Indiana and Ohio: The Differences in Production Ag

National Agriculture Day was Tuesday, March 24 and we want to honor all that Indiana and Ohio agriculture produces.

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This week (and always) we’re celebrating agriculture and in doing so, we’ve created an educational video about Ohio and Indiana that students, parents, and teachers can utilize from home.

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We invite you to watch this clip of Nikki and Julie from our Risk Management department while they have a little friendly competition between the two states.

 

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Essential Work

We’re swimming in uncharted waters, and that statement has absolutely nothing to do with the water standing in the basement of many farmhouses in the area due to the incessant rain.

COVID-19The COVID-19 pandemic has shut down schools, national tournaments, universities,
restaurants, businesses, airlines, libraries and so much more. The financial loss that will
affect nearly every American due to this outbreak could linger for years. And to think, two weeks ago, it seemed to be something only taking place on the other side of the world.

On Tuesday of this week, the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed at the local hospital and immediately level two travel watch was enforced. Level two means that conditions are threatening to the safety of the public. During a “watch” local travel advisory, only essential travel, such as to and from work or in emergency situations, is recommended, and emergency action plans should be implemented by businesses, schools, government agencies, and other organizations.

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Our leadership team had a long and impassioned conversation regarding our business operations during this extremely fluid time.

The safety of our employees.

How symptoms look or feel.

Long-term planning.

Addressing customer needs during a time of social distancing, a phrase that we’d never heard of seven days ago.

How we take care of business, by taking care of people.

We realized with great certainty: Our work is essential.

Eldorado Plant

When a fuel driver shows up in the morning and loads his truck, he’ll spend the day delivering to tanks that will fill fire trucks, law enforcement vehicles, and semis that will deliver fresh produce or boxed pasta to Kroger.

Barfield Fuel Up

Our work is essential.

When a propane driver comes to work and maps his route for the day, he delivers propane to nursing homes, rural churches, houses on 700 W. that are full of e-learning children and tired parents, and he also fills the tank at the hospital so the generator is operational. Then he goes north and supplies propane to the temperature-controlled hog finishing barns with 1,000 head inside.

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Our work is essential.

When a truck driver loads his semi full of corn and departs the ag center, he is delivering corn to pet food factories so beloved dogs can have food available in a few months. He also delivers feed to turkey farmers who will supply Thanksgiving birds, pork producers who are currently feeding out hogs that will be become the next great plate of bacon and also beef producers who will put hamburgers on the grill over Labor Day weekend.

Handful of grain angus cattle

Our work is essential.

When a YieldPro Specialist drives down the lane of a 100-year-old farmstead and sits at the kitchen table with a grower, he is working with her to map out plans for fertilizer, field work, seed, seed treatment, starter fertilizer, pre-emergence, dormant spray and beyond so that her farm family can supply the food chain and feed the world.

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Our work is essential.

When our IT team shows up to Richmond and enters a room full of wires, technology and computers, they serve as internal problem solvers that ensure farmer-members can pay their bills online during a quarantine, problem solvers that keep phone lines operational to take calls at one of our 40 locations or problem solvers that fix a dispatch glitch in an applicator machine trying to get fungicide on several fields.

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Our work is essential.

When our support staff team shows up to the ag center or office and situates themselves in front of the computer, they’re about to take on a day of processing payments so a family can get propane again in April, paying our bills so the lights stay on here for our continued work and even ensuring our 300 employees get paid at the end of the month.

Our work is essential.

We are not entertainment (though employees’ laughter could argue otherwise on certain days with co-workers at the co-op).

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We are essential.

And we’ll remain operational, working for your family and ours, as long as we’re able.

We are a business that supports the consumer at every angle, and it is a privilege to carry such heavy weight on our shoulders that so many depend on us. We thank you for that opportunity.

Together, we have experienced adversity as an industry, as a nation, and as a world. More importantly, we have always navigated through it –  and we will, again.
Thank you for making our daily work essential.

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You can read more about our commitment to safety here.

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Salute To Service: Bryant Team

We received 68 nominations from Harvest Land customers and employees nominating their peers in 2019 for our Salute to Service program. This was an amazing response to a simple ask! Salute to Service Banner

This week we wanted to share with you the nomination that took home second place. We’re proud of the work this team – because it took everyone! – did in the community during a time of great need. Read on:

We are nominating Allen Bollenbacher and his entire team at the Bryant location. In the spring of 2019, a tornado touched down on the Blackford/Wells county line north of Montpelier.  The tornado ran straight east up the county line impacting farm after farm for 5 miles.  The tornado struck at night and everyone along the road awoke to a heartbreaking scene of destruction.  Luckily only a few suffered building damage, but trees everywhere were broken and lain flat. Not long after daylight, Allen and several employees from the Bryant Coop showed up at our farm.  The cleanup was overwhelming and took our family days to finish.  What Allen and his team did that first day made it possible to get out of the driveway and move about the farm to care for livestock and repair fence. The most impressive thing though, is what they did when they left us. Allen and his team worked their way east down the county line helping a long string of my neighbors in the same way.  I have heard from several that the help was greatly appreciated. We all need to remember to help one another and to demonstrate that kindness and compassion beyond our familiar circle of family and friends.  No doubt Allen and his crew first showed up to help our family.  For years, we’ve worked together with the folks at HarvestLand Bryant to improve our farm operation, but we weren’t customers that morning.  We were just folks that needed a hand.  Allen and his team proved that as they worked their way east helping out my neighbors all along the way.

Submitted by John & Michael Maddox

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Ag Center Manager Allen Bollenbacher
Thank you, Allen and the entire Bryant team, for doing the right thing on behalf of our cooperative. Your service to the community made a difference in the lives of many!

The Salute to Service program started over again in January. If you encounter a wonderful experience with a Harvest Land employee, we encourage you to shoot us a note at nominations@harvestlandcoop.com or call our CEO, Scott Logue, at 765.962.1527.

 

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Celebrating 90 Years of Innovation and Cooperation

In 1930, America was on the cusp of the  Great Depression and the Dust Bowl began.

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But times weren’t all bad that year.

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Because it was in 1930 that the first diesel engine automobile trip was completed (Indianapolis to New York City) by Clessie Cummins, founder of the Cummins Motor Company.

And in 1930, Hostess Twinkies were invented.

But perhaps our favorite fact is that, in our east-central Indiana area, the Articles of Incorporation for the Wayne County Farm Bureau Cooperative Association, Inc. were signed and notarized on March 12, 1930.

Meaning, Harvest Land Co-op will turn 90 years old on March 12. 

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We’ve changed a lot in that time! We are no longer a resource for seed potatoes, lumber or even poultry.

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Today, we’ve evolved to meet our farmer-owners’ needs, and those have certainly changed over time. Technology, demand, family dynamics, weather trends, markets and beyond have each been factors of our longevity and our story.

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In ninety years, we’ve also joined forces with 18 other cooperatives in our trade area to better serve the members.

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Much changes in ninety years, but our commitment to the cooperative spirit remains unwavering. We thank you and your family for the partnership you’ve shown us over the last ninety years.

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We would not be here had a group of farmers not wanted to find a better way to do business, together. And we’ll only remain strong – and around for another ninety years! – because of our farmer-members.

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DEADLINE APPROACHING: 2020 Scholarships

It doesn’t matter if a student is going to college to study agronomy, diesel mechanics, agriculture education, food science or veterinary medicine: every penny counts when it comes to paying for higher education.

That is why Harvest Land has committed to awarding $1,000 scholarships to 2020 high school graduates who are going on to study agriculture in college.

Who qualifies?

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 2, 2020 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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805 Years of Service

Like so many businesses today, we have a list of positions open for hire.  While we eagerly look for the best and brightest to join our team, we remain tremendously appreciative of and thankful for those who have dedicated years of service to our team.

In 2019 we had several employees celebrate service milestones with our cooperative. In fact, if you total the years of service (in 5-year increments), these individuals contribute a total of 805 years of service in 2019. We’re proud that Harvest Land provides a place for these folks to utilize their talents and dedicate their time outside of the home.

That being said, we offer a sincere Thank You to each person listed below. These photos were taken at our annual Christmas party, and some may not have been present.

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Gina Felton, Richmond Grain, 5 years of service

Miles Arthur, Hagerstown, 5 years of service

David Vansickle, North Crops, 5 years of service

Ryan O’Neal, Rushville, 5 years of service

Theresa Townsend, YieldPro, 5 years of service

Gary Bouse, Limberlost, 5 years of service

Mark Murphy, Covington/Lena, 5 years of service

Jason DeBoo, Energy Sales, 5 years of service

Tracy Soper, IT Dept., 5 years of service

Cody Sorrell, College Corner, 5 years of service

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Tammie Fox, Richmond Credit, 10 years of service

David Fisher, Randolph Ag, 10 years of service

David Sweet, East Crops, 10 years of service

Curt Naylor, YieldPro, 10 years of service

Brian Henderson, Ohio Liq. Fuels, 10 years of service

Mark Mendenhall, Ohio LP, 10 years of service

Mark Miller, IT Dept., 10 years of service

Karla Jones, Millville Grain, 10 years of service

Andrew Pokorny, Millville Grain, 10 years of service

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Charlie Sellers, Indiana Liq. Fuels, 15 years of service

Juan Gomez-Rangel, Central Crops, 15 years of service

Bob Higginbotham, North Crops, 15 years of service

Eric Whitenack, Limberlost, 15 years of service

Adam Culy, Central OH Ag, 15 years of service

Buck Combs, College Corner, 15 years of service

Davey Norris, College Corner, 15 years of service

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Kathy Fuchs, Central Crops, 20 years of service

Gary Davis, Transportation, 20 years of service

Tim Deardorff, Energy Sales, 20 years of service

Allen Wampler, Kalmbach Feeds, 20 years of service

Tim Wicker, Seven Mile, 20 years of service

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Roger Boyd, North Crops, 25 years of service

Les Milner, North Crops, 25 years of service

Jeff Ott, Central OH Ag, 25 years of service

Butch Shiebla, Hagerstown, 30 years of service

Don Orschell, Pershing, 30 years of service

Tim Hendricks, North Crops, 30 years of service

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Vickie Ramsey, Richmond Office, 35 years of service

Bob Temple, Indiana Liq. Fuels, 35 years of service

Teresa Fisk, Central Crops, 35 years of service

Rusty Keller, Randolph Ag, 35 years of service

Royce Cook, East Crops, 35 years of service

Trena Bertsch, Kalmbach, 35 years of service

John Ott, Central OH Ag, 40 years of service

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Steve Middendorf, Richmond, 45 years of service

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One Way We’re Working to Be Environmentally Responsible

Our ag centers were recently recognized by Winfield United for their dedication and efforts to eliminate landfill waste and respect the land by recycling agricultural plastic. delaro jug

What is agricultural plastic? 

It is the containers that hold crop protection products such as Bayer’s Delaro.

The jugs are then triple rinsed by the Harvest Land ag center and Winfield United provides large recycling bags where the plastic is placed.

Rinse out

Winfield picks up the waste, and then works with another company to send the plastic through a grinding process to create crash barrels and highway cones. 

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^^ We helped make those!
Congratulations to the top three ag centers for their work in recycling this waste:
Lynn: 1015 lbs. 
Winchester: 725 lbs.
Hagerstown: 508 lbs.
We’re proud to continue to find ways to
sustain the environment, the land, and the family farm.

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2020 Election Results

Three farmer-members were elected to Harvest Land’s Board of Directors through a member election, and those results were announced earlier this week at our annual meeting. Only one of the three is a returning board member, while the other two replace retiring directors, Steve Hill and Lloyd Lee.

 

District 1: Doug Brumfield

1_Doug Brumfield_DirDoug is 55 years old and resides in the Winchester, Indiana area.  Doug and his wife,
Judy, have two children, Ben and Rachel.  Doug has been farming for 25 years and farms 1,100 acres. Doug attended Union City Community High School and Purdue University,
graduating with a degree in Agriculture Economics.  Doug is a graduate of CountryMark Management training and has 13 years grain merchandising experience.

 

District 2: Adam Schwering

SchweringAdam is 35 years old and has resided at his rural Rushville, Indiana address for eleven years.  Adam and his wife, Jenna, have a daughter (7) and son (2).  Adam has been farming for 15 years and farms 1,800 acres. He also operates a wean to finish barn in partnership with his brother. Adam graduated from Rushville Consolidated High School and went on to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University, majoring in Farm Management. We are excited to welcome Adam to the Board and look forward to the insight he’ll provide as a young farmer.

 

District 3: Tom MyersTom Myers

Tom is 56 years old and has resided at his rural Miami County address for 36 years. He
and his wife, Alice, have two sons and one daughter, all of which are married, and also three grandchildren. Tom has been farming for 39 years and farms in Concord and Newton Townships of Miami County. Tom is a new addition to the board and we’re so pleased that he will represent such a strong part of our trade territory.

 

 

Harvest Land is very fortunate to have such outstanding farmer-members serve on our Board, representing all areas of our territory. We look forward to 2020 and the advancements we can make with such leadership.

 

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Last Call: Annual Meeting Tickets, Election

By now you’ve hopefully read through our 2019 Annual Report which was delivered to our farmer-owners in December. The book catalogs the fiscal year, fall 2018 to summer 2019…what a year to write about!

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Also in the Annual Report packet were biographies and voting ballets for each of our three districts. This is a big election year with two long-serving Directors retiring off the board.

Hill Retirement
Pictured L-R is Tom Tucker, Chairman of the Board, retiring Director Steve Hill and Scott Logue, CEO.
Lee retirement
Pictured L-R is Tom Tucker, Chairman of the Board, retiring Director Lloyd Lee and Scott Logue, CEO.

Steve Hill, Greenfield, IN, and Lloyd Lee, Eldorado, OH have been tremendous assets to our Board of Directors. Their history with our board – and those co-op boards before Harvest Land – runs deep and they’ve been a part of many large and small decisions that have progressed our farmer-owned cooperative to where it is today. We’re proud to be associated with such men who are deeply devoted to their families, farms, and communities, and we’ll surely miss their insight and contributions to our cooperative.

We highly encourage you to read the biographies and vote for your district. 

Also, this is your last call to buy tickets for our Annual Meeting! Our 2020 Annual Meeting will be held at the Wayne County Fairgrounds at 6:30 PM on Tuesday, January 21. 2019 Ticket
To assist us with meal planning, please purchase tickets ($5.00 each) no later than January 14 from any director or at any Harvest Land facility office. This $5.00 ensures your seat at the meeting.

ANNUAL MEETING TOP 5

Don’t forget: Ticket sales end on January 14 and

the event is at the Wayne County Fairgrounds at 6:30 on January 21.

We’ll see you there!

 

 

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2019 Salute to Service Winner: Gabe McWhinney

In February we invited you to send us stories of the positive encounters or experiences you have with Harvest Land employees for our Salute to Service program. We asked you to 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 received 68 nominations from Harvest Land customers and employees nominating their peers.  This was an amazing response to a simple ask! But it made our job difficult. We closed nominations in November and then asked our employee base to read through all nominations and choose their top three choices to win the 2019 Salute to Service Award.

At our cooperative Christmas party on December 14 the winner was announced. Today we want to share with you the winner:

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Gabe is the Manager at Lena Ag Center.

The winning submission:

May 26, 2018 around 2:05pm is a day that I will never forget! My boss Gabe McWhinney and I were filling anhydrous tanks when the accident happened. The tank I was filling started to leak around the fill valve. When I went to tighten it all hell broke loose! The valve and hose came off the tank in my hand. The pressure was so great it pushed me back off the wagon on the the dock where I was working. I blacked out for a few seconds and when I came to I found myself face down on the corner of the dock. I felt the hose that left my hand wrapped around my right leg. My first thought was “I need to get away from the hose,” so I pulled myself off the dock and got down under it. That’s when I got a mouth full of vapors. The next thing I saw from under the dock was Gabe running to shut the emergency shut off cables to stop the pump. Then I saw him run to the office which is about 50 yards away. He came back out of the office and said “Dan, I’m coming.” All this took place in about 30 to 45 seconds. He started running from the office to the dock, grabbed the garden hose, started spraying down the vapor cloud and spraying me with water all while turning off the valves. After he got the valves turned off he climbed down under the dock where I was laying on my stomach. The first words out of his mouth was “I got you Dan.” He then took the garden hose and sprayed me off as best he could. Once he got everything sprayed off he said “let’s get you out from under this dock.” By the time it took us to get out from under the dock the fire department showed up. I was able to walk on my own and started flushing my eyes. When the ambulance showed up Gabe said “take him first.” At that time I didn’t know the hose and valve that came off in my hand had hit Gabe square in his rear end and caused him to be pushed off the dock, causing him to lose his phone from his hip; hence the reason he had to run to the office to have the secretary call 911. All in one motion after getting hit with the hose and valve. He was definitely thinking and on his game to do all of that without any hesitation.
When we got in the ambulance which there was one for me and one for him we headed to the hospital. Once there we had to be detoxed. When I got in the shower at the hospital things started going down hill for me. I had to be Careflighted to Miami Valley Hospital where I was admitted. Gabe followed me all the way to Dayton with his wife after he was checked out at Upper Valley Medical Center. He made his wife stop at WalMart to buy him some clothes because his were all bagged up from the detox process. When the left Wal Mart with clothes and shoes they made their way to Miami Valley Hospital and stayed several hours. Upon my admission I had to have an emergency tracheotomy and Gabe stayed with my wife during all of this and didn’t leave until he was able to see me and make sure I was ok. Gabe came back the next day which happened to be a Sunday and spent a good deal of the day with me. He made sure I was doing ok and that meant a lot to me. Gabe McWhinney is a great person and boss all in one. His dedication to his job and his employees is second to none. This is why I would like to nominate him for Outstanding Service. He deserves to win the Salute to Service Award and all that goes with it.

Submitted by Dan Danielson

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COO Stan Hicks (L), Gabe and CEO Scott Logue 

Gabe was also nominated a second time:

Hi. I am Bob Oakes and a long time customer of Lena AG Center. I am 86 years old so I have seen a lot of Seed, Feed, Fertilizer and Grain elevators in my day starting with Brubaker Feed and Grain and Saunders Seed in the 1940’s in Tipp City, Ohio when I was in High School. When I returned from service in 1956 I desperately wanted to be a farmer and did most of my business with Farm Bureau. They had the elevator at Casstown, Ohio a few miles from where I farmed. During the sixties a man by the name of Walter Hanna worked for them and he did everything possible to try and help me succeed. He loved chickens and I had a chicken problem so he brought a debeaker out and helped me debeak several hundred leg horn hens. He was a man of integrity as well as helpfulness. You have a person in your organization that matches Walter. They both came from the same mold. Integrity and the willingness to help and understand. Gabe treats me as if I farm 5000 acres. I have very few tillable acres but that makes no difference to Gabe. He does his work with the thoughtfulness that anyone would admire. I know you have a lot of good employees but Gabe McWhinney should be one of those considered. If Gabe should win, my $250.00 prize is to be giving to Gabe’s favorite charity.

Submitted by Bob Oakes

 

Congratulations, Gabe!

We believe both of these nominations speak volumes about Gabe’s character and we’re quite proud to call him part of our team. 

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We offer a sincere thank you to all who nominated a Harvest Land employee. This program continues to grow annually because those of you who take advantage of offering praise to someone who truly deserves it.

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