Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Earlier this week a couple employees from our Richmond administrative office set out to do something no one else had ever done before. Or, at least not in a long, long time.

They cleaned out and organized part of the back warehouse. IMG_6287

They spent four hours sorting through boxes, binders, shelves and stacks, looking for things that were no longer needed to run our cooperative business. These things had perhaps fallen into the category of “out of sight, out of mind”, where it’s easier to work around them than address them.

A wonderful general attribute of people in agriculture is that we hang on to things because we think someday we’ll need them.

A poor general attribute of people in agriculture is that we hang on to things because we think someday we’ll need them.

There was just a lot of stuff to sort through.

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Trash barrel by trash barrel, the Two Tossers began to find shelves and walls that hadn’t seen the light of day in years. They reduced stacks, tore down empty boxes and made room for more current things. They tossed tattered pieces, obsolete technology, used carpet and broken boards, then swept elevator flooring that hasn’t been touched in years.

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You see, our administrative office in Richmond hasn’t been an operational grain elevator in more than a decade, and it’s been even longer since the feed mill was in operation. It has been a long, long time since these floors saw steel toe boots and stray kernels of corn.

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As the Two Tossers worked through the hours, they thought many times: Why would anyone keep this?

The cleaning out of the warehouse reminded us that we’re in between two generational shifts today: Baby Boomers (defined as those born between 1946 and 1964) who are eager to pass on family heirlooms as they downsize their space and a new crop of Millennials (defined as those born between 1982 and 2004) who prefer more tech-savy homes and perhaps more adventure.

Point in case: How many tiny house dwellers have you seen living with great-grandma’s full china set? Not many.

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While many broken, unusable pieces were tossed, the functional, “let’s clean this up rather than buy new” mindset of the co-op (and those in ag) prevailed as things were cleaned, organized and put back on a sturdy shelf.

It should be noted: Nothing of value or that which held any historical significance to Harvest Land was thrown away. Of the Two Tossers, one is very much a “keeper” and is a historian by nature. 

As the day winded down and emails beckoned the Two Tossers back to their desks, they put down the dock door, shut off the lights and locked up the warehouse for the evening.

But not before one Tosser paused to ponder this question:

What area of my life or farm needs some

time, attention and clean-up (literally or figuratively)

to ensure I’m in the best working order?

What about you?

Are there areas of your life that are “out of sight, out of mind”, that could actually use some attention?

This could be a part of the shop that needs organized, a relationship that needs some mending, a phone call that needs to be made or even a drawer that needs cleaned out.

Perhaps, today is the day.

 

 

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Who is Harvest Land?: Laura Wood

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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Laura is a Liquid Fuels Accounting Specialist in our Richmond office, and has worked at Harvest Land for 16 years.

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As a Liquid Fuels Accounting Specialist, her main responsibilities include processing all CountryMark invoices, processing all CFN (commercial fuel network) transactions and maintaining all CFN accounts/cards. Laura also maintains and processes the US Bank credit card accounts, processes all phone and internet bills and also answers the phone in the Richmond administrative office. WHEW!!

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She works directly with our membership by assisting with fuel card issues, accounting inquiries and addressing all general questions. Laura considers the best part of her job the people she interacts with daily.

What three words would she use to describe Harvest Land?

  1. Friendly
  2. Knowledgable
  3. Helpful

Laura is an active participant of our Cultivating Communities program, and the organization she volunteers for is Pendleton Junior Baseball. In her time outside work, Laura enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and watching her grandson, Maxx, grow up way too fast while playing baseball and swimming.

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She also enjoys playing guitar for legends like Johnny Cash. 
Or, just visiting Nashville with her husband.

Laura is a very hard worker and a pleasure to work with as part of the Harvest Land team. We’re glad to have her on board!

 

Don’t forget to nominate an outstanding employee for our Salute to Service program!

 

 

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2017 Cultivating Communities Results

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At the beginning of each fiscal year (September 1 – August 31), we encourage our employees to volunteer 8 hours of community service to a cause that is important to them for our Cultivating Communities program. Once eight hours is racked up (time seems to fly when you’re helping others) Harvest Land then donates $75 to the non-profit which the employee volunteered their time.

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It is gratifying to learn about the places and groups that our employees dedicate their time away from the office. Here is a list of organizations that benefited from our employees’ time:

  • Fortville Church of the Nazarene
  • Colliers Heating & Air
  • First Mennonite Church
  • Adams Co. Purdue Extension Office
  • Adams County Herb Club
  • Decatur Fire Dept.
  • American Legion Post 160
  • C & C Bible Fellowship
  • Lewisville Presbyterian Church
  • Tri-Village Athletic Dept.
  • Wayne Co. 4-H Association
  • Cody Holp Memorial
  • Preble Co. Pork Festival
  • Pitsburg Lion’s Club
  • Darke Co. Humane Society
  • Talawanda Athletic Boosters
  • Monroe Twp Food Bank
  • Northeastern Junior High School
  • Queen of Peace Church
  • Chas. A. Beard School-Class of 2021
  • Adams Co. Wabash Workers 4-H Club
  • Country Kritters 4H Club
  • Kenneth Butler Memorial Soup Kitchen
  • Bradley UMC
  • First Church of Christ
  • Pleasant Valley Cemetery
  • Champaign Co. Cattlemen’s Assoc.
  • Jay County FFA
  • Praise Point Church
  • Crushing Chiari, Inc.
  • Greenhills Baptist Church
  • EUM Church
  • Princeton Pike Church of God
  • Trinity Wesleyan Church
  • Eaton First Church of God
  • Brownsville U.M. Church
  • Randolph Southern School Corp.
  • Royal Family Kids’ Camp
  • Wares Chapel
  • Salvation Army
  • First Presbyterian Church Youth
  • American Legion Auxilary
  • Pack Away Hunger and Christian Charities Backpack Blessings
  • Eaton Church of the Brethren
  • Centerville Youth League
  • Grace Community Church
  • St. Thomas Church
  • Fountain City Weslyan Church
  • St. Mary’s School
  • Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
  • Western Wayne Schools
  • Richmond Family YMCA
  • Wayne Co. Cattlemen’s Assoc./4-H
  • Pendleton Junior Baseball
  • Connersville FFA
  • New Madison Community Volunteer Fire Company, Inc.
  • Verona UMC
  • Friends of the Preble Co. Park District
  • Preble Co. YMCA
  • Pleasant View Missionary Church
  • Union Co. Foundation-Troy Gulley Memorial Scholarship

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Fiscal year 2017 has concluded and we’re excited to share with you the footprint our employees left in their communities over the last year, spending their time improving the small towns we call home.

And the final 2017 results are as follows…

CC Results

We offer a sincere thank you to our employees who participated in the Cultivating Communities program in 2017.

One of the greatest gifts you can give is your time,

and you certainly did just that.

 

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October: National Cooperative Month

October is National Cooperative Month and the perfect time – as we roll into another harvest season at each of our ag centers – to highlight what makes our business so unique.

The national theme for Cooperative Month this year is “Cooperatives Commit.”  By committing to education, sustainability, community, and members, our cooperative provides a strong foundation that improves the lives of our members and others in the area.

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Cooperatives are found in all sectors of the economy, including agriculture, retail, utilities, housing, banking (credit unions), healthcare, and childcare.  Blue Diamond, Ocean Spray, Land O’Lakes and Sunkist are all cooperatives you may be familiar with at the grocery store. U.S. cooperatives actually provide more than 850,000 jobs, resulting in $25 billion in annual wages. There are more than 40,000 cooperative businesses in America, serving 350 million people.

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Harvest Land, your local farmer-owned cooperative, employees more than 300 people and is owned by 5,500 farmers in Indiana and Ohio.

Despite a wide variety of products and services provided to their members, all cooperatives follow seven universal principles, first adopted in Rochdale, England, in the mid-1800s. These are:

  • Voluntary and open membership: Cooperative membership is open to all who are able to use its products and services and willing to accept the responsibility of membership.
  • Democratic member control: Cooperatives are controlled by their members who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions.
  • Members’ economic participation: Members contribute equally to the capital of the cooperative. This benefits members in proportion to the business they conduct with the cooperative.
  • Autonomy and independence. Each cooperative is managed by an independent board elected from its membership, and decisions are made that democratically benefit its members. We have nine Board members, representing all areas of our trade territory.
  • Education, training, and information: Cooperatives provide education and training for members, managers, and employees, as well as information to the general public about the benefits of cooperatives and the products and services they provide. Our Winter Innovation Forum is a fantastic example of this principle.
  • Cooperation among cooperatives: Cooperatives serve their members by working together through local, national, regional, and international structures. Land O’Lakes, CountryMark and Growmark are just a few larger cooperatives that Harvest Land is a member of.
  • Concern for community: While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of communities through policies and programs accepted by the members. Our Cultivating Communities program proves this principle, tried and true.

We offer a sincere thanks for your continued business with our farmer-owned cooperative.  October may be National Cooperative Month, but every day we’re working to provide quality products and services created to serve your family.

 

 

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