Mt. Angel, OR, May 10, 2021 – Wilco, an Oregon-based cooperative, announced a record patronage payout to their farmer-owners. Checks arrived in co-op member’s mailboxes throughout Oregon and Washington in April for member stock retirement payments of $564,286 to Wilco co-op members and $439,902 to Hazelnut Growers of Oregon (HGO) growers from past business done in 2011. An additional $1,502,378 will be sent out this week for the 40% cash portion of last year’s 2020 Wilco member patronage.
Also in May, an additional $2,253,567 will be allocated to Wilco members and paid out in the future. Each year, the cooperative’s profits are used to grow and operate the business, pay cash patronage immediately back to growers, allocate new owner equities, and return past equity back to farmer-owners. President & CEO Sam Bugarsky said, “Given all of the challenges faced in 2020 we are proud to deliver good news and return historic profits to our farmer-owners.”
Driving 2020’s record patronage payout was Wilco Farm Stores retail business. Existing stores in Oregon and Washington had record performances, while Wilco also opened a new store in Lake Oswego, Oregon, and their first California store in Petaluma last December. “Seeing our farmer-owners benefit from our diverse business is one of Wilco’s strengths,” says Bugarsky. “Not only do they benefit day-to-day with discounts and competitive prices on supplies and fuel, and hazelnut processing options, they have the opportunity to share in annual profits at the end of the year.”
Patronage decisions and the company’s direction are all decided by Wilco’s elected Board of Directors, all farmers, and customers. To learn more about the cooperative or how to become a farmer-owner member, visit www.wilco.coop.
Wilco is headquartered in the rural town of Mt. Angel, Oregon, and is a farmer-owned cooperative established in 1967 with co-op roots that go back to the 1930’s. Since then, Wilco has evolved into one of the west’s largest agricultural cooperatives, and today serves the unique needs of over 500,000 customers with a farmer-owner base of over 3,000 strong. Wilco’s mission is to strengthen agriculture and rural lifestyles.