What Is A Cooperative?
Valley Farmers Supply is proud to be a cooperative…and have been since being formed as Farmers Union Oil Company way back in 1938. In general, a cooperative is a business owned and democratically controlled by the people who use its services and whose benefits are derived and distributed equitably on the basis of use. Our valued customer owners are also referred to as members.
As owners, our members control our activity. This control is exercised through voting at our annual and other membership meetings, and indirectly through those members elected to our board of directors. Each voting member has one vote regardless of the amount of equity they own or how much business they do with us.
How to Become a Member
Becoming a member of Valley Farmers Supply is easy. There is no cost to become a member. You will need to establish an account so we can keep track of your purchases. To establish an account you will need to sign a consent form. This form must be on file for patronage to be issued per IRS Guidelines.
There is a minimum purchase amount. The minimum purchase amount is the amount of your purchases from Valley Farmers Supply during our fiscal year. These are for all purchases including everything from fertilizer, to propane to pet food. The minimum purchase amount, which changes from year to year, is based on profitability and does not include such things as fuel taxes. The last few years the minimum purchase requirement has averaged approximately $1,500; however, there is no guarantee the minimum purchase requirement will remain that amount.
Click here to become a member of our cooperative. New Credit App (mail form to PO Box 309 Worden, MT 59088)
The Patronage Refund System
As a cooperative, we strive to return earnings to our members; however, this can’t be done on a transaction-by-transaction basis. Rather, after our fiscal year ends on December 31, we compute our earnings on business conducted on a cooperative basis. These earnings are returned to our members as cash and equity allocation on the basis of how much business each member did with us during the year. These distributions are called patronage refunds.