About Us

The co-op, which started as a creamery back in November 1917, has evolved to custom blend fertilizer as well as custom mixes of livestock feeds, and specialty feeds. Last year, this co-op sold nearly $5 million in feed and $7.5 million in total agronomy sales (fertilizer chemicals and seed together). “We’re able to serve the people in our area,” manager Ralph Schlangen said. “We can accommodate the small farmers and yet we can supply and serve the big 3,000 plus acre farmers. We have a lot of equipment to accommodate any situation.” In addition to providing feed and fertilizer, Cold Spring Co-op offers crop spraying services. Each year, from May to August, the co-op sprays about 45,000 acres of farmland. “We do a lot of custom spraying and custom fertilizing,” Schlangen said. “We thrive a lot on service. If somebody wants something we try hard to get it done in a timely manner. We’re not the biggest Co-op around but we emphasize service. We’re really responsible, knowledgeable and we’re price competitive for the size of our Co-op.”

In 2012, the co-op expanded to include a new Country Store on their premises. Schlangen said, “We offer a huge selection of toys, from tractors to trucks to Breyer Horses, Calico Critters, games and puzzles. We also have lawn and garden products, lawn & home décor, as well as wild bird supplies and pet supplies, and much more. It’s been going really well. The building was for sale across the street from where we had our little store. It was previously a food market so we put our feed and everything in that building and it’s really worked well. Now we have everything in one block area, that really helps us stay competitive. Our employees go from the country store across the street to the feed mill, to the fertilizer plant — all within walking distance.”

Following the success of the new Country Store, the Co-op is expanding operations yet again.A new fertilizer plant is currently under construction, with a completion date of March 1, 2018. From April to October in 2018, we did 50,000+ acres or spraying. A new plant is greatly needed and will allow the co-op to offer improved and more responsive service.“We used to always run out of fertilizer at the old plant, now we’ll be two-and-a-half times bigger at this new plant,” Schlangen said. “We’ll have enough product on hand. We used to need a rain day every three or four days to shut people down so we could refill the plant up — now we’ll have most of our product right on hand.”

Once the new fertilizer plant is completed, the staff at Cold Spring Co-op will rely on the positive business climate that Schlangen believes has made the co-op a success for 100 years.“We just stress service all the time,” he said. “If employees hear something down in the country we make sure we follow up on it. If somebody hears that somebody wasn’t happy with their feed or their crops, we make sure we get back out there and see what the problem is.”