Wilco has a history that dates all the way back to the 1930s. We still have nostalgic board meeting notes and co-op certificates from Santiam Farmers Cooperative (Stayon, OR) from 1936. A little over 30 years later, in 1967, Santiam Coop voted with four other Willamette Valley cooperatives and merged together to form Wilco; short for Willamette Consolidated.
Today, Wilco is still a farmer-owned cooperative headquartered in the rural town of Mt. Angel, OR. Wilco focuses on a commitment to core values and community that come from our roots while striving to be a progressive company known for growth and innovation supplying today’s agricultural needs Whether your agriculture interests are crops and ranching to support your family full-time, or you have a hobby and passion for the lifestyle, Wilco’s focus is clear; serve their customers with the products, services, and expertise they need.
Decade-after-decade Wilco continues to grow and change to meet these demands in an ever-changing agriculture industry. To effectively serve customers Wilco maintains three business units and is part of an important joint venture;
- Farm Stores supply the everyday needs of anyone with Pets, Backyards or Farms. The store’s five core departments include Work Wear & Footwear, True Value Convenience Hardware with Benjamin Moore Paint, Lawn & Garden supplies with a Nursery-Style Garden Center, Pet Food & Supplies with Full-Service Pet Grooming, and Livestock & Equine Supplies, Feed and Fencing.
- Energy supplies anything from Heating Oil, DEF, Lubricants, and Antifreeze to tanker loads of Diesel, Gasoline, and Propane.
- Hazelnut Growers of Oregon is a marketing coop that purchases our local Hazelnut farmers’ crops and markets them to both international and domestic customers, supporting the rapidly growing hazelnut industry in Oregon. Hazelnut Growers of Oregon has a 120,000sq ft state of the art hazelnut processing facility poised to handle the thousands of new acres planted and record-setting hazelnut harvests to come.
- Agronomy Centers with Fertilizers, Crop Protection Products, and Agronomists serving full-time farms. Wilco is part of a joint venture, Valley Agronomics, which is a joint effort from Valley Wide Cooperative, Winfield Solutions, and Wilco.
As a cooperative, our farmer customers are also our owner-members, so we’re always focused on what our customers’ need. As a result, Wilco continues to follow customers in the Pacific Northwest, more recently expanding stores north to Redmond, OR and Bremerton, WA. Stop by or give us a call anytime and we’d be happy to answer your questions.
Not sure what a cooperative is, here are some helpful faqs about co-ops.
- What is a Cooperative?
- Who makes up Wilco?
- Who can become members of Wilco?
- What constitutes an agricultural producer?
- What are the advantages of being a member?
- How do you become a member?
- What does it cost to become a member?
- Do members have any personal liability in the event of the failure of the cooperative?
- As a member, how do I receive earnings?
- Can patron reserves be paid out before the normal revolving period?
- Can anyone buy from the Cooperative?
- Who sets Cooperative policy and runs the Cooperative?
- How and when do I receive my patron reserves?
What constitutes an agricultural producer?
This is a legal question — governed by Federal Law. A couple of yardsticks are as follows: If you file a farm schedule with your income tax return. If you bear the risk of production and that production is produced for sale.
What are the advantages of being a member?
As a member, you are one of the owners of the business. Each member has voting privileges, based on their patronage with the cooperative, in the election of directors, changing of by-laws, or other matters that come before the membership. As a member, you are entitled to receive patronage payments based on your sales with Wilco and Valley Agronomics.
How do you become a member?
To become a member, you must fill out an application and an IRS Form W-9. This application is then reviewed and voted on by the Board of Directors. If approved, it is signed by the Secretary, making you a member.
What does it cost to become a member?
The total membership fee is $300.00. A $10 down payment is required with the application, and 10% of your annual patronage payment will go towards the remaining membership fee until paid in full.
Do members have any personal liability in the event of the failure of the cooperative?
No. Wilco is a cooperative corporation. Unpaid equities in your name would be the only amount that would be in jeopardy in the event of liquidation.
As a member, how do I receive earnings?
Patronage is paid to members based on a percentage, which is calculated by the member’s annual purchases as a percent of total member purchases and then multiplied by Wilco’s annual net income before tax. Typically, as determined by the Board of Directors, an annual cash payment to a member is 40% of the calculated patronage. The remaining 60% is retained and held in patron equities, which is used for operating capital of the Cooperative and paid to members at some future date. The Board of Directors with the CEO approves the amount of annual retirement (revolve) patron equities based on the overall financial position of the Cooperative.
Can patron reserves be paid out before the normal revolving period?
Yes, but only upon death of the member or legal dissolution of the business. Normally, the reserves are paid out to the member’s estate.
How and when do I receive my patron reserves?
Depending on the overall financial position of the cooperative, the Board will decide to revolve some past member equities each year. This is usually paid by the year in which they were issued.