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Missouri co-op uses free tools to tell important story

Consumers Oil Company of Maryville, Mo., has been growing since 1928, yet it feels its cooperative value story is slowly being lost due to the transition of family farms from one generation to the next. 

“The grandfathers started the co-op, then the fathers took over the farms, and now the kids are coming back from college to head the farms. To this new generation, the co-op has always been there but they don’t know why we exist. Our story has been forgotten,” says Harold Spire, general manager. 

“We need to educate the younger people that this isn’t just another place of business. It’s their business,” he says. 

Consumers Oil Company -- which serves farmers in and around northwestern Missouri with refined fuels, propane, feed, tires/auto service, grain merchandising and agronomy services -- has begun using free, customizable marketing tools from to help tell its story. 

“We need to help customers of all ages understand our values and what differentiates us,” says Spire. “We played a video from to introduce our annual meeting. It’s good for our members to hear other producers talking about why they work with a co-op.”

The co-op recently hired someone to help keep its social media and website pages fresh and generate outgoing emails to prospects and customers. Spire says he appreciates that the toolkit includes useful email banners, website ads and social media posts in addition to traditional advertising tools such as radio, billboard and newspaper ads.

“These are good messages to share,” says Spire “We try to relate to our audience and let them know that we’re here to help them take care of the land and serve all their needs – and these are great tools to help us do that.” 

Spire recommends that other co-ops visit to download the free, customizable tools. “It helps differentiate you from the other independent dealers and it ties us together as cooperatives,” he says.