AAD Owners Among Top Ag Retailers in California, U.S. — CropLife

Four of the top eight ag retailers in the state of California, according to a report from CropLife, are current Aligned Ag Distributors (AAD) owners, exemplifying the leadership role the organization — and its owners from around the country — plays in American agriculture.

Four Aligned Ag Distributors owners are included in the CropLife Top 8 Ag Retailers Based in California in 2021 report released in late June. The four companies also are all part of the 2021 CropLife 100, the publisher’s annual ranking of the top 100 ag retailers in the country.

In its 2021 list, CropLife ranked:

  • Grow West: #20 in the nation, #1 in California
  • Buttonwillow Warehouse Company: #22 in the U.S., #2 in California
  • Mid Valley Agricultural Services: #25 in the U.S., #3 in California
  • Butte County Rice Growers Association: #62 in the U.S., #6 in California

“The CropLife designation for our California owners shows that they’re true leaders in the ag retail business,” said AAD President Mary Tolke. “Amidst all the challenges they face that are unique to California agriculture right now, they’re proving that with the right leadership and relationships, they cannot just maintain but strengthen the level of service to their grower partners.”

To Butte County Rice Growers Association President and CEO Carl Hoff, growing his company’s role as trusted adviser to his grower partner — especially in the face of challenges like water shortages, crop protection product supply chain disruptions and a tight labor pool — sometimes means breaking out of his normal comfort zone. That’s something he’s more than willing to do to make sure his customers have the products and service they need to stay productive.

“I am always thinking about how we can be the best stewards of resources possible. Sometimes that means looking at products or ways of doing things that aren’t part of our normal operations,” Hoff said. “We’re always looking at things like technology and ways we can make smart investments for our customers. Everything in agriculture functions in cycles, and we want to position ourselves so our growers can rely on us in the long term.”

That’s where AAD comes in for Buttonwillow Warehouse Company President and CEO Clay Houchin. It’s helped him, like Hoff, continue to evolve his business to meet his grower partners where they are with the full lineup of service to which they’ve become accustomed from their ag retail partner.

“Aligned Ag has given me more time. They focus on negotiating and helping me maintain relevance in the crop protection marketplace so I can focus on the business of doing business,” Houchin said. “Aligned Ag enables me to talk more with my customers and learn new ways to continue to meet their needs.”

Moving forward, Grow West President and CEO Ernie Roncoroni said he’ll rely on Aligned Ag to help him maintain a national presence in the crop protection marketplace, enabling him to constantly be ready to pivot as customers adapt to the changing marketplace.

“You can’t get stuck in the mud. That’s what we tell our customers. You have to adapt. For us, that means constant communication with our customers so we know what they need,” Roncoroni said. “It’s about pivoting and moving so when Plan A can’t happen, we’re ready with Plan B, C or D. It’s all about doing whatever we can do. And Aligned Ag helps us always be ready to adapt and be ready.”

See more from the CropLife Top 8 Ag Retailers based in California in 2021 and the CropLife 100. Find out more about Aligned Ag Distributors here.