Farmland Industries Inc.

3288 Words14 Pages
Introduction Today, when we hear the slogans "better farming, better food," or "proud to be farmer owned" one company comes to mind, Farmland Industries. We may think of this of this fortune 500 company as a leading agricultural powerhouse, which it is, however, it was not always that way. Background Farmland Industries Inc. was founded by Howard A. Cowden, who was born and raised in Southwestern Missouri. Cowden started young in the cooperative business by working for the Missouri Farmers Association (MFA). However; in October of 1927, he had resigned from the position of secretary for the MFA and started out on his own. Immediately following, Cowden received the MFA oil contract that previously had been held with Standard Oil Company, and Cowden was now in the wholesale oil business. On January 27, 1928, Cowden Oil Company was founded. This business was moved to Kansas City, Missouri in late 1928. In January of 1929, Cowden Oil Company was dissolved and Union Oil Company (Cooperative) was formed. It was clear that Cowden had planned to do more than just buy and sell oil to local cooperatives. A board of directors was created to run the company, yet Cowden retained full control over the company that he had created. Cowden started recruiting smaller companies to join their cooperative by signing contracts to sell certain amounts of Union’s products. In 1929, Union Oil Company had purchased its first land. "The Two Car Garage," as it is referred to, was the building that they had purchase to become their new home. In 1935, Union Oil Company changed its name to Consumers Cooperative Association (CCA). CO-OP was decided to be its official logo. In October of 1956, CCA moved to their new home on North Oak Trafficway, in Kansas City, and the company was ready for major business. In June of 1961, Howard A. Cowden retired as President of CCA and Homer Young stepped in to fill his shoes. In early to mid 1966, CCA changed its name again. This time to Farmland Industries, Inc., however; they still kept that CO-OP symbol for a trademark. CCA now emphasized much of its business to fertilizer, petroleum and commercial feed. This business only grew and grew for them. "By 1967, Farmland Industries had manufacturing fac... ... middle of paper ... ...nternational consumer needs to be confident that they are getting excellent product at a competitive price. Farmland Industries is the crucial link between these two segments of the market. It is a system that has proven strong for many decades and promises to be strong for many more. WORKS CITED Alm, Rick. "Gamblin’ on the River." The Kansas City Star Almanac. 1996. Cabrera, Mario. Telephone interview. 20 Nov. 1996. Fite, Gilbert C. Beyond the Fence Rows. University of Missouri Press, Columbia, Missouri, 1978. Fite, Gilbert C. Farm to Factory. University of Missouri Press, Columbia, Missouri, 1965. Hartke, Debby. "Farmland’s Harry Cleberg: Agri-marketer of the year." Agri Marketing June 1996: A-D. Tolley, Warren D. E-mail to the author. 8 October, 1996. "Top 125 Area Private Companies-Part I." Kansas City Business Journal 14 June 1996: 20-24. Appendix 1992 Annual Report. The Farmland Cooperative System, 1993. 1994 Annual Report. The Farmland Cooperative System, 1995. 1995 Annual Report. The Farmland Cooperative System, 1996. "We Bring Quality to the Table" The Farmland Cooperative System. 1996: 61 U.S. Bureau of the Census 1995.
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