The Big Reveal: Fall Application

Harvest 2018 is rapidly approaching and it’s almost time to reveal the results of what we’ve been working toward all season long.

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The season is coming to an end, so now is the time to prepare for next years crop.  With great success comes great stress.  In high yielding fields, make sure you return those nutrients removed back to the soil.

Fall is the time to replace what was lost with a strong fertility plan by taking advantage weather and time restraints.  Not to mention less risk for compaction!

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Talk to your local ag center or YieldPro Specialist to get ahead this harvest season.

 

 

Find the Helpers: Lynn, Indiana

As this entry is being written, the country awaits news on the arrival of Hurricane Florence entering the United States and pounding the east coast in unprecedented ways. From states away, we watch the news coverage to see residents evacuating the area and others staying in their homes, preparing for the unimaginable.

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Coverage has included communities coming together to help one another before the worse even arrives. We’ve seen families, teams, and towns boarding windows and doors, delivering supplies, filling sand bags and beyond.

That is the positive side of disaster or hard times: Finding the helpers:

Harvest Land recently acted as helpers, in our own back yard:

On Friday, September 7,  Lynn, Indiana received heavy rains dumping a couple inches on the rural community in less then an hour. This was followed by a lighter, steady rain that lasted several hours.

At 5:07 PM, an alert went out to Lynn residents asking for help filling sandbags. That call was answered by Randolph Ag Center in Lynn who provided a front end loader and an operator to assist in the efforts.

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Finally, at approximately 9:00 PM Friday night, two dump truck loads of sand – 1,000 bags – had been bagged, stacked and positioned for residents’ use.

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Our hope is certainly that we never need disaster preparation or relief, but if we do, we’ll continue to be a part of taking care of the communities in which we live and work however we’re able as your local, farmer-owned cooperative.

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Dave Naylor helped employees of Randolph Ag .   Derek is a volunteer fireman so he was there automatically and Dave Naylor took the Kubota down to help load sand and move skids loaded with the sandbags.  It initially started on Friday Sept 7 with 40 tons of sand bagged  and with over 10 + inches of rain that fell within Randolph county they bagged another 40 tons of sand and over 1000 sandbags available.  Area businesses including Lynn Lions Club, Diamond K Pizza and Hometown Coffee supplied food to the volunteers.

Winter Warmth: Now Is the Time

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you changed your calendar seven days ago, you should already know: Winter is coming.

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While we’re still hitting the 90-degree mark in Indiana and Ohio, it won’t be long until the autumn chill sets in and harvest is running full speed ahead. Before we get to that point, we want to remind you that now is the perfect time to plan ahead, be prepared and consider a budget payment plan for heating your home, shop and business this winter.

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We take pride in providing propane and fuel oil to heat homes and businesses throughout eastern Indiana and western Ohio. Safety for our customers is our top priority. This is why each of our propane professionals are CETP trained and certified.

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Programs

Automatic Fill – This program takes the worry of running out of product off of your mind. Harvest Land will keep track of the product level in your tank for you.

Budget – This program allows you to make monthly payments on the product you use.
Guaranteed Price, Prepay and Budget Programs available to suit your needs. Contact us to learn more!

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They say when you’re dying of thirst it is far too late to think about digging a well – the same can be said for heating your home!

Contact Harvest Land today to get your family taken care of before Old Man Winter shows up at your doorstep.

 

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2018 Habitat for Humanity Build

Earlier this month Harvest Land employees traded office hours for hammers and worked on the Habitat For Humanity house at the Indiana State Fair. Our cooperative partnered with Land O’Lakes and four other farmer-owned co-ops throughout Indiana to make progress on this house which will benefit a local family in need.

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Tiffany Miller and Kent VanMeter from Rushville, Royce Cook from Mt. Summit, Troy Miley from Richmond and Curt Naylor, Region Manager all represented Harvest Land.

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“I feel like it’s our obligation to be supportive in our communities and help people who are in need. As a farmer-owned company, we should give back.” says Scott Logue, Harvest Land CEO.

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Their devoted time to community service proves that we can all cultivate communities in different ways, even if not directly in our back yard.

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Each year, in partnership with the Indiana State Fair, Habitat for Humanity builds two houses during the two weeks of the State Fair, all on the fairgrounds. For a day of home building, sponsors are asked to make a $10,000 donation to Habitat for Humanity. This is not a small donation so it makes a big difference that member cooperatives Ceres Solutions, North Central, Harvest Land, Co-Alliance and Premier Companies were able to work together to share in the cost.

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We very much appreciate these five and their commitment to serving others and representing Harvest Land’s values well in Indianapolis. We’re proud of the work they did on behalf of our co-op.

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Photo Friday: 2018 Answer Plot

Our 2018 Answer Plot, held on August 15 at our Pershing Plot, had a tremendous turnout. We were excited to spend the morning with our farmer-owners to offer agronomic insight and technology updates to so many.

This Photo Friday covers the event. Enjoy a look at the day:

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All photos taken by Dusty Mayberry, Support Staff at our Mt. Summit location. We’re grateful for her many talents!

 

Indiana State Fair Featured Farmers: Wehr Farms

Harvest Land is quite fortunate to work with numerous outstanding family farm operations in Indiana and Ohio. Annually we look forward to learning who the State Fair Featured Farmers are, because there is a high probability we work closely with one of two of them.

What an honor to be named an Indiana State Fair Featured Farmer. In its fourth year, this program celebrates and helps put a face on Hoosier agriculture by connecting consumers with farmers. The 17 farm operations selected in 2018 represent all regions of the state, showcasing different agricultural products throughout the 17-day fair, August 3-19.

Visitors to the Indiana State Fair can attend a live chat at the Glass Barn with a Featured Farmer every day of the fair, in addition to many other opportunities to talk with that day’s Featured Farm family and learn about their operation.

On August 19 the Featured Farmer is Wehr Farms from Fayette County. Monica Wehr is a  former FieldTech intern for Harvest Land, and is currently an ACE participant. Monica has been an outstanding asset to our cooperative and we very much appreciate her work ethic and passion for production agriculture.

This week, we invite you to learn more about the Wehr sisters from Fayette County and their drive to manage the family farm despite loss.

Wehr Sisters Take Family Farm Reins and Move Forward

It’s said strength of character is measured by how one reacts to adverse events or actions. It’s about doing what’s right or ethical even when that is the most difficult path to take. For Wehr sisters Monica, 21, and Morgan, 18, a career in farming was always a possibility – a “some day in the future” career aspiration. A year ago, “some day” became today for the Connersville, Indiana, sisters who grew up on the family farm their grandfather founded in 1953 and their father later took over.

“Farming is something I’ve loved since I was little. I was always with my dad and my grandpa even when I probably should have been at home and out of their hair,” says Monica. “I never expected to be running the farm this soon, but everything happens for a reason I guess.”

When their father unexpectedly died in June of 2017, the young sisters found themselves running their family’s farm with the help of their grandmother.

 

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“With our grandpa and dad both gone, there was no other option for us than to continue our family legacy,” says Morgan. Their resiliency is apparent in their day-to-day management of the hay farm and cow-calf operation that includes three bulls and 50 head of Angus and Angus-Charolais cross cattle.

All cattle are bred and raised on the farm until calves reach about 500 pounds. They are then sold as feeder cattle to a neighboring farmer. “We turn the bulls out July 4 and have calves starting the second week of April. We have about 50 calves born each year,” says Monica.

“When we wean calves, we use some supplemental feed to add more nutrients to their diet,” she says. “We graze nine months out of the year. The cows are never contained. They roam the pasture at will.” She points out “Our cows have a pretty good life. Our cattle are never mistreated. Calves get to roam with their moms in the pasture, and they are fed the high-quality hay we produce.”

The sisters also farm 185 acres of alfalfa and orchard grass with the help of Mitchell Pohlar, Monica’s fiancée, who was raised on his family’s nearby farm and now spends his days working at the Wehr’s farm.

They feed some of the hay to their cattle and sell the rest to area farmers.  “We’ve had the same three hay buyers for the past four years. They know the quality of our hay, and they come back for more every year,” says Monica.

The Wehr sisters continue their formal studies as well.  Monica is a student at Wilmington College in Ohio and Morgan graduates from high school in 2018 and is headed to Oklahoma State University this fall where she plans to major in agricultural education, where her hands-on learning will no doubt be beneficial.

“We grew up farming, accompanying our dad and grandpa to the crop fields and to the pastures for a great education,” says Monica.

As they triumph over adversity, Morgan reflects on the example set for them.  “Dad, grandma and grandpa set us up for success. Grandma has spent many hard hours out on the tractor, too, over the years.”

 

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Source: Indiana State Fair

Food Desert? Not in Our Backyard

As part of our commitment to cultivate local communities, Harvest Land  recently donated $1,000 to the Centerville United Methodist Church food pantry for their food ministry, then applied for – and was granted – a matching $1,000 grant from Land O’Lakes. Land_O_Lakes_Logo.svg A total of $2,000 was donated for the monthly food ministry, as well as the on-demand food pantry where families can receive food assistance any day of the work week by calling the church office.

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Left to right:  Karen Dickson, Sam Dickson, Sally McCaslin, Jan Hofmann, Ken McCaslin, Kevin Smith, Jess Price and Jared Martin, Harvest Land’s CFO

The United States Department of Agriculture defines “Food Deserts” as parts of the country void of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods, usually found in impoverished areas. Centerville and certain rural areas of Wayne County unfortunately fall into this category.

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The Centerville United Methodist Church Monthly Food Ministry was created in an effort to alleviate this problem in our own back yard. They team with Gleaners Food Bank, Inc. of Indiana to provide canned and boxed food, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables to those in need. Since beginning their monthly food ministry in September 2017, they’re assisting over sixty local family units each month.

The hunger epidemic can seem so far away when we hear about it on the news. But it really hits home when you realize it affects neighbors in our rural communities. 

We’re proud to partner with Land O’Lakes to provide a bit of assistance in the Centerville area this summer, especially while children are home for summer and not able to receive school-prepared meals. 

 

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Who is Harvest Land?: Randal Reese

Our Salute to Service program allows us to recognize the cream of the crop, top-notch quality people working behind the scenes of Harvest Land to ensure we’re meeting our customers’ needs every single day. Every so often we will highlight an employee that works diligently to serve our members.

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Randal Reese is the Operations Manager, Crops Support and Feed Specialist at our Oakville Ag Center and has worked at Harvest Land for 40 years. That 4-0 is not a typo!

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His main responsibilities include covering all areas of our Oakville branch, located just south of Muncie, west of IN-3. “All areas” includes scheduling custom application, invoicing customers and selling feed. He’s also served on our Safety Committee for 12 years.

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Randal ensures customer fields are custom applied in a timely fashion and invoiced correctly. His organization and attention to detail greatly improves the customer experience for those who utilize our Oakville location.

Randal’s favorite part of his job with the co-op is working with good people.

Randal has been a participant of our Cultivating Communities program, and the organization he volunteers for is the First Brethren Church of Oakville. In his time outside work, Randal enjoys spending time with his beloved family.

 

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We recognize Randal because he was honored through our Salute to Service program, where he was nominated by four individuals for his outstanding customer service. In fact, he received the most nominations of any of our 300+ employees!

The nominations from customers are quite powerful. Take a look:

“I would like to nominate Randal Reese out of the Oakville location.  In growing sod we have different needs for fertilizers, or time of applications. Since we are spreading on 800+ acres of turf we do most all our selves, with a tractor and cart on flotation/turf tires. Randal and I communicate almost weekly on what our needs will be the next week. I try and maximize the applications in conjunction with the next rain fall. By talking with Randal regularly he can maintain adequate inventory of our most used product 46-0-0. Over the years, since the decision of moving all bulk dry fertilizers to Mt Summit, it has presented some challenges to get the product and have delivered on time where we need it. (some of these acres get fertilized every 6-8 weeks) Randal and your delivery people have generally made it happen.” – Robert Sharpe, Ameri-Turf GMgr, Anderson, IN

“I would like to nominate Randal Reese, the Operations Manager at Oakville, Indiana. I am a math teacher and farm a little bit part time. I buy fertilizer, Kent Feeds, Ritchie Waterer Parts, and Seed from Oakville (none of it in large quantities). Randal always is professional, courteous, and cares (about people and his job).  Even though I am a small time farmer, Randal makes me feel like he appreciates my business and me as a person. He keeps Oakville organized and running smoothly.  I believe Randal has been at that location for over 40 years (previously Farmer’s Co-op Oakville). Anyway, I do not think you could have a better employee or upstanding member of the community.  Whenever Mr. Reese retires from Oakville, he will be extremely difficult to replace.  I think he should win the Salute to Service Award! – Jason Hunt

“Randal is very professional and goes out of his way to help with whatever I need. I am a small farmer, but you could never tell that by the way he treats me and conducts business. I wanted to drill a cover crop, but couldn’t with the equipment I had available. Within an hour Randal had everything ready for me and I was able to operate. Outstanding employee!” – Jesse Landess

I am writing about an employee (Randal Reese) that has worked above and beyond his jobs yearly.  He is the voice at the Oakville office that answers when you call for any service.  He’s always willing to do the extra job to answer your question.  He is always an upbeat person no matter how hard a day he has had.  When he retires Harvest Land will not find it easy to replace this star employee. My husband and I have farmed for 48 years and he has always been our guy to go to when we needed help.” – Tim and Carol Spangler

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Randal with miss Lora McDaniel in the Delaware County 4-H Queen Contest where she was crowned second runner up.

Randal is a fantastic asset on our team and the nominations he received from customers are a testament to that. His work ethic and commitment to meet every customer need really make him stand out in our agronomy business.

Finally, we asked Randal what three words he would use to describe Harvest Land. His response:

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Those of us who work with – and know – Randal would agree that he’s one big reason why our employee group is, in fact, great.

 

 

You can submit entries for our 2018 Salute to Service contest by emailing  nominations@harvestlandcoop.com or contact our President/CEO, Scott Logue at 765.962.1527.

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Meet Sarah Griffin, Animal Nutrition Specialist

Our Kalmbach Feeds of Indiana team recently welcomed Sarah Griffin onboard as an Animal Nutrition Specialist. Sarah’s day-to-day responsibilities as Animal Nutrition Specialist will include meeting with existing clients to ensure the continued satisfaction with our company products and also finding ways to expand our current customer base. She will also meet with new clients to provide their farm with quality nutrition for their livestock.

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Griffin Sarah-3Sarah has a Bachelor’s of Science in Animal Science from Purdue University, as well as a
Masters of Art in Communication Studies with a focus on Organizational and Professional Communication Development from Ball State University.

Sarah grew up on a diversified livestock farm where she raised livestock for 4-H and as a supervised agriculture experience and proficiency for FFA. Throughout her time in 4-H and FFA, she competed in many dairy and livestock judging events which cultivated a deeper understanding and passion for the animal agriculture industry.

During her time at Purdue, she competed on the Dairy Farm Evaluation team where she had the opportunity to travel the Midwest evaluating dairy farms on their nutrition,  management, facilities and herd health. This experience left a lasting impression on her and has been extremely helpful in starting her new role for Kalmbach Feeds of Indiana.

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As an Animal Nutrition Specialist, Sarah represents our company in a unique way. Since she will be consistently meeting with new and existing clients, she will be the face of the company every day. Additionally, she will do more than simply sell feed; she will work with each farmer to provide a nutrition program that suites their individual livestock operation, which includes feed consumed, evaluation of herd health, and management practices.

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Harvest Land is very happy to welcome Sarah to the Kalmbach Feeds of Indiana team. Her industry knowledge paired with excellent communication skills makes her a perfect fit within our business. Welcome, Sarah!

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