Our story begins amidst the turning page of agriculture in the United States.For many years, American farmers depended solely on what they could purchase, plant, harvest and store on their land and tools alone.However, as demands increased, prices rose, advance
ments in practices were made and transportation to end consumers became available, the need to work in cooperation with neighboring farmers became evident.They knew that working together would increase the ability to make bulk purchases at a lesser cost to each farmer.It also meant the ability to share the expensive new farming implements that were on their way to becoming a staple in farming operations.This idea of working together to gain prosperity and add value to their farming operation is the foundation of what created the first agriculture cooperatives.
The formation of NEW Cooperative began with a need for efficiency.The Farmers Cooperative in Badger, Iowa needed access to rail transportation.Farmers in nearby Vincent were looking for more grain to fill 50-car trains shipping from that location. When the two organizations merged to form NEW Cooperative, Inc. in 1973, forward-looking farmers started something so right, it was bound to grow, but didn't realize at the time that what they were a part of was going to be one of the most progressive agriculture cooperatives in the Midwest.
Later that same year, the board of directors in Duncombe voted to join NEW,adding a second rail outlet to the growing association. In 1978, NEW Cooperative Inc. expanded again to include Farmers Cooperative Grain Company of Fort Dodge, the Roberts Cooperative Elevator Company (of Otho,Robe
rts, and Moorland), and Farmers Elevator Company of Roelyn, enabling NEW to load unit trains on two different railroads.
Producers in the Clare and Barnum areas saw advantages in becoming part of this growing and adapting company. In 1980, the NEW Cooperative trade area expanded yet again. The next year, shareholders in the Knierim Cooperative Elevator voted to expand the NEW Cooperative membership again.
NEW Cooperative expanded south in 1989, with the purchase of privately owned elevators in Lohrville, Rands, and Piper.On Jan. 1, 1992, the boundaries of NEW stretched again--this time to the northwest with the addition of Farmers Cooperative Company of Palmer. Six months later,farmers in Pomeroy and Knoke added their facilities and energy to NEW Cooperative when they voted to merge.
In April 1995, NEW merged again, this time with Farmers Cooperative of Humboldt. That brought the total grain capacity of the organization to 28million bushels and the number of locations to fifteen. But NEW was still evolving.
In recognition of the changing complexion of the livestock industry in Iowa, NEW Cooperative made a bold efficiency move in March 1998 when it entered into a partnership with Land O'Lakes feeds. The resulting operation, known as NEW FEEDS™ LLC, has current operating feed mills in Duncombe, Palmer and Bode.
Still progressing, NEW purchased the former Terra Industries Pomeroy location in 1999, and in 2002 merged with the Bode Cooperative Elevator with locations in Bode and LuVerne. Thereby expanding agronomy, grain,fuel, and feed services to additional customers in Calhoun, Sac, Buena Vista, and Kossuth counties.
NEW once again grew in September of 2005 with two mergers.One merger with Farmers Cooperative Company of Woolstock and a second with Farmers Cooperative Elevator Company of Blairsburg, were both prominent in increasing membership and services into Hamilton and Wright counties.
In 2007, the NEW Cooperative membership area expanded south, with the merger of four Farmer's Cooperative locations.The facilities in Carroll,Glidden, Lidderdale and Lanesboro were the newest additions to NEW Cooperative, and offered further resources and expansion opportunities for the growth of NEW's agronomy, feed and grain departments.
During the years between mergers, and leading up to the present, growth continued through capital improvements.Bins and legs were erected;fertilizer storage facilities were expanded and built; and office and scale renovations were made.Each year, the NEW Board of Directors reviews were capital improvements are needed to ensure that efficiency in our operations and member's operations remains the core objective.By improving facilities, adding storage, and updating equipment; members obtain the rewards of investing in NEW Cooperative.
The story of agriculture cooperatives began in the early 1900s, and now,into the new century, this foundational concept of cooperation among neighboring farmers to add strength to their business remains the basis of NEW Cooperative's current success and growth of its members.It is our goal to see that our farmers find confidence in their NEW Cooperative and that they have access to the marketing, products, and services they need to add value to their farming operation.Today, NEW Cooperative proudly has23 locations, spanning a membership area of 14 counties, and employs 250full-time positions.As the largest tax-payer in many of these counties and most of the towns home to our locations, we still are quick to say thank you to those who support NEW, whether they be residents or members.Through donations and employee involvement, we do our best to show our support for area youth, agriculture, emergency services and organizations;and will continue to make that a priority.
With the agriculture industry, United States and the world continuing to change, we know this story will continue to unfold and add new chapters.As we move forward, we find pride in standing as a powerful illustration of successful cooperation.