Location: Elkins, Ark.

Business: Elkins Farmers Coop

Manager: Andi Carlton

History: “This area cooperative, which is now comprised of 17 stores, opened in 1944 in Fort Smith and ranges from Northwest Arkansas to Mena and also includes part of Oklahoma. Now the home office and warehouse is in Van Buren,” manager of the Elkins location Andi Carlton said. “This location opened three years ago after being purchased from a local family. Then two years ago we added True Value in order to incorporate hardware into our location.”

Products and Services: “The largest part of our business, 50-85 percent depending on the month, is feed. We have a bulk five-way cattle commodity mix in 1,500 pounds containers. If someone needs more, a truck from Van Buren will deliver the product to the farm. Our bagged feed brands for cattle, horses, sheep, goats, pigs and chickens include Purina and MFA. We also carry food for dogs and cats with additional brands being Diamond, Taste of the Wild and Victor. We only sell 28 percent nitrogen liquid fertilizer in 2,500-to-2,800 pound totes that farmers often mix with liquid herbicide for a one spray application. Our weed killers, Down and Windfield, are sold in 1-gallon and 2 1/2-gallon containers, as well as 30-gallon drums. We also carry an assortment of equipment including chutes, gates and panels with our primary brands being Tarter and Priefert in addition to brush hogs which are mostly Battle Armor, a division of Bad Boy Mowers. We carry lawn and garden supplies including Bonnie plants and gardening seed in bulk for corn and beans and packets for the rest supported by gardening tools. We also have veterinary supplies, clothing including muck boots and Crazy Train clothing, electric fencing, and poultry equipment with Little Giant and Miller being the primary brands. Our horse supplies include tack and fly control as well as farrier supplies. For bees we have hives, feed, brood boxes including frames, protective clothing and gloves, various hive tools, and smoking supplies to calm the bees during harvesting. In the spring we sell chicks and rabbits and have a farmers market during the summer on Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m. In December, we compete in the group wide Christmas tree contest by displaying a Christmas tree of any kind whether live or comprised of farming products such as salt blocks with customers voting to see who wins.”

Philosophy and future: “The cooperative philosophy is to be community centered which not only explains why we tend to be in smaller towns like Elkins but also how we treat customers and things we do to strengthen the community feeling. This fall in an effort to nurture our community nature, we are going to have a big buck and big bear contest with prizes. Next spring we hope to add a new line of Bad Boy Mower implements such as rotary tillers, box blades and 4-foot brush hogs.”


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