Half a century
NEW Cooperative celebrates 50 farmer-focused years
Fifty years is a long time for any organization to remain viable, especially in today’s agriculture. It’s possible two Webster County local co-op boards had an inkling in 1973 of the changes ahead. The cooperative in Vincent was one of Iowa’s first to ship dedicated unit-trains. The Badger cooperative, who’d recently lost their rail access, could supply the additional grain needed to ship those trains. It made sense to connect. Not surprisingly, the newly created merger immediately attracted Duncombe co-op members, creating a three-location operation — a sizeable cooperative for its time.
“Today, we’re celebrating 50 years of doing for our customer-members what no single farmer can do alone, and making every effort to do it right,” says NEW Cooperative General Manager Dan Dix. “At the end of the day — at the end of 50 years — I believe farmers know we put their success first.”
This anniversary is a tribute to hundreds of employees over the years who channeled their love of agriculture into services that anticipate. “Our agronomy team began to picture future customers back in 1995 when we purchased our first TerraGator Soilection machine. That new technology gave customers the ability to request nutrients tied to soil profiles across each field,” Dix said.
Fifty years ago, the farmers who formed NEW Cooperative were focused on efficiency and a single line of rail cars stretching out from Central Iowa. Their idea was innovative for 1973 and our members continue to benefit from their vision. Today, NEW Cooperative members own the Port of Blencoe on the Missouri River, achieving access to a wide world of ag inputs plus an expanded choice of grain markets.
In recent years, NEW’s geographical footprint has expanded to where you will find a NEW Cooperative location in over one-fourth of Iowa’s 99 counties. In 2021, NEW merged with MaxYield Cooperative adding several North Iowa locations and in 2022 NEW purchased the assets of three additional agronomy locations in that region. Effective September 1, 2023, NEW will merge with United Farmers Cooperative, adding multiple locations in southwest Iowa.
NEW is often the anchor business in many small towns and often the largest employer. As they invest in facilities, NEW further supports each county’s tax base. For 50 years their employees have served on local fire departments, EMS services, school boards, town councils and other important community organizations. NEW Cooperative’s Foundation generously gives back throughout the year with donations to organizations like 4-H, fire departments and organizations in the communities they serve. Locally, the Fort Dodge office provides free hams to those in need in November.
“Through a half-century of innovation and growth, we’ve never wavered in our commitment to forward thinking and serving our famers and communities,” says Dix. “Thank you to our board of directors, members, and employees for your support of NEW Cooperative for the last 50 years. We can’t wait to see what the next 50 years brings.”
Mapping the NEW Cooperative half century
1973: Cooperatives in Badger and Vincent merge creating NEW Cooperative Inc. Before year-end, Duncombe co-op members vote to join NEW.
1978: Added locations in Fort Dodge, Otho, and Roelyn give NEW access to a second rail line.
1980: Clare and Barnum cooperatives join NEW.
1981: Knierim becomes the first NEW location outside Webster County.
1989: In Lohrville and Rands, NEW purchases two private elevators.
1992: Co-op members in Palmer, Pomeroy, and Knoke vote to join NEW.
1995: Farmer-owners in Humboldt vote to combine with NEW.
2002: Bode and LuVerne farmers vote to become part of NEW Cooperative.
2005: Members in Woolstock and Blairsburg vote to unify with NEW.
2007: Glidden, Lanesboro, and Lidderdale co-op members join NEW.
2012: NEW Cooperative buys the Lanyon agronomy location near Jefferson.
2014: NEW purchases agronomy locations in Coon Rapids and Cooper. Dows and Rowan members vote to become part of NEW Cooperative.
2015: Co-op members in western Iowa vote to merge their Blencoe, Correctionville, Hornick, Mapleton, Onawa, Pierson, Sloan, Turin, Washta, and Whiting locations with NEW.
2017: In Pomeroy, state-of-the-art feed mill opens. Farmers in Ute and Mapleton vote to sell their assets to NEW Cooperative. NEW purchases grain elevator near Anthon.
2018: Rowan feed mill begins operation.
2021: Port of Blencoe and new Cooper feed mill open.
2021: Members of MaxYield Cooperative vote to merge with NEW, adding locations in Algona, Belmond, Britt, Dickens, Emmetsburg, Everly, Forest City, Fostoria, Garner, Greenville, Gruver, Klemme, Mallard, Meservey, Milford, Spencer, Superior, West Bend, and Whittemore.
2022: NEW Cooperative purchases agronomy locations in Ventura, Buffalo Center, and Fertile.
2023: By a vote of its members United Farmers Cooperative–locations in Afton, Anita, Cainsville (MO), Chariton, Clearfield, Corning, Creston, Essex, Farragut, Humeston, Lacona, Lamoni, Lenox, Mount Ayr, Osceola, Red Oak, Shenandoah, and Villisca — merges with NEW.