The growth of the Northern Lakes Cooperative is a reflection of the growth of the community it serves. From the first meeting in April of 1932 until the turn of the century the Co-op has been at the heart of commerce and development in the Hayward area.
The concept of cooperativism in Wisconsin dates back into the 1880s. Rural farmers formed co-operatives in order to collect their produce and milk in one place for transportation to the cities for processing. They also joined together in areas where it was difficult to buy seeds, feeds and fuels at wholesale prices so that they could compete on the open market.