Associated Grain, the last independent grain dealer in Virginia, has officially sold its operation to Perdue Agribusiness. 2021 was Associated Grains 100th year as a local business on the Eastern Shore.

Middleton and Lewis Agricultural products was founded in 1921 in Parksley by James Middleton and William Lewis I. Originally the company was a produce broker of Eastern Shore grown products, including potatoes, vegetables, corn and other things grown here in an altogether different era of Eastern Shore agriculture. In the 1940s, the company refocused its efforts on grain and poultry and eventually became Associated Grain.

“When mom and pops go away, it changes things, which is ok, but its why I’ve put off selling to corporate America.” said Richard Lewis, third generation owner. “I just knew this was the right time and my family and I felt like it was the right time personally. The industry is changing greatly and quickly, making it harder for small businesses like Associated Grain to stay afloat. We are excited for Associated’s future and thank Perdue for the opportunity to partner with them.”

An announcement by Perdue read “As a family-run business, we always love adding new farmers and employees to our network, and we can’t wait to start working with you at Parksley and Exmore. You’ll see the same faces at Parksley and Exmore that you always have, and we are ready to receive your corn, beans, wheat, Plenish, milo, and barley.”

Be sure to tune in Monday for a special Shore Perspectives by Kelley Gaskill which will feature Lewis discussing selling the 100 year old business.