leader

Pointe Coupee Farmers Co-op strong and growing

Nearly 48 years ago, a small group of farmers and ranchers in Pointe Coupee Parish decided to pool their resources and formed a co-op in a small house in Lettsworth. The Pointe Coupee Farmers Co-op proved to be successful over the years, providing advantages, benefits and savings for all of them.

The Co-op eventually moved to 5087 La. Hwy. 1 in Batchelor in 1968 and today, it continues in that same tradition. It’s still owned by a group of 300 stockholders and serves the tri-parish area of Pointe Coupe, Avoyelles, St. Landry Parishes and attracts customers from the Felicianas and surrounding areas.

A co-op works by helping farmers and ranchers buy necessary products at bulk-rated discounts, then they purchase what they need for their respective endeavors. There’s purchasing power in numbers.

“It’s a true co-operative,” said General Manager Henry “Doc” Spears, whose father, Charles, was one of the original stockholders. “We’re stockholder owned and operated and each December, at the annual stockholders meeting, they receive a dividend check with a return of 7 percent to 10 percent which helps cut their costs even further.”

The Co-op serves the general public as well and offers many types of products from clothes to saddles and fencing materials.

Doc Spears has managed the PC Farmers Co-op for six years.

“Our prices are very competitive and we have people come from all over to buy from us and take advantage of our pricing,” said Spears, who has worked at the Co-op for 23 years, including the past six as manager. “Our margins are never near suggested retail prices and we don’t offer special prices to anybody.”

Business is booming. In fact, revenues have more than doubled in the last eight years. That growth has allowed the co-op to continually expand and currently it has 40,000 square feet of space under roof and has seven employees. There’s also a nearby yard with materials like culverts and fencing. The cross ties are some of the best quality available.

“I like to say we can take an acre of land and service it from start to harvest,” said Spears.

The list of what’s available is extensive and includes a full-line of miscellaneous farm and ranch supplies, such as seed, fertilizer, crop protection products, automotive materials, tires, batteries, feed, plumbing supplies, welding supplies, animal health products, garden supplies and various types of tools. There’s a supply of hunting equipment and deer stands, camouflage clothes, ammunition and even outdoor cooking rigs.

The tack room has a nice selection of equipment for horses like saddles, harnesses and blankets.

The Co-op also offers a variety of work clothing products as well including Rocky and Lacrosse brand boots.

The Pointe Coupee Farmers Co-op is open from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 6 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. For information, call (225) 492-2166 or 2167.

“We always welcome new members if they meet the criteria,” said Spears. “We have a good group of employees and a dedicated staff. They do a good job and make sure customers are taken care of and that’s what keeps them coming back.”