Northern Star Cooperative Services opened its doors in 1922 as the Farmers Exchange.  Its goal was to provide farmers with reasonable, reliable prices on items needed for their farming needs. In March of 1932 the company filed for incorporation as a Cooperative. Thus, became the Farmers’ Cooperative Exchange. The cooperative continued to grow through the years and expand throughout the northland, in 1999 the name was changed to Northern Star Cooperative Services. 

The same men that went together to file for Incorporation with the Farmers Exchange in 1932 became the first Board of Directors for the new cooperative.   They were Walter Gaslin (President), Ed Erickson (Vice President), Charles Mostoller (Secretary/Treasurer), John Olson and John Luko. The first year as the Farmers’ Cooperative Exchange proved to be a successful one as was told at their first annual meeting on September 21, 1934.  Sales for the year were $34,251.23, giving the Company a net profit for the period of $1517.11.  The company had also built their total assets up to $13,704.81. 

The Northern Star Cooperative has continued to grow throughout the years. The cooperative has spent several million dollars in expansion and improvements over the past 15 years with little or no borrowed money needed. Some of the more current expansions are: 


Purchased the Solar Gas Plant in Deer River. 


Relocated Gas Station and Service Center. 


Purchased with the Bemidji Co-op, the Northome LP Plant and formed the Northome Federated Co-op. 
Built a new warehouse in Deer River. 


Purchased the West Range Oil Plant in Deer River. 


Purchased Hill City Bottle Gas and built a new office. 


Relocated the Deer River Bulk Storage Tanks. 


Built new Convenience Store in Deer River. 


Purchased Bemidji Co-op’s portion of the Northome Federated to take Full ownership of the Northome LP Plant. 


Merged with the Squaw Lake Cooperative. 


Upgraded the Squaw Lake Store. 


Purchased Pine River Propane Plant from Cenex. 
Purchased Greens Bottle Gas Company. 


Put addition on Deer River C-store and added Pizza Hut Pizza. 
Built Mini Storage unit in Deer River. 
Opened LP Plant office in Walker. 


Built automatic car wash in Deer River. 
Put addition on Deer River grocery store and added more freezers. 
Changed name from Deer River Farmers Coop Exchange to Northern Star Coop 


Built a New Propane Office in Deer River. 
Added a 30,000 Gallon Propane Tank at the Deer River Plant. 


Purchased Long Prairie Propane Plant from Cenex. 


Constructed a 24-unit mini storage located by the Deer River LP Plant. 


Upgraded car wash in Deer River to Totally Touchless. 
Purchased Deer River mini storage at the Deer River mini storage site. 


Added a 26-unit mini storage at the Deer River mini storage site. 
Purchased property and set a 18,000 gallon propane tank in Max. 


Purchased Remer Junction C-store and their Bulk Business. 
Purchased Chitwood Oil and their Transport Business. 
Purchased Bass Brook Oil. 
Purchased and remodeled a C-store in Long Prairie 
Purchased a new Transport Truck in Deer River and started hauling our own Transport Loads. 


Purchased 2 lots next to our Backus office for future expansion. 
Purchased a second transport truck & trailer for hauling out own transport loads. 
Built a 27-unit Mini storage building next to our C-store in Long Prairie. 


Purchased the Littlefork Propane location from the Baudette Co-op. 


Constructed a 30-unit mini storage located south across from DR C-store 


Purchased the York building next to the DR C-store for future use. 


Purchase the Bahr’s Motel property for future land use. 


Bahr’s Motel site demolished. 


TANKS OF THANKS The Northern Star Cooperative had gone above and beyond for the community, which is why CHS said it was the only one out of the 1,400 cooperatives honored and recognized with a Cenex Tanks of Thanks Community Celebration. 


Propane storage facility – Replaced the 30,000- & 45,000-gallon tanks in Deer River with two 90,000-gallon tanks. The 30,000-gallon tank moved to the Grand Rapids area and the 45,000-gallon tank moved to International Falls. 


York building demolished.