• After World War II, farmers have difficulty obtaining agricultural equipment, so Cargill creates a department to provide necessary tools for its customers.
  • Through its Farm Supply Department, the company sells popular name-brand merchandise as well as its own products, like this Cargill-branded farm and home freezer.
  • After four years, markets stabilize and the business has done its part to help customers recover and prosper once again.
  • Fifty years later, the company introduces Cargill AgHorizons, an initiative focused on providing farmers with unique products, services and expertise to help them thrive.

Partnering with farmers to harvest success

Beginning with its Farm Supply Department in 1946, Cargill identifies opportunities to expand its offerings and cater to the specific needs of its customers.

Seeing the Cargill name on freezers, batteries and even tires may be hard to imagine today, but those products were a reality following World War II, when Cargill’s farmer customers found many of the basic goods they needed to run their farms in short supply. To help farmers procure hard-to-obtain equipment, Cargill opened its Farm Supply Department in 1946, selling popular name-brand merchandise, such as Dunlop® tires and home freezers manufactured by Schaefer, Inc., alongside its own Cargill-branded products.

c150_209_inline_1logoOriginally intended for Cargill’s seed corn business, this crest design acts as the Farm Supply Department’s logo during its years of operation.

Just one year after it opened, Cargill’s Farm Supply Department showed growth, netting a profit in its first year. And though overall sales continued at a steady rate, demand eventually slowed, resulting in a loss in 1949. The post-war market had stabilized and the goods Cargill offered to farmers were once again easy to purchase from traditional suppliers. Cargill executives recognized that the business was not sustainable as a long-term venture and shut it down.

Fifty years later, Cargill developed a new approach to providing valuable assistance to the farm market: an innovative agricultural program called Cargill AgHorizons. Like the Farm Supply Department before it, Cargill AgHorizons began with the singular goal of delivering customers the products and services they needed. But AgHorizons went well beyond that, providing expertise and innovation in areas like grain, seed and fertilizer, which few other companies could offer. The program approached farmers not simply as transactional customers, but as partners.

Cargill AgHorizons was the result of years of listening to farmers and fine-tuning its customer service techniques. Today, the program serves customers in more than 250 locations across the United States and Canada. By providing training in marketing, technology and the newest farming techniques, the business empowers local farmers, reinforcing Cargill’s standing as a trusted partner to the agricultural community.