In the valley below the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming, Big Horn Co-operative Marketing Association was formed. In March of 1923, farmers in the Big Horn Basin joined together to form a cooperative to market dry edible beans, yellow blossom clover, and turkeys. The original location of Big Horn Co-op was in Basin, with a location in Powell to follow. Large numbers of local talent were hired. They hand-sorted pinto and great northern beans, which were then packaged in bags of up to 100-pounds and marketed. When the bean season was completed, the talented employees plucked, packed in ice, and then shipped turkeys to out-of-state markets.
Beans, clover, and turkeys were major commodities grown by farmers in the early years of the co-op but, with changing economic conditions, the co-op moved into the supply market. It was not long after the Basin and Powell locations were opened that a feed mill was opened in Lovell. Soon thereafter, to begin delivery of petroleum products, a location was opened in Greybull.
In 1986, the old Greybull International Harvester dealership was purchased and remodeled. In September of that year, the Main Office was moved from the original co-op location in Basin to the Greybull location.
The co-op continued to grow over the next few years with several purchases and changes. January 1987 brought the purchase of Fremont County Co-op’s store and fertilizer plant. February of 1987 saw a hardware store opening in Greybull. Valley Co-op in Worland was purchased in August of 1992. This purchase included a c-store, tire shop, mechanic’s shop, propane division, and a fertilizer division.
In May of 2003, Big Horn Co-op purchased an alfalfa seed processing plant on what is known as ’the bench’ just west of Greybull. The processing plant was converted into office space, a central warehouse distribution center, and the primary maintenance shop for the co-op. Following this relocation of the Main Office from the town of Greybull, a new store was constructed where the office had been in the town of Greybull. Construction was completed in the summer of 2004.
Continuing growth in 2011, on the east side of the Big Horn Mountains in Buffalo, the Johnson County Co-op was purchased and renovated. It now houses a c-store, farm and ranch store, warehouse, and fertilizer plant.
In 2017, due to increased demand and strained resources, Big Horn Co-op started a new, state-of-the-art fertilizer plant in Basin. Basin’s Central Ag opened in the spring of 2018. This location also houses a liquid fertilizer facility, a renovated chemical storage shed, and includes rail access to allow large, bulk delivery of agronomy products.
Growth continues within Big Horn Co-op. In March of 2021, the assets of Wyoming Ag Marketing were purchased. This location in Riverton included a grain elevator and several pieces of mobile equipment used in operating the elevator. At the Worland location, a tire shop remodel was completed across the road from the current farm store and c-store. This allowed the old tire shop and c-store to be demolished, which paved way for construction of a new 8,000 sq foot c-store at this site, opening in late spring of 2022.
At present, the co-op employs approximately 160 full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees. Keeping with the cooperative model, the business is locally owned by the people (members) who patronize it. These members nominate and elect a board of directors who are, themselves, members of the co-op.
As we strive to diligently upgrade our facilities and our technology to ensure our patrons receive the best products and service in the area, Big Horn Co-operative Marketing Association understands that we would not be where we are today without the loyal patrons who have been here through the difficulties of the last 100 years. We are proud to be in your community! This is your company!