A recent on-air radio discussion explored the value of cooperatives in the Shenandoah Valley area and beyond. After all was said and done, I think that many of our local listeners realized that cooperatives are a critical part of their daily lives.
We were formed way back in 1929 which is almost 85 years ago, so hey - most of you weren't even born then or even old enough to understand early struggles of the co-op. Yet, we are still here today to meet the needs of our members and other supporters of Augusta Co-Op now more than ever. So since it has been a while, it's a good time to review - why be a member of Augusta Co-Op?
One of the reasons that cooperatives are formed is to provide products and services that members can't either get on their own or can't get at a economically sustainable level. For example, how many farms could support their own feed mill? Pretty much none - especially when we produce over 23,000 tons of feed a year for all species from cattle to rabbits and specialty formulas to meet the specific needs of each individual farm. We stock nearly 50 different kinds of horse feeds just to meet the market demands of our horse customers. And that doesn't count all the other species and custom formulas that we make.
How many farms can store their own grain and turn it back into feed? While it may be a little more common to have on-farm grain storage in the Midwest or Eastern Shore, most Valley farms don't have enough grain production to justify the expense of grain bins, dryers, etc. However, Augusta Co-Op provides a grain banking option for these customers as well as a market for the grain to be sold. Plus you can receive additional services to make that grain provide more nutrition to your animals in an easier to feed manner such as steam rolling, grinding, and pelleting. After all, farmers would rather spend more time with their animals and family instead spending all day to make all of the feed that the animals need.
What about all of the little things that you need for the farm, home or business? Things like animal health, fencing, minerals, tools, plumbing, and paint. Augusta Co-Op provides a place for you to find those items in one convenient place in your local community.
Bottom line, Augusta Co-Op works for the stock holding members - YOU! So support your local Augusta Co-Op location! And if you are not a member, we will still serve you as membership is not required to shop here. However, if you raise agriculture products, consider becoming a member today! From Seed to Table, We're Growing With You!