Washington Farmers Cooperative was established in 1945 by a group of forward-thinking local farmers in order to provide the local farming community with a reliable source of agricultural inputs such as feed, fertilizer, and fuel.
The business they created has stood the test of time and is still vital to the farmers, and indeed the entire community, today. The Co-op is open to everyone and is still owned by the local farmer members.
Washington Farmers Co-op began operation in 1945 in a small building at the present site of Richard Diehl Inc. Approximately two years later, the Co-op moved into another building, which was an old Southern States store. Construction on the present store began in 1977, and the current store opened in 1978.
In 1980, Washington Farmers merged with Unicoi Farmers Co-op. That branch closed in 1997 due to a declining ag market. Sales for the last year of operation were $500,000.
The Co-op’s tire shop operated out of the original building at the Richard Diehl Inc. site until 1988 when the current Car Center opened.
Various improvements took place over the years, including the expansion of the showroom and warehouse in 1975, the fertilizer building was extended in 1975, and a 24-hour fuel pump system was opened in 1998.
In 2003, Washington Farmers Co-op purchased Castlewood Farm Supply which is now called Southwest Virginia Farm Supply to better serve farmers in the surrounding areas.