Former FCA General Manager Carlson Named to Iowa Cooperative Hall of Fame

Dec 19, 2021

Former FCA General Manager Carlson Named to Iowa Cooperative Hall of Fame
AMES, Iowa – November 29, 2021 – Jim Carlson, former General Manager of Cherokee, Iowa-based First Cooperative Association (FCA), was inducted into the Iowa Cooperative Hall of Fame at the 2021 Annual Business Meeting of the Iowa Institute of Cooperatives last week.
“Nominated by his peers, Jim Carlson is well-deserving of induction into the Iowa Cooperative Hall of Fame,” says Dave Holm, Executive Director of the Iowa Institute for Cooperatives. “Growing up on a family farm in Wright County, Iowa, Jim has dedicated his life to serving farmers through the cooperative system. In fact, during Jim’s time as General Manager of FCA, the cooperative quadrupled revenue in sales and increased members’ equity from $24 million to $100 million.”
Carlson graduated from Iowa State University in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Business degree. His cooperative career began on the cusp of the Farm Crisis in 1982 when he joined Farmers Cooperative Company (FCC), Hinton, as assistant manager. Three years later he was named General Manager, a post he kept for 14 years. Though times were tough through the decade, Carlson’s core belief in the value of the cooperative system is what motivated him to lead FCC toward success, a deep-rooted passion cultivated through his family farm. There he saw first-hand how important the farmer-owned cooperative was to his rural community and how it played a vital role in his family’s farming operation.
Among his many accomplishments Carlson’s leadership also helped the Cooperative Credit Company (CCC) become a successful cooperative lending company, providing some $80 million in producer loans to support cooperatives.
In his final FCA newsletter column upon his retirement in 2018, Carlson wrote that he wouldn’t have continued working for farmer-owned cooperatives for 44 years if he didn’t believe in its unique system.
“I believe cooperatives exist for the farmer, not for outside investors far-removed from our local communities,” he wrote. “I know our members have great ownership in FCA, which remains focused on its cooperative roots while focusing on the future.”
Joining Carlson as a 2021 Iowa Cooperative Hall of Fame inductee is former Gold-Eagle Cooperative General Manager and AGP Board Chairman Brad Davis.
“These inductees and their fellow members are part of the positive impact cooperatives make every day to Iowa’s communities,” Holm says.
About the Iowa Institute for Cooperatives
The Iowa Institute for Cooperatives (IIC) has been lighting the way for cooperatives across the state since 1951, providing news and education while promoting legislative engagement, business development and value-added production for Iowa cooperatives. A proven business model dedicated to the success of its membership; cooperatives have fostered economic progress in Iowa for decades. Iowa Institute for Cooperatives members come from agriculture, credit unions, rural electric, rural telephone, farm credit, petroleum and more. To learn more, visit
The Iowa Cooperative Hall of Fame was established in 1999. This distinction recognizes the extraordinary service to Iowa cooperatives by these 51 individuals throughout the course of their public and private lives. For a full list of Iowa Cooperative Hall of Fame Inductees, visit

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