Federated Co-ops News

  • Propane Tank Winter Snow Message

    We ask for your help if at all possible. Please clear a pathway to your propane tank and keep snow from accumulating around and over the tank. A blanket of snow covering the tank will make the tank less efficient. Direct sun contact with the tank is needed for the gas to vaporize in these cold temperatures. This winter has produced many inches of snow and sustained bitter cold creating a difficult challenge for our delivery people, these steps will help ensure your system’s efficiency and help our people get more deliveries completed to customers each day. We thank you for your help in this area.

  • Lime Spreading

    A video with some footage of lime spreading.

    See video
  • February 2013 Special - Avoid Some Roadside Stress at a Discount

    Avoid Some Roadside Stress at a Discount!

    February 2013 Special

    Maintenance Inspection $69.00 (Regularly $89.00)


    • Checking Brakes
    • Checking Breakaway Battery
    • Checking Axle Attachment Bolts
    • Checking Tires
    • Checking Lights
    • Checking Wheel Bearings (Packing Bearings Extra)
    • Checking Lug Bolts and Hub
    • Checking Rims
    • Estimate of Needed Repairs

    Available at Federated Co-ops Country Store in Princeton, MN
    763-389-1431 Ask for Gary

  • Important Flood Damage Information for Propane Gas Systems

    Following a flood or high water event, the urge to inspect everything and evaluate damage is of course natural.  However, there are certain things to consider and steps to be taken prior to starting propane gas service if your tank appears to have safely weathered the flood.  These are strictly for the safety of you and your family, be sure that all propane related issues are handled by Federated Co-ops, your licensed propane company.  Please call us.  Additional safety precautions include:

    • If you smell gas, leave the area immediately and contact Federated Co-ops or the fire department.  If you can safely, shut off the propane service valve on the tank.
    • Do not open your propane service valve.  A propane leak test is required before the gas system can be placed back into service.
    • Any appliance valves, controls, etc. that come in contact with water cannot be placed back into service.  The same applies to propane gas regulators.
    • If the tank has moved do not attempt to move it, please call us at once.
    • Take as many pictures as possible inside and out documenting all damage to assets including the gas system and appliances.  Document with pictures the water levels so there will be no questions when applying for pending government assistance.

    Please let us know how we can be of assistance to ensure the safety of your gas system.

  • Diverse Customers Depend on Federated

    Federated Co-op’s Mora propane office—and its delivery crews at Mora, Glen, and McGrath, MN—deliver liquefied gas to a variety of users.

    On the northern end of this delivery chain, the Glen customers are a mix of retired residential users on the lakes and seasonal commercial users like restaurants and resorts. Thirty miles southeast of Glen, at McGrath, Federated delivers propane mostly to residences occupied all year round. Thirty miles south of McGrath, on Highway 65, the co-op’s Mora location serves both farmers and residents of this Twin Cities bedroom community.

    At all three locations, Federated provides propane delivery, tank setting, leak testing, and light service work, such as converting natural gas appliances to burn propane. However, the priorities of the customers vary from location to location.

    For retired residents, convenience is very important. “A lot of them moved to the lake from the Metro or from Duluth where they were served by natural gas,” says location manager Jim Gutzwiller.

    “They didn’t have anything to watch other than making their monthly payments and they don’t want to wake up in the morning and find out by taking a cold shower that they’ve run out of propane.” If propane is their main source of heat, Federated’s scheduled delivery program is a perfect fit.

    “It doesn’t cost them any extra to have our delivery people automatically show up with more gas when the tank reaches 20%,” says Jim. “It’s simple, and as long as they keep their account current, they don’t need to worry about a thing.”

    For businesses like restaurants and resorts, which serve recreational customers like fishermen and snowmobilers, making sure LP gas is delivered promptly at a competitive price makes all the difference. Likewise, farmers use a lot of gas in the fall to dry their crops. “Having the manpower and product to take care of these high-demand customers in a timely manner is most important.”

    What all customers appreciate
    Whether seasonal or residential, there are certain aspects of Federated Co-ops propane supply program that keep customers coming back. “One thing all of our customers appreciate is that we do not charge them any hidden fees or delivery charges,” says Jim. “Our price per gallon is their only expense.”

    Customers also appreciate the training and experience of Federated propane employees. “Many have been in the business for 10, 15, or even 30 years,” says Jim, noting that this says something about their satisfaction and eagerness to please.”

    Federated Co-ops employees are local and very much involved in the communities where they work. “Our employees volunteer on the fair board, the school board, the township board, Pheasants Forever, and many other community organizations,” says Jim, noting that two of his employees, a man and a woman, are gun safety instructors in their communities.

    “Price and service being equal,” states Jim, “people still buy from people they know and trust.” That’s Federated Co-op’s brand promise: “People who care. Products you trust. Value for life.”

  • Reasonably Priced ATVs for Kids

    Five years ago, Scott Laboe started selling Coolster ATVs out of his garage because he recognized their appeal to kids AND their parents. His own kids wanted an ATV, but he wasn’t about to pay the brand name prices, so he started looking around. “Parents don’t want to spend a lot of money on machines that their kids will outgrow,” he explains. That’s when Scott found Coolster, whose ATVs for kids are less than half the price of the brand names—but similar in quality. He liked the ATVs so well he decided to sell them.

    Today, Scott is selling Coolster ATVs at Federated Co-ops’ Isanti Country Store, which has decided to handle the line. “We have ATVs for kids as young as 4 years old,” says Scott, “but we also have machines that will satisfy the adult market—up to 700cc UTVs and ATVs.”

    Isanti also carries a full line of SSR dirt bikes. “The ATVs and dirt bikes start as low as $699,” says Scott, who notes that Coolster adult ATVs run around one-third the price of the nationally recognized brands.

    “Coolster ATVs for kids are affordable fun,” states Scott. “It’s much better to give them something that gets them out in the fresh air, rather than playing video games.”

    “We’re also handling parts and servicing these ATVs and dirt bikes,” adds Scott.

    Interested in Coolster ATVs or SSR dirt bikes? Scott suggests you call and talk with him personally at 763-439-1417. Or stop by Federated Co-ops’ Isanti Country Store. “We’ve got a good selection of ATVs and dirt bikes on the show floor,” he states.

    Coolster ATVs for kids
    SSR Dirt Bikes
    Coolster UTVs and ATVs for dad and mom


  • Co-op Opens Chisago Pet Store

    Federated Co-ops’ Country Store on Highway 8 in Chisago City has always offered a variety of foods, toys, and treats for pets. Now, we’re going a step further to serve pet lovers in the Chisago Lakes area.

    The Animal House will handle only live pets and pet supplies, so our employees will become experts in pet care.The Animal House is open for business during construction.Workers recently constructed a wall that divides our long, rectangular building in half. One half will be a C-Store that will continue selling auto supplies, Carhartt® clothing, and lawn and garden supplies. The other side will be a pet store appropriately named The Animal House.

    Besides pet supplies, The Animal House will carry live animals including fish, reptiles, rodents, puppies, and kittens. “Betty Boll, our Chisago store manager, came up with the idea as a way to better serve the customers of this area,” says Gene Schmitz, the co-op’s retail division manager. “There were no pet stores close around Chisago and many people showed interest in Federated building one.”

    “When we were a Country Store handling many kinds of products, it was difficult for our employees to know much about pets,” says Gene, “but employees of The Animal House will be dealing specifically with pets, so they will have much more knowledge to dispense.”

    Pet lovers looking for a clean store with good variety and the right prices will enjoy The Animal House. “We’re working with a reputable local breeder to provide puppies for our customers and with a rescue organization as the source of our kittens,” Gene comments.

    The Animal House employees—Jordan, Jessica, and Jordon—all have backgrounds or interest in pets. One comes from a family that grooms animals. One worked as a veterinary technician. One is currently studying animal health. Sue Austin, a certified pet groomer, will set up shop in the back of our store.

    Customers who pick up horse, beef, pig, and chicken feeds at the Country Store will find the same feeds (and help to load them) in our warehouse. Since the C-Store and The Animal House share the same register system, you can order animal feeds at either location and pick them up at the loading door on the pet store side.


    Forty-five fish tanks (3 deep and 15 wide) will be framed into this 40 foot wall at The Animal House.One big attraction at our new Chisago City pet store will be a 40-foot wall of fish tanks—three tanks high and 15 tanks wide. “We’re recessing 45 tanks in that wall and putting frames around them so the only thing you’ll see is the glass and the fish,” says Gene. “We want the whole wall to look like one big picture, so if you remember anything you’ve seen in The Animal House you remember that wall.”

    The Animal House construction is scheduled to be finished by July 5, but the store is open during construction. Want to know if The Animal House handles what you need? Call the main store line at 651-257-6320 and press #1 for the c-store, #2 for the pet store, and #3 for grooming.

  • Propane Purchase Options

    By Mark Grave, Propane Division Manager
    mgrave@federatedcoops.com, 218-273-4850

    Americans did an about-face last year. Excess spending took a back seat to conservative spending and wise use of limited resources. We’re looking to save wherever possible—including heating costs. Federated Co-ops, Inc. offers programs to help you stay within budget and weather volatile energy markets.

    Our Propane Budget Program and our Propane Pre-Buy Program saved Federated propane customers thousands of dollars last year, and we’re offering these two programs again for the 2010-2011 season.

    Budget Program
    Chop big gas bills down to size. Spread next season’s estimated propane bill over 11 equal monthly payments, qualify for scheduled delivery so you never have to worry about running out of gas, and guard against price spikes. Sign up for our Budget Program and we’ll throw in a price cap that saved Federated Co-ops customers over $61,000 last season.

    Pre-Buy Program
    Avoid in-season market spikes by pre-buying your 2010-2011 gas at a fixed price you can live with. Buy once or multiple times, whenever you feel the markets are in your favor. Take delivery of your gas any time between August 1, 2010 and April 15, 2011. Federated Co-ops pre-buy customers realized savings of over $1.3 million last season.

  • Location Spotlight – Sandstone, MN

    One-Stop for Customers’ Propane Needs
    By Dan Saumer, Propane Location Manager
    dsaumer@federatedcoops.com, 320-245-5576

    Since 1969, Federated customers in Pine, Kanabec, and Aitkin Counties of Minnesota have been getting propane from our Sandstone propane location. In 1992, we added an office building at 614 Highway 123 West in Sandstone. We added a second 30,000-gallon storage tank in 2009. Now, we have storage for 60,000 gallons of propane and a close-by mid-winter source of propane at our railcar unloading terminal in Cambridge, MN.

    What this means is that our 2,000 customers have a reliable source of propane heat throughout the coldest months of the year. Many of the smaller towns in our area do not have natural gas, so we set up propane service for them. In addition to homes, we supply clean burning propane gas heat to many churches, businesses, and public buildings.

    Sandstone employees from left to right: Dan, Stephanie, Mike, Jack, and Walt.

    Along with providing a reliable supply, Sandstone is focused on safety. We’re working with our customers to ensure that each has had a leak test done on their propane system within the past five years. Leak tests give our customers a feeling of comfort, knowing the system is safe at that point. Many things can happen to a propane system, so it is important to check from time to time to make sure it meets current code, does not leak, and all appliances are setup and operate correctly.

    When an appliance malfunctions or a new appliance is purchased, we have a service technician on our staff who can install and repair propane appliances. We really try to be a one-stop location for all our community’s propane needs.

    Five dedicated people serve the propane customers of Federated Co-ops, Inc., at Sandstone. Our office is open Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Stop by and see us face-to-face or call us at 320-245-5576 (toll-free 800-909-4778).

    Sandstone Lives the Brand Promise

    The Federated Co-ops’ Brand Promise is more than just words at our Sandstone Propane location. Click on each aspect of our brand promise below to learn why.

  • What Sets Federated Propane Apart?

    By Corey Nelson, Area Propane Manager

    Looking for a propane supplier? You might wonder what distinguishes Federated Co-ops, Inc. from other suppliers.

    For one thing, we’re locally owned and based. Our drivers live and work in the communities they deliver to. Because of this, they take pride in their work and they’re always handy in emergencies.

    The Cambridge rail terminal ensures Federated Co-ops propane customers of a continuous supply when regional pipelines fail to keep up with demand.

    We also offer assurance of supply. FCI not only pulls propane from the pipelines, but we own a rail terminal and storage facilities at Cambridge, MN. Pipelines were installed 40 years ago and do not have the capacity to provide the volume of propane needed by today’s consumers. FCI brings propane in by rail—before and during the season of use—to supplement the pipeline.

    Last fall, farmer customers of other suppliers went three, four, or five days without the propane deliveries they needed to dry their crops. But Federated Co-ops’ customers got deliveries on a daily basis because we had more than one source of supply.

    From crop drying, we went straight into the winter heating season. Having enough propane on hand is still a big problem for some suppliers and their customers—but not for Federated.

    With our local drivers and the added capacity of our Cambridge terminal, we’re able to keep our trucks rolling from Brainerd to Princeton and from Osceola to Cloquet. Cold weather takes a toll on people and equipment, but we’ve got the trucks, the backup trucks, and the great drivers who work during the most extreme conditions to deliver the clean, dependable energy you need to heat your homes and shops.

    Federated Co-ops is People who care. Products you trust. Value for life.