In January 1903, the editor of "The Central Farmer" magazine, a longtime supporter in the fight against the "grain combine", set about to organize the Nebraska Farmers Cooperative Grain and Livestock Association. The association announced its purpose as follows - to protect members of the association from discrimination; to furnish reports of crop and market conditions, and to procure the best possible market for their products.
At the same time, Dorchester area farmers were meeting to discuss the organizing of a cooperative association. On March 28, 1903, the first stockholders meeting of the Dorchester Farmers Cooperative Grain and Livestock Association was held in the Keeps Opera House in Dorchester, NE. 115 farmers became stockholders and they elected seven men as their first Board of Directors. They were: W.C. Endicott - President, J.W. Carper - Vice President, Franklin Miller - Secretary, D.J. Buckingham - Treasurer, W.J. Reid, Bert Psikal, and O.T. Henshue. Charles Mcllnay became the first manager and a 15,000-bushel elevator was completed in October 1903 at a cost of $3,905.00.
The 1990s brought on a lot of changes in growth, with mergers and acquisitions, creating 14 locations in the local area by April of 2000. During the summer of 2002, merger talks started with Farmers Cooperative Elevator Company of Plymouth, NE. In June of 2002, a historic vote was passed to merge the two companies and adopt a new name of Farmers Cooperative. In 2008, a merger with Countryside Cooperative occurred and Nebraska Tire became part of Farmers Cooperative. Since then, the cooperative has continued to grow to meet producers’ needs and today has 61 locations spread throughout southeast Nebraska and northeast Kansas. There are four tire service centers located in Firth, Plymouth, Beatrice, and York, with 10 service stations located in Nebraska and Kansas.
As Farmers Cooperative continues to grow, the company will always keep one priority in mind – “Investing In Our Owners’ Success!”