On Nov. 1 there will be a big change at Farmers Union Oil Company of Bowman, Buffalo and Rhame. The cooperative will be doing business under a new name of ProPoint Cooperative. This name change does not represent a change in ownership, and it does not change the legal name of the cooperative. This new name will be used only as a DBA or “doing business as” for the cooperative. Scott Jaeger, CEO, stated, “The change represents the new vision for our cooperative”. That vision includes more involvement with the community through the cooperative’s “ProCommunity” program, which donates half a cent of every gallon of gasoline, diesel, and propane back to the communities. This year they are on course to give back $18,000 to the communities of Bowman, Buffalo, and Rhame. These donations will be used to help fund community projects or needs within the emergency services, the schools, and so on. It will be in addition to the donations that they already do with local fundraisers in the communities. “I have always believed that the cooperative is owned by the communities they serve, so they must find ways to support the people that support them,” says Jaeger. He also stated, “We hope to expand this program in the future.”
The name change comes as the agricultural industry is changing. One reason for the change is that the cooperative no longer is only an oil company. They have successful businesses in the agronomy and farm and ranch supply which tend to sometimes get over looked by the perception of an oil company. Ultimately the reason for the change is that our owners are changing and the cooperative needs to change with them. “Our owners are demanding more in the way of sound advice, quality products, and dependable service”, says Randy Feist, a board director for the cooperative. Jaeger also added, “We need to change the culture at our cooperative and I believe giving ourselves a new identity will be key in driving deeper relationships with our customers and extending our services to new customers.”
Leadership at the cooperative came up with the name by looking at what the owners would like to receive when they do business with the cooperative. ProPoint Cooperative came to them by looking at their owner’s needs in the future. They believe the producers and growers will need a professional staff and team, a progressive way towards getting a better return on investment from their inputs and trusted advisors, and being proactive to the changes happening in our industry. They also believe they need to be on-point with all their advice, products and services, and they must continue to move forward to achieve not only their goals and targets but also their owner’s goals. Wes Andrews, secretary of the board of directors, stated, “We are only successful if our owners are successful”.
This change will take time to rebrand all locations and equipment, and the leadership at the cooperative is determined to be fiscally responsible during the rebranding of the cooperative. Jaeger said, “It is very exciting to start this next chapter in the cooperative’s history, but we will never forget the producers that started this cooperative. Their vision of a unified voice to help them market their products, negotiate a better price for their inputs, and to progressively grow with their operations is why we are here today. Those owners and the owners today are why I believe we need to do everything we can to keep the cooperative relevant today and into the future.”