About Wilco

Wilco has a history that dates all the way back to the 1930’s.  We still have paper records from Santiam Farmers Cooperative (Stayton, 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 Valley Cooperatives.

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;

  1. Agronomy Centers with Fertilizers, Crop Protection Products, and Agronomists serving full-time farms,
  2. Bulk Petroleum supplies anything from Heating Oil, DEF, Lubricants and Antifreeze to tanker loads of Diesel and Gasoline.
  3. 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 Ben Moore Paint, Lawn & Garden supplies with a Nursery-Style Garden Center, Pet Food, and Supplies with Full-Service Pet Grooming and Livestock and Equine Supplies, Feed and Fencing.

As a cooperative, our farmer customers are also our owner-members, so we’re always focused on what our customer’s need.  As a result, Wilco continues to follow customers in the Pacific Northwest, more recently expanding stores north to Kelso and Gig Harbor and east to Prineville and Bend.  And we’re always willing to lend a hand to improve agriculturally and the lifestyle’s our customers enjoy.  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 Coops.

What is a Cooperative?
A Cooperative is a group of people collectively doing business in a way they could not do individually.

Who makes up Wilco?
Over 3,000 agricultural producers located throughout the entire Willamette Valley. Wilco also has several hundred thousand non-member patrons.

Who can become members of Wilco?
Only agricultural producers that file a farm schedule F or Form 1120 with your income tax return, or agricultural producers that bear the risk of production and that production is produced for sale.

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 dividends based on your patronage of Wilco.

How do you become a member?
If you feel you qualify for membership, you must fill out an application. This application is then reviewed 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 dividends will go towards membership 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?
The amount payable to members is divided between them on the basis of sales. If you bought 1% of the total sales to members, you would receive 1% of the total refund payable to members. Wilco pays out 20% of our earnings in cash most years. The remaining 80% is held in patron reserves. This part is the operating capital of the cooperative. The Board of Directors approves the amount of cash and also determines the retirement of patron equities. Usually, depending on the overall financial position of the cooperative, the Board will decide to revolve some member equities each year.

Can patron reserves be paid out before the normal revolving period?
Yes, but only upon death. Normally, the reserves are paid out to the member’s estate.

Can anyone buy from the cooperative?
Yes. They will pay the same price as a member and receive the same service, but will not receive any patronage dividends.

Who sets cooperative policy and runs the cooperative?
The Board of Directors. They are elected by the membership, set overall policy, and hire the President.

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.