Yoder Grain Elevator begins new chapter of business
Yoder – After 60 years of business in Larry Cottier’s family, the Yoder Grain Elevator is now under new ownership.
On July 21 Daniel Dietzler of Illinois assumed ownership of the business. The Dietzler family has a business history in Wisconsin and northeast Colorado, and also recently purchased the 5,200-acre Big Valley Ranch north of Torrington.
Cottier’s great uncle married into the business, and it has been passed down through the family since then. The family came to the area in the 1950s from Ohio and made their home in Yoder working around the grain elevator.
Cottier says that, over the years, the family has seen many trends come and go.
“The varieties have changed, and there have been lots of different types of wheat. Corn has come a long ways, as well; it used to be they didn’t really raise corn around here. There have been many different types of corn that have gone through the area, and with the potential of different varieties yet to come, I think the area will continue to have increased amounts of corn,” he says.
The Yoder Grain Elevator continues to attract business from around the area. From as far north as Slater and as far south as Cheyenne, the elevator conducts business across a large portion of southeast Wyoming.
“We probably have between a 50- and 80-mile radius that we conduct business in,” notes Cottier.
Cottier has also watched technology change the way things are run at the elevator over the years.
“Everything has come a long way. For instance, we used to use an old scale at the top of the elevator that would fill with about six bushels, trip the scale and the wheat would come down to the train car, and we would repeat that until it was full. Now we have a scale that holds a train car and we just fill it up,” says Cottier.
The company has continually improved things over the years to keep up with an ever-growing business.
“We’ve gone from moving grain at 1,500 bushels an hour to 10,000 bushels an hour,” Cottier adds.
Cottier not only owned the elevator, but he also managed and oversaw the business for many years.
“What I’ve noticed change the most is the marketing. We’ve changed how we market to different places and the price fluctuation has changed tremendously. I remember when the markets used to sway one way or the other by two cents, now they can go back and forth by up to 60 cents,” says Cottier.
After a career of working at the elevator and seeing all aspects of the business, Cottier still recalls one thing that stands out.
“What I enjoyed the most about working at the elevator over the years was working with the customers and the people I traded with. I liked getting to know them and help them be successful in their own businesses,” Cottier explains.
Cottier will continue with the elevator for some time to ensure a smooth transition under the new ownership.
“It is already going really well, and I hope and predict that it will continue to go well,” adds Cottier.