AgraTurf Equipment Services and Elmira Farm Service, two John Deere dealers in Southern Ontario, announced they have agreed to merge into a new dealership — Premier Equipment, effective May 2, 2011.

“We are excited to officially make this announcement,” says Brett Barriage, general manager of Elmira Farm Service and the new CEO of Premier Equipment. “Establishing this new entity will position us to meet the long term needs of the farming, commercial and residential customers in Southern Ontario.”

The joining of the two brings together ten store locations and over 250 employees in a trade area spanning from Alliston in Ontario's northeast to Smithville and Simcoe in the south and west. With collective history dating back to 1955, this merger links the experience and expertise of two leading dealerships recognized by John Deere as being ‘Dealers of Tomorrow’.

“We’re in a very dynamic market, and our customers are continuing to grow,” comments Joe Fewer, GM of AgraTurf and the new Chief Operations Officer of Premier Equipment. “This merger solidifies resources and provides the strength and stability needed to continue as leaders in the marketplace. It ensures our commitment to meet the growing needs of our customers, today and in the future."

To make certain all staff had an opportunity to participate; the announcement was shared through an online video featuring Barriage and Fewer. In addition to naming Fewer as Chief Operations Officer, Barriage shared that Ian Verbeek is assuming the role of Chief Sales Officer and Alan Dueck will be the Chief Financial Officer for the newly formed company.

“We are in the business of providing our customers with the ideas, technology and service that will help them compete effectively in the global agriculture market,” says Barriage. “We are taking these steps to reinforce the future for our staff and customers. We are taking these steps to ensure that we’re here to grow with them.”