Farmers Growing Together
The marketplace in the Mid Willamette Valley and Southwest Washington is ever changing with price fluctuations, supply challenges and complicated government involvement. The business of farming is not an easy endeavor.
As a result, in the late 1960’s, the Wilco Cooperative was formed to aid farming families with stability, integrity and prosperity.
Wilco first came into existence in 1967 when the Mt. Angel Farmers Union Warehouse, Santiam Farmers Cooperative, Donald Farmers Co-op, Valley Farmers Co-op (Silverton), and the Canby Cooperative merged. The new headquarters for the co-op settled in Mt. Angel where it still remains. The name “Wilco” came from the cooperative’s Willamette Valley position, Willamette Consolidated, shortened to Wilco.
In 1989 another key cooperative, Farmers Oil Co. in Woodburn, merged with Wilco. And eight years later, West Valley Farmers joined the growing family of Wilco partners. West Valley Farmers was the product of a three-way merger in January of 1988 between Farmer’s Cooperative Oil of Yamhill County, Amity Cooperative Warehouse, and Sheridan Grain Company. The new cooperative, West Valley Farmers, was headquartered at the present Wilco Farm Store in McMinnville. Before the merger of Wilco and West Valley Farmers, most, if not all of the Wilco business was east of the Willamette River. Now, with the addition of West Valley Farmers, Wilco was able to expand its business to include service to most of the 4-county mid-Willamette areas that include Marion County, Clackamas County, Polk County and Yamhill County.
In 2000, Wilco purchased Eugene Farmers Cooperative, CHS Supply and Marketing in Tangent, OR, and Harrisburg Ag Center and combined all agronomy activities in Harrisburg, Oregon. Further acquisitions included Valley Lime of Gervais, OR in 2001; and Cenex Harvest States Supply retail farm store operations of Battle Ground, WA in 2004.
Wilco joint ventured all agronomy and seed with Agriliance and added agronomy operations in Chehalis, WA in 2006.
2007 – Pacific Harvest Supply Co. was purchased by the Wilco-Agriliance joint venture. The new facility, renamed The Wilco-Agriliance Cornelius Agronomy Center, added chemicals and fertilizer with other essential agricultural supplies to Wilco’s services in the area.
In an ever-changing business environment Wilco has continued to grow and develop to meet the expectations and demands of the market and its customers. Wilco’s history has been customer-driven creating new chapters of opportunity and service for the co-op. Today, Wilco’s customers remain the force that directs the vision and efforts of the company. Wilco, in a word is, customer-centric.