Image via Gar Tootelian Facebook page

published on November 14, 2019 - 9:10 AM
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Two family-owned Valley agricultural businesses, Reedley’s Gar Tootelian, Inc. and Bennett Water Systems in Lemoore, are merging.

Employees of the two companies were notified Wednesday, while a public announcement of the merger was made this morning.

While both work with farmers, they largely cover different spectrums of the ag industry, with Gar Tootelian supplying fertilizers and nutritional products while also providing extensive farm advising, management and testing services. Bennett Water designs and builds water systems for farms, along with upgrading irrigation systems to use less water.

“The merger of Bennett Water Systems with GAR raises the bar and brings together two locally-owned, family businesses with outstanding reputations for integrity and trust with complimentary cultural values, products and services. Together, our opportunities are endless,” states a press release from GAR, citing comments the company’s CEO, Greg Musson, made to his staff on Wednesday.

“The merger assists both women-owned companies in bringing together a full product offering of grower services ranging from water systems to crop protection. Both family businesses share a commitment of longstanding relationships in the Central Valley serving ag. Bennett’s 90-year history combined with GAR’s 70-year history [will] make them the Valley’s oldest ag company, spanning more than five generations,” the release continues.

“We are excited about the opportunity to be a leader in growing solutions for Valley growers. Our combined activities make growing easier, with an expanded offering of services and experts in the field,” the release states, citing Bennett Water CEO Tyler Bennett.

“The merger allows us to bring together the most technologically-qualified team of experts to maximize crop yields with less water. We will be armed with resources to exceed grower expectations, differentiate ourselves from the competition and keep as many acres in production as possible in a post-[Sustainable Groundwater Management Act] world,” he said, referring to new regulations in California expected to limit for the first time the amounts of groundwater farmers may use.

The merger is expected to become official Jan. 1, with Bennett and Musson serving as co-CEOs of the new business, GAR Bennett, LLC.

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