Happy Thanksgiving from the Farm

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Happy Thanksgiving from the Farm

If only for a half day

The engines are all shut down

The combine is quiet and put away

No one is on a parts run to town

 

This Thursday is a special one

Whether from the boulevard or rural route

We’ll take a day to gather ‘round

And recall what Thanksgiving is about

 

It isn’t standing in a drawn-out line

To claim the next great deal

Or panicking about the oyster dressing

Trying to create the perfect meal

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Thanksgiving is about slowing down

And finding gratitude in your heart

It’s about looking around at the ones you love

And thanking God for today, another start

 

It opens a season of giving to others

Giving to those who may be without

Donating food, coat, hat and gloves

That’s what Thanksgiving is about

 

Though the morning may be hectic,

With mixing, filling, pouring and baking

Take a few minutes to watch the parade with the kids

and think of the old-fashioned memories you’re making

 

When the meal is over and dining room cleared

family searches the farmhouse for somewhere to sit

Farmwives find themselves thankful for Tupperware

and enough un-cracked, matching lids that fit

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For days on end it will be strung out

Green beans and cranberries for every meal

By Friday the youngest declares he hates turkey

And Farm Mom wonders how she’ll deal

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Far past Thursday let the enthusiasm carry on

Showing daily gratitude for life’s many gifts

You may be surprised how things turn around

And how many spirits a heart of gratitude can lift

 

This Thanksgiving pause and give thanks

For good health, warm home and life on the farm

Though the markets, weather and expense may wear us down

For this livelihood many would give their right arm

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Veterans Day

Off in a field along a busy state road in the middle of our trade territory rests this lone silo.

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I don’t pass that way often, but when I do I’m always sure to seek out the silo and quietly give thanks for the men and women who have served our country. I remember that when I went to college, so many my age went to war. I’m reminded that a veteran is someone who, at one point in their life wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America,” for an amount up to and including their life.

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Do you know the origin of Veterans Day?

In 1918, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in World War I. November 11th became a federal holiday in the United States in 1938. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became legally known as Veterans Day.

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Even if you miss the 11:00 symbolism, this weekend and always we hope you’ll take a minute to thank a veteran for their service and sacrifice. We certainly don’t know them all, but we owe them all.

Veterans

 

 

 

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CountryMark Advantage Lubricants

CountryMark Advantage Lubricants have been formulated to exceeded customer expectations and better anticipate future lubricant needs. We recognize that as engines have become more sophisticated, so too has their need for high quality lubricants.

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That’s why we carry CountryMark’s Advantage Lubricants. CountryMark’s Advantage lubricants are professional-grade lubricants that extend drain intervals, reduce maintenance costs, extend engine life and deliver greater lubricant value.

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CountryMark Advantage Lubricants have been formulated to exceeded customer expectations and better anticipate future lubricant needs. In every gallon of lubricants manufactured today, CountryMark has blended its passion for quality and performance.

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Learn more about Advantage Lubricants from Director of Lubricants and Equipment Dennis Mungle and CountryMark customers from the agriculture, construction, home-based fleet and school transportation industries.

 

Lubricants are available in Bulk, Totes, 55 gallon drums, 5 gallon pails, cases of 2/2.5 gallons, 4/1 gallons and 12/1 quarts. What fits you, best?

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Contact Harvest Land to get CountryMark Advantage Lubricants in your program!

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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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Salute to Service

With more than fifty locations, it can be difficult to hear about all the great things happening within our cooperative, thanks in large part to our team of dedicated employees. As of late, we’ve had several members contact us regarding outstanding customer service from Harvest Land employees.

We appreciate this candid feedback from our members, and we want to keep it going. 

We’d like to invite you to participate in our Salute to Service program, which will recognize employees for a job well done.

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You can participate by sending us stories of the positive encounters or experiences you have with Harvest Land employees.

Share with us the instance of an employee going above and beyond, someone handling a difficult assignment with professionalism or an employee representing Harvest Land in an oustanding way.

We invite you to tell us

why an employee deserves to be

commended on a job well done.

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In late fall, we’ll present the top Salute to Service entries to our employee base and ask them to vote for the best example of a Harvest Land employee exceeding expectations. The winner – as chosen by their peers – will be rewarded with a $1,000 cash prize and 2 vacation days. For the person that submits the winning entry? Well, they’ll walk away with $250.

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Keep a watchful eye this harvest season as the weather cools and don’t hesitate to contact us with your story/stories for Salute to Service.

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You can submit entries by emailing  nominations@harvestlandcoop.com or contact our President/CEO, Scott Logue at 765.962.1527.

Deadline to submit entries is November 8, 2017 at 5:00 PM.

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We look forward to hearing about all the great things our hard-working employees do to cultivate positivity in communities and keep our cooperative business strong for the next generation.

 

 

 

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When Push Comes to Shove

A great way to determine your patience and stamina is to stand in the check-out line at the grocery for an extended period of time with 1,000 other things on your to-do list. No one goes to the grocery to stand around, and yet, we seem to do a lot of that once there.

A great way to determine your overall character as a human being is to evaluate how you react at the grocery, wandering the aisles looking for Ovaltine (FYI: it isn’t with the powered drinks, coffee, or tea. It is with the ice cream toppings. Don’t ask me why, but thank me later)  on days before 1) a holiday or 2) a natural disaster.

Right?

Isn’t the absolute worst time to visit the store for ketchup, crackers and Kleenex right before something big is about to happen? That’s why in the days leading up to Hurricanes Harvey & Irma store shelves across America’s southeast began looking like this:

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When push comes to shove, Americans will stock up on absolutely anything and everything to ensure their families don’t go without.

Or will they?

A lady who was raised in our rural trade territory but has since moved to Florida shared this photo online. As we reviewed the details of her observation, we couldn’t help but chuckle.

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This was taken at a Publix in Tampa, Florida

When stock of everything else in the store appears to be depleted, the vegan section remains in order and seemingly untouched.

So this begs the question:

When push comes to shove,

where do consumers really

look for nutrition?

It would appear that when the general consumer believes that their access to food might be limited in the days to follow, they will forgo the fad marketing tactics and purchase what they think will truly provide nutrients in times of need.

It makes you wonder: why does it take a natural disaster for folks to make clear, common sense, affordable choices regarding food? Some people just think better under pressure, I guess. They’re probably the kind that end up on gameshows.

 

 

 

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