Country Pride Cooperative is a strong, diversified, growth-oriented, and locally owned co-op system. It is committed to the redemption of its owners’ equity through local profitability.
Country Pride was formed through the unification of two strong cooperatives, Freeman Oil Cooperative and Dakota Pride Cooperative. This union—and the addition of cooperatives in Chancellor, Menno, and Lesterville—has created an even stronger company, committed to local control and traditional cooperative values.
Now positioned for continued growth, Country Pride Cooperative is focusing on further strengthening the organization and ensuring long-term local profitability and equity payouts, as well as keeping ownership where it belongs—on a local level.
It is the combined strength of our members, our management, and our employees that will ensure the success of this vital, growing organization.
Freeman Coop Gas and Oil got its start in 1935 as a Skelly Oil station. By 1937, it had expanded into a business with three locations after entering into agreements with Freeman Junior College and the owners of the Jacob Kautz Hotel. In 1938, it expanded to the point that it was operating three stations and a bulk plant, yet posted total sales of less than $21,000. However, steps were taken to increase profitability, and by 1941, earnings were up to $53,000 and a new bulk truck was put in operation. Growth was halted briefly in 1943 after the bulk plant exploded.
In 1940, the Winner farming community came together to form the Farmers Coop Oil Association, with a goal of combining the purchasing power of many to secure better fuel prices. In 1948, the co-op built a service station and farm store. Nine years later, in 1957, it expanded to Mission and purchased the Farmers Union Coop and Gingery Lumberyard in White River.
In 1962, the Winner company made a significant move into agronomy services with the construction of a dry fertilizer blending and storage facility. An anhydrous ammonia plant was added in 1963.
During the years between 1965 and 1975, neither co-op expanded greatly, though both remained strong and profitable. Freeman Coop Oil did, however, enter the LP fuel business in 1970.
In 1976, both co-ops began to see a resurgence in growth with the accompanying changes. The Coop Oil Association of Winner implemented equity retirement, and Freeman Coop Oil purchased the Mobile Oil bulk plant.
In 1983, the Freeman-based company entered the dry fertilizer business. It quickly expanded as the need for the service grew. In 1991, it completed construction of the Freeman Ampride. Farmers Cooperative Association built an Ampride convenience store and purchased Glover Oil in Burke that same year.
In 1993, Fairfax Cooperative Association and Farmers Cooperative Association of Dallas merged with Farmers Cooperative Association to become Dakota Pride Cooperative. In 1994, an Ampride was opened in Mission, followed by a Winner Rent-It-Center in 1995.
In 2000, the memberships of Freeman Coop Oil and Dakota Pride combined to become Country Pride Cooperative. In the fall of that same year, Country Pride acquired Farmers Union Oil Company of Chancellor.
In January 2001, Country Pride merged with Farmers Union Oil Company of Menno and Lesterville. Together, we carry on the tradition of growth and the commitment to providing quality products and services and reasonable prices to rural South Dakota communities.
In 2006 the Wagner Farmers Oil Coop joined with Country Pride, and in the fall of 2007 a unification of the Platte Coop with Country Pride completed the current footprint in our trade territory.
What’s in store?
Watch for the new grain and agronomy additions in Winner, SD. Plans to build a new grain receiving facility and an agronomy plant were announced in early 2011 and construction will begin at the beginning of the summer with expectations of being in the facilities and operating late fall.
Commitment to membership sets Country Pride Cooperative apart from other co-ops. Expanding the array of products and services, and going outside of the “traditional” ag cooperative boundaries, is inevitable. However, maintaining owner equity is a priority. Continuously seeking ways to do this will be a driving force behind the success of Country Pride Cooperative for years to come.
COOPERATIVE PRINCIPLES & VALUES
1st Principle: Voluntary & Open Membership
2nd Principle: Democratic Member Control
3rd Principle: Member Economic Participation
4th Principle: Autonomy & Independence
5th Principle: Education, Training & Information
6th Principle: Cooperation Among Cooperatives
7th Principle: Concern for Community
*Cooperatives base their existence on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, cooperative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility, and caring for others.