When Wilco Farmers and West Valley Farmers merged in January of 1996 one of the promises made to the memberships of both Cooperatives was to pay out the past equities for West Valley and continue to pay them for any future equities earned with Wilco Farmers. Wilco is pleased to report that in June of 2014 they made good on that promise.
Wilco paid out over $8.2 million in equities earned from 1940-1995. These include all grower qualified equities from the 9 original cooperatives (Farmers Coop, Donald; Canby Coop, Farmers Union Warehouse, Mt Angel; Valley Farmers Coop, Silverton; Santiam Farmers Coop, Stayton; Farmers Coop Oil, Woodburn; Amity Coop, Sheridan Grain Growers, Farmers Coop Oil, McMinnville) dating back to their original formation in the late 1930’s. Along with this strong payout of past equity was $3.5 million in cash patronage paid to the 3000+ members of Wilco and over $7 million added to their member’s non-qualified equity. Total Wilco equity has nearly tripled, from $16 million to $45 million since the merger in 1996.
Steve Keudell, Wilco Board Chairman says, “The Wilco Board of Directors are pleased to be able to return over $11.7 million in past equity and cash patronage to our farmer members since the merger in 1996. Plus, we have established a solid base of equity with which we can continue to provide the Agronomy and Petroleum products and services to directly benefit our member’s farms.”
Doug Hoffman, Wilco CEO over the past 20 years says “I am pleased that we were able to keep the promises made in 1995 as we laid out the benefits of the West Valley and Wilco merger. We had many doubters at the meetings but the continued strong performance comes from solid strategic direction from our Board of Directors and Management along with excellent execution and customer service by our Wilco Employee Team. The expansion into the Retail Farm Stores has given us a consistency with earnings in recent years. While our Agronomy business, which we Joint Ventured with Winfield in 2006, continues to grow with solid increases in fertilizer tons and crop protection sales as well as earnings. Petroleum gallons continue to grow each year as we focus completely now on the direct sales to our farmers and contractor businesses.”
Wilco is on pace to continue to perform well into the future and grow the business for their customers and farmer members. Wilco wants to continue the consistent cash patronage and payment of past equities. This supports their ultimate goal to enhance member’s farms with competitive products and services that will help sustain farms and the rural quality of life for years to come.
Doug concluded, “We have consistently looked at our ongoing operations to focus on strengths and make the tough adjustments to keep our business relevant in the market place and to our members. We do this through Core Values like Integrity, which is why we’re pleased to announce the recent payouts and fulfillment of an old promise.”