A Cooperative is an organization which is owned and run jointly by its members, who share the profits and benefits.
Farmers Growing Together
Wilco has a history that dates all the way back to the 1930s. We still have nostalgic board meeting notes and co-op documents 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 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 with Valley Agronomics LLC.
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions About Co-Ops
2,500 agricultural producers located throughout the Willamette Valley, parts of Washington and California.
Yes. They will pay the same price as a member and receive the same service, but will not receive any patronage dividends.
The Board of Directors. They are elected by the membership, set overall policy, and hire the CEO.
In 1967, five mid-Willamette Valley based farmer-owned cooperatives—the Mt. Angel Farmers Union Warehouse, the Santiam Farmers Cooperative, the Donald Farmers Coop, the Valley Farmers Coop of Silverton, and the Canby Cooperative—merged to form Wilco. These cooperatives themselves were the product of 10 mergers that had occurred during the prior 35 years. The new Wilco, whose name came from “Willamette Consolidated,” set up headquarters in Mt. Angel, Oregon. Its products and services included farm, home, and ranch supplies. Lee McFarland, a graduate of Oregon State University who had been with Pacific Supply Cooperative in Portland since 1956, was named general manager of the coop on a two-year contract.
Wilco forms of the merger of the Mt. Angel Farmers Union Warehouse, the Santiam Farmers Cooperative, the Donald Farmers Coop, and Valley Farmers Coop, and the Canby Cooperative with Lee McFarland as manager.
Farmers Oil Co. merges with Wilco.
The years 1974 and 1975 represented boom years for Wilco Coop and despite the return of hard times throughout the remainder of the decade, in the second half of the seventies, the coop were investing in growth again.
In the late eighties, the coop upgraded it facilities and equipment and updated its image. In 1987 alone, Wilco consolidated all petroleum activities, including all transportation activities, into a single operating division, the Farmers’ Petroleum Department. Purchasing activities were consolidated into a single department responsible for coordinating and negotiating all product needs. In addition, the Stayton, Mt. Angel, and Donald branches for seed processing underwent improvements and enlargements, and the Mt Angel Farm Store was remodeled.
Wilco consolidates all petroleum activities, including all transportation activities, into a single operating division, the Farmers’ Petroleum Department.
During the late 1990s and the start of the next century, Wilco again expanded through acquisition, both horizontally—adding more stores—and vertically—adding suppliers. In 1996, it merged with West Valley Farmers, expanding its business geographically eastward from the Willamette River. With the addition of West Valley, Wilco now covered most of the four-county mid-Willamette area and revenues grew to $70 million by 1998.
West Valley Farmers merges with Wilco.
Wilco purchases Eugene Farmers Cooperative and CHS (Cenex Harvest States) Supply and Marketing’s Harrisburg A Center and Tangent Farm Store. The coop combines all agronomy activities in Harrisburg, Oregon and assumes operation of the Farm Store in Tangent, Oregon.
Wilco acquires Valley Lime.
Wilco purchases the Cenex Harvest States Supply store in Battle Ground, Washington.
Wilco partners with Agriliance to add agronomy operations in Chehalis, Washington.
Wilco purchased Dutch Country Mercantile Farm Store and Pacific Harvest Agronomy in Washington County; the coop purchased Canby Farm, Garden & Pet Center
Wilco begins construction of a new liquid fertilizer plant at its Mt. Angel Agronomy Center; the coop opens a farm store in the Springfield/Eugene communities and builds a new store in Canby, Oregon.
During the late 1990s and the start of the next century, Wilco again expanded through acquisition, both horizontally—adding more stores—and vertically—adding suppliers. In 1996, it merged with West Valley Farmers, expanding its business geographically eastward from the Willamette River. With the addition of West Valley, Wilco now covered most of the four-county mid-Willamette area and revenues grew to $70 million by 1998, more recently expanding into California and Eastern Washington.