Interview with Alan Mueller
By Joe Kertzman, managing editor
Getting potatoes to market was a driving force behind the formation of the Volm Farm Supply Company in the 1950s. Established in 1954, Volm was a small family-run operation in Bryant, Wisconsin, that sold groceries and hardware supplies.
Serving local dairy and potato farmers, it was in the 1950s that Gerald Volm realized customers needed a reliable supplier of used and new burlap to get potatoes to market.
Over time, Volm formed distributor relationships with other bag companies and moved its burgeoning business to Antigo, where it began manufacturing products to meet changing markets.
The company has since expanded to include multiple manufacturing and distribution locations across the nation.
Today, Volm Companies, Inc. offers “solutions”—food packaging solutions, packaging equipment solutions, custom packaging solutions, technical mesh solutions and erosion control solutions.
Products are varied, and include mesh, poly, paper and burlap bags; totes; corrugated boxes; pallet wrap; baggers; balers; palletizers; sizers/sorters; digital printing; shade cloth; fencing and landscaping supplies; sediment and erosion control products; culverts and drain tiles.
The company partners with customers such as Dole, Sunkist and Green Giant to produce packaging to their exacting specifications and serves national and regional retailers such as Menards and Fleet Farm.
“Throughout our years in business, it has been very rewarding to have experienced personally meaningful relationships with those we have had the privilege of serving, as well as with suppliers we are privileged to represent,” Volm Companies, Inc. Chairman of the Board Alan Mueller says.
“From the time of supplying burlap bags and agricultural chemicals until today, our company has become a family of companies that has transitioned to paper vent-view bags, to poly bags and to mesh and half poly/half mesh bags,” he says.
“This progression took us from a rather small regional distribution company to a national/international sales and service company that started providing weighing and bagging equipment and manufacturing and distributing mesh packaging,” Mueller adds.
The progression eventually led to Volm Companies forming a joint venture in which it manufactures weighing and bagging equipment in the Netherlands and poly bags in Idaho.
“One of my favorite benefits of this progression was meeting and befriending people across the North American continent and forming new companies and services with people from all over the world,” Mueller relates.