September 13, 2001

On January 1 we celebrate new beginnings, but usually by the 23rd of the month the gym parking lots are no longer packed.

On February 14 we celebrate love, but usually by the 24th the roses have wilted.

On July 4 we celebrate independence, but by the 5th the fireworks have lost their sparkle.

On December 25 we celebrate Christ’s birth, but by the 26th we’re thinking about returns and taking down the tree.

_DSC0708

On September 11 we all remember a day that forever changed American life and history, but by September 13th political wars are again raging within our native land and we’re once again divided.

September 11, 2001 is a date in which we’ll never forget where we were when the events unfolded. Just like when Kennedy was shot or the Challenger exploded, it seemed for just a minute time stood still and nothing else mattered but that moment being chronicled on the television screen.

 

Unlike New Year’s Day or the Fourth of July,

the days that followed September 11, 2001

are the days that we miss the most.

We miss the American spirit that began raging like fire across the open prairies and city streets.

We miss the abundance of American flags being displayed at high school football games, on interstate overpasses, by motorcyclists traveling cross-country, those hanging from 15th-floor apartment balconies and painted on old rural barns.

red barn flag

We miss the way Lee Greenwood became a household name and voice again.

We miss the way that nothing mattered for a few days but the safety of our families and that we were all together. If just for a brief time, family dinners, phone calls and visits became normal again.

We miss the way that a sense of pride came over Americans and we were determined to take on the enemy that slept outside our great borders, as long as we were facing them, together.

We miss the days when we took a true interest in what was going on in our country and paid great attention to current world events.

We miss seeing, reading, and saying, “United We Stand” and truly believing it.

firemen_flag

We miss September 13, 2001 and we often wish that our country could go back to that day. Not the sheer horror, confusion or numb shock of September 11, but the unity, patriotism and compassion for one another that came in the days that followed.

Can we get back there?

Can we get back to honoring our flag and teaching our children the significance of those colors?

Can we get back to being proud to live in this great country because of the opportunities we have at our calloused fingertips, our rich history that made us who we are and the beautiful landscapes that offer so much in the way of food, fiber and enjoyment?

countryroad

Can we get back to compassion instead of competition, kindness instead of animosity and service instead of solitude?

Can we get back to more prayer and less political divide?

praying-hands

 

We think we can, and we hope you agree.

Today we’ll go about our business at the ag centers.

We’ll spread lime,

and haul diesel fuel,

and prepare facilities for harvest,

and deliver propane for the winter months ahead.

Today, on September 13, 2019, we’ll take off our Harvest Land caps when the National Anthem plays on the country radio station over lunch, and we’ll remain proud to be operating in the greatest country in the world.

 

hl_logo_vert_4c copy

 

 

 

The Great Benefits of Fall CN Application

Harvest is around the corner, and now is the time to make the decision on a fall fertilizer application. There are many benefits to applying fall CN, and this week we want to discuss them with you, our farmer-member.

  • Remember: Profitability always comes with good fertility.
  • YieldPro is the best way to manage fertilizer costs in your operation​.
  • Logistically, fall application generally works out better because there is greater flexibility and a less compressed time frame.

Watch this brief video to hear Tyler Kilfoil, YieldPro Specialist and agronomist Steve Dlugosz discuss the great benefits of fall fertilizer application.

 

yieldpro_4c

hl_logo_vert_4c copy

2019 Summer Harvest Supper

Last evening Harvest Land sponsored the meal at the 2019 Summer Harvest Supper at farmer-member Neil and LuAnn Gettinger’s home. The intent of this supper, organized by Wayne County Farm Bureau, was to invite consumers to share a meal with local producers and open the evening to conversation about food production.

_DSC0376

Each supper table was set for six consumers and two producers. The producers consisted of dairymen, beef, poultry and swine producers, grain farmers, large animal veterinarians, and fruit and vegetable growers.

_DSC0383

The consumers represented a large array of people, including business owners, teachers, insurance agents and more. The goal of the event was to have an open conversation about safe food production, and the evening proved that there is still a lot of questions out there!

_DSC0380

_DSC0392
Harvest Land was represented well: Debi Hill, farmer-member, Vickie Ramsey, Richmond office, and Allison Chalfant, farmer-member

_DSC0402

Harvest Land believes strongly in educating the public about what we do. Our largest critics seem to be those who may misunderstand or are fearful based on misinformation. The Summer Harvest Supper is a perfect place to open that dialog and tell our story.

We’re proud to have been a part of this event for three years and we hope the consumers have found as much value in it as we have.

IMG_5292
CEO Scott Logue gives closing remarks regarding today’s agricultural climate and the importance of such an event.

_DSC0403

 

hl_logo_vert_4c copy

The Merits of Fall Application

Considering a fall application? Let’s talk about that.

  • Fall application is ideal for addressing dandelions, Marestail, and thistles, which are species quite difficult – if not impossible – to control in the spring.
  • Don’t wait until the fall harvest to decide on making a fall application – Time is never in your favor during harvest season!
  • A fall burn-down program means less weed pressure from other winter annuals, and fewer insect problems.
  • Success: Start Clean, Stay Clean, All Season Long.

Join us as manager Adam Culy visits with agronomist Steve Dlugosz and YieldPro Specialist Denver Norris about the strong merits of fall application and view the powerful visual proof.

 

Contact your YieldPro Specialist to ensure your fields start clean and stay clean, in preparation for success in 2020.

 

yieldpro_4c

 

hl_logo_vert_4c copy

Cash Flow Management

Now more than ever, it is pertinent that growers manage their input costs wisely and Harvest Land has ways to help.
There are a variety of vendor offered programs for funding inputs. Some offer immediate cash discounts, or earnings on your investments to expand your purchasing power, others might offer reduced interest rates for funding with payments due at or near harvest time (matching payments with your cash availability)  and some even offer 0% financing through harvest.

This week we wanted to talk about a cash flow management option that actually expands your dollar investment on the date you purchase the product using either your funds or optional borrowed funds. As programs rollout, we will be sure to keep you informed!

 

A second option we’d like to share with you is John Deere Financial’s Special Terms.

John Deere Financial is about more than just financing equipment, parts and repairs. Watch this video for an introduction to Special Terms Financing through John Deere Financial available through Harvest Land.  Special terms financing may be available for the financing of your crop and farm fuel inputs purchased through Harvest Land.

The Special Terms programs provide repayment terms targeted to match cash flow timing and special interest rates on many ag inputs.  Utilize the input finance calculator to assist you in selecting the right choice for your input financing.

We highly encourage you to reach out to your YieldPro Specialist to review these options and ensure you’re maximizing your cash flow options as we roll into 2020.

Additional Resources:

TruChoice site

Input Finance Calculator

2019 Habitat for Humanity Build

Those along the rural route are the type of people who care for and look out for each other.

We bring dinner when new babies arrive or matriarchs pass.

We help get cattle back in when fences go bad or bale hay when machinery breaks down and rain is on the way.

Our kids do the neighbors’ chores when they finally go on vacation and our grandparents cut out articles from the weekly newspaper when they think parents may need an extra copy.

So it should be no surprise when we tell you that 2019 marks the 10th Habitat for Humanity Ag Build at the Indiana State Fair. During years one through five, they built one house per year during the span of the fair. Then, in year six the goal was taken to the next level and since that time two homes are built during the fair, annually.

IMG_4605

Harvest Land was proud to send four employees to work alongside employees from five other cooperatives. 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 were able to work together to share in the cost.

Image-171
Troy Miley, Controller; Kent Van Meter, Rushville Ag Center Manager; Danielle Baumer, HR Support and Julie Lamberson, Risk Manager.

Jason Haney, Site Superintendent, told us that this is the only State Fair in the United States in which there is a Habitat for Humanity partnership and a whole home build happens.

And Harvest Land is a part of it!

Ag-Build-Sponsors-2019

Community service fuels the rural American spirit. We readily step in when needed and certainly aren’t afraid to get our hands dirty. We’ll all agree that there is a certain satisfaction found when lying down for the night knowing that you helped someone in need. That is Cultivating Communities. That is Harvest Land.

hl_logo_vert_4c copy

Beyond the Co-op: Dave Naylor

When you spend an extended period of time with your coworkers, including those times during fast but furious springs, extended falls and endless winters, you tend to learn a little more about them. We consider it a pleasure that we’re able to get to know our employees outside Harvest Land. Spouses, children, grandchildren, pets, hobbies, and passions: we find it quite fascinating to learn more about the people that make Harvest Land the organization it is.

Dave Naylor works out of our Lynn Ag Center in Randolph County, Indiana. He is a true patriot, not only serving our country but also by constantly finding ways to help others in the area. When flooding rains came in September 2018, Dave was eager to jump in and help pack and stack sandbags in the community of Lynn.

naylor4
Naylor is operating the loader.

He is known to us at work as Dave, but to others as Sergeant First Class (SFC) Naylor, Army Reserve Career Counselor (ARCC). You see, when he departs from the co-op gravel lot, he goes on to serve our country in a unique and admirable way. This week, we want to share with you Dave’s story with the Army Reserves.

Dave has 34 creditable years with the Army/ Army Reserve. His first association with the military was 1985 when he joined the Army Reserve at age 17. Can you imagine the weight of that decision at such an age? His desire to join was fueled by a family history of military service, patriotism and a strong sense of adventure. After about a year and a half of Army Reserve, he joined Active Duty. He served in the Army for three years then reentered Army Reserve and hasn’t left since.

naylor
Specialist Naylor (left) and Specialist Bock in Korea, 1988. They were on their way to Seoul to see the Olympics being held there that year. Even though he hasn’t seen Tony (Bock) in person since the first Gulf War in 1991, they have kept in touch.

For Dave, the idea of such a commitment to service was never a concern. In fact, he has committed 34 years to military, almost 29 years to his marriage, 29 years to Harvest Land and has donated over 100 units of blood. When commits to something, he does so wholly.

We’ll admit, in working with Dave to tell his story, we wanted to gain clarification of just what the Army Reserves are. The Army Reserve’s mission, under Title 10 U.S. Code, is to provide trained, equipped, and ready Soldiers and cohesive units to meet the global requirements across the full spectrum of operations. The Army Reserve is a key element in the Army multi-component unit force, training with Active and National Guard units to ensure all three components work as a fully integrated team. So, we think it is safe to say that it is probably rare that Dave ever feels unprepared for his daily work at the co-op! He told us that most people may not realize that the Army Reserve is a great way to serve your country. For a relatively small amount of time investment, the benefits are substantial: Tricare, education monies, travel opportunities and acquiring job skills are a few.

When committing yourself to such service, there is bound to be challenges. Dave admits that his challenges are balancing family, civilian job and Army Reserve commitments. “I’m blessed to have a supporting family, and extended family within Lynn Ag, but even so I sometimes feel I’m trying to serve two Masters,” he told us.

naylor1
In 2018 Harvest Land employees and family members attended a voluntary CPR class on a Saturday.
Greg Pflum, Dave Naylor and Derek Nicholson (pictured together) are three Harvest Land employees who also serve as volunteer firemen in their communities. Dave attended the Saturday morning class after attending his National Guard PT first.

On the other hand, such an experience offers many rewards. We asked Dave what has been the greatest reward in serving the Army Reserves.

“Through the years, I’ve met many incredible people, seen some awesome places and have had many moments of personal satisfaction, whether it was from completing a physically difficult task or helping a soldier learn a new skill, that to narrow all that down to “Greatest” is thought-provoking,” he responded, then paused. “Honestly, I have to say it’s the sum total of all my experiences.”

He also relayed that a great lesson he’s learned through the Reserves is that teamwork towards a common goal is a powerful thing and with teamwork, most things can be overcome. As a cooperative owned by 5,500 farmer- members and operated by 300+ employees, we couldn’t agree more.

naylor3
In 2016, our Lynn Ag Center was recognized by the Department of Defense as a Patriotic Employer because of Rusty Keller and Bill Davenport’s support of Dave Naylor’s service in the Indiana United States Army Reserve. They were thanked for their encouragement and support of Naylor’s service to our country.
Naylor wrote in his nomination of Keller:
“I work at an agri-business so our workload is very seasonal and weather dependent. On countless occasions, Rusty has had to work around my Battle Assembly schedule and Annual Training dates even when the planting and harvest season is in full swing, when working 12 to 14 hours per day, 6 or 7 days a week is the norm. Once, he even dispatched a pick-up truck to pick me up in the field and transport me into town so I could get a haircut for Reserves the next day. That meant parking a $200,000 machine so I wouldn’t get a counseling statement of a “U” (UNSAT) for my hair being out of regulations! Additionally, when I was mobilized back in 2004, some of the last words to me before leaving were, “If your family needs anything, have them call me.”; I know he meant that with sincerity.”

 

Finally, in closing, Dave wanted to add this.

“I feel fortunate to work for a company that has supported me in my military career. We all know that in this line of work when it’s go time, it’s time to go! Through the years, some of my coworkers have had to take up the slack while I was away for duty. Even with that, I have never gotten any push back for having been gone, from coworkers or management. To all the veterans out there that may read this- thank you for your service.”

We’ll second that sentiment.

Harvest Land is proud to have Dave as part of our team for nearly 30 years. We admire and respect his service, greatly. Thank you, Dave, for your service, sacrifice and work you do on behalf of every American. Your volunteerism and heart for service are second to none.

flag-21-apr-2017

 

 

 

hl_logo_vert_4c copy

Photo Friday: 2019 Answer Plot

DLM_8305

On Tuesday we hosted our 2019 Answer Plot event outside Pershing, IN. We were nervous about low attendance numbers going into the event because of the frustrating season we’ve had. “Would growers attend in good faith that we still have sound agronomic information to share with them?” we wondered.

They did.

We were pleased with the number of farmer-members who attended this annual event and the level of participation. There was tremendous questions, conversation, and insight. Harvest Land is proud to continue to offer this event to our members when so many attend to prove it’s ongoing value. We thank all who joined us for the day.

This week, we want to share photos from the event.

DLM_8231

DLM_8251

DLM_8233

DLM_8275

DLM_8346

DLM_8295

DLM_8278

DLM_8279

 

DLM_8281

DLM_8282
An ear of corn on July 23, 2019!

 

DLM_8320

DLM_8300

DLM_8334

DLM_8336

DLM_8234

DLM_8255

DLM_8268

 

hl_logo_vert_4c copy

 

 

 

 

 

Variability in the Field and Markets

2019 has been an agronomic year unlike any other.

  • Planting date, weather patterns, field-to-field inconsistencies, all of these factors and more have created variability across the land.
  • When considering weed control, you need to focus on the size of the weed, not the size of the crop.
  • The latest USDA grain report will come out on August 12 providing new numbers.
  • Attend the Answer Plot to discuss grain marketing options, propane contracting and agronomy solutions.
Click below to watch YieldPro Specialist Mark Richey visit with agronomist Steve Dlugosz and Grain Department Manager Kyle Baumer about variability in the field and markets.

It’s been a tough year. We hope you’ll join us next week to gain insight on ways to create success in the year ahead.

2019 AP Banner 2

hl_logo_vert_4c copy

Tools for Training and Keeping Good Employees Increasingly Important in Agribusiness

A few months ago, Matt Reese of Ohio’s Country Journal reached out to Harvest Land asking if we have any tools for training and keeping good employees, as this topic has been increasingly important in agribusiness. We decided to share the details and success of our ACE program with Matt and Ohio’s Country Journal. This week, we share with you the full article Matt wrote:

_________________________________________________________________

Tools for training and keeping good employees increasingly important in agribusiness

By Matt Reese

It is not an uncommon story. A young employee starts at the lowest levels of a company, works in every facet of the business and one day ends up running it.

“Our CEO is in his early 40s. He hired on at a local ag center as an applicator, which is a technical job driving big machines. He was willing to do anything. He would tie feed sacks at the mill, sweep shop floors, check out customers at the counter — that man now is our CEO,” said Lindsay Sankey, communications manager for Harvest Land Cooperative with locations in western Ohio and Indiana. “He has worked in every department of our business. He is a prime example that if you are willing to learn and take on responsibility, there is so much opportunity in a farmer owned cooperative. We have several examples of this. He started on the lowest rung and now he is leading the cooperative.”

Unfortunately, for a number of different reasons, this type of ground up experience and long-term company loyalty seems to be less common in the modern pool of employees. Harvest Land Cooperative recognizes the value of this type of experience for young potential leaders and has taken extensive steps to recreate it as a way to groom tomorrow’s leaders.

“About 5 years ago we started talking about succession in the cooperative system. Harvest Land has about 300 full time employees and about a third of them will retire in the next decade. We recognized the need to fill our bench, you might say, with people who are qualified to be a valuable leader in our business. As we prepare for future demand of an evolving agricultural climate, we also must provide our emerging front runners with a broad perspective of what our cooperative does,” Sankey said. “That gave us the idea for our Accelerated Career Excellence (ACE) Program. We invite people to apply for this program, right out of college or trade school, maybe someone who is interested in working for Harvest Land, but they might not know exactly where they could fit. This is a great program because it allows them to see all facets of our business in 12 months and determine what areas suit them and how they suit our system the best.”

The paid position through the ACE Program sets the stage for future leaders by teaching them about Harvest Land from the ground up.

“They go on a tour of our co-op. They work in the agronomy department, they work in the energy department that includes fuels, home heat and propane, they have to dive deep into our seed business, and then they go through training on the importance of organization and prioritization skills. They go through a whole session on personality testing and how to understand and work with multiple types of people. They also are required to dive deep into the financial understanding of the cooperative system and specifically Harvest Land’s balance sheet. We give assigned reading to them and we bring in a professor from Purdue on communication skills and how to work with customers, growers and the community. As they go through this they are showing up every day at a local location or our headquarters,” Sankey said. “We started this in 2016 and we have had really good success. We had a young man come out of the casket industry, and he applied for a job at Harvest Land. He had grown up on a small farm in Indiana but had not been a part of that farm in a decade. He is about to take over our grain marketing department in September. He has excelled so much. He showed up. He was willing to learn. He really shined in grain marketing and when our grain marketing manager retires, this young man will take over the department. Every one of our candidates has accepted full time positions. They are doing cool things for the co-op and are proving their leadership abilities. We recognize we are building strength on our bench at Harvest Land.”

 

_DSC0307
Kyle Baumer is one of many success stories through Harvest Land’s ACE Program.

ACE offers a chance for young leaders to discover where they may fit, but it also provides a chance for management to learn about the upcoming talent.

 

“The managers supervise, evaluate and enrich the experience for these individuals so they get a boots on the ground look at Harvest Land. Our managers are always looking for good help and their feedback is extremely valuable and candid. We know when things are going well or when an ACE candidate is not so interested in that area,” Sankey said. “ACE is managed by our HR department and it is a large part of what they do. From the very beginning when they interview someone, this is in the back of their mind. Because this is a 12-month program and it is cyclical, they are constantly having to manage how long someone has been in the department, where they are now, and who they have worked with. It is a lot of work. We have three HR individuals on our team and they do a great job of facilitating the ACE Program.

_DSC0304

“When you recognize the needs of running a business, you know you are going to have to put in some work to attract young talent. Every ounce of effort put into this will pay us back if we can create a good culture and hire these employees that will stick with Harvest Land.”

Good, long-term employees are shaped by their work experiences, but they also respond to a workplace culture including positive core values. Emphasizing and instilling those values with employees is the reason behind the IREP program at A&L Great Lakes Laboratoriesbased in Ft. Wayne, Ind.

“A couple years ago we had a bit of an identity crisis. We needed to distinguish ourselves in the marketplace. So for about 9 months, we worked on identifying what we really stood for as a company,” said Jamie Bultemeier, agronomist and corporate sales director for A&L Great Lakes Laboratories. “We identified our core values are doing the right things with integrity when no one is looking. We want to do things right the first time every time. We want to be easy to work with. When the customers are looking for solutions, we want to solve those problems. And, we want to be partners with our customers. If their business grows, our business grows and we can build loyalty with our customers that way. A group of employees came up with IREP: Integrity, Right, Easy, Partnership as a way to remember them. That has stuck and become a foundation for what we do.”

IREP is focused inward.

OABA2
If employees decide to embrace the principles of IREP at A&L Great Lakes Laboratories they get to add their name to the wall.

 

“Our outward appearance and marketing is based on these four core values too, but this is about getting employees to adopt the same internal branding that we are pushing outward. And when someone calls the office, no matter who they talk to, we want these core values to exude from the conversations. We want a consistent message of what A&L Great Lakes stands for. IREP has been a way to bring this into an easy to understand concept that people can buy into,” he said. “When you can articulate your core values, it opens doors for sales and hiring new talent. It really clarifies our value messages to people. When we make big decisions, does it stand on our core values? If it doesn’t, we don’t do it. It has made the decision making process easier too.”

From the beginning, new employees are introduced to the IREP concept. It is featured on a plaque in the office lobby, but more importantly it is emphasized on a wall in the back of the office for employees to sign if they agree with those principles.

“We are hoping we can build an emotional tie to the company. We rely heavily on seasonal employees and when we can get an employee to return it really helps. When they come back we do not have to retrain them and they understand how things work. We hope to bring those part timers back year after year,” Bultemeier said. “We have always had a small group of seasonals who return, but trying to get them to return has gotten more difficult. Now we are getting to the point where those people are developing a personal tie to the company and become something more than just a seasonal employee. That makes them more likely to come back each year.”

Because it was developed from the inside out, IREP has been very effective.

“IREP has been around for about a year and a half. When we started going through this branding process, the company morale took a little bit of a dive. It created some open conversations that maybe weren’t the most fun to be a part of. We have really since then seen a real change in morale as we have brought some of these things out and company morale has really gone up dramatically. Employees are taking ownership in this. We are also now trying to catch people following the IREP values and highlighting it. We encourage it and celebrate it when it occurs,” Bultemeier said. “It doesn’t matter the size of your business or what it is, that unified belief or value set is important. It is tough if those values are only in your marketing. If it doesn’t resonate through the employees of the company, it is lost. Now we hear from our customers using the words directly out of IREP. That is huge when we see that manifesting itself in our customer base. That is not something you can fake or get in advertising. This is deeper than a marketing program. This started out as a management need. It was a very methodical business oriented decision to do it. When the employees took ownership of this, it took on a life of its own.”

 

This is the third of a series of five stories in cooperation with the Ohio AgriBusiness Association highlighting human resource management solutions in Ohio agribusinesses.

_______________________________________________________________________

We apprecaite Matt reaching out to Harvest Land. You can read the full article printed in the recent edition, or online here.

ACE Logo-01

 

hl_logo_vert_4c copy