Spokane Journal of Business

Dallas company acquires Northwest Farmer-Stockman

Longtime insurance company expected to keep name, employees

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Cowles Co. has sold its longtime insurance subsidiary, Northwest Farmer-Stockman Inc., to Dallas-based Integrity Marketing Group

Northwest Farmer-Stockman general manager Steve Drassen says the Spokane operation will keep its name and operate as a division of Integrity, which has almost 5,500 employees throughout the U.S.

The transaction was completed today and coincides somewhat with Drassen’s retirement, which will be effective Friday, Dec. 3. Farmer-Stockman’s other seven employees are expected to continue with the company under the new ownership.

Cowles Co. declines to disclose the terms of the transaction.

Drassen says Northwest Farmer-Stockman currently is located on the sixth floor of the Spokesman-Review Building, at 999 W. Riverside, in downtown Spokane. However, he says, Integrity is looking for office space and is expected to move those operations in the coming months.

Northwest Farmer-Stockman started 106 years ago, publishing farm-and-ranch magazines. In 1939, the company began selling insurance policies and financial services to its subscribers. Drassen says the company sold the publishing rights to its periodicals in the mid-1990s, but its employees continued to sell magazine subscriptions until about five years ago.

In a press release, Cowles chairman and CEO Betsy Cowles says the alignment of values between Integrity and Farmer-Stockman made the Texas company a logical buyer.

Cowles owns the Journal of Business through a subsidiary. It also owns the Spokesman-Review daily newspaper, KHQ-TV television stations, and other media outlets. Through affiliated companies, Cowles also operates in the forest products, real estate, and venture-fund industries.

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