Rockingham Cooperative renovates farm supply business

A man dismantles the grain elevator from the former Strasburg Farm & Home business in Strasburg. Rockingham Cooperative recently purchased the business and will cease operation of the feed grinding business at the Strasburg location. Rich Cooley/Daily

STRASBURG – Rockingham Cooperative is making progress on its plans to upgrade the former Strasburg Farm & Home Services/Southern States store.

A Mennonite group from Dayton dismantled the long-standing grain elevator from the business on East King Street this week. Harrisonburg-based Rockingham Cooperative operates mills in Timberville and Dayton, Chief Executive Officer Norman Wenger said Thursday.

Store manager Billy Henry said the group plans to reassemble the grain elevator for its purposes. The Strasburg store will continue to provide feed for customers, Henry and Wenger said. The grain elevator operated until the group removed it, Henry said.

Rockingham Cooperative bought the Strasburg property Dec. 1 but the Strasburg store began to sell its feed months earlier. Rockingham’s upgrade plans call for the removal of the grain mill and the construction of a 4,000-square-foot warehouse in its place.

Rockingham also plans to build a new entrance to the business on an adjacent lot it purchased recently. The business must remove the existing house on the lot and has offered it to anyone interested in the old building. The new entrance is intended to prevent vehicles from stacking back to the railroad crossing on East King Street.

Rockingham will add Ace Hardware products to the feed and farm supplies the store already offers. The upgrades include expanding the retail area into existing storage space.

Renovations should start in the next two weeks, Wenger said. The store will remain open during the renovations, Wenger said.

“We’re really excited about the opportunity to establish this location in Strasburg,” Wenger said. “Strasburg Farm & Home have been around a long time. (They’re) a great group of employees; All the employees are staying there.”

“There’ll be some big changes here between now and June,” Henry said. “I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be a big improvement for the town.”

Henry noted that Rockingham kept all the employees and “treated them very well.” The store also hired two more employees, one driving feed trucks and the other training as an Ace Hardware representative.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com