Benson's Feed & Tack celebrates 30 years in business

Jim Benson sold his first bale of hay for about $5. Thirty years later, he now charges $8.95 per bale. His overhead costs have soared about 10 times what they were.

But some aspects of his business have remained the same.

"The people haven't changed at all. The customers at a feed store are good people," he said. "They're down to earth and they love their animals. They have good hearts, so that makes them good people to work with.

"It's why we're still in business."

Raised in Carson City, Benson graduated from Carson High School in 1970. Three years later, he bought Don's Feed from Don Petro and started Benson's Feed & Tack.

Although he was young, Benson was able to keep the business going.

"I still lived at home," he explained. "It didn't cost me a lot to live so I could make my mistakes for two or three years."

And he relied on divine intervention.

"It was very slow business at first and I used to sit and pray for customers to come in," he recalled. "They were sent. so I give thanks to the Lord."

Benson is celebrating his 30th anniversary in business from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday with sales throughout the store at 2750 Highway 50 East and various raffle drawings.

A pig and miniature donkey will be the guests of honor.

Prizes will be awarded to the customer who most accurately guesses the pig's weight and to the person who can think of the best name for the donkey.

"We've had a good relationship with the community," Benson explained. "We're proud they've supported us and we've been able to support them in return."

As Carson City has continued to grow, Benson has remained a champion of small business.

"We're not a big box store," he said. "We don't want to be. We are the traditional mom-and-pop store and we don't want to change that."

Benson and his wife, Debi, of 28 years, have three children Tracy, 25, and twins Keith and Kerry, both 23. Keith works in the feed store with his dad.

Benson plans to stay in business for another 30 years.

"That's an honest goal," he said. "We're serious about that."


What: Benson's Feed & Tack 30th Anniversary Celebration

When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday

Where: Benson's Feed & Tack, 2750 Highway 50 East


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