Local co-ops look back ... and ahead

10/22/08 (Wed)

As local cooperatives observe National Co-op Month in October, they do so under the theme “Stronger Together.” No where is that more evident than in rural communities where many would be without basic services were it not for the cooperatives that stepped in to fill those needs.
In recognition of the contributions of co-ops to the growth of rural North Dakota, and to the local area in particular, it’s time to take another look at some of these businesses and how they’ve updated their operations to meet the changing needs of members. This week, we'll look at four local co-ops serving the general public.

Farmers Union Oil
The oldest co-op in Velva, Farmers Union Oil of Velva, Butte, Drake and Martin celebrated its 75th anniversary this past summer, playing host to dignitaries and, most importantly, its members.
Founded in 1933, the local cooperative has certainly evolved to meet the needs of its customers and members.  In its early days, F.U. sold cars and rented storage locker space for meat.  In 1940, they installed their first gas pumps, and their current buildings were constructed in 1956. As demand dictated, the enterprise continued to grow, adding a fertilizer plant, bulk and LP plant, and an anhydrous plant.