Tracks in the Snow

“A perfect weekend to stay inside and warm,” the meteorologist said on the morning newscast earlier this week. I couldn’t agree more. Rain, followed by several inches of snow, followed by a cold front predicted to grip the midwest and east.

As I was making chili, wearing the new wool socks I got for Christmas and making another cup of hot chocolate for the little one in the living room, I noticed how perfect the snow across our yard already was. We hadn’t had memorable snow in some time. It seemed it was finally winter. Winter is sure pretty from the picture window.

Hours later I was folding clothes upstairs when I noticed the perfectly imperfect snow in front of our house. There were tracks I’d not noticed before.

You see, while I was enjoying our warm home, hot chocolate, wool socks and a picture-perfect scene from my warm home, someone came and filled our fuel oil tank without me even knowing.

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How differently those strapped with the responsibility of heating homes, businesses, schools, and churches must view winter from the rest of us.

I was thinking of how pretty the snow looked, he was probably thinking how it makes pulling a hose just a bit tougher.

I was thinking of my feet getting too warm in my new wool socks and he was probably img_2001thinking that he should have left the house at 5:30 this morning with another pair.

I was thinking of chili and hot chocolate on my menu, he was probably wondering if he could scarf down his cold meat sandwich on the way to the next house.

I was thinking that it was a great weekend to stay home, and he was out making sure every home on his route was safe and warm.

I was thinking of a weekend with no plans, he was thinking that he’ll be on-call all weekend for those who need a fill.

This weekend – and always – we salute the many Harvest Land fuel truck and propane drivers who put in extra hours when school is canceled, businesses close early or roads are unpassable.

It is when we are safe and warm at home

that this team suits up and goes to battle.

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Many thanks to the fuel and propane drivers, service technicians, support staff and part-time crew for stepping in on these bitterly cold days to serve our communities and families. We appreciate your tremendous effort in keeping us warm.

 

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A Harvest Land Christmas Story

With Christmas just days away, this Friday we wanted to publish a story that was shared with us, not by a customer, but by the daughter of a customer. This was actually a nomination for our Salute to Service program. While we’ve not announced the 2018 winner on our blog yet, we thought this week was a perfect time to share the story of Brian Henderson.

We received the following in the mail:

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This is a copy of a handwritten letter by my 92-year-old mother, Charlotte Bailey. A handwritten letter is rare anymore, but Brian Henderson went above and beyond to help Hendersonher and she wants you to know about it. His actions also helped me, her daughter. I do my best to care for her, but I struggle from some serious health problems and Brian’s intervention was a Godsend for us both.

It might be hard to read so I will type it out for you:

“It was a blustery, cold Saturday before Christmas Day on Monday. The thermometer was dropping and the little old lady (these are her words not mine) who lived back the lane began to wonder, “Is there enough fuel oil to last through the cold weekend weather until Tuesday when Harvest Land would be open?” So she called Harvest Land hoping someone would be at the office to help – she got a recorded message: “Open Tuesday.”

In a few moments, her phone rang. Someone had intercepted her call and a sympathetic voice inquired about the problem and the little old lady explained her anxiety. Within anFuel Delivery hour on that windy Saturday evening, a Harvest Land fuel truck drove up the icy lane. The driver jumped out with wind and freezing rain hitting his face and with kindness and caring took care of the low oil worry for the little old lady back the lane. _DSC0719


Thank you so much Brian Henderson, for your big-hearted caring on a cold Christmas weekend. This is a truly happy Christmas story.”

In this world where so often a company puts their focus on their bottom line, it’s great you are recognizing your hard-working employees. Please thank Brian on our behalf and award him this honor from your company. He truly touched my mom’s heart and deserves this. Her name is Charlotte Bailey.

Submitted by Charlotte Bailey and Lori Stone (daughter of  the little old lady who lives back the lane)

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From you friends and neighbors at Harvest Land,

we wish you a very Merry Christmas. 

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Benefits of Premium

As consumers we are bombarded by sexy marketing campaigns claiming bigger, better products and services that offer to simplify and improve our daily lives. Oftentimes, it is difficult to sift through the clutter as to what is factual and what is a half-truth marketing claim set out to confuse or convince us into purchasing products or services we may not necessarily need.

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The reality is that some products and services are indeed worth the additional cost if you consider value and not price. From a business perspective, if you calculate that the product or service will create long-term profit for your business then ultimately the higher-priced product may be worth the upfront investment. Or perhaps, if the premium product brings added-value including an extended warranty, a product guarantee, additional service or a network of proven experts, then the added cost may be warranted. Understandably, it is human nature to be skeptical of marketing claims especially when as customers we may have been deceived in the past.

When I was a first-time mom shopping at the grocery store for infant formula, I recall wanting nothing but the best for my daughter. I quickly noticed some name brands were nearly 20 to 40 percent more expensive than the generic brands. That is a significant cost difference especially when you consider an infant drinks 24 to 30 ounces a day for most 150327114044-05-baby-formula-stock-super-169of their first year. After additional research, I determined that nearly all infant formula is the same nutritional formulation aside from a few exceptions and relative to taste preference. In fact, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), all formula marketed in the U.S. must meet the same federal nutrient requirements, which are set at levels to fulfill the needs of infants. Although infant formula manufacturers may have their own proprietary formulations, brand name and generic formula must contain at least the minimum levels of all nutrients specified in FDA regulations.
Ultimately, the choice and the responsibility to delineate value and determine preference is the customers. The buying decision is simple when the product or service demonstrates proven value and improves the bottom line. A farmer-owned cooperative in Indiana known as CountryMark refines and markets premium, high-quality gasoline, diesel fuel and lubricants. A general consumer may not be able to comprehend the difference between diesel fuel products in the marketplace. But there is a distinct semi waiting on combinedifference particularly between a standard No. 2 diesel product and a premium diesel fuel. CountryMarkrefines a unique, premium diesel fuel called Premium Dieselex-4 (PDX-4) proven to bring added-value to the marketplace for several reasons. First, the refining process begins with local, light, sweet crude oil, refined to the highest specifications at the CountryMark refinery in Mt. Vernon, Ind. Fuel quality is protected as the product travels north along a 238-mile private pipeline to one of three CountryMark-owned terminals. Meanwhile, fuel quality and cleanliness Richmond stationis comprised with other brands because their fuel is intermingled with others across the country. In addition, the term premium is quantified because of the substantial additive package in PDX-4. The number “4” in the product name stands for lubricity, detergency, cetane and stability. Added lubricity in PDX-4 minimizes the wear and tear on fuel injectors and injector pumps, which leads to less downtime and extends the life of the engine. Added detergency helps maximize combustion efficiency, minimizes maintenance costs and also eliminates downtime. Added cetane improves engine performance, improves combustion and lowers emissions. Added stability reduces the fuel deterioration process, which leads to longer fuel life and assured performance. In addition, PDX-4 winter fuel is designed to withstand the coldest winter weather conditions to prevent fuel gelling and keep diesel engines running smoothly day and night.

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But if you don’t believe me, take it straight from a loyal CountryMark customer. A home-based fleet owner/operator in Bluffton, Ind., said, “In this business, I have learned that it doesn’t pay to run cheap fuel. With CountryMark’s PDX-4, we have seen a one-half to three-quarter percent increase in fuel mileage which equates to a 3 to 5.5 cent savings per mile or $4,500 to $5,000 savings every month and up to $50,000 to $60,000 a year. Premium quality fuel really makes a difference to our bottom line.”

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So there you have it, there are proven benefits to a premium diesel fuel product such as CountryMark PDX-4. Still skeptical? As an educated customer, be sure to research the options, weigh the benefits and determine what works best and what creates the most value for you and your business. Your Harvest Land EnergyPro team is ready to discuss your options for maximum performance.

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Photo Friday: Propane Safety in Hancock County

We do crop protection.

We do premium diesel fuel.

We do grain marketing.

We do soil sampling.

We do lubricants.

We also do education.

Four different  Hancock County fire departments recently practiced fire fighting techniques that could be used in residential or propane transport leaks or fires. Harvest Land applauds the efforts of these departments for being prepared for any emergency.  Propane for the training was donated by Harvest Land.

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Twelve days ago we were experiencing a summer that didn’t want to go to bed and 80 degree temperatures. Today, fall temperatures have moved in and propane is in demand as folks begin to heat their homes for the cold winter that lies ahead.

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Harvest Land  makes safety a top priority to give you peace of mind for your family or business. All propane employees attend a monthly safety meeting to receive education and refresher training on safety topics.

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Propane is a safe fuel source if precautions are taken and safety devices are in place. Harvest Land makes safety a top priority to give you peace of mind for your family or business.

Here is a quick refresher from our website on propane safety:

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We’re proud to supply propane to training events such as this, if it means that safety awaits on the opposite end.

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Winter Warmth: Now Is the Time

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you changed your calendar seven days ago, you should already know: Winter is coming.

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While we’re still hitting the 90-degree mark in Indiana and Ohio, it won’t be long until the autumn chill sets in and harvest is running full speed ahead. Before we get to that point, we want to remind you that now is the perfect time to plan ahead, be prepared and consider a budget payment plan for heating your home, shop and business this winter.

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We take pride in providing propane and fuel oil to heat homes and businesses throughout eastern Indiana and western Ohio. Safety for our customers is our top priority. This is why each of our propane professionals are CETP trained and certified.

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Programs

Automatic Fill – This program takes the worry of running out of product off of your mind. Harvest Land will keep track of the product level in your tank for you.

Budget – This program allows you to make monthly payments on the product you use.
Guaranteed Price, Prepay and Budget Programs available to suit your needs. Contact us to learn more!

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They say when you’re dying of thirst it is far too late to think about digging a well – the same can be said for heating your home!

Contact Harvest Land today to get your family taken care of before Old Man Winter shows up at your doorstep.

 

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Photo Friday: Energy Team Earns CountryMark Awards

Our energy team members were recently recognized for their outstanding service and sales volumes at the CountryMark Awards Banquet in Indianapolis. On this Photo Friday, we thought we’d share a few shots from the evening.

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Mark Brown receiving the Gold Award for Liquid Fuels and Bronze Award for Lubricants
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Harvest Land Award Winners
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Mike Munchel receiving recognition for 35 years of service
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If you know Munchel, this shot does not surprise you!
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CountryMark CEO, Charlie Smith, presents Harvest Land CEO, Scott Logue, with the third place award for lubricant purchases
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Brent Stang and Mike Bradley watching the video announcing Brent as the 2017 Petroleum Sales Representative of the Year
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This is the second year in a row that Brent has received this honor
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Two of the best! RaeAnn Kennedy and Laura Wood from our Richmond office
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What a great group!

Here are the official awards given to our team:

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We’re proud to employ this group of people who represent our cooperative so well.

 

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Maximize Your Winter Operability

Thanksgiving is in the books. The Christmas tree is calling your name (or is that your wife?) to be carried to the house and get set up. Inevitably, turkey is for lunch. But first, let’s talk about the approaching cold.

Following three inches of rain in some places of our trade territory last week, we didn’t hear much complaining about the 10-day forecast upon us:

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This forecast will surely have farmers running wide open to wrap up harvest 2017. As things in the field slow down, it is important to look to the next season and be prepared for all that could lie ahead – far past a 10-day outlook.

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  • This time of year, temperatures can swing dramatically causing condensation to collect in fuel storage tanks, which can then lead to icing should temperatures drop again dramatically. Keeping fuel tanks full this time of year will minimize opportunities for condensation and ice-related fuel failures.
  • Block heaters are not designed to warm an engine. They are designed to maintain the heat already generated in the engine. Thus it is crucial that the truck be plugged in while the engine is still warm.
  • Be sure you have talked with your EnergyPro specialist about adequately treating your bulk fuel tanks for the temperatures you will be dealing with this winter. We’ll be happy to sit down with you to develop a plan for making sure your diesel vehicles and/or equipment run strong all winter long.Icing can be as much of a challenge to diesel fuel, as can fuel gelling. Because of the threat of icing, we regularly check the fuel storage tanks we fill for moisture. In addition to good tank maintenance practices, CountryMark premium diesel fuels also contain powerful de-icers, which dramatically lower the point at which free water in the fuel system freezes.
  • Installing a 30 micron filter on your fuel storage tanks in preparation for the coldest months of the year can help insure the performance of your diesel fuel all winter long. Need new fuel storage tank filters? Contact us today for the winter diesel fuel supplies you need.
  •  Be sure air hoses are hooked up to each other or to the dummy gladhands when the equipment is not in use. This is one of the leading causes of brakes freezing up.
  • Be sure gladhands hook up tight. If they go on loose they will come off in a tight turn and will cause unnecessary cycling of the air compressor. Make sure you have a nice and snug fit.

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Follow these guidelines to ensure your tractor and truck fire up when it is time to feed hay, move snow, run the auger, haul grain and more. As always, Harvest Land’s energy team is here to help you weather those winter months, to ensure you’re running on all cylinders at any degree.

 

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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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An Investment in West Milton, Ohio

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On August 1 Harvest Land purchased Community Oil Station, located at 650 S Miami St. West Milton, Ohio.  Community Oil Station has been in operation since 1923 and was previously owned primarily by family. Since being purchased by Harvest Land, it is now owned by our 5,400 farmer-members.

We are proud that the Wilson family would consider our business values and embedded community spirit similar to theirs, creating a smooth transition of ownership. Ownership of the business may have changed, but the quality of service will not. Joe Wilson and Steve Pour joined the Harvest Land team and will continue to service the area they call home.

Though the name of the business is Community Oil Station, Harvest Land did not purchase the physical station, but rather the fuel gallons. We also made a substantial investment into the West Milton community and its people, which we were reminded of earlier this week.

Our CEO received a hand written letter from a farmer who has done business with Community Oil for over 50 years. They described the outstanding level of service received by Community Oil and the relationship of trust built over the decades.

Take a look:

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“If your people is like the family

Joe, Steve & Kathy,

you will be fine with me.”

We can’t explain how much we appreciated this note from someone we’ve not yet met. Their confidence in our ability to keep the family spirit of Community Oil burning bright is not taken lightly.

The purchase of this business doesn’t just represent growth of our farmer-owned cooperative. It also signifies an investment in the West Milton community and a commitment of value to the families which we will serve.

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