By RODNEY D. BOAM
Brian Hyde, 66, the manager of the Preston IFA store on 800 N., is a second-generation Intermountain Farmers Association man. His father worked there for 27 years and managed it for 12 of those years before his death in 1972.
Between the two of them, the Hyde’s have put in 70 years for the company that just had its 90th birthday.
“It used to be where Machine Dynamics is and across from where Valley Wide is now,” the father of three said. “I remember going there when I was young and they had eggs,” he said while sitting at his desk.
Cattle brands are burnt into wood paneling on the wall near the door of Hyde’s office. The different brands are from area cattlemen who frequent the store.
The cooperative was formerly known as Utah Poultry Producers Cooperative Association until 1961 when the name changed to Intermountain Farmers Association to reflect the changing nature of the organization from egg marketing to a supplier of extensive lines of feed, seed, fertilizer and farm equipment to serve all those in agriculture.
Hyde worked at IFA when his father was there part time. When his father passed in 1972, the local board of directors asked him if he would take over the store. That’s when his career began with a company that today operates 24 IFA Country Stores in Utah, Colorado, Nevada, Idaho and New Mexico. They also operate nine full-service agronomy centers and four feed mills. There are also more than 30 independent IFA dealers located in Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Oregon and Wyoming.
“Today a guy needs a college degree in agriculture business or some related field to manage one of the stores,” Hyde said. “I got my degree in the ‘College of Hard Knocks,’” he said “I’ve seen a lot of changes in the company over the years.”
There was a time when IFA sold a lot of dairy equipment. Then the dairies started to decline in numbers and more people started to work in the city. “I’ve probably sold one of everything.”
He said agriculture is still strong, but a lot of the good farm ground has turned into subdivisions.
Although he was not raised on a farm, over the years he’s learned how to operate most farm machinery. He said he wasn’t afraid to tackle any kind of machinery.
The farm store has been serving the needs of agriculture in the intermountain west and supporting member-owners who carry on the legacy of perseverance, tenacity and stability amid turbulence and change.
March 2013 marked the 90th anniversary of the cooperative that was first organized in Gunnison, Utah, to market surplus eggs.
Hyde said the IFA field staff and store management are trained in agronomy and feed nutrition to serve farmers and ranchers. The company stores are not just for horse owners, pet owners, 4H and FFA young producers, hobby farmers. They also serve residential gardeners.
IFA president Layne Anderson has said, “Our heritage has been handed down to us by the many members and employees who have gone before. It is one of providing leadership and being visible and desired members of our communities. IFA strives to continue to promote the principles and quality of life that are embodied in agriculture.”
This story is sponsored by Brady’s Plant Ranch.
Powered by Max Banner Ads