If This Jacket Could Talk

We’re wrapping up National FFA Week, which is a week for chapters and members to share agriculture with their fellow students as well as their communities. Students in our area hosted breakfasts, spoke at conferences, held fundraisers and more. No doubt, the Official Dress and old FFA jacket will be ready for a break after school today.

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If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that it knows Robert – and his Rules of Order- very well.

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that you might outgrow jacket itself, but you won’t outgrow the memories or experiences.

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that Official Dress really does matter. No jeans, no dirty boots, no zippers undone:

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that many of your greatest lessons in high school happen after the 3:00 bell rings.

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you your scarf or tie is hiding in your left pocket.

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If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that when we think of our favorite chapters, we don’t think of a book.

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that FFA is one organization that has remained true to it’s core through generations. We all still believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds – achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculturists; in the promise of better days through better ways, even as the better things we now enjoy have come to us from the struggles of former years.

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If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that corduroy has a special durability to withstand the harshest October wind streaming through Indianapolis during convention, pins and embroidery needles that come along with leadership changes and even constructive criticism from judges.

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you to prepare yourself for the day that you hang up your jacket, placing it in the back corner of your closet, knowing it’s work is done, never to be worn again. It is a moment that signifies the end of a chapter in your life. But don’t you worry, the best is yet to come.

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that FFA is more than future farmers of America, but rather future botanists, food scientists, veterinarians, ag journalists, loan officers, chemical salesmen, farm broadcasters, teachers, nutritionists, applicators, mechanics and so much  more.

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Thank you to the advisors who dedicate so much of their time and energy to the students of the FFA organization, to the students who comprise such a promising group of future agriculturalists and to the parents who buy an endless supply of black panty hose and clean white oxford shirts for four years to get those students through. The FFA is an organization that gives us such promise of better days.

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Fertilizer Equipment Auction

Some of the coldest memories I can recall from my childhood were created during frigid farm auctions with dad, where the donuts were cold, but the hot chocolate was the best I’d ever had because it was above freezing. We’d scout the offering and then I was expected to keep my hands in my pockets when the auctioneer started his chant. That was no problem; I was somewhat worried about losing my fingers to frostbite, anyhow.

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Harvest Land is having a fertilizer equipment auction the end of this month. We invite you to take a look at our offering and join us on Wednesday, February 28 at 11:00 AM in Greenville, Ohio.

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Location:

619 Sater Street, Greenville, OH. At the southeast side of Greenville, OH at the intersection of US 127 and Sebring – Warner Road, take Sebring – Warner Road approximately 2 miles west/north/& west. Note: Sebring – Warner Road turns into Sater Street in Greenville.

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You can call 800-451-270 for a brochure of visit the Schrader website for more photos and details.

 

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Board of Directors Election Results

At our Annual Meeting in January the results of our Board of Directors election were announced. Bios and ballots for each district were in the annual report packets so each farmer-member could vote in their respective district.

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Here are the farmer-members who were elected to the Harvest Land board in 2018:

Rendell Miller_DirectorDistrict 1: Rendell Miller

Rendell, who is new to our Board, is 49 years old and has lived at his current Decatur, Indiana address for 24 years.  He and his wife, Monica, have two children, Michaela and Cole. Rendell grew up in a farm family and started his own agricultural career at age 18. He’s currently farming 700 acres. While farming, for twelve years Rendell owned and operated an independent auto repair shop. He has retired from Miller Automotive to transition to full-time farming. Rendell is graduate of Adams Central High School, as well as Northwestern Ohio Auto Diesel school where he obtained his Associates degree.

 


District 2: Bob NewhouseNewhouse_Dir

Bob is 61 years old and has lived at his Rushville, Indiana homestead for 40 years. He and his wife, Lisa, have raised three children, Natalie, Benjamin and Ross. Bob farms 1,050 acres and has been farming for 43 years. Bob attended Rushville High School and Purdue University, studying Agriculture.  Bob is a returning Board member.

 

 

 


District 3: Scott Sease

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Scott is 62 years old and has lived at his current Laura, Ohio address for 37 years.  He and his wife, Julie, have two children, Emily and Ned, and four grandchildren. Scott has been farming for forty-four years and farms with his son and brother-in-law. Scott attended Franklin Monroe High School. Scott has served on our Board since 2015.

 

 

 

Harvest Land is very fortunate to have such outstanding farmer-members serve on our Board, representing all areas of our trade territory. Their sound leadership will continue to guide our cooperative successfully in the year ahead.  

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Who is Harvest Land: Michele Robinson

Harvest Land has a lot of quality people working behind the scenes 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.who is harvest land_Robinson

Michele is the Tax Accountant in our Richmond Administrative office and has worked at Harvest Land for five and a half years. Her main responsibilities include management of fuel margins, fixed assets, inventory, seed product entry and census reporting.

While he role doesn’t plant her at an ag center or in a fuel truck working face-to-face with our customers, Michele helps keep prices down for our members by watching the bottom line. Think spreadsheets. Lots and lots of spreadsheets.

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Michele’s favorite part of her job with the co-op is resolving problems and assisting others.

What three words would she use to describe Harvest Land?

  1. Forward thinking
  2. Altruistic
  3. Community

Michele is an active participant of our Cultivating Communities program, and the organization she volunteers for is Amigos, The Richmond Latino Center, Inc.. In her time outside work, Michele enjoys golf in the summer and swimming in the winter months.

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Here, Michele is pictured with her daughters, Myra, left, and Bridget on the right. Any Twilight fans out there? An interesting note about this photo, told by Michele:
They filmed the “Police Station” scenes from the Twilight movies at this Wauna Federal Credit Union building in Vernonia, Oregon. I grew up, Jr High and High School, in Vernonia and worked in this building when it was first built after graduating from high school in 1980.  At the time it was Farmers & Merchants Bank.  I recognized the inside of the building when watching the movie and from the scenery I could tell it was filmed in the Pacific Northwest. My daughters didn’t believe me at first but I had saved the newspaper article from the 1980’s when the bank opened, they agreed after seeing the pictures. I eventually confirmed with my sister, who still lives outside of Vernonia, that they had basically closed down the whole town, population 2500, when filming there for a week or so. 

Michele was voted second place in our 2017 Salute to Service program, where she was nominated by Sam Andrews of Dot Transportation for her outstanding work. Check out what Sam had to say about her:

I have been with Dot Transportation in Cambridge City, IN since the day we started construction of our building and have had countless experiences I could share about the great employees at Harvest Land. From the days when Mike Munchel came out twice per week to fill 10 reefer trailers in the freezing cold to today where we purchase over $3 million worth of diesel annually. I do have one extra special story about an exceptional employee you have that I want to share. Her name is Michele Robinson. Michele called me one day a while back and shared that she thought we are paying a fuel tax from which we were exempt. I shared that information with our Dot Accounting group and they were positive she was wrong … but Michele was persistent and insistent. She and I exchanged several emails and finally she said “would it be OK if I talked to someone in your account department?” She worked with our accounting group to help them understand the exemption. She didn’t have to. There was nothing in it for her or for Harvest Land. She could have let it go when we said “we think you’re wrong”, but she didn’t. Her persistence saved Dot Transportation over $400,000 in current year and past year taxes and continues to save us money today. Michele had also shared with us that she thought we could go back to previous years and get a tax rebate. She was right…again. She worked with Dot’s accounting group and helped us get through the red tape. This was the largest money saving project in the company that year …. And it would never have happened without Michele giving me a call that day. What I have always found amazing is that there was no benefit to her. No benefit to Harvest Land. She did it out of her outstanding commitment to doing the right thing for the customer. Its because of folks like Michele that I wouldn’t even consider buying our diesel from any other supplier. Thanks Michele and thanks Harvest Land for being a great business partner.

Submitted by Sam Andrews, Dot Transportation

We very much enjoy having Michele as part of our team because of her compassion for others, her outstanding work ethic and persistence to do her job quite well.

 

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Winter Agronomic Insights: A Note from Dlugosz

This winter agronomy note is contributed by Harvest Land Agronomist Steve Dlugosz. He offers a few things to consider during these cold winter months. 

Maintaining yields while managing input costs is a real challenge this year. In basketball, the fundamentals like good defense, taking care of the ball and making free throws are essential to winning consistently on the court. Growers’ crops need to follow the same philosophy: Try to match the hybrids and varieties to your specific field conditions.

Nitrogen loss is a big deal for many growers nearly every year. Choosing the optimum nitrogen rate for your soils and the use of nitrogen management tools like N-Serve®/Instinct® and Agrotain can help supply nitrogen all season long. Splitting your nitrogen into several applications increases overall efficiency and uptake.

Leaf diseases in both corn and soybeans can be a big yield robber. Plant hybrids and varieties with good disease packages, especially if you don’t want to spray fungicides. This is especially true in reduced-tillage situations or where soybeans will be grown back-to-back.

Last year, weed control was very difficult due to so much rain. Remember that a good weed control program always utilizes a strong soil residual herbicide, followed by a timely post application when the weeds are still small. In corn, weeds that get over 4 inches in height before they are killed will silently rob yield.Dlugosz

Finally, a quick reminder to watch for weed resistance. Problems are usually first seen as patches of a particular weed species across a field that won’t die. Repeated applications also have little effect.

If you have any concerns, be sure to contact your local ag center and we can come out and take a look.

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Steve Dlugosz received a BS in Agronomy from Purdue University in 1980, and a MS in Entomology from Purdue University in 1991.  He started his career as an Area IPM Extension specialist for Purdue, and worked an eleven county area of southwest Indiana.  In 1985, he went to work for Indiana Farm Bureau Cooperative Inc.  He has held various agronomic positions within the Cooperative system over the years of industry consolidation, and is currently the Lead Agronomist for Harvest Land Co-op.

Steve has been heavily involved in the CCA program since its inception, and has served in a number of leadership roles including Chairman of the International CCA Board in 2006.  Steve has also served on a number of agricultural and industry boards and committees over the years.  In 1997 he was appointed by the Governor of Indiana to serve on the Indiana Pesticide Review Board and currently serves today.  He testified before two different Congressional Committees on Agriculture in 2005 and again in 2010.

 

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2018 Scholarships Available

Zoologist

Nutritionist

Agronomist

Teacher

Plant Geneticist

Diesel Technician

Landscape Architect

Many former recipients of the Harvest Land agricultural scholarship have gone on to advance their studies in unique areas of agriculture. They’ve moved states away for their education, or stayed close to the community college. They’ve gone for two or four year degrees. They’re now in corporate careers or living the dream of being back home, farming full time.

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Again in 2018, Harvest Land is proud to offer $1000 agricultural scholarships for the 2018-19 academic year to seniors graduating high school in 2018.

To be eligible for this scholarship, the student must:

  • be a high school senior entering a post-high school agricultural program
  • be involved in agriculture in their local community
  • and live or attend school in Harvest Land Co-op’s market area.

These scholarships will focus on need and leadership potential of future contributors to the agricultural industry. You can access the scholarship application here.

Applications are due MARCH 1, 2018 and can be emailed to scholarships@harvestlandcoop.com  or mailed to the following address:

Harvest Land Co-op

Youth Development Committee

ATTN: Lindsay Sankey

P.O. Box 516

Richmond, IN 47375

Questions can be directed to Lindsay Sankey at 765.967.7539.

We invite you to share this information with a graduating senior who plans on studying agriculture after high school. The future of our agriculture industry is exciting, and we want to help the youth in our communities get there.

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Top Five Reasons to Attend our Annual Meeting

Our 2018 Annual Meeting is approaching. It will be held on Tuesday, January 16 at 6:30 PM at the Wayne County Fairgrounds. While the event itself is a week and a half away, the last day to buy tickets is Tuesday, January 9. That date is coming quickly!

Today, the top five reasons to attend Harvest Land’s 2018 Annual Meeting:

State of the Cooperative by Scott Logue

Attend to hear the business report from President/CEO Scott Logue. In his message to farmer-members in the annual report, Logue wrote, “My career with Harvest Land began 20 years ago. In two decades, I have never been more excited about the opportunities that are ahead of Harvest Land. We are positioned very well to meet the challenges that lie ahead because of our ability to create progressive plans and execute accordingly. It is a very good time to be a part of Harvest Land.” Attend the annual meeting to find out why. 

Winter Hats and 2018 Calendars

We aren’t telling a lot of people this little secret, but between you and I, we’re going to have a few winter hats and 2018 antique tractor calendars on hand this evening to give away. Attend the annual meeting to pick up yours. 

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Director Elections

Attend to learn the results of our Board of Directors election. Candidates for each district are as follows:

District One: Rendell Miller and Neal Smith

District Two: Keith Carfield and Bob Newhouse

District Three: Tom Myers and Scott Sease

Bios and ballots for each district were in the annual report packets so each farmer-member could vote in their respective district. Attend the annual meeting to learn election results. 

Get Out of the House

I think we can agree that this cold snap (does a “snap” usually last 10 days?) of winter weather can really get to a person. The Harvest Land 2018 annual meeting is the perfect excuse to wear that vest you got for Christmas and head to town to get off the farm for a couple hours for some socializing. The annual meeting is the perfect place to visit with neighbors you don’t see often in the winter months and catch up on the neighborhood health report. “Did you hear that the Franklins have had the flu in their house for two weeks now? Bless their hearts….” Attend the annual meeting to visit with neighbors. 

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Willie & Red’s

We may have saved the best for last, here. Our annual meeting is being catered by Hagerstown’s favorite Willie & Red’s. After our business meeting you can indulge on fried chicken, roast beef, warm rolls with butter and more. But I won’t include the entire menu here. You’ll have to join us to find out more. Attend the annual meeting to enjoy a warm meal that you don’t have to prepare. 

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Don’t forget: Ticket sales end on January 9 and the event is at the Wayne County Fairgrounds at 6:30 on January 16.

We’ll see you there!

 

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Who is Harvest Land?: Tammie Fox

Harvest Land has a lot of quality people working behind the scenes 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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Tammie is the Receptionist/Credit Assistant in our Richmond Administrative office and has worked at Harvest Land for eight years. If you’ve ever called this office and hung up thinking, “That was the nicest person I’ve ever talked to in customer service,” you probably talked to Tammie……more on that, below.

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Her main responsibilities include answering phones,  entering in customer payments and  addressing commercial delinquents. Tammie assists with any questions members may have on billing, payment or new accounts. She then directs them to the appropriate place if she cannot answer their question.

Tammie’s favorite part of her job with the co-op is “getting to work with all the amazing people at Harvest Land and all of our members”.

What three words would she use to describe Harvest Land?

  1.  Knowledgeable
  2. Courteous
  3. Helpful

Tammie is an active participant of our Cultivating Communities program, and the organization she volunteers for is the American Legion Auxiliary where she runs the concession stand at the Richmond Fireworks. In her time outside work, Tammie enjoys bowling,  throwing darts and spending time with family and friends whenever she can.

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Tammie (left) and her family

Earlier this month Tammie was honored through our Salute to Service program where she was nominated by three individuals for her outstanding customer service. Check out what Harvest Land customers had to say about her:

“Tammie at your front desk is just about the nicest and most helpful person I think I’ve ever dealt with. Always happy, nice, jubilant and willing to help with any questions I’ve ever had about my account with Harvest Land. She is also very knowledgeable about her job and I think she deserves the nomination.” – Mike Adkins, Road ReadyTammie Fox3

“I am an oil customer of Harvest Land’s and had trouble with my bill. Tammie at the front desk was so pleasant to work with as we got the issue straightened out. She helped me understand how the invoicing works and made me feel much better about the situation. She sure helped me a lot and was very curtious. ” – Rita Gabbard

“In today’s world of automated phones, it is such a pleasure to talk with Tammie Fox each time I call.  I have never met Tammie in person, but always recognize her friendly voice and wonderful laugh.  I always hang up with not only all my questions answered, but also with a smile on my face. If Tammie has ever had a “bad” day at work, no customer would ever know because of the pleasant and professional way she answers the phone.  In addition to all her required job skills, her phone skills are outstanding.  I am sure that any highly stressed customer who calls also has a smile on their face when they hang up the phone. As it often does, one question may lead to more questions.  Tammie has always been able not only to answer them all, but has never made me feel like my question were ever “dumb” (but I am sure many were).  Being raised in the city is so different from the country. Tammie needs to be recognized for a job ALWAYS well done and her excellent communication and people skills.  Tammie is truly an outstanding asset to Harvest Land.  If anyone deserves a cash prize and 2 vacation days, Tammie Fox is the one!!!” – Rita Mitchell, Ossian, IN

Tammie is a fantastic asset on our team and the nominations she received from customers are a testament to that. Her work ethic and positive attitude make her an outstanding  coworker in our Richmond office. Next time you call our Richmond office, be sure to say hello to Tammie!

 

 

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Christmas Morning: The Original Lesson in Patience

Farm kids can learn patience many different ways: soggy planting seasons, bad fences, or rogue hydraulic hoses.

But patience may be an even earlier lesson for those with livestock: halter breaking calves, meticulous diets for lambs or a holstein with an annoying switch.

However, perhaps the greatest lesson in patience comes the morning of December 25th.

It is on Christmas morning that livestock kids have to march past the twinkling glory of the the Christmas tree, surrounded by shiny wrapped gifts which are seeping with enough curiosity to kill a cat. They have to contain the anticipation and excitement, moving past it to find their Carhartts on their way to the bitter cold to tend stock.

Livestock kids have to take care of the cattle, hogs, sheep, horses or dogs, before they enjoy Christmas morning for themselves. They’ll pay close attention while feeding, watering and bedding all species at the quickest pace known to mankind.

The original lesson in patience comes early for farm kids who bypass the presents to take care of the livestock, then return to the house to open new gloves, a show stick and work boots under the tree. And they love it, all the same.

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Christmas, As Told by Children

Anyone overwhelmed with attending events, baking, Christmas shopping and meal planning yet?

No?

What about pre-pay, year-end book work and tax planning?

This week we thought we’d step back from the hustle and bustle of the holidays and bring you a three minutes of laughter. Below is the Christmas story, as told by children. Enjoy:

 

Doesn’t everything just seem better when seen through the eyes of children?

 

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