FRANKENMUTH, MICH. — Star of the West Milling Co. has announced it is acquiring Citizens LLC, a Michigan-based grain handler, agronomy supplier and global exporter. The acquisition aims to bolster Star of the West’s capabilities across several key areas, including grain receiving and marketing, agronomy services and food-grade soybean exports, the company said.
“This acquisition brings together two successful companies that share strong Michigan roots, global business relationships and a track record of success serving our farmers, customers and employees,” said Jim Howe, president and chief executive officer of Star of the West Milling Co. “With much in common between our two companies, this acquisition aims to leverage shared areas of expertise to deliver strong results and continue growing Michigan agriculture.”
Bob Mansfield, founder and president of Citizens, praised Star of the West for its sustained excellence.
“Star of the West Milling Co. is one of the oldest and most respected, successful independent agricultural businesses in Michigan,” Mr. Mansfield said. “Star of the West is a local company known for being good stewards of their customers, employees, and Michigan farmers, and I am proud to have them build on the success we have achieved at Citizens since 1987.”
Mr. Howe noted Star of the West and Citizens have achieved success in many of the same areas over the years — including in wheat handling, crop nutrient supply, non-GMO soybean marketing, and deployment of cutting-edge agronomic technology.
Since its founding in Charlotte, Mich., in 1987, Citizens has grown and diversified its operations. The company receives and markets corn, wheat, and soybeans, including non-GMO soybeans, from Michigan farmers. It was recognized as Michigan’s Exporter of the Year in 2021 for its work to market food-grade soybeans globally. Citizens also provides farm supply and agronomy services to Michigan farmers.
Star of the West is a 151-year-old company with headquarters in Frankenmuth. It began as one flour mill, and now operates five mills in four states including Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and New York. It ranks 11th in North America with a combined daily milling capacity of 33,060 cwts, according to Sosland Publishing’s 2022 Grain & Milling Annual.
The company has expanded from its flour roots to include three agronomy locations, 10 elevators for receiving crops, dry bean and food-grade soybean processing facilities.