S.