It all began when 25 individuals wanted to change the price they were paid for grain. It didn't seem right to them that prices at the terminal market were considerably better than the prices paid to local farmers.
This group of 25 knew that if they wanted to change the price they received for grain, they would have to change how it was marketed. The best way to do that: form a cooperative.
That is exactly what they did, and on Feb. 15, 1908, the Aurora Elevator Company, known today as the Aurora Cooperative Elevator Company, was incorporated in Aurora, Neb.
"Cooperatives were following a new set of ideals in the early 1900s and were rising in popularity," says George Hohwieler, Aurora Cooperative's current president and CEO. "That by no means ensured success. The cooperative's pioneers worked tirelessly and recognized that they would have to continuously adapt if they were to succeed into the future."
Within weeks of forming, the company had raised $9,800 and, in August 1908, a 31,000-bushel, wood-cribbed elevator had changed the Aurora skyline. By the end of that first year, the company handled …