Harvest Land’s Risk Management Department has a new training tool for employee training, as well as first responders and emergency agencies within our trade territory.
It was built from an anhydrous ammonia nurse wagon tank that was taken out of service due to a defect. We had two inspection windows cut into the side of the tank so trainees can see and understand the mechanics of an anhydrous ammonia nurse wagon.
The Lynn Ag Center Shop Crew, headed by Mike Whitney, sand blasted, painted, plumbed and mounted the tank for demonstrations. In the first week the tank was used at a County Emergency Management training function in Greenfield, IN.
We’d like to thank employees Bill Davenport, Adam Culy, Mike Kress and the other employees who spent many hours making this training equipment look professional.
You can check out this educational display at our 2019 Winter Innovation Forum to be held in Richmond on Wednesday, February 20!
As this entry is being written, the country awaits news on the arrival of Hurricane Florence entering the United States and pounding the east coast in unprecedented ways. From states away, we watch the news coverage to see residents evacuating the area and others staying in their homes, preparing for the unimaginable.
Coverage has included communities coming together to help one another before the worse even arrives. We’ve seen families, teams, and towns boarding windows and doors, delivering supplies, filling sand bags and beyond.
That is the positive side of disaster or hard times: Finding the helpers:
Harvest Land recently acted as helpers, in our own back yard:
On Friday, September 7, Lynn, Indiana received heavy rains dumping a couple inches on the rural community in less then an hour. This was followed by a lighter, steady rain that lasted several hours.
At 5:07 PM, an alert went out to Lynn residents asking for help filling sandbags. That call was answered by Randolph Ag Center in Lynn who provided a front end loader and an operator to assist in the efforts.
Finally, at approximately 9:00 PM Friday night, two dump truck loads of sand – 1,000 bags – had been bagged, stacked and positioned for residents’ use.
Our hope is certainly that we never need disaster preparation or relief, but if we do, we’ll continue to be a part of taking care of the communities in which we live and work however we’re able as your local, farmer-owned cooperative.
Dave Naylor helped employees of Randolph Ag . Derek is a volunteer fireman so he was there automatically and Dave Naylor took the Kubota down to help load sand and move skids loaded with the sandbags. It initially started on Friday Sept 7 with 40 tons of sand bagged and with over 10 + inches of rain that fell within Randolph county they bagged another 40 tons of sand and over 1000 sandbags available. Area businesses including Lynn Lions Club, Diamond K Pizza and Hometown Coffee supplied food to the volunteers.
Earlier this month Harvest Land employees traded office hours for hammers and worked on the Habitat For Humanity house at the Indiana State Fair. Our cooperative partnered with Land O’Lakes and four other farmer-owned co-ops throughout Indiana to make progress on this house which will benefit a local family in need.
Tiffany Miller and Kent VanMeter from Rushville, Royce Cook from Mt. Summit, Troy Miley from Richmond and Curt Naylor, Region Manager all represented Harvest Land.
“I feel like it’s our obligation to be supportive in our communities and help people who are in need. As a farmer-owned company, we should give back.” says Scott Logue, Harvest Land CEO.
Their devoted time to community service proves that we can all cultivate communities in different ways, even if not directly in our back yard.
Each year, in partnership with the Indiana State Fair, Habitat for Humanity builds two houses during the two weeks of the State Fair, all on the fairgrounds. For a day of home building, sponsors are asked to make a $10,000 donation to Habitat for Humanity. This is not a small donation so it makes a big difference that member cooperatives Ceres Solutions, North Central, Harvest Land, Co-Alliance and Premier Companies were able to work together to share in the cost.
We very much appreciate these five and their commitment to serving others and representing Harvest Land’s values well in Indianapolis. We’re proud of the work they did on behalf of our co-op.
As part of our commitment to cultivate local communities, Harvest Land recently donated $1,000 to the Centerville United Methodist Church food pantry for their food ministry, then applied for – and was granted – a matching $1,000 grant from Land O’Lakes. A total of $2,000 was donated for the monthly food ministry, as well as the on-demand food pantry where families can receive food assistance any day of the work week by calling the church office.
The United States Department of Agriculture defines “Food Deserts” as parts of the country void of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods, usually found in impoverished areas. Centerville and certain rural areas of Wayne County unfortunately fall into this category.
The Centerville United Methodist Church Monthly Food Ministry was created in an effort to alleviate this problem in our own back yard. They team with Gleaners Food Bank, Inc. of Indiana to provide canned and boxed food, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables to those in need. Since beginning their monthly food ministry in September 2017, they’re assisting over sixty local family units each month.
The hunger epidemic can seem so far away when we hear about it on the news. But it really hits home when you realize it affects neighbors in our rural communities.
We’re proud to partner with Land O’Lakes to provide a bit of assistance in the Centerville area this summer, especially while children are home for summer and not able to receive school-prepared meals.
Our Salute to Service program allows us to recognize the cream of the crop, top-notch quality people working behind the scenes of Harvest Land 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.
Randal Reese is the Operations Manager, Crops Support and Feed Specialist at our Oakville Ag Center and has worked at Harvest Land for 40 years. That 4-0 is not a typo!
His main responsibilities include covering all areas of our Oakville branch, located just south of Muncie, west of IN-3. “All areas” includes scheduling custom application, invoicing customers and selling feed. He’s also served on our Safety Committee for 12 years.
Randal ensures customer fields are custom applied in a timely fashion and invoiced correctly. His organization and attention to detail greatly improves the customer experience for those who utilize our Oakville location.
Randal’s favorite part of his job with the co-op is working with good people.
Randal has been a participant of our Cultivating Communities program, and the organization he volunteers for is the First Brethren Church of Oakville. In his time outside work, Randal enjoys spending time with his beloved family.
We recognize Randal because he was honored through our Salute to Service program, where he was nominated by four individuals for his outstanding customer service. In fact, he received the most nominations of any of our 300+ employees!
The nominations from customers are quite powerful. Take a look:
“I would like to nominate Randal Reese out of the Oakville location. In growing sod we have different needs for fertilizers, or time of applications. Since we are spreading on 800+ acres of turf we do most all our selves, with a tractor and cart on flotation/turf tires. Randal and I communicate almost weekly on what our needs will be the next week. I try and maximize the applications in conjunction with the next rain fall. By talking with Randal regularly he can maintain adequate inventory of our most used product 46-0-0. Over the years, since the decision of moving all bulk dry fertilizers to Mt Summit, it has presented some challenges to get the product and have delivered on time where we need it. (some of these acres get fertilized every 6-8 weeks) Randal and your delivery people have generally made it happen.” – Robert Sharpe, Ameri-Turf GMgr, Anderson, IN
“I would like to nominate Randal Reese, the Operations Manager at Oakville, Indiana. I am a math teacher and farm a little bit part time. I buy fertilizer, Kent Feeds, Ritchie Waterer Parts, and Seed from Oakville (none of it in large quantities). Randal always is professional, courteous, and cares (about people and his job). Even though I am a small time farmer, Randal makes me feel like he appreciates my business and me as a person. He keeps Oakville organized and running smoothly. I believe Randal has been at that location for over 40 years (previously Farmer’s Co-op Oakville). Anyway, I do not think you could have a better employee or upstanding member of the community. Whenever Mr. Reese retires from Oakville, he will be extremely difficult to replace. I think he should win the Salute to Service Award! – Jason Hunt
“Randal is very professional and goes out of his way to help with whatever I need. I am a small farmer, but you could never tell that by the way he treats me and conducts business. I wanted to drill a cover crop, but couldn’t with the equipment I had available. Within an hour Randal had everything ready for me and I was able to operate. Outstanding employee!” – Jesse Landess
I am writing about an employee (Randal Reese) that has worked above and beyond his jobs yearly. He is the voice at the Oakville office that answers when you call for any service. He’s always willing to do the extra job to answer your question. He is always an upbeat person no matter how hard a day he has had. When he retires Harvest Land will not find it easy to replace this star employee. My husband and I have farmed for 48 years and he has always been our guy to go to when we needed help.” – Tim and Carol Spangler
Randal is a fantastic asset on our team and the nominations he received from customers are a testament to that. His work ethic and commitment to meet every customer need really make him stand out in our agronomy business.
Finally, we asked Randal what three words he would use to describe Harvest Land. His response:
Great Employee Group
Those of us who work with – and know – Randal would agree that he’s one big reason why our employee group is, in fact, great.
You can submit entries for our 2018 Salute to Service contest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or contact our President/CEO, Scott Logue at 765.962.1527.
Harvest Land Co-op recently awarded 17 scholarships to 2018 high school graduates throughout their trade area, with combined money awarded totaling $17,000.
Harvest Land is a proud supporter of agriculture and young farmer programs, such as 4-H and FFA, throughout the area. In addition to those opportunities, Harvest Land awards scholarships to young men or women who are pursuing post-high school agricultural degrees. Students from Harvest Land’s three districts within their trade market are chosen annually. Harvest Land also recognizes employees’ children who are graduating and pursuing post-high school education.
The 2018 winners are:
Recipients of this award are chosen based on need, leadership, community service, agricultural interest and scholastics.
It is easy to turn on the news and feel deflated or pessimistic about the future of our great country. But if you want to turn your perspective around, just read through a few of these students’ scholarship applications and your insight will change. These young people are destined to go on and do great things because they have the work ethic, determination, skill set and discipline to do so.
We very much look forward to tracking their progress in the years ahead, and wish them the absolute best as they begin this next exciting chapter.
Our story of Cultivating Communities across our trade territory continues, as we attended the Hancock County Ag Safety Day on April 14, which was hosted by Hancock County 4-H.
The children rotated through several stations hosted by various community groups, such at Nine Star Connect, Canine Castaways Rescue, Greenfield Fire Territory and more. Harvest Land employee Vickie Ramsey was instrumental in organizing the day.
The Harvest Land station educated sixty 4-H members about grain safety. Specific topics included grain entrapment as well as auger and PTO hazards.
Today’s Photo Friday includes a few shots from our work with the youth of Hancock County.
US 40, Interstate 70, State Roads 38 and 234 and US 36 are each main roads, east to west, in rural Henry County, Indiana. The county is then divided right down the middle by State Road 3. But once you’re off the beaten, paved paths of these main routes, you’ll find narrow roads where our trucks and equipment travel to and from our Mt. Summit, Millville and Dunreith locations to meet the needs of area farmers and home heat customers.
Harvest Land and Henry County have a strong, long-standing relationship. We made a move this week to ensure that well-working relationship continues.
Harvest Land partnered with CHS to contribute $10,000 towards the Grain Bin Safety and Rescue Training Area at the Henry County Emergency Services Training Center.
According to Purdue University research, in the last fifty years more than 900 cases of grain engulfment have been reported, with a fatality rate of 62 percent. In 2010, at least 26 U.S. workers were killed in grain engulfments − the highest number on record. The overall trend of increased on-farm grain storage only allows for more grain entrapments to happen around the family farm.
Every year accidents occur and responders are dispatched to assist, but most local responders arrive on scene with little to no training in the tactics or tools needed. The
intent of the grain entrapment addition to the Henry County Emergency Training Center is to add an option that addresses this issue. The completed grain portion of the center will provide responders and the ag community – including FFA members – a place to experience firsthand the dangers associated with entering into corn and soybeans. This training tool allows them to get a feel for both within minutes of each other, re-enforcing the differences in both commodities.
At this time we know of no other facility that provides a place to practice real-world tactics
needed to rescue someone in trouble in both environments side by side. The layout of this
grain entrapment addition will also allow many viewers to see exactly what is taking place without need to share a viewport. It will truly be the first of its kind.
Perhaps most important: The Henry County Emergency Services Training Center is available to all those that wish to schedule its use for career, volunteer and agricultural trainings. Harvest Land is also going to use this facility to train employees and farmer-members, including students.
We’re excited about this contribution to the Grain Bin Safety and Rescue Training Area at the Henry County Emergency Services Training Center and truly look forward to bringing dozens of employees, customers and students to this incredibly valuable site.
The small (some might say tiny) towns that dot the country side within our trade territory are special to us. Their small-scale grid of streets that travel out past the town limits eventually become the rural routes where our homes sit.
The diners, post offices and parts stores that keep the commerce going are staffed with folks invested in these Midwestern burgs. The volunteers that give up their nights and weekends to answer the call of duty when an emergency erupts are our family, friends and former classmates. These are a few of the reasons why Harvest Land works to cultivate communities when we see an area of need.
Ohio has been a focus point for us to cultivate as of late.
Harvest Land recently donated a grain rescue tube to the Eldorado, Ohio fire department. The department needed the equipment to perform grain rescue should the emergency arise. Central Ohio manager, Adam Culy, organized the donation and also recognized a need for rescue training with multiple Ohio fire departments.
So, in mid-March 35 firemen from the Eldorado, New Madison, West Manchester and New Paris fire departments performed a joint grain entrapment training at our Eldorado Ag Center. This Photo Friday includes some shots from that event.
Seven Harvest Land employees were present for the training: Bob Brunk of Pitsburg, Gary Davis of Harvest Land Transportation, Adam Culy of Central Ohio Ag, Luke Dull of Eldorado, John Ott of Eldorado and Julie Lamberson and Nikki Pyott of Risk Management.
We are thankful that our rural communities have so many volunteer firemen with courage to serve. Harvest Land is committed to providing resources to help our local departments.