Lancaster ag firms scoop up farm assets

Pictured from left: Glenn Esbenshade, chairman of Esbenshade Farms; Chris Esbenshade, president and CEO of Esbenshade Farms; Abby Lowry, assistant to the chairman of The Wenger Group, Ron Kreider, president and CEO of Kreider Farms, Barry Shaw, chairman of The Wenger Group. (photo/submitted)

A longtime Lancaster County farming family has sold off most of its operations to a pair of local ag companies.

  • The Esbenshade family sold its feed mill, swine operations and related properties to The Wenger Group and its shell-egg operations to Kreider Farms
  • Terms of the transactions were not disclosed in yesterday’s announcement of the two deals.
  • The Esbenshades, who have been farming in Lancaster County since the early 1960s, decided to divest the majority of their operations in the area, according to the announcement.

What’s next: Both Wenger and Kreider plan to absorb the Esbenshade operations, many of of which are clustered around Eby Chiques Road in Rapho Township, near Mount Joy.

  • Wenger, which employs about 1,000 people, is adding 27 eployees from Esbenshade, according to Wenger spokesperson Cher Rineer. 
  • “The Wenger Group is very excited to add the Esbenshade Mill to our network as we plan for the future,” Wenger chairman Barry Shaw said in a statement. “This operation, together with the sow operations we acquired, will enable us to serve our existing customer base in new ways and also serve to support our growth with key players in the Mid-Atlantic pork-packing industry.”
  • Wenger, a family-owned company in Mount Joy Township, provides animal nutrition, feed products and related services.
  • Kreider Farms, a family-owned company in Penn Township, spans more than 3,000 acres and produces eggs, milk, ice cream and other farm products for retail and wholesale customers.
  • The company is adding 92 Esbenshade employees at locations on Eby Chiques and Mount Pleasant roads in the Mount Joy area, according to Kreider spokesperson Khalee Kreider.
  • “We look forward to welcoming Esbenshade employees and egg customers into our family,” Kreider Farms chairman Ron Kreider said in a statement.


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