Freedom Ag & Energy has named a longtime Cargill executive as its first-ever CEO. Timothy Maupin will lead the new agriculture cooperative, which has seven retail locations in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, as well as an HVAC group.
Maupin spent more than two decades at Cargill, most recently as the Vice President of Agriculture Operations, during a career in agriculture that stretches back to the mid-1980s. He will bring that wealth of experience to Freedom Ag & Energy, a farmer-owned cooperative founded in 2022 when Southern States locations in Winchester, Va., Oakland, Md., Buckhannon, W.Va., and Petersburg, W.Va. merged to better build their agriculture and retail businesses while expanding their energy offerings, including petroleum and propane.
Under Maupin, the cooperatives are working to ensure a seamless transition into Freedom Ag & Energy.
“Customers will see the same quality of service, the same quality feeds and the same longtime vendors,” Maupin said. “We want to add to that, so we’ll look a little different in our stores as we move forward with new offerings in our showrooms.”
The combined cooperative is embracing each location’s decades-long tradition of serving the agriculture and energy needs of their communities.
“Freedom Ag & Energy is locally owned, and I think that’s a big benefit,” Maupin said. “Our co-ops have a long history of quality and service, and we’re going to remain quality and service-oriented. We want to be very customer-focused in all the areas we’re doing business. I hope we’re more nimble, too.”
Customers can expect to begin seeing new branding starting in December as the locations transition from Southern States to Freedom Ag & Energy. Long term, Maupin sees the cooperative embracing new technologies and evolving to meet the changing agriculture and energy needs of the coming years.
“We want to keep the things that are working and then move forward into the next generation of customers,” Maupin said. “We’ll cater to what customers want to buy and want to see in stores.”
Revamping the sales experience – both in-store and online – is also a priority.
“Watch us evolve,” Maupin said. “That’s on the e-commerce front, but also in the showrooms. We want to be more user-friendly and get people what they want to buy.”
Freedom Ag & Energy will have additional flexibility to capitalize on the synergies in its core businesses – petroleum products, agronomy, feed and farm supply, and retail. As the brand becomes established, the cooperative aims to expand into other communities.
“We want to grow,” Maupin said. “Some of that will be internally, but we hope other co-ops will see what we’re doing and will join us as well.”
Maupin owns a farm in western Virginia near Rockingham, where he lives with his wife Mary Anne, a retired schoolteacher. They have three children. He is no stranger to the Mountain State, having attended West Virginia University, where he graduated in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture.
“I’m a proud West Virginia University grad and avid watcher of WVU football and basketball,” he said.
Maupin earned an MBA from California State University – Dominguez Hills and has served on numerous agriculture-related boards, including the U.S. Egg and Poultry Board of Directors and the National Turkey Federation Board of Directors.
In addition to the CEO appointment, Freedom Ag & Energy is growing its management team. Jake Carpenter and Rusty Surface will serve as Regional Managers, splitting the territory east and west, and Katlyn Cook has been named the Freedom Ag & Energy Marketing Manager.