October is National Cooperative Month and we are proud to be owned by local dairy and beef producers!
All West/Select Sires is just one of six farmer-owned-and-controlled cooperatives that make up the Select Sires federation nationwide. In turn, Select Sires is one of the over 40,000 cooperatives in the United States, supporting jobs that provide more than $25 billion in annual wages to our economy.
So, what makes this cooperative so special?
Being a member owner of All West/Select Sires means that you own part of the most successful A.I. company on the west coast, that’s celebrating nearly 80 years of business, the entire time being locally owned and operated!
In 1941, just two years after the first A.I. cooperative was established in U.S., a group of Skagit County, WA dairymen started an A.I. cooperative, known as Skagit Artificial Breeding Association. These men housed less than a dozen Holstein, Guernsey and Jersey bulls on a rented farm near Mount Vernon, Washington.
As the desire and need for quality genetics increased, our cooperative grew with the industry. The name was changed to Northwest Co-op Breeders with the first merger, followed by Evergreen Northwest Breeders upon the merge with Evergreen Breeder’s Association. Next came a merge with Oregon Dairy Breeders, changing the name once again, this time to All West Breeders.
In 1975, All West Breeders purchased stock in and joined Select Sires Inc. to become All West/Select Sires. At the end of June, the first four bulls left All West for Select Sires headquarters in Ohio. The final merger occurred in 1977 when All West and Superior Sires of California’s Central Valley, joined forces.
Since then, much has changed in the industry and we have joined forces with yet another farmer-owned cooperative in the industry, acquiring Accelerated Genetics in July of 2017. Yet our mission remains the same, “To enhance our member/owner’s success through genetics.”
As a customer of All West today, you not only get to enjoy the benefits of working with the very best company for products, programs and services in the dairy and beef industries, but also get to own the company while receiving additional advantages.
Fresno, California dairy producer and All West/Select Sires Executive Board Director Pete DeGroot shared, “My son and I chose to be members of All West /Select Sires because of the great semen and services available to us. Also, receiving patronage checks two times a year reminds us that we are owners of a company that pays back. We appreciate our professional salesman who has served us for over 30 years. The whole team at All West/Select Sires is great. A benefit for me personally is as an owner in All West/Select Sires I can serve on the board with other dairyman/owners and ensure that all customers will get the best semen and service possible.”
What other benefits do All West member/owners receive?
Being a member/owner of All West/Select Sires entitles you to:
* Ability to represent yourself and other producers as a Director or Delegate on the All West Board
* Participate in district meetings/elections
* Help drive the future progress of the cooperative
* Earn profits on all qualifying semen purchases
* Receive cash patronage cash payments twice a year
* Receive discounts on certain purchases if accounts are current and paid by the 25th of each month
What is patronage?
Patronage (in cooperative terms) is a dividend or distribution that a co-operative pays to its members or investors. Patronage dividends are given based on a proportion of profit that the business makes.
“As a member-owner of All West/Select Sires, you take pride in buying good semen and getting good services from a company you are an owner of. Also, you receive the profits back in a patronage check two times a year, something which our competitors do not do. As board members, we strive to have the best people, products and services available for you as customers and owners. Paying back profits is one of our goals and responsibilities to you as owners and members,” added Pete DeGroot.
All West/Select Sires mailed $1,736,500 in patronage payments to our customers this year. Did you get one of these payments in your mailbox? If not, and you are a customer, you’re missing out on a membership opportunity that provides great return on investment!
How do customers become member/owners of All West?
If you are already involved with All West as a customer, it just makes sense to also enjoy the benefits of being a member/owner. The membership “process” takes just a few seconds to complete, but the benefits will more than compensate for it! It’s even free to join. All you have to do is contact us to receive and complete an All West Membership Card to start enjoying the privileges of membership!
If you have any questions regarding membership privileges with All West, please don’t hesitate to contact us.