About Us

The Plains Equity Exchange was chartered on October 4, 1913 with 28 members and $1000.00 in stock. The charter members were listed as Frank Fox, A. Wilson, U.G. King, P.C. Wyatt, B.F. Bisbee, E.O. Ball, A.W. Lathrop, Martin Rickers, W.S. Shouse, Z.Q. Golliher, A.R. Winter, C.E. Strohl, E.F. Wyatt, Otto Borth, N.A. Geisinger, M.E. Shufelberger, John Berghaus, A.C. Fish, H.C. Baker, J.R. Gillick, Arthur Vail, F.A. Shinogle, J.P. Ballard, S. Utz, and Amos Holmes. At that time, there was no elevator or buildings. When the members had enough wheat to load a car, they would order a car. When it arrived, they all pitched in and loaded it.

In 1914 they received their first stock of apples, potatoes, cabbage, and onions. Records show the first concrete construction for the Plains Equity Exchange was two bins approved by the board in 1916. Between that year and 1930 they built a small wooden house on the north side of the railroad tracks. Then, in 1930, they sold it and moved south of the tracks to the present location and built was, is now called Elevator A. This gave the Coop 200,000 bushels of storage.

In 1949, the addition was built to increase the storage capacity to 575,000 bushels. In May 1953, the Plains and Kismet cooperatives were merged and the name became the Plains Equity Exchange and Cooperative Union. In November of 1954, a 357,000 bushel elevator was built in Kismet. In November 1958 a new office was completed at Plains and in 1959 a liquid fertilizer plant was installed. January 1960 saw the grand opening of the service station at Plains.

Two years later, in July 1962, Elevator B was completed, bringing the total capacity at Plains to 1,098,000 bushels. In September of 1962 the warehouse was completed in Plains. In May 1963 the fertilizer department was enlarged by adding an anhydrous plant and again in 1964, by adding a bulk fertilizer blending plant in Plains; the first in Southwest Kansas. In May of 1965, an anhydrous plant was built at Missler. This plant was later moved west of Plains, and now the plant is located at Hobart. In september of 1965 we saw a new fertilizer/chemical shop go in. Then in the fall of 1974 a new service station and warehouse complex was added at Kismet. The grand opening at Kismet was April 17, 1975.

A big step was taken in the grain handling area in the fall of 1975 and the spring of 1976. We purchased a new Town and Country dryer and built an addition at Plains. The dryer would handle 1500 bushels per hour. The dryer was installed in time for the fall harvest, and really proved itself as a capable and clean dryer. The Gano Horace chain of elevators were put up for sale, and we purchased their elevator at Hobart through Far-Mar-Co. The takeover date was December 22, 1975. This was a 707,000 bushel addition to our storage system.

In March 1976, the Board signed a contract with Borton, Inc. to build an addition to Elevator B in Plains. This added another 600,000 bushels, making our total grain storage 2,750,000 bushels. Also during the spring of 1976, we had our first encounter with the EPA over our elevator dust and we had to put a dust control filter on Elevator A. In 1987, additional storage was completed a Kismet in the late summer just in time for the fall harvest. This addition consisted of two jump form McPherson Concrete bins adding 290,000 bushels making an overall total of 3,049,000 bushels of room for the members in the Plains, Kismet and Hobart areas.

In 1979 at Plains and 1987 in Kismet, a Cardtrol system was installed. This system allowed our customers to get fuel 24 hours a day with the card we issue locally. In 1989, a new service was added to the petroleum department, bulk oil delivered to a customer's tank. In 1991, a decision was made to expand the liquid fertilizer and chemical department by adding a Patriot sprayer that could handle the ridge-till method of farming. Also, a fieldman position was added in October of 1991. Another big expenditure was the purchase of a two-dryer system to replace the one Town and Country dryer at Plains. The new system was two Super B's rated at 750 bushels per hour each.

In 1995 a new deluxe 1350 bushel dryer was added at Hobart and aeration was added to 400,000 bushels of bin space at Plains and Kismet, to add to our grain handling ability. All of the items listed above are facilities; either a building or equipment. There have been many changes in the internal control structure of the cooperative also. One of the biggest was in November 1972 when our accounting system was changed over to the computer. In 1995 a complete in-house computer system called "Solutions" was purchased. In 2006 the commodity accounting software was upgraded to Agris.  In 2009 the commodity accounting software was again upgraded.  This time to the Agtrax system which we currently use. 

In 2011 a new scale house and inbound and outbound scales were constructed in Hobart. This increased productivity and allowed the producer to unload their grain faster and get back out into the field.  During harvest a truck is dumped apporximately every three minutes now at our Hobart location.  The Plains Equity Exchange and Cooperative Union has a history of continuous growth to meet the need of the member-owners, but the history of the facilities expansion also has a parallel history of people. People that saw the need and knew that by joining together the need could be met. Success shows many of these needs have been met.