HARRISTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 24, 2014) - A book celebrating one of the most successful local co-operatives in Ontario will be launched at the North Wellington Co-operative Services Inc. Annual Meeting on Thursday evening at the Harriston Legion.

Our First 70 Years: A History of North Wellington Co-operative Services Inc. details the origins of four organizations that comprise the co-op. Although buying clubs existed as far back as the 1920s in the area to procure binder twine, animal feed, flour and sugar, North Wellington Co-op claims 1944 as its origin when Harriston Co-operative Association received its Letters Patent from the provincial government. The book charts the careful growth of the co-operative to become an organization of close to $34 million in annual sales and about 5,000 members.

The book's author is the co-op's former general manager, William G. Chamberlain. "Since retiring from North Wellington Co-operative Services Inc. more than a decade ago I kept thinking that someone should record the history of the Co-op," he writes. Chamberlain served the co-operative as general manager from 1990 to the end of 2003.

From the beginning of his career, Chamberlain was witness to key moments of the co-op's history. He started as a farm sales associate in 1960 when Harriston and Mount Forest Co-ops merged to become North Wellington Co-op. Part of his job was to explain to members and customers how the two co-ops were stronger together. Many years later during the 1990s and a provincial co-operative reorganization, he saw Durham and Hanover co-op locations join the group.

Chamberlain hopes that today's co-op members will be able to spot their grandparents and great grandparents' names in the book and see how they helped develop rural Ontario. He explains that agricultural co-operatives, part of a movement that started 100 years ago in the province, provided economic choice, hard-to-find services and products, education and market opportunities.

He congratulates the staff and directors of North Wellington Co-op for the co-op's longevity and financial strength.

"We look forward to the next 70 years," writes the co-op's General Manager Kelly Boyle in a special note to members and staff at the beginning of the book. The 100-page history, published by the co-op, will be available at the annual meeting and at each of the co-operatives retail stores.

North Wellington Co-op serves a dozen townships from locations in Harriston, Mount Forest, Durham and Hanover. It procures and sells plant food, plant protection products, and seed. Lawn and garden, pet food and hardware are available at its retail locations. Working with energy partner, UPI Energy LP, North Wellington Co-op is an area leader in the supply of propane, petroleum, and diesel fuel. In partnership with Masterfeeds, the co-operative provides animal feed and advice. The co-operative is a member of GROWMARK, Inc., an international federation of agricultural co-operatives.

Contact Information:

North Wellington Co-operative Services Inc.
Jeff McCallum
Communications & Marketing Specialist