One year after purchasing two-thirds of the 25,000-acre Boardman Tree Farm along Interstate 84, AgriNorthwest is expanding its reach deeper into northeast Oregon.
The company confirmed Tuesday it has acquired Hale Farms and River Point Farms, which together operate nearly 30,000 acres and employ 700 people near Hermiston. River Point Farms is the largest producer of onions in the country, with customers including Subway, Chipotle and Costco.
Todd Jones, president of AgriNorthwest, said the deal with Hale Companies closed late last year. He did not discuss financial terms of the sale.
“This is a chance for two strong producers to come together,” Jones said in a statement. “The Columbia River Basin is a great place to grow food. That’s why AgriNorthwest has been farming here for more than 45 years.”
Based in the Tri-Cities, AgriNorthwest was established in 1968 in southeast Washington. Last year, the company bought the majority of the Boardman Tree Farm, which is now being converted to irrigated corn and wheat fields.
AgriNorthwest also grows potatoes and carrots throughout the region.
Hale Farms started out in 1972 with 500 irrigated acres purchased by brothers Doug, Bob and Rick Hale in the Butter Creek Valley near Echo. In an email to the East Oregonian, Bob Hale said he and his brother Rick are “excited about passing along our teams and customers at Hale Farms and River Point Farms to AgriNorthwest,” but declined further comment.
In his statement, Jones said the Hale brothers have made the most of the land and built effective teams at both Hale Farms and River Point Farms.
“We’re looking forward to integrating these productive farms into our row crop operations,” he said.
A spokesman for AgReserves, the parent company for AgriNorthwest, said none of the companies involved in the deal would be commenting further. It remains unclear how the sale may affect operations moving forward.
River Point Farms is headquartered in Hermiston, harvesting 6,000 acres of onions around the area. It recently invested in a new $17 million fresh pack facility off Westland Road, which opened in August 2015.
Hale Farms features a diverse range of crops, including potatoes, carrots, peas, corn, blueberries, alfalfa, wheat, barley and grass seed.
Contact George Plaven at email@example.com or 541-966-0825.