By Kristen Miller
After 11 years of ownership, Jim Hughes has sold JD Oil to Centra Sota, though he will continue serving his customers in the same capacity.
Last February, Hughes had a heart attack and was advised by his heart doctor to “get rid of some stress” in his life.
Working 45 to 80 hours a week and taking only three days of vacation a year, Hughes said he realized “I can’t run as much as I used to.” Hughes also retired in July from the Dassel Fire Department, where he served for 20 years.
“I can take a vacation now and not worry about it,” Hughes commented.
JD Oil has been providing sale and delivery of fuel and industrial lubricants to area farmers, contractors, and factories for 11 years.
Hughes and his full-time driver, Dean Wendolek will continue to work for Centra Sota, which specializes in agronomy, feed, and energy.
Hughes and Wendolek will also continue to work out of the Quimby Avenue location, just west of Cokato.
Howard Reinhard, Centra Sota’s energy general manager, assured JD Oil customers they won’t see any price difference and instead, it will be a one-stop shop for them.
He also noted that Hughes has been working with many of the same customers that Centra Sota has.
“It’s a really good marriage,” Reinhard said.
“Jim works with a lot of our customers,” he said, noting the Centra Sota truck often met the JD Oil truck in their delivery area.
“His service is phenomenal,” Reinhard said, adding their agronomy customers are dedicated to Jim on the energy side of the business.
Hughes is looking forward to continuing his service to his customers without the stress of collections, billing, and paperwork, which is on the rise due to government regulations.
“I’d have to hire full-time office staff to deal with all of that,” Hughes said, regarding the increase in paperwork.
In a letter sent to his customers, Hughes and his wife, Donna wrote “We are very impressed by the people of Centra Sota Cooperative and the Cenex-branded fuels they offer. We are confident that together we will meet all your fuel and lubricant needs for your farm, home, and business.”
Centra Sota began in 1922, when Central Minnesota farmers formed a dairy cooperative and became the first to manufacture Land O’ Lakes butter.
Since then, business has evolved into 15 different locations across Central Minnesota offering agronomy, energy, feed, finance, lawn care, and retail.