The newly consolidated Agri Trails Co-op was named in honor of three historic trails that ran through its service area, which includes parts of Dickinson, Marion, Morris, and Saline counties.
“We were brainstorming about the name when we realized that three trails had gone through this area,” Manager Darrell Anderson said.
Agri Trails began operating April 1 with headquarters in Hope. It incorporates the former Agri Producers Co-op that served northern Marion County. The new co-op has 16 elevator locations with 8.9 million bushels of bin storage capacity.
The Santa Fe Trail crossed northern Marion County from 1821 to 1872. It was a commercial highway stretching from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Missouri. Freight wagons camped at springs west of present-day Lost Springs, traveled through present-day Tampa, and crossed the Cottonwood River northwest of present-day Durham.
In 1859, after gold was struck in the Rockies, Smoky Hill Trail became the fastest path to the Colorado gold fields during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush. It ran from Atchison to Denver. The trail followed the Smoky Hill River. It crossed present-day Dickinson County.
The Chisholm Trail that runs through extreme western Marion County and Dickinson County was formed when thousands of Longhorn cattle were driven from Texas to a railhead in Abilene from 1867 to 1871.