Agri-Mark Board of Directors appoints new CEO

Read the press release in full below or on the company's website.


Andover, Mass. – At their meeting in July 2019, the Agri-Mark Board of Directors approved the appointment of William “Bill” Beaton of Groveland, Massachusetts, as the new President & CEO of the farmer-owned cooperative and dairy manufacturing business. The early choice of Bill to CEO was designed to create a seamless transition for the co-op following the retirement of current CEO Edward Townley on May 31, 2020.

“We wish Ed Townley the very best and thank him for his many contributions to Agri-Mark during his tenure,” says Board Chairman James Jacquier, a dairy farmer from East Canaan, Connecticut. “We have had a succession plan in place and Ed let us know more than a year ago that he planned to retire and worked with us on his replacement. We have worked with Bill over the past 10 years and are excited to work with him in his new role in the years ahead to further grow and strengthen our business.”

According to Townley, “I am so pleased that the Board selected Bill as our new CEO. He has been an important member of my management team as Senior V.P. of Human Resources for more than 10 years and has played a role in many of the strategy and organizational decisions I have implemented over my tenure, including the introduction of many talented new members in both our senior management and plant operations who are instilling the culture and excellence needed for the future. He knows the people and he knows our business. I am certain he will meet with much success moving forward.”

During his tenure at Agri-Mark, Townley was forced to make many difficult operational and membership decisions that ultimately allowed the co-op to remain very strong and improve financially despite some very tough years. He also oversaw the $21 million investment in a new nonfat dry milk dryer at the co-op’s West Springfield, Massachusetts, plant and new Cheddarmaster equipment and cheddar vats in Middlebury, Vermont facility and new cheddar vats at the co-op’s Chateaugay, New York cheese plant. These investments have proven to be crucial to the ability of Agri-Mark to handle 600 million more pounds of farm fresh milk from its 825 member farmers. Ed also established AgriMark as a leading force in the “B Corp” movement for excellence in business ethics.

Following his selection as the new CEO, Beaton expressed his appreciation for being selected to lead the Agri-Mark management team.

"I am pleased to be selected, and proud to lead, one of the premier businesses in the Northeast with two great brands, Cabot and McCadam, that are recognized and loved by consumers across the country,” he says. “I look forward to working with the Board and our talented employees to continue to provide a profitable value-added business for our farmer-owners.”

Agri-Mark farmers own both the Cabot (Vermont) and McCadam (New York) brands of Cheddar, butter and other dairy products. These brands have continued to expand as consumers’ appetite for high quality cheeses continue to grow at a remarkable pace. This has allowed Agri-Mark to invest in its brands and processing facilities while providing a secure market for the farmer members of the co-op.

Agri-Mark has 950 employees that operate its four dairy product processing facilities in Vermont, New York and Massachusetts. These employees take the high-quality milk produced by Agri-Mark members and turn it into award-winning dairy products, including the World’s Best Cheddar!

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