The potato processing industry in the United States historically has relied on one entity to service their inspection needs for grower payment--the various State Departments of Agriculture in cooperation with USDA. In Canada the potato processors generally provide this inspection service for grower payment.
Warren Henninger, CEO and Founder of Ag World Support Systems (AWSS), observed the United States trend toward privatizing many government run services. Mr. Henninger also noted that processor performed inspections, as in Canada, both exposed the processor to unnecessary risks while leaving room for growers to question the unbiased nature of the inspection. These opportunities led to the development of Mr. Henninger's vision of an independent private third party inspection company to service the processed potato industry. Mr. Henninger believed that a private party would provide a better service and be more responsive to industry needs.
Mr. Henninger chose to leave his post of 21 years in a potato processing company and begin the process of establishing an independent private third party inspection service. Much time was spent investigating the industries response to a private inspection service. After receiving a positive response from the industry, Ag World Support Systems LLC was established on June 16, 1997 with a focus on customer service, accuracy, quality, and development.
February 1998 AWSS inspection operations began servicing its first facility at the JR Simplot processing plant in Hermiston, Oregon. After AWSS's first successful start-up, two more facilities were acquired during the summer of 1998 (JR Simplot in Grand Forks, North Dakota; Cavendish in Jamestown, North Dakota). December 1998 terms were agreed to for AWSS to begin servicing the raw lab at the JR Simplot plant in Grand Forks.
July 2001 Ag World began servicing the Simplot plants in Moses Lake and Othello, Washington at a grading facility in Moses Lake.
July of 2002, Ag World Support Systems Corp. was formed to begin operation in Canada. In August 2002 operations started at Midwest Foods in Carberry, Manitoba. (November of 2004, this plant was purchased by McCain Foods Canada. Ag World Continues to service this plant). July of 2003 Ag World began servicing a new facility in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba owned and operated by Simplot Canada. August of 2007, Ag World began operations at another McCain plant located in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.
July 2004 Ag World began to service its first vegetable plant at Pasco, Washington, owned and operated by J.R. Simplot Co. With a change in ownership in spring of 2007, Ag World continues to service this plant now called Pasco Processing.
September 2004 Ag World began operating a private lab in Grand Forks, North Dakota servicing the needs of the processed potato chip and french fry industry. This lab was licensed to do Techmark Services testing and was closed in 2007 due to volume reductions.
September 2008, Ag World began servicing the Maine potato industry at the McCain facility in Easton, Maine. Ag World's Northeast District was formed to service Maine plus additional future business in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
September 2009, Ag World began servicing River Point Farms in Hermiston, Oregon; a fresh cut operation specializing in onions and peppers.
July 2012, Ag World began servicing the five Con Agra (Lamb) plants in Washington State in July 2012, with year round grading/inspections at facilities in Pasco and Quincy plus September and October inspection at the ConAgra plant in Connell.
AWSS will continue to serve the industry with a responsive, high quality and efficient service as it expands its market presence throughout the agricultural industry of the World.