We’ve Moved

For more than 5 years you’ve read our cooperative blog, learning our history, witnessing brand changes, experiencing leadership shifts, and meeting the incredible employees and customers who make our business possible.

Our blog is not discontinuing, but it has moved.

Please bookmark https://www.co-alliance.com/co-alliance-blog and check out our weekly storytelling each Friday. There you can also catch up on the last few week’s blogs and see what we’ve been up to.

Thank you for reading this blog since early 2016. What a ride! It’s been a pleasure telling our cooperative story and being a part of your day. We hope you’ll continue to join us at our new Co-Alliance Blog.

Meet the Interns

This week we want to introduce you to the bright young minds that are spending the next two months with us at Co-Alliance as summer interns. This group of college students has committed to research, organization, collaboration and communication on behalf of our farmer-owned cooperative.

Parker Sullivan

Directive Field Scout Assistant  

Hometown? Greentown, Indiana 

Where do you go to school? Purdue University 

What are you studying? Agribusiness  

Year in school? Junior 

What projects do you look forward to working on this summer? This summer I am looking forward to working with the research plots and finding which hybrids have the best response to fungicide application. 

Future career plans or goals?  I plan to go into seed sales or an account management position for a seed company.  

Why did you want to be a Co-Alliance intern? 

I have known many Co-Alliance interns who have had great experiences from their internships, as well as many employees who truly enjoy working for Co-Alliance.  

Trevor Reiboldt

Ag Tech Intern  

Hometown? West College Corner, IN 

Where do you go to school? Purdue University  

What are you studying? Ag Business 

Year in School? Senior 

What projects do you look forward to this summer? I will be analyzing how accurate drone deploy is at taking stand counts.

Future career plans or goals? I plan to eventually move back home to the family farm. 

Why did you want to be a Co-Alliance intern? I know a couple people that work for Co-Alliance and they seem to enjoy working here.

Hannah Deno

Marketing Intern 

Hometown? Danville, IN 

Where do you go to school? Purdue University 

What are you studying? Agricultural Communications 

Year in school? Senior 

What projects do you look forward to working on this summer? I am looking forward to the many different marketing projects that I have been assigned, which include a brand refresh: updating/designing new membership items, updating forms, and helping with many other projects that arise in the department.  

Future career plans or goals? I hope to obtain a career with an agricultural company in marketing with a focus in graphic design.  

Why did you want to be a Co-Alliance intern? This is my second summer interning with Co-Alliance, and I really enjoyed the first summer even though it was during COVID that when I was offered back, I knew I wanted to return for summer number two. I originally wanted to be a Co-Alliance intern because I grew up with Co-Alliance in my community and wanted to see if they had an opportunity that matched what I was interested in.  

Noah Berning

Region 3 Field Scout Coordinator  

Hometown? Monroeville, Indiana 

Where do you go to school? Purdue Univeristy  

What are you studying? Double Major in Agricultural Systems Management and Agricultural Economics; with minors in Farm Management, Food and Agribusiness Management, and Organizational Leadership. 

Year in School? Sophomore 

What projects do you look forward to this summer? I am looking forward to working and managing our team of field scouts and helping them have a successful summer. 

Future career plans or goals? I hope to enter the agricultural industry in a sales and marketing capacity. 

Why did you want to be a Co-Alliance intern? I was introduced to Co-Alliance last year as an Indiana FFA State Officer and have heard great things about this cooperative and the opportunities that it provided. 

Claire Davis

Swine Management and Nutrition Intern

Hometown? Reynolds, Indiana 

Where do you go to school? Purdue Univeristy  

What are you studying? Agribusiness Management and Animal Science 

Year in School? Junior 

What projects do you look forward to this summer? I am looking forward to diving deeper into the swine industry to gain some new perspectives as well as learning about nutrition and working on my summer project over pellet durability.

Future career plans or goals? In the future, I plan to stay involved in the agriculture industry and eventually come back to my family’s farm.

Why did you want to be a Co-Alliance intern? I wanted to become a Co-Alliance intern not only because of the quality and structure of the internship programs but because of the core values, respect, and community support the co-op holds. 

Luke Weaver

Agronomy Intern 

Hometown? Monticello, IN 

Where do you go to school? Purdue University 

What are you studying? Agricultural Systems Management 

Year in school? Senior  

What projects do you look forward to working on this summer? I’m looking forward to learning more about how the branch runs as a whole, with an emphasis on the seed hub.  

Future career plans or goals?  My future plans are to stay with Co-Alliance and manage the Reynolds Seed Hub. 

Why did you want to be a Co-Alliance intern? I wanted to work with Co-Alliance because I had a scouting internship in the past and really enjoyed my time here. 

This summer will challenge and develop these students and we couldn’t be happier that they’ve chosen to broaden their horizon with Co-Alliance.

Co-Alliance Gives $2,000 in Food Desert Area

As improbable as it sounds, residents of western Wayne County, here in our backyard, are in the middle of a food desert, which is an area defined by the United States Department of Agriculture that is void of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods due to a lack of grocery stores.  

from the American Heart Assoc.

Co-Alliance employees work daily to support American farmers who feed people and we believe strongly in eliminating food insecurity. When the Centerville United Methodist Church approached us in January requesting financial support, we didn’t have to look hard to find a reason why this fit our mission of Lead, Grow, Give, Remember.

The number of families the church’s Monthly Food Ministry assists is steadily increasing. They averaged 42 households in 2017; 68 households in 2018 and 2019; and 76 in 2020.  December of 2020 saw a record 103 families receive food.  As the pandemic persisted into 2021, the numbers continued to grow.  

Co-Alliance partnered with Land O’Lakes matching grant program to each contribute $1,000 towards the monthly food ministry so the people of Wayne County, our kind of people, have healthy food on their table. Every dollar of our $2,000 donation goes directly to purchase food items from Gleaners Food bank of Indiana.  Overhead such as transportation costs, clerical costs, etc. is covered by members and friends of the Centerville United Methodist Church.

This is our third $2,000 donation to the food ministry, totaling our giving to $6,000 in the area considered a food desert in Wayne County. We’re proud to contribute such an amount, and humbled to know this need exists in the heart of our hometowns.

Fast Cars & Freedom

If you think we’re going to sing a Rascal Flatts song here, you’re in the wrong place.

A bunch of fast cars will be making consistent left hand turns for a couple hours in Indiana on Sunday.

But there’s more than that going on this weekend.

There will be grills firing up and the power of propane will help prepare the perfect piece of meat.

But there’s more than that going on this weekend.

This one-extra-day, forecast-looks-sketchy, let’s-kick-off-summer weekend is Memorial Day weekend, America’s most somber holiday.

Memorial Day is about honoring men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Military. This weekend we honor and remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, our country and the lives we’re fortunate to live every day.

The people we remember on Memorial Day weekend
wrote a blank check made payable to
“The United States of America”
for an amount of
“up to, and including his/her life.”
And the check was cashed.

This weekend we encourage you to join us in taking time to reflect upon the meaning of Memorial Day and the many freedoms we have as Americans because of those who died in war.

Won’t you join us?

Following Memorial Day, we begin preparations for the 2021 Fueling Freedom event which will take place this year on Friday, June 25th from noon to 5 p.m. 2021 marks the 13th anniversary for Fueling Freedom. 39 CountryMark fueling stations are participating in this year’s fundraising activity. Co-Alliance stations participating include Lebanon, Monrovia, Greentown, Swayzee, Greenfield Farm Store, Richmond on NW 5th St. and Oxford, OH.

For every gallon of fuel pumped during the event, CountryMark and Co-Alliance will donate 50 cents to the local National Guard Family Readiness Group. More than 20 National Guard FRGs will benefit from Fueling Freedom in 2021. 100% of the proceeds from Fueling Freedom will go to support local National Guard Family Readiness Groups. 

Plan to fuel up on Friday June 25th! More details to follow.

World of Opportunity: State FFA Officer Team in Avon

This week we had the absolute pleasure of welcoming the Indiana State Officer team to our headquarters in Avon. The team came to accept a $5,000 contribution Co-Alliance made to the Indiana FFA Foundation for leadership development. We say confidently that more came from the visit than monetary value. 

Officer Team with Amy Kinsler, VP of Sales and Marketing and Scott Logue, Executive Vice President

We believe in supporting programs that empower youth, we believe in agriculture education, and we believe in opportunity. 

Our visit was full of discussion that enlightened the team to ways that there is great opportunity in agriculture today. 

The team visited with Scott Logue, Executive Vice President, who began his career with  the cooperative as an applicator who was willing to do any job asked of him. When not in the cab of a sprayer, he was tying feed sacks at the mill, sweeping the shop floor or pulling a hose in energy. Today, he is a major decision maker of a multi-billion dollar company. 

The team also toured our headquarter building and learned about the many roles within the company that serve our customers. Not everyone employed by Co-Alliance has a farm background or a driving desire to work in agronomy; many employees have found their fit in proving membership benefits, developing customer-friendly software or even building more efficient routes and ways to fuel communities. 

We found it incredible that 4 of the 7 state officers did not have agricultural background. What a testament to FFA, agriculture education and the value of public speaking. These non-ag students, turned state FFA officers, will now be advocates of agriculture for the rest of their lives. 

The officer team visits with Rodney Graham, CFO

Finally, the officer team visited with our employees about the many opportunities in agriculture. The reoccurring thought was that you don’t have to go to college to be successful, but you do need to know how to take instruction, arrive on time and be willing to do the work at hand. Today in agriculture, individuals differentiate themselves by doing the aforementioned things well and consistently.

Co-Alliance is working diligently to stay ahead of the technology curve and remain a tremendous resource for our farmer-owners.  This allows for a wide array of careers available for any interests or specializations. Is your interest mechanics? Customer service? Drone technology? Soil science? Communications? Stay in tune with the growth of and opportunity within Co-Alliance. We’re excited for all that lies ahead for our cooperative and our famer-owners. 

Many thanks to the Indiana state officer team for the visit, the conversation and the opportunity to partner with you. 

Welcome 2021 Field Scouts!

This week we welcomed 51 college students to our Field Scout team for the summer. These interns will effectively become the eyes on our customer fields this growing season, walking hundreds of miles to scout fields on a daily basis.

Our interns bring another level of depth to in-season monitoring. They monitor and note plant health and potential disease pressure, allowing the grower to fine-tune their nutrient program uniquely to address what may be affecting their operation. 

They’ll spend their summer in the sunshine with this hands-on internship, experiencing cool mornings, warm afternoons and some really great scenery. During weekly calls, we always enjoy hearing the many interesting things these students will see and experience when covering such a vast territory.

This group will scout throughout Regions 1, 2, 3 and 4.

This group of 18 will be working in Regions 5 and 6 in east central Indiana and west central Ohio.

Our field scouts are the front lines of our agronomy services, monitoring our customer’s and member-owner’s fields for crop growth stages, diseases, weeds, and insects. Field scouts, work with industry experts and receive daily guidance as they bring their crop development knowledge to life.

We look forward to keeping up with this group throughout the summer and updating you on their progress and wins.

What Mom Taught Me

Sunday is Mother’s Day, when American’s traditionally celebrate the matriarchs and chaos coordinators of the family.

On social media we asked friends to complete this sentence, “My mother taught me…” and this week we share those answers with you.

My Mother taught me…

To love God – and to fear him, to pray unceasingly, to take care of your man, and for heaven’s sake – don’t leave home without lipstick on! – Sara

My mother was a pioneer. She was tough and had high expectations. A devoted Christian. It wasn’t until I had my daughter, that I understood how much she really loved me. – Teresa

Everything ❤️ She taught me to love books and to read to my babies. She taught me the golden rule and to work hard with integrity. – Sarah

Everything! She was/ is my mom, and was my teacher from kindergarten till 12th grade. – Jaime

Love one another and to treat others as you would want to be treated. – Trena

The art of…doing chores, changing clothes, restyling your hair and making it to a town meeting, school event, etc. without anyone knowing you’d been in the barn just 45 earlier! – Lindsay

How to figure out difficult situations on my own. – Mike

Life is like an onion. You peel it off one layer at a time and sometimes you cry. – Tambrey

Never give up! – Courtney

To always be kind, show love, set limits, treat others the way you want to be treated, do not judge others and most important to love all  – Cindy

Everything!!! – Ashley

How to love unconditionally. – Miriam

You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. – Keryn

Grace. And that when you spill glitter on the carpet, it’s a whole lot easier to use the vacuum to clean it up instead of a wet rag. (For the record I was 6 and had only ever seen her clean our carpet with a wet rag….looking back that might have been because my siblings and I were always spilling things/food on her carpet…) – Katie

My mother taught me if there’s something you don’t know, learn it. If there’s something you can do, do it. If there’s something you want, go for it. She was an inspiration for me. – Linda

So many things!Things I thought back then were useless but now I cherish❤️But most of all is to be kind! – Vickie

The value of doing it right, no matter what it costs! – Hayley

Never learn a job on the farm unless you want to do it the rest of your life. – Lindsay

To be a strong & servant leader. – Kari

Everything!! Cook, Bake, Sew, Drive!! – Teresa

Respect. – Glen

To always work hard. – Alex

Strength, the value of hard work & perseverance. Also patience & unconditional support! – Amy

How to win, lose, & be gracious at all times. – Jordan

Keep your head down and just keep working hard. It will pay off at the end. – Lauren

My mom taught me to work for the things I needed and to work longer and harder for the things I wanted. – Sandy

My mother taught me That my responsibility in life is to be a volunteer and to do so willingly. And I have done so. – Nancy

To travel, to love music, to love people, to study, to enjoy the moon and stars. My mother was/is a teacher. She was very sneaky at disguising learning with fun. – Barbara

We could go on and on, but then who would take Mom out to lunch?

Before you go….Check Out Our Co-Alliance Mother’s Day Cards!

From the Cab: What to Do When You Meet Farm Equipment on the Road

In the last of our spring safety series, we invite you in the cab with Chris Schakel, applicator from our Indian Trails location, to learn exactly what you should do when you meet farm equipment on the road. Chris shares with us a true view of the visibility challenges that come with operating large equipment and the importance of being aware at all times.

Thank you to all of those who are spending numerous hours in these machines to get a crop in the ground, and also those who safely share the road. We appreciate you!

Faces Behind the Machine

T-ball games.

The grocery for a gallon of milk.

Rehearsal for the approaching dance recital.

The bank before it closes.

The BMV to renew those plates, which time is ticking away on.

We all have places to be and a to-do list that looms in the back of minds long after we leave work for the day.

The Co-Alliance team that works beyond the 5:00 whistle has many things to do, too. During the brief window of time when they can prepare a field for planting and then assist the local farmers in getting #Plant21 completed, their priority isn’t milk or the bank: It Is Safety.

This week we share with you the many faces of the Co-Alliance team that operates the large machinery you see on the road and in the fields that dot our rural communities.

You won’t find a group of harder working people. So dedicated and driven by the purpose behind the protocol.

Sharing the Road: One Goal in Mind

We’ve been there before.

And if we’re being honest, just between us, we’re in this same situation more than we care to admit this time of year.

Running 5-10 minutes late and looking for every possible way to shave off a few minutes. So we throw our lunch into the passenger seat with no regard as to where the leftover lasagna lands, fail to grab a jacket because no one has time to be chilly this morning and pull out of the driveway with one hand on the wheel while throwing on sunglasses with your free hand.

A mile later you find yourself in a predicament that nearly everyone living in a rural midwestern community will this time of year: Going far under the speed limit because you’re stuck behind a piece of farm machinery. The machine acts an unintentional pace car for a row of vehicles patiently, or impatiently, trying to get to their destination.

Co-Alliance, your local farmer-owned cooperative, has dozens of employee applicators climbing up in these machines to prepare fields for spring planting. And while that preparation is on-going, your neighbor farmers are also grabbing a Mt. Dew and pulling their tractors, disks and planters onto public roads to get to the field to get seed in the ground.

This week we kick off a series of urgent reminders to safely share the road during this window of time when large farm machinery is moving from one field to another.

Late model vehicles zipping down the road may have alarms that alert the driver when someone is in their blind spot, but such technology isn’t in the cab of the Terragator, applicator or tractor.

View from the Cab:

So we need your help.

It takes one swift decision to pass at a time when you shouldn’t to cause a devastating accident that will include you, our employees and America’s farmers who are working to feed a population….much of whom they’ll never have the opportunity to meet.

Regardless of what our role is on the road each day, we all have one goal in mind: to get home to our family safely tonight.

Please be diligent in your awareness of large machinery and other vehicles around you and the speed at which they’re traveling.

We promise to do the same.