UFC Highlights: People….Pride….Purpose….since 1915


United Farmers Cooperative (UFC) is a farmer-owned cooperative that was formed as the Cooperative Creamery Association of Lafayette in 1915 in the town of Lafayette, Minnesota. Over the next 100 years, the cooperative would undergo many changes as the needs of the members it served evolved to keep pace with the changing world.

Then and Now 


The organization started in 1915 with two employees and sales of just over $35,000. Today, United Farmers Cooperative has grown into an operation with over 300 total employees and annual sales at over $230 million. From one location in the small town of Lafayette, the organization has grown to include multiple locations in eleven communities, with our service area stretching out to serve members across several Central Minnesota counties.


  • 1915 - Cooperative was organized into Cooperative Creamery Association
  • 1920 - Produce department was added
  • 1940 - Locker plant and butcher shop were added
  • 1960s - Ongoing construction with the addition of fertilizer blending equipment and bagging equipment for fertilizer products
  • 1966 - First grain elevator purchased in Lafayette
  • 1968 - Purchased and merged in the Klossner elevator facilities
  • 1969 - The two elevator operations and the farm supply operations merged into a single operation. The creamery division was sold to Mid-America Dairies
  • 1971 - The name of the organization was changed to The Farmers Cooperative of Lafayette
  • 1972 - Winthrop Farm Services and Elevator purchased
  • 1986 - Purchased the Norseland location from the dissolved Tri Ag Co-op
  • 1995 - The Klossner Coop Oil Association was merged into the operation and the name of the organization was changed to the current “United Farmers Cooperative”
  • 1995 - The new Livestock Service Center opens—greatly expanding the feed operations
  • 1998 - Le Sueur Farmers Elevator was merged into the operation
  • 2000 - United Farmers Cooperative purchased a liquid fertilizer business from Anker’s Inc. in Gibbon, Minnesota. UFC also purchased the assets from Tri-County Builders of Gaylord to expand its building and construction business
  • 2002 - Complete redesign and reconstruction of the Le Sueur location. Built new retail franchise and opened “Giant Valley Trading Company” (GVTC) to address rapidly growing farm store market
  • 2003 - Purchased Turbes Oil Company and formed UDS (United Distribution Services) in Searles, Minnesota. This greatly increased petroleum volume and expanded UFC’s service area
  • 2004 - Started our own insurance company, which is known today as Parthenon Agency
  • 2006 - Ag-Land Co-op and UFC unified their operations into UFC’s
  • 2007 - UFC relocated the corporate office to Winthrop
  • 2008 - Hector Agriliance liquid facility acquired
  • 2011 - Green Isle C-Store acquired, and construction starts on Brownton grain shuttle facility
  • 2012 - Formation of United Grain Systems, LLC—a partnership between UFC and ADM-Benson Quinn
  • 2013 - Waconia Farm Supply was merged into the operation and re-branded as "UFC Farm Supply". This introduced a new division for UFC with consumer goods and hardware
  • 2015 - UFC celebrates 100 years!
  • 2017 - Brownton Fertilizer Plant opened



Board of Directors


Senior Leadership

Front Row:
  • Kevin Vetter
  • Todd Nelson
  • Todd Kettner
Back Row: 
  • Eric Annexstad
  • Jeff Franta
  • Jeff Manderscheid
  • Kurt Martens
  • Kevin Lindeman
  • Kevin Lauwagie
  • Robby Gieseke

Front Row:
  • Greg Peton - Chief Marketing Officer
  • Ruth Bauer - Chief Financial Officer
  • Jeff Nielsen - President/CEO
  • Teresa Wenninger - Executive Assistant
  • Mitch Altermatt - Chief Operating Officer
Back Row:
  • Lorie Reinarts - VP of Accounting
  • Dan Sawatske - Executive VP of UFC Farm Supply
  • Jason Tews - VP of Grain
  • Steve LeBrun - VP of Feed
  • Dave Eckhoff - VP of Agronomy
  • Darv Turbes - VP of Energy


Honoring Employees’ Time and Talent

United Farmers Cooperative relies on our employees for continued success. Our Service and Recognition program is designed to acknowledge length of service and loyalty. In addition, we honor outstanding achievement in day-to-day customer service—going above and beyond the call of duty as recognized by fellow team members. To nominate a deserving person please use the following form, or email your reasons to Jenny.Krohn@UFCmn.com.

Rookie of the Year and Dare to Soar Winners 2016

1 Year of Service

5 Years of Service

10 Years of Service

15 Years of Service

20 Years of Service

25 Years of Service

30 Years of Service

40 Years of Service

45 Years of Service

2016 Retiree's


Investing In Our Children’s Future


United Farmers Cooperative (UFC) has established a scholarship program to recognize and reward the academic achievement, co-curricular participation and community involvement of the children of its voting patrons and employees. Agriculture and the world are rapidly becoming more complex and sophisticated. In such an environment, an educational base and technical training become important tools to cope and flourish. To determine if you are eligible and to apply for a scholarship, open and print the 2018 brochure and application form below.

Helping Our Communities Grow

UFC is dedicated to giving back to the communities we serve and we welcome the opportunity to support community events, fundraisers, and other charitable efforts. If you would like to submit a request, please complete a donation request form below.


United Farmers Coop takes great pride in employee safety and strongly believes in engaging employees in safety.   That is why we have a whole week dedicated to safety! See the schedule below.  That one week a year dedicated to safety, is nothing compared to what we do every single day to keep our employees safe. We have job specific training, monthly safety topic trainings at each location, Right-to-know training, CPR and First Aid training, incident and near-miss reporting and PPE safety reminders and sheets.  We also like to have employees actively engage in different teams or committees including the Safety committee and PASS, which is behavioral based safety.  Employees are UFC's most important assets so the most important step we take, is to practice safety each and every day.  

We also care deeply for our patrons safety, so check back here occasionally to see the latest safety topic from Doug Hoffmann, our Safety Director!

At work or at play, Safety Everyday!


Safety Week Schedule July 24-28, 2017


Kick off to Safety Week!
Employee Picnic
   - Safety Demonstration
   - Health Stations Set up
   - Prize Drawings 


   - First Aid kits distributed to all employees


SAFETY TOPIC: Stretching
 DRIVE BY PRIDE:  Conducted by Safety Committee
   - Tour of all locations


   - Heat & Water Safety


SAFETY TOPIC: "I could have saved a life that day"


 Want to become a Patron here at United Farmers Cooperative?  Fill out one of our credit applications.  Our account manager will look at it and determine if you meet our requirements.  Once you become a patron, you will get more than just patronage, you will also receive a Coop Cash Card to use at any of our United Express locations.  This card will get you 5 cents off of every gallon of gas purchased! Just make sure to use your Coop Cash card when paying for your fuel!  

If you have any questions about the application, call Geoff Lemke at 507-647-6606 Ext #: 6752