Brandt, a leading retailer of professional agronomic services in Illinois, has acquired two retail agronomy locations near Decatur, Ill. Hardy Fertilizer, located in Mount Auburn, Ill., and Niantic Crop Service, located in Niantic, Ill., have become part of the Brandt organization, extending the reach of the company to the east.

“As a family company, we welcome the Hardy and Niantic employees to the Brandt family,” said Rick Brandt, CEO and president of Brandt. “Our goal is always to make 1+1=3. With the caliber of people who are joining us, we are going to make that happen. We will truly be a stronger company with our combined resources.”

The acquisition of Hardy fits Brandt’s aggressive corporate strategy of providing superior agronomic advice and services for customers in central Illinois. The combined company has 24 retail locations throughout central Illinois, serving nearly one million acres of production farmland. Brandt offers a broad range of products and services, including plant nutrients, crop protection products, precision ag and custom application.

“Hardy comes to us with a 53-year reputation of impeccable service and a strong set of corporate values,” continued Brandt, “Our cultures and values just naturally aligned. Hardy has always been a customer-driven company with high-integrity employees who thrive when faced with big goals. That’s exactly what we look for as we continue to expand.”

Both Hardy and Niantic will be integrated into Brandt’s Retail Agronomy division, under the leadership of Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, Tim McArdle.

“I could not be more thrilled about this opportunity,” said McArdle. “It’s truly an honor to join forces with Gene Hardy and to carry on his legacy of always putting the customer first. Our goal is to keep that going. We are going to bring on all the managers, administrators and operators to continue to do the excellent work our customers deserve.”

Gene Hardy, founder of both Hardy Fertilizer and Niantic Crop Service, will remain with Brandt, providing strategic operations management and key account leadership.

“The marketplace is changing,” said Hardy, “And for us to take our customer services to the next level, we needed to align ourselves with a company that has the resources, shares similar values and has a high level of customer commitment. Brandt is that dynamic, diverse company. I am truly excited about our future together. ”

“This is an important strategic move for Brandt,” said Rick Brandt. “I want to thank Gene and Ginger Hardy for their leadership, vision and ultimately faith in the Brandt family. I am confident that our combined company is positioned to thrive and grow into the future.”