United Prairie was formed in 1996, when Unity Grain and Grand Prairie Cooperative combined their crop production divisions in order to serve their customers more efficiently. In 1997, Monticello Grain added their crop production division to United Prairie. At that point, United Prairie operated four retail locations at Pierson, Ivesdale, White Heath, and Tolono.
In 1998, Unity Grain, Bement Grain, and Cisco Co-op merged to form Topflight Grain. Then in 2009, Grand Prairie Cooperative merged with Jamaica Farmers Elevator and Fisher Farmers Grain & Coal to form Premier Cooperative. Topflight Grain and Premier Cooperative are owners of United Prairie.
In 2015, CHS Cooperative invested their central Illinois assets and became part of the ownership group. Today, United Prairie operates eight retail locations throughout central Illinois with new locations in Emery and Crescent City.
From the beginning, our focus at United Prairie has been on delivering the best possible service to our customers. Unlike other agricultural retailers, we are locally owned and managed, with a board of directors composed largely of area producers. As a result, we operate under a philosophy that puts a priority on adapting and growing our business to meet the needs of our local grower.
We’ve continued to grow and expand over the years, not for the sake of growth and not because we have to answer to shareholders. The fact is, if you provide great value and exceptional service, the word will get out. As we’ve grown, we’ve made a conscious effort to add enough structure to maintain our efficiency, while remaining flexible enough to meet the needs of any agricultural operation—big or small.
Our goal isn’t to sell products—anyone can do that. We take the time to understand how you farm, and then design a system that will fit your operation and enable your acres to be as productive as possible. We provide solutions—not just products—and to do that, we continually hire and develop the best people we can find.