The I.L. Richer Company: A History
Until 2008, when the business was sold, The I.L. Richer Company was the oldest privately owned feed business headquartered in the Northeast. In 1870, Kimball Brothers opened a flour and grist mill in New Berlin, New York. In 1881, a young, ambitious and talented entrepreneur, Irving L. Richer, purchased the business and began what would be the 127 year history of The I.L. Richer Company. It remained a family operation through four generations. With the death of I.L. Richer in 1918, the business was continued by his son, John I. Richer, and son-in-law, Charles Mitchell. Over the next 25 years these two men would expand the company up and down the Unadilla and Chenango Valleys. In the 1950s into the 1970s the company was managed by the team of I. Richer Mitchell (the founder's grandson) and Del Button. John. C. Mitchell, of the fourth generation, led the company from the late 1970s until the business was sold in 2008. Throughout its history, The I.L. Richer Company kept pace with the evolving feed industry, becoming a leader in the manufacture and distribution of feeds. With a focus on all aspects of customer service, The I.L. Richer Company was one of the area's most highly respected businesses.