|AgSource operates three divisions: Agronomy, Dairy Herd Improvement (DHI) and Food and Environmental Services. Its Verona, Wis., headquarters also serves as its dairy record service center. Laboratory locations in the Midwest include Menomonie, Marshfield and Bonduel, Wis., Ellsworth, Iowa, Lincoln, Nebr. and Umatilla, Ore. |
In 1957 and 1958, a pilot project was developed to machine process DHIA records in Wisconsin. By 1959, 50,000 cows were processed with this technology and Agricultural Records Cooperative (ARC) was formed to provide an effective organization for the expansion of this service. ARC continued to expand and by July, 1965 all Standard (supervised) DHIA herds in Wisconsin were machine processed. In the early 1970's several local DHI Associations merged with ARC allowing for direct field service. Besides producers who were direct members of ARC, many independent associations paid to have their records processed there as well.
ARC became Wisconsin DHI Cooperative (WDHIC) in 1981 and in 1996 the organization was renamed AgSource Cooperative. In 1993 Cooperative Resources (CRI) was formed by 21st Century Genetics and WDHIC. This structure continued to expand with WDHIC becoming AgSource, 21st Century Genetics becoming Genex, the addition of other A.I. companies, and Central Livestock Association later joining CRI. All three organizations are cooperatives. Besides the CRI cooperative board, each cooperative has their own board of directors and voting delegate structure.
In 1967, the first soil laboratory was opened, and in 1978 a forage and grain testing laboratory was added, expanding the services provided by ARC to more than just DHI testing. In later years, additional laboratories were purchased including a food and environmental laboratory in 2000, and the Belmond, Iowa, Soil Lab in 2002. In 2006, AgSource strengthened its position in the turf market with the acquisition of Harris Laboratories in Lincoln, Nebr.
All AgSource DHI patrons (including members of affiliated county DHI associations) vote for delegates at local meetings. These delegates elect a nine-member Board of Directors at the annual meeting. Directors serve a three year term, set cooperative policies and select two members of the Board to serve on the Cooperative Resources International Board of Directors.
In 1993, state boundaries governing DHI services were eliminated allowing AgSource to offer services outside of Wisconsin. Today, the organization has 6,000 patrons and approximately 200 employees. In addition, AgSource is responsible for training and supporting employees of affiliated independent county DHI associations.