NEWS RELEASE – For Immediate Release – February 21, 2012
Harvest Land Cooperative Receives Honor at State Convention
The Harvest Land Cooperative based in Morgan, was honored recently at the 105th annual convention of the Minnesota Grain and Feed Association (MGFA), by being inducted into the MGFA Century Club. The MGFA Century Club currently consists of 17 Minnesota grain elevator and feed mill firms that have been in continuous operation for over 100 years, providing vital rural community leadership, economic development, market access, essential agricultural inputs and quality customer service over the years.
Harvest Land Cooperative’s founding companies were actually 2 former elevators, the Morgan Farmers Elevator, which was established in 1904 and the Springfield Farmers Elevator Company which was also established in 1904. In the early days these 2 locations collectively handled quite a variety of products from grain, fence posts, lumber, salt, twine, wire & farm implements to hard and soft coal, flour, feed, cement & rock salt, all of which were considered critical supplies needed by the cooperative’s producer-owners.
Each location invested in equipment and facilities throughout the years. Morgan’s first elevator was built in 1904 and Springfield’s elevator was built a year later in 1905. Both facilities added to their holdings over time, through new construction of needed warehouse space, storage capacity, a feed mill at Morgan, and with equipment purchases like new scales, grain dryers and fertilizer application equipment.
In 1965, the Morgan location entered the aqua nitrogen and anhydrous ammonia business. In 1973 they got into the petroleum business, and a year later they added propane business to their list of services offered. In 1974, they built the Southern Seven Terminal at Springfield with 6 other cooperatives. Springfield sold their interest in the business 4 years later, in 1978, to the Morgan Farmers Elevator, who also bought out the other 5 cooperatives as well.
On September 1, 1984 the Morgan Farmers Elevator and the Springfield Farmers Elevator Company merged to create what is now known as Harvest Land Cooperative. In 1991, Harvest Land Cooperative formed AgQuest Financial for the purpose of providing high quality and comprehensive financial products, insurance and services for producers. AgQuest consists of 13 cooperative and independent retailers throughout the United States. In 1996, Harvest Land entered the leasing business with Northland Capital located in St. Cloud. Through AgQuest and Northland Capital, LLC subsidiaries, they provide patrons with financing, insurance, and leasing options.
In the nearly 30 years since Harvest Land Cooperative came into existence, they’ve continued to thrive. Expansion into the turkey business, the addition of refined fuels to the cooperative mix, the continual expansion of storage capabilities, becoming a shuttle train loading facility and the addition of an in-house finance company, has positioned this cooperative for further success in the future. Today, Harvest Land Cooperative employs 86 people full time, handles 26 million bushels of grain annually, has a total storage capacity of 12.5 million bushels, produces 110,000 tons of feed annually and has 5 locations in the communities of Comfrey, Morton, Morgan, Springfield and Wabasso. Congratulations on over 100 years of success in the grain, feed and agribusiness industry!
The Minnesota country elevator industry consists of 350 firms operating out of nearly 600 locations in the State. The “average” country grain elevator employs 20 people full time, handles 7.5 million bushels of grain annually, has an annual sales volume of over $42 million, has been in business for over 65 years and pays a combined $250,000 in annual payroll, property and income tax. To learn more about MGFA and the Minnesota grain elevator and feed mill industry, go to www.mgfa.org
Caption: Harvest Land Cooperative of Morgan was inducted into the Minnesota Grain and Feed Association Century Club, in recognition of over a century of continuous service. Pictured (L-R): Bob Zelenka, MGFA Executive Director, Dennis Schreier, Co-op General Manager and Wes Cole, MGFA President.