September 13, 2001

On January 1 we celebrate new beginnings, but usually by the 23rd of the month the gym parking lots are no longer packed.

On February 14 we celebrate love, but usually by the 24th the roses have wilted.

On July 4 we celebrate independence, but by the 5th the fireworks have lost their sparkle.

On December 25 we celebrate Christ’s birth, but by the 26th we’re thinking about returns and taking down the tree.

_DSC0708

On September 11 we all remember a day that forever changed American life and history, but by September 13th political wars are again raging within our native land and we’re once again divided.

September 11, 2001 is a date in which we’ll never forget where we were when the events unfolded. Just like when Kennedy was shot or the Challenger exploded, it seemed for just a minute time stood still and nothing else mattered but that moment being chronicled on the television screen.

 

Unlike New Year’s Day or the Fourth of July,

the days that followed September 11, 2001

are the days that we miss the most.

We miss the American spirit that began raging like fire across the open prairies and city streets.

We miss the abundance of American flags being displayed at high school football games, on interstate overpasses, by motorcyclists traveling cross-country, those hanging from 15th-floor apartment balconies and painted on old rural barns.

red barn flag

We miss the way Lee Greenwood became a household name and voice again.

We miss the way that nothing mattered for a few days but the safety of our families and that we were all together. If just for a brief time, family dinners, phone calls and visits became normal again.

We miss the way that a sense of pride came over Americans and we were determined to take on the enemy that slept outside our great borders, as long as we were facing them, together.

We miss the days when we took a true interest in what was going on in our country and paid great attention to current world events.

We miss seeing, reading, and saying, “United We Stand” and truly believing it.

firemen_flag

We miss September 13, 2001 and we often wish that our country could go back to that day. Not the sheer horror, confusion or numb shock of September 11, but the unity, patriotism and compassion for one another that came in the days that followed.

Can we get back there?

Can we get back to honoring our flag and teaching our children the significance of those colors?

Can we get back to being proud to live in this great country because of the opportunities we have at our calloused fingertips, our rich history that made us who we are and the beautiful landscapes that offer so much in the way of food, fiber and enjoyment?

countryroad

Can we get back to compassion instead of competition, kindness instead of animosity and service instead of solitude?

Can we get back to more prayer and less political divide?

praying-hands

 

We think we can, and we hope you agree.

Today we’ll go about our business at the ag centers.

We’ll spread lime,

and haul diesel fuel,

and prepare facilities for harvest,

and deliver propane for the winter months ahead.

Today, on September 13, 2019, we’ll take off our Harvest Land caps when the National Anthem plays on the country radio station over lunch, and we’ll remain proud to be operating in the greatest country in the world.

 

hl_logo_vert_4c copy

 

 

 

Beyond the Co-op: Dave Naylor

When you spend an extended period of time with your coworkers, including those times during fast but furious springs, extended falls and endless winters, you tend to learn a little more about them. We consider it a pleasure that we’re able to get to know our employees outside Harvest Land. Spouses, children, grandchildren, pets, hobbies, and passions: we find it quite fascinating to learn more about the people that make Harvest Land the organization it is.

Dave Naylor works out of our Lynn Ag Center in Randolph County, Indiana. He is a true patriot, not only serving our country but also by constantly finding ways to help others in the area. When flooding rains came in September 2018, Dave was eager to jump in and help pack and stack sandbags in the community of Lynn.

naylor4
Naylor is operating the loader.

He is known to us at work as Dave, but to others as Sergeant First Class (SFC) Naylor, Army Reserve Career Counselor (ARCC). You see, when he departs from the co-op gravel lot, he goes on to serve our country in a unique and admirable way. This week, we want to share with you Dave’s story with the Army Reserves.

Dave has 34 creditable years with the Army/ Army Reserve. His first association with the military was 1985 when he joined the Army Reserve at age 17. Can you imagine the weight of that decision at such an age? His desire to join was fueled by a family history of military service, patriotism and a strong sense of adventure. After about a year and a half of Army Reserve, he joined Active Duty. He served in the Army for three years then reentered Army Reserve and hasn’t left since.

naylor
Specialist Naylor (left) and Specialist Bock in Korea, 1988. They were on their way to Seoul to see the Olympics being held there that year. Even though he hasn’t seen Tony (Bock) in person since the first Gulf War in 1991, they have kept in touch.

For Dave, the idea of such a commitment to service was never a concern. In fact, he has committed 34 years to military, almost 29 years to his marriage, 29 years to Harvest Land and has donated over 100 units of blood. When commits to something, he does so wholly.

We’ll admit, in working with Dave to tell his story, we wanted to gain clarification of just what the Army Reserves are. The Army Reserve’s mission, under Title 10 U.S. Code, is to provide trained, equipped, and ready Soldiers and cohesive units to meet the global requirements across the full spectrum of operations. The Army Reserve is a key element in the Army multi-component unit force, training with Active and National Guard units to ensure all three components work as a fully integrated team. So, we think it is safe to say that it is probably rare that Dave ever feels unprepared for his daily work at the co-op! He told us that most people may not realize that the Army Reserve is a great way to serve your country. For a relatively small amount of time investment, the benefits are substantial: Tricare, education monies, travel opportunities and acquiring job skills are a few.

When committing yourself to such service, there is bound to be challenges. Dave admits that his challenges are balancing family, civilian job and Army Reserve commitments. “I’m blessed to have a supporting family, and extended family within Lynn Ag, but even so I sometimes feel I’m trying to serve two Masters,” he told us.

naylor1
In 2018 Harvest Land employees and family members attended a voluntary CPR class on a Saturday.
Greg Pflum, Dave Naylor and Derek Nicholson (pictured together) are three Harvest Land employees who also serve as volunteer firemen in their communities. Dave attended the Saturday morning class after attending his National Guard PT first.

On the other hand, such an experience offers many rewards. We asked Dave what has been the greatest reward in serving the Army Reserves.

“Through the years, I’ve met many incredible people, seen some awesome places and have had many moments of personal satisfaction, whether it was from completing a physically difficult task or helping a soldier learn a new skill, that to narrow all that down to “Greatest” is thought-provoking,” he responded, then paused. “Honestly, I have to say it’s the sum total of all my experiences.”

He also relayed that a great lesson he’s learned through the Reserves is that teamwork towards a common goal is a powerful thing and with teamwork, most things can be overcome. As a cooperative owned by 5,500 farmer- members and operated by 300+ employees, we couldn’t agree more.

naylor3
In 2016, our Lynn Ag Center was recognized by the Department of Defense as a Patriotic Employer because of Rusty Keller and Bill Davenport’s support of Dave Naylor’s service in the Indiana United States Army Reserve. They were thanked for their encouragement and support of Naylor’s service to our country.
Naylor wrote in his nomination of Keller:
“I work at an agri-business so our workload is very seasonal and weather dependent. On countless occasions, Rusty has had to work around my Battle Assembly schedule and Annual Training dates even when the planting and harvest season is in full swing, when working 12 to 14 hours per day, 6 or 7 days a week is the norm. Once, he even dispatched a pick-up truck to pick me up in the field and transport me into town so I could get a haircut for Reserves the next day. That meant parking a $200,000 machine so I wouldn’t get a counseling statement of a “U” (UNSAT) for my hair being out of regulations! Additionally, when I was mobilized back in 2004, some of the last words to me before leaving were, “If your family needs anything, have them call me.”; I know he meant that with sincerity.”

 

Finally, in closing, Dave wanted to add this.

“I feel fortunate to work for a company that has supported me in my military career. We all know that in this line of work when it’s go time, it’s time to go! Through the years, some of my coworkers have had to take up the slack while I was away for duty. Even with that, I have never gotten any push back for having been gone, from coworkers or management. To all the veterans out there that may read this- thank you for your service.”

We’ll second that sentiment.

Harvest Land is proud to have Dave as part of our team for nearly 30 years. We admire and respect his service, greatly. Thank you, Dave, for your service, sacrifice and work you do on behalf of every American. Your volunteerism and heart for service are second to none.

flag-21-apr-2017

 

 

 

hl_logo_vert_4c copy

Last Call! Fueling Freedom 2019

This morning we want to encourage you to support our 2019 Fueling Freedom program today, June 21!

Purchase fuel at the CountryMark stations listed below, and we’ll donate 50 cents for every gallon of fuel pumped from noon – 5:00 PM to the local National Guard Family Readiness Group.

Greenville, OH

Greenfield, IN

Elwood, IN

Oxford, OH (KDS Express)

Fountaintown, IN (United Energy)

IMG_8928

IMG_8925

IMG_8889

Did You Know?

  • 100% of the proceeds from Fueling Freedom will go to support local National Guard Family Readiness Groups.
  • Family Readiness Groups fund activities for troops and their families. Many of the Family Readiness Groups use their funds to host summer picnics, hold Christmas dinners, send packages to deployed soldiers, and offer after-school programs for children of American soldiers.
  • Our National Guard troops defend our country and our people every day. This Fourth of July, we want them to know how much we appreciate what they do for us.
  • This is the 11thyear the CountryMark system has hosted Fueling Freedom events.

FF19-300x250-Web

We encourage you to come out for Fueling Freedom, purchase CountryMark TOP TIER gasoline and premium diesel fuel, and register to win a $150 fuel card. One fuel card will be given away at each CountryMark fueling station participating in Fueling Freedom.

Show your patriotism and come out (to Greenville, OH; Greenfield, IN; Elwood, IN; Oxford, OH (KDS Express); or Fountaintown, IN (United Energy)) today from 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM!

 

 

EnergyPro_4C_SIGN