In Big Biomass Deal, Hermiston’s Pacific Ag Bolsters its Base

Pacific Ag’s story is an inspiring one for any aspiring entrepreneur. Its CEO, Bill Levy, founded the successful company when he was just 21 years old. He had an ingenious idea: to harvest and market leftover crop residue. These services provided not only a great convenience to farmers needing to dispose of their extra crop, but those leftovers (which would otherwise just be disposed of) can be an additional source of income for growers, and be used to create biomass — a carbon neutral fuel. The Portland Business Journal recently wrote about Pacific Ag’s purchase of another harvesting company, bringing together two of the country’s largest crop residue specialists. This merger is good news for the future of clean fuels development. Check out the article below.

“A Hermiston biomass company that’s the largest business in its sector has made a sizable purchase.

Pacific Ag has purchased Ellensburg, Wash.-based Calagri, an residue and hay harvesting company that specializes in forage and crop residue services, both of which are critical to the biomass industry. Terms of the sale weren’t immediately disclosed.

The deal melds the nation’s largest crop residue specialists.

Calagri was founded in 1987. It hosts harvesting, crop management and transportation operations in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

Thanks to the transaction, Pacific Ag will manage the harvest and logistics of more than 300,000 tons annually of forage and residue in the Pacific Northwest. The company also recently opened field offices in Fargo, N.D. and Amarillo, Texas, as it expands into the cattle feed, dairy, mushroom composting and erosion technology markets.

Pacific Ag is the nation’s largest crop residue supply company. It landed a $7 million investment from St. Louis-based Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners LP last August.

Kerry Calaway of Calagri will join Pacific Ag’s executive leadership team.

Pacific Ag Founder and CEO Bill Levy said the deal will help Pacific Ag remain cost-competitive and provide year-round supplies.

“For nearly two decades, we’ve watched and admired what Kerry and his team at Calagri have accomplished in the region,” Levy said in a release. “Combining their grower and customer base in the upper Columbia River Basin with ours in the lower will help us increase efficiencies and provide better service.”

This story was also covered in the East Oregonian.