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MFA Cooperative Association


(Org. Oct 16, 1920)


From the March 1, 1962 California Democrat:

The MFA was established in California, Mo., Oct. 16, 1920. It was located in the sheet metal building near the Missouri Pacific railroad west of the present building. It was established under the name of the Producers Exchange No. 148. The name was changed to the MFA Cooperative Association Feb. 26, 1940.


The Producers Exchange No. 148 purchased the Gattermeir Flour and Feed Mill late in 1930. Included in the deal was the building, mill plant and warehouse, office fixture and stock. The mill was purchased from the late Henry Gattermeir.


The MFA started here with capital investment of $8,000. The total net worth is now [1962] $175,727.83.


S. E. Lawson was the first manager followed by William Scheidt, Willard Walker, Herman Crum, George Rosenmiller, and D. W. Lehman who assumed his duties in April 1927 and served in that capacity for 18 years. He came here from Fortuna where he had been manager of the MFA Exchange for two years. Succeeding Lehman was Ray Ehlert who served as manager for 12 years. Lester Hofstetter who served as manager for a while is now head of the warehouse.


From the 1980 History of Moniteau County:

MFA Cooperative of California was first organized as Producers Exchange No. 148 in October, 1920. Mr. S. E. Lawson was the first manager serving for a period of eight months. There were five men who served as Board of Directors: S. E. Lawson, J. B. S. Johnson, Bill Scheidt, John Thompson and Henry Rentsch. J. E. Steiner took Mr. Lawson's place on the Board and Bill Scheidt took over as manager. Alvin Rohrbach served as the first bookkeeper.


Producers Exchange No. 148 began operation in the building north of the railroad track, just east of Dr. Gallagher's office.


According to Mr. Lawson, apples were one of the first commodities to be sold. Approximately $1500 profit was made from the sale of five carloads of apples. When the exchange began operation, eggs were 72 per dozen, cream 72 per pound, shorts was $2.10 per hundred, and flour $6.10 a sack. Within five months prices dropped to 13 for eggs; 70 for shorts and 62 for flour.


The following men have served as managers: George Rosenmiller, Herman Crum, Willard Walker, Dave Lehman, Ray Ehlert, Joe Gattermeier, Lester Hofstetter, Charles Barry, and Larry Hoback, who is presently [in 1980] the manager.


Producers Exchange No. 148 moved from north of the railroad track to the tin building south of tracks and later the brick building on Oak St.


In 1931 MFA purchased the Gattermeier Milling Company, in 1944 the brick building north of the mill, and in 1948 the Kuhlman-Meyer Building. On September 25, 1978 MFA opened for business at the present location on Highway 50 West.


Board members instrumental in the construction of the new facility west of town on Highway 50 were O. B. Clark, Rick Cook, Ed Sappington, Paul Hoellering, A. L. Cassil, Jr., Abe Rohrbach, Leroy Porter, W. R. Kirchoff and Steve Stauffer. The new facility consists of office, store, ample farm supply display area, electronic truck scales, warehouse, ultra modern feed mill, and grain handling equipment capable of handling 6,000 bushels per hour. With a total storage capacity of 330,000 bushels.


Current [1980] board members are Paul Birdsong, Ray Blankenship, Eugene Bolin, Stanley Dummermuth, Abe Rohrbach - President, Bobby Schatzer and Charlie Schoenthal - Secretary.


MFA is owned and operated by local farmers. The following are now [in 1980] serving with MFA: Larry Hoback, 12 years; Jim Rohrbach, 18 years; Mary Lawson, 15 years; Wayne Dummermuth, 6 years; Becky Gier, 2 months; Linda Schneiders, 2 months; Gary Borghardt, 5 years; Dennis Cook, 7 months; Larry Cook, 6 years; Kenneth Coureton, 3 years; David Dowell, 2 years; Dale Glenn, 2 years; Jim Hoback, 12 years; Earl Hoellering, 30 years; James Irey, 2 years; Jack Jones, 2 years; Harry McFarland, 23 years; Charles McGinnis, 6 years and Kenny Ashley, 1 year.



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