PRODUCERS CO-OP -- THROUGH THE YEARS
The Producers Cooperative Marketing Association (the Co-op) is a member owned cooperative engaged in serving the supply and marketing needs of its members and the general public in the field of agriculture. The Co-op was organized on September 14, 1944 and opened for business on November 1, 1944, in the former Hilmer Doehne warehouse and office in New Braunfels. It began with 142 members and $18,000.00 in capital, and has grown into a thriving industry with over 1700 members and over $20 million in sales.
The first Board of Directors included E.E. Voigt; John Classen, Sr.; C.R. Messerole; Otto Timmerrmann; Herman Blank; John Karbach; Gus Schaefer; Gus Krause, Jr.; Diedrich Knibbe; B.W. Klingemann; Herman Leonarz; Herman Hitzfelder, Sr.; Arthur Weidner; H.J. Laubach; and Willard Hill. Leslie Ehlers, former Comal County Agent, was hired as Manager and continued in that position until his retirement in 1975. Horace Luensmann started in 1983 and was the seventh person to serve in the Manager position until his retirement in spring of 2021.
Two years after its beginning, the Co-op built its Castell Avenue office and retail sales building. Additional warehouse space has been added through the years. In 1960 the old Clear Springs gin property was purchased for a grain storage facility, which now includes nine grain bins with a total capacity of 18 million pounds. A second retail outlet was opened in Seguin in 1992, through the purchase of the former Farmer's Feed and Supply store. The store is now located on IH 10 and FM 725. An additional store, the La Vernia Country Store, was built and opened in La Vernia in 2006 located on Hwy 87.
Changing times led to changes in the operation of the Co-op. A large part of the original business was wool and mohair marketing. The decline of the sheep and goat industry in the surrounding area led to phasing out this part of the operation. At the same time, grain production increased considerably, and likewise, the grain marketing operation of the Co-op has grown. The Co-op currently purchases about 70 million pounds of grain worth almost $5 million to area farmers.
Manufacturing and providing feed for the livestock industry is another important part of the operation. With its fleet of trucks, the Co-op regularly delivers both bulk and bagged feed to dairies, ranchers, horse farms, and independent feed dealers in all areas of the state of Texas.
A new mill was added just west of Seguin on IH 10 at Schwab Road, in 2019. It has a grain storage capacity of 15 million pounds and a 43 thousand square foot warehouse. The mill manufactures show animal feeds which account for 70% of the average daily output of nearly 100 tons. Producers Co-op continues to grow with the addition of our new retail location, the "New Braunfels Country Store" scheduled to open in early 2021.
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