Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Watertown Coop Elevator Assn.
News and Markets
Market Outlook

The Watertown Co-op Elevator Association was established in 1940 by 147 local farmers, at a time when country elevators were king and dotted the rail lines that crossed the prairies. 272,000 bushels of grain came to town that first year. While successful feed and agronomy divisions were eventually established, the grain handle was the heart of “the association.”

The age of restructuring began occurring in the 1980s. Cooperatives merged to strengthen individual operations and more efficiently improve service performance for patrons. Locations at Grover, Henry, and Webster were added to Watertown Co-op.

Sixty-plus years later, transition continues. There’s a new game in town, and it’s called end user value.

Watertown Co-op locations have ethanol companies and soybean processors on all sides, intensifying competition for grain origination. Intimidating? No way. We are embracing the opportunities our patrons now have to take full advantage of value-added agriculture right out their back porch.

Challenging? A little. We’ve seen the primary role that this cooperative was founded upon shift from trainload shippers of grain to points for nearby processors. But as guardians of our patron’s equity, we are positioning ourselves strategically for the future, developing a business direction that will adapt to changes in markets and technology.

Our mission? To profitably enhance the success of our patrons.


Board Members

Gordon Little, Watertown, SD

Rodney Klatt, Henry, SD

Paul Leiseth, Hazel, SD 

Roy Aldrich, Webster, SD 

Philip Raml, Goodwin, SD 


Lanny Kirsch, General Manager -
Brian Townsend, Agronomy Manager -

Jon Hegge, Feed Department Manager -
Steve Schull, Grain Division Manager -

John Guest, Jr., Henry Location Manager -

Lee Houghton, Webster Location Manager -
Tony Heer, Clark Location Manager -
Rick Borkhuis, Agronomy Sales
Shawn Rithmiller, Agronomy Sales (Webster) -
Shawn Mohr, Agronomy Sales Manager (Clark) -
Lake Gogolin, Agronomy Sales (Clark) -

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