Our History

More Historical Roots:  Marcus | Marathon | Webb

First Cooperative Association (FCA) builds on a proud heritage of agriculture cooperatives in northwest Iowa. FCA was formed in 1997 when four cooperatives unified, including the Farmers Cooperative Association based in Marathon, Agland Coop at Alta, Farmers Cooperative at Aurelia, and Farmers Cooperative in Cleghorn.

The “First” in our name reflects a unique legacy that’s tied to the Farmers Cooperative Elevator of Marcus, which became part of FCA in 1997. Recognized as the oldest continuous active cooperative elevator in the nation, the Farmers Cooperative Elevator of Marcus was incorporated on December 12, 1887. This cooperative was formed by 161 grain farmers who invested $20 apiece. Their investment helped build a wooden elevator to handle the wheat, oats, barley, and flax that were grown in the area at the time.

Looking ahead

While much has changed in agriculture since those early days, the cooperative ideal of working together towards a common goal remains as relevant as ever. When FCA was formed, the directors and members of the cooperatives who came together had the foresight to see that an organization like FCA was needed to provide the financial resources, trained personnel, and modern equipment that our clients need to succeed.

From our beginnings as a $100 million company, FCA has focused on profitable growth. With 20 locations throughout northwest Iowa, FCA has expanded into a $501 million company that has grown four-fold since the year 2000. Today, 2,500 customers rely on FCA’s wide range of products and services, which are provided by our 182 full-time employees and more than 40 part-time employees.