Birkey’s Transfers 100% Ownership of Company to Employee Stock Ownership Plan
CHAMPAIGN, Illinois, January 6, 2022 – Birkey’s Farm Store, a 17 store CaseIH dealer in Illinois and Indiana headquartered in Champaign, IL, is now 100% employee-owned, as it has transitioned its business structure to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) as of December 31, 2021.
“Our employees are the reason for our success and creating the ESOP will recognize and reward them for their efforts going forward,” said Mike Hedge, Birkey’s President and CEO. “Being employee-owned allows us to preserve our culture for many years in the future, and provides us a way to move forward seamlessly and achieve our goals, while preserving the service our customers have come to expect.”
“Recent research has shown companies who are ESOPs are typically faster, more productive, growing more, and more profitable with less turnover,” Mike Hedge shared. “These are all important to us as we enter into a new phase in the life of our organization. This will help in recruiting, retaining, and engaging employees as we move forward—I’m very pleased to announce Birkey’s is going into this new year 100 percent employee-owned.”
About Employee Stock Ownership Plans
An ESOP is an employee benefit plan, facilitated through a trust, which provides company stock to employees as part of their retirement benefits. Congress created these plans to make it possible to transfer ownership to employees in a tax-favored way. According to the National Center for Employee Ownership, there are approximately 6,500 ESOPs in the United States holding total assets of over $1.6 trillion and covering nearly 14 million participants. As a 100% ESOP owned company, all of Birkey’s stock is now held in trust by the ESOP exclusively for the benefit of Birkey’s employees.
Birkey’s Farm Store has served Illinois and Indiana since 1954 with second-to-none product support. As your needs have changed over the years, we’ve added the resources required to serve you. What was once an operation in a small shop has grown to a network of 18 locations and 450+ employees in our 100% employee-owned organization. This continued investment in people, infrastructure, technology, and tooling has enabled Birkey’s to become a leading dealer for Case IH Agriculture and Case Construction Equipment.
We’re headquartered in Champaign, Illinois, and we own and operate a network of full-service Case IH agricultural and Case construction equipment stores throughout Illinois and western Indiana. The Birkey’s network serves the Illinois communities of Annawan, Arthur, Bloomington, Casey, Galesburg, Gibson City, Henry, Hoopeston, Macomb, Mattoon, Newton, Oakland, Polo, Prophetstown, Shelbyville, and Urbana, as well as Williamsport, IN.
For more information, go to www.birkeys.com