At WFS, our goal is to continually work to grow member value and cooperative strength.
2012 Annual Report
- WFS is a large local farmer-owned cooperative in Minnesota, serving more than 4,000 producers in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa.
- WFS offers broad marketing opportunities while providing farmers with fertilizer, crop chemicals, seed, livestock feed, petroleum products, and production financing.
- In fiscal year 2012, WFS posted sales of $592.5 million, with earnings before taxes of $7.5 million.
Founded by farmers in 1937 as Consumers Cooperative Oil Company of St. James, the company has expanded from its roots in petroleum marketing. During its first 30 years, it found additional strength in crop production and grain marketing, and, ultimately, in bulk feed, bulk petroleum, and custom spraying. The company took the name Watonwan Farm Service in 1965.
In 1967, a merger with Lewisville Farmers Co-op Elevator launched two decades of expansion. Grain operations in St. James began the same year. By 1979, when Ormsby Farmers Grain Company merged with WFS, grain storage had grown to 300,000 bushels and total locations numbered four.
Grain capacity rose steadily to one million bushels by 1993, and convenience stores expanded the cooperative’s mix of services. In 1994, acquisition of LH Grain Co. added two-unit train load out facilities and five elevators. Through a long-term lease agreement in 1996, the company assumed assets from Grain Land Co-op.
In 1999, WFS acquired Blue Earth County Service Co. by retiring 100% of equity to its stockholders and also purchased the assets of the former Truman Farmers Elevator. WFS then added five facilities formerly owned by Agro Distributing, LLC, in 2000.