History of Universal Cooperatives, Inc.
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Universal Cooperatives, Inc. was formed on November 1, 1972 as a result of the merger of United Cooperatives, Inc. of Alliance, Ohio and National Cooperatives, Inc. of Albert Lea, Minnesota. Although only in existence since 1972, Universal's roots go back much further.
United Cooperatives, Inc. was formed in 1930 under the name Farm Bureau Oil Company by:
- Indiana Farm Bureau Cooperative Association, Indianapolis, IN
- Farm Bureau Services, Inc., Lansing, MI
- Ohio Farm Bureau Service Company, Columbus, OH
As the membership grew and included a number of cooperatives not strictly Farm Bureau sponsored, the name was changed to United Cooperatives, Inc. (1936).
National Cooperatives, Inc. was formed in 1933 by:
- Central Cooperative Wholesale, Superior, WI
- Farm Bureau Oil Company, Inc., Indianapolis, IN
- Farmers Union Central Exchange, St. Paul, MN
- Midland Cooperative Oil Association, Minneapolis, MN
- Union Oil Company, North Kansas City, MO
As you can see, Farm Bureau Oil Company (United Cooperatives, Inc) was actually a founding member of National Cooperatives, Inc. The two inter-regional cooperatives continued to grow in membership and soon several regional cooperatives belonged to both National and United. In fact, at the time of the merger, 14 regionals belonged to both organizations. It was this
apparent duplication of duties that finally led to the actual merger in 1972 after numerous prior discussions had failed.
The headquarters of Universal Cooperatives, Inc. was moved from Alliance, Ohio to Bloomington, Minnesota in 1978
and to Eagan, Minnesota in 1999.
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