Find the Helpers: Lynn, Indiana

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

$10,000 Investment in Henry 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.

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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. 

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L – R: Scott Logue, Harvest Land President/CEO; Ron Huffman, Chairman, Henry County Local Emergency Planning Committee; Julie Lamberson, Harvest Land Risk Manager; and Brian Becker, Harvest Land Director and Henry County resident.

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 soybeanto 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.

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A top down view of the proposed Grain Safety Training Area

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.

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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.

Together, we’re Cultivating Communities.

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Photo Friday: Investment in Eldorado Area

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.

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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.

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Pictured from the right: Carlos Ramos, Adam Culy of Harvest Land, Atley Landes, Travis Simmons, Tom Evans, Stephen Evans, Bentley Evans, Wayne Rogers

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.

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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.

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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.

 

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Finding Balance in the 2%

On Tuesday night Harvest Land was a sponsor of the 2018 Wayne County Rural Urban Banquet. This is a treasured tradition in the area, where people who dwell within the city limits share a meal and fellowship with those who make a living out on a country mile. For decades this event has brought farmers, business owners, elected officials and rural route residents to the table. It is a very popular event in east central Indiana.

This year was special in that the keynote speaker was Zippy Duvall, President of HPraerNi_400x400the National Farm Bureau Federation. Zippy is a third-generation farmer from Georgia. In addition to a 400-head beef cow herd for which he grows his own hay, Duvall and his wife, Bonnie, also grow more than 750,000 broilers per year. Have you ever eaten at Chick-fil-A? Chances are you enjoyed one of his birds.
Zippy delivered a fantastic address regarding the current state of government affairs in Washington and the issues on the table that will matter in agriculture, and in turn affect the food on tables in homes and restaurants. Though a large majority of the evening crowd may feel a disconnection to agriculture, the truth is that it affects nearly every aspect of their life, including food, clothing, energy and more.

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Many are familiar with the fact that only 2% of Americans farm today. Decades ago nearly every American family tended a garden because they had to; they depended on it year-around for fresh and canned produce. Today, most who have a garden do so because they enjoy the work and art of growing food for their family to enjoy. Gardens are no longer mandatory for feeding a family (much like 20 hens, a dairy cow, a beef steer, a hog, etc. also were) because the two-percent grow enough for food the rest of us.

The 2% of Americans farm, which gives 98% of Americans the freedom to do other things.

Other things, such as a chef who prepares a meal for new, exhausted parents who haven’t left the house in more than three weeks.

Other things, such as the 911 dispatcher who calmly answers the phone and talks to a terrified stranger on the other end of the line.

Other things, such as the child protective services employee who removes a child from an unimaginable home situation.

librarian with kids in libraryOther things, such as the librarian who encourages a child to put down an iPad and pick up a book, opening up a whole new world.

Other things, such as the generator installer who worked all night so a doctor’s office had restored power by the time the doors opened at 7:30 AM.

Other things, such as the fraud prevention officer at the bank who watches account information so that money within savings accounts stay there.

Other things, such as the fire fighter who runs into a burning building when everyone else is running out.

Other things, such as the loan officer who finds the way to loan a few bucks to a newlywed couple trying to buy their first home.

Other things, such as the tow truck driver who doesn’t sleep when snow falls, roads freeze or potholes get the best of another highway traveler.

2% of Americans farm, which gives 98% of Americans the freedom to do so many other, important things.

While 2% and 98% seem awfully off balance, if you consider the many admirable things others do outside of agriculture, you’ll realize that the work tends to balance. Harvest Land is grateful to be a part of events, such as the Rural Urban Banquet, that allow us to come together for an evening and remember that.

 

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Growth for Advocacy

Last week a group of Harvest Land farmer-members and employees attended the Land O’Lakes Annual meeting in Minneapolis. During this meeting our representative group was part of the launch of Growth for Advocacy.

Growth for Advocacy is a program based around Land O’ Lakes’ vision of an increasing dialogue with consumers in regards to modern agriculture practices and how those of us within agriculture can become better storytellers.

 

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Growth for Advocacy Attendees Included:
Front row: Jessica Naylor, Beth Vansickle, Melanie Caldwell, Kevin Antrim, Brandi Doan, Jeremy Myers, Chris Myers, Amy Circle, Scott Logue (CEO, in attendance for annual meeting only)
Back row: Gene Tapalman (Director, in attendance for annual meeting only), Bob Newhouse (Director, in attendance for annual meeting only), Curt Naylor, Dave Vansickle, Tom Caldwell, Kyle Brooks, Eric Doan, Sean Younclaus, Case Circle

David Vansickle, YieldPro Specialist from our Lapel Ag Center, and his wife, Beth, participated in this program.

“I am very thankful for the opportunity presented to me by the Harvest Land Board and senior leadership to attend the Land O’ Lakes Annual Meeting and Growth for Advocacy,” said Vansickle. “I was able to come away from these three days in Minneapolis with a deeper understanding and appreciation for all of the components of Land O’ Lakes and how they work to help both farmer profitability, but also those at the local co-op.  Growth for Advocacy inspired and taught me to, not only be more proactive in helping to tell the story of modern agriculture across different platforms, but also how to be strategic in my approach.”

 

The purpose of the program is to ensure that our voices, as those directly involved in agriculture, are heard.  That includes anything from social media, to setting up farm visits in our area for schools or communities to visit and learn.  It is also a way to become more involved at a national level by working with Land O’Lakes and doing advocacy in Washington DC by meeting with elected officials.

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With a constant, cyclical list of things to do through out the year in order to plant, grow and harvest a successful crop, it is very easy for farmers to worry about their own operation and believe that someone else takes care of thinking through rules and regulations.

But in reality, the most powerful voices in agriculture at all levels are the farmers, themselves.

Companies like Land O’Lakes can tell the story, but it is far more powerful hearing the stories from the farmers because the decisions made by legislatures will affect their livelihood.

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Additionally, the group was reminded that it is very easy to consider those that are anti-GMO, or supportive of antibiotic-free meat and just tell them they are flat out wrong.  However,  there is so much power in having the ability to listen to their reasoning, and then educate them on the facts. Perhaps not to necessarily to change their mind on the spot, but to encourage them to do more research than just what they may hear or see on Facebook.

Harvest Land President and CEO, Scott Logue, was attending the Annual Meeting and able to visit with Growth for Advocacy participants.

“Harvest Land had the greatest showing of advocates from any other cooperative in the United States,” he reported. “This proves our commitment to being a positive and educational voice for the agriculture industry far past our own farm gates. I’m grateful for the group of Harvest Land farmer-members and employees who made this trip to represent our cooperative. Now, we’ll work to apply the principles learned and become better advocates for an industry that offers so much to our communities and the world.”

 

 

 

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If This Jacket Could Talk

We’re wrapping up National FFA Week, which is a week for chapters and members to share agriculture with their fellow students as well as their communities. Students in our area hosted breakfasts, spoke at conferences, held fundraisers and more. No doubt, the Official Dress and old FFA jacket will be ready for a break after school today.

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If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that it knows Robert – and his Rules of Order- very well.

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that you might outgrow jacket itself, but you won’t outgrow the memories or experiences.

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that Official Dress really does matter. No jeans, no dirty boots, no zippers undone:

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that many of your greatest lessons in high school happen after the 3:00 bell rings.

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you your scarf or tie is hiding in your left pocket.

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If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that when we think of our favorite chapters, we don’t think of a book.

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that FFA is one organization that has remained true to it’s core through generations. We all still believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds – achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculturists; in the promise of better days through better ways, even as the better things we now enjoy have come to us from the struggles of former years.

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If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that corduroy has a special durability to withstand the harshest October wind streaming through Indianapolis during convention, pins and embroidery needles that come along with leadership changes and even constructive criticism from judges.

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you to prepare yourself for the day that you hang up your jacket, placing it in the back corner of your closet, knowing it’s work is done, never to be worn again. It is a moment that signifies the end of a chapter in your life. But don’t you worry, the best is yet to come.

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that FFA is more than future farmers of America, but rather future botanists, food scientists, veterinarians, ag journalists, loan officers, chemical salesmen, farm broadcasters, teachers, nutritionists, applicators, mechanics and so much  more.

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Thank you to the advisors who dedicate so much of their time and energy to the students of the FFA organization, to the students who comprise such a promising group of future agriculturalists and to the parents who buy an endless supply of black panty hose and clean white oxford shirts for four years to get those students through. The FFA is an organization that gives us such promise of better days.

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Who is Harvest Land: Michele Robinson

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.who is harvest land_Robinson

Michele is the Tax Accountant in our Richmond Administrative office and has worked at Harvest Land for five and a half years. Her main responsibilities include management of fuel margins, fixed assets, inventory, seed product entry and census reporting.

While he role doesn’t plant her at an ag center or in a fuel truck working face-to-face with our customers, Michele helps keep prices down for our members by watching the bottom line. Think spreadsheets. Lots and lots of spreadsheets.

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Michele’s favorite part of her job with the co-op is resolving problems and assisting others.

What three words would she use to describe Harvest Land?

  1. Forward thinking
  2. Altruistic
  3. Community

Michele is an active participant of our Cultivating Communities program, and the organization she volunteers for is Amigos, The Richmond Latino Center, Inc.. In her time outside work, Michele enjoys golf in the summer and swimming in the winter months.

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Here, Michele is pictured with her daughters, Myra, left, and Bridget on the right. Any Twilight fans out there? An interesting note about this photo, told by Michele:
They filmed the “Police Station” scenes from the Twilight movies at this Wauna Federal Credit Union building in Vernonia, Oregon. I grew up, Jr High and High School, in Vernonia and worked in this building when it was first built after graduating from high school in 1980.  At the time it was Farmers & Merchants Bank.  I recognized the inside of the building when watching the movie and from the scenery I could tell it was filmed in the Pacific Northwest. My daughters didn’t believe me at first but I had saved the newspaper article from the 1980’s when the bank opened, they agreed after seeing the pictures. I eventually confirmed with my sister, who still lives outside of Vernonia, that they had basically closed down the whole town, population 2500, when filming there for a week or so. 

Michele was voted second place in our 2017 Salute to Service program, where she was nominated by Sam Andrews of Dot Transportation for her outstanding work. Check out what Sam had to say about her:

I have been with Dot Transportation in Cambridge City, IN since the day we started construction of our building and have had countless experiences I could share about the great employees at Harvest Land. From the days when Mike Munchel came out twice per week to fill 10 reefer trailers in the freezing cold to today where we purchase over $3 million worth of diesel annually. I do have one extra special story about an exceptional employee you have that I want to share. Her name is Michele Robinson. Michele called me one day a while back and shared that she thought we are paying a fuel tax from which we were exempt. I shared that information with our Dot Accounting group and they were positive she was wrong … but Michele was persistent and insistent. She and I exchanged several emails and finally she said “would it be OK if I talked to someone in your account department?” She worked with our accounting group to help them understand the exemption. She didn’t have to. There was nothing in it for her or for Harvest Land. She could have let it go when we said “we think you’re wrong”, but she didn’t. Her persistence saved Dot Transportation over $400,000 in current year and past year taxes and continues to save us money today. Michele had also shared with us that she thought we could go back to previous years and get a tax rebate. She was right…again. She worked with Dot’s accounting group and helped us get through the red tape. This was the largest money saving project in the company that year …. And it would never have happened without Michele giving me a call that day. What I have always found amazing is that there was no benefit to her. No benefit to Harvest Land. She did it out of her outstanding commitment to doing the right thing for the customer. Its because of folks like Michele that I wouldn’t even consider buying our diesel from any other supplier. Thanks Michele and thanks Harvest Land for being a great business partner.

Submitted by Sam Andrews, Dot Transportation

We very much enjoy having Michele as part of our team because of her compassion for others, her outstanding work ethic and persistence to do her job quite well.

 

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Top Five Reasons to Attend our Annual Meeting

Our 2018 Annual Meeting is approaching. It will be held on Tuesday, January 16 at 6:30 PM at the Wayne County Fairgrounds. While the event itself is a week and a half away, the last day to buy tickets is Tuesday, January 9. That date is coming quickly!

Today, the top five reasons to attend Harvest Land’s 2018 Annual Meeting:

State of the Cooperative by Scott Logue

Attend to hear the business report from President/CEO Scott Logue. In his message to farmer-members in the annual report, Logue wrote, “My career with Harvest Land began 20 years ago. In two decades, I have never been more excited about the opportunities that are ahead of Harvest Land. We are positioned very well to meet the challenges that lie ahead because of our ability to create progressive plans and execute accordingly. It is a very good time to be a part of Harvest Land.” Attend the annual meeting to find out why. 

Winter Hats and 2018 Calendars

We aren’t telling a lot of people this little secret, but between you and I, we’re going to have a few winter hats and 2018 antique tractor calendars on hand this evening to give away. Attend the annual meeting to pick up yours. 

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Director Elections

Attend to learn the results of our Board of Directors election. Candidates for each district are as follows:

District One: Rendell Miller and Neal Smith

District Two: Keith Carfield and Bob Newhouse

District Three: Tom Myers and Scott Sease

Bios and ballots for each district were in the annual report packets so each farmer-member could vote in their respective district. Attend the annual meeting to learn election results. 

Get Out of the House

I think we can agree that this cold snap (does a “snap” usually last 10 days?) of winter weather can really get to a person. The Harvest Land 2018 annual meeting is the perfect excuse to wear that vest you got for Christmas and head to town to get off the farm for a couple hours for some socializing. The annual meeting is the perfect place to visit with neighbors you don’t see often in the winter months and catch up on the neighborhood health report. “Did you hear that the Franklins have had the flu in their house for two weeks now? Bless their hearts….” Attend the annual meeting to visit with neighbors. 

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Willie & Red’s

We may have saved the best for last, here. Our annual meeting is being catered by Hagerstown’s favorite Willie & Red’s. After our business meeting you can indulge on fried chicken, roast beef, warm rolls with butter and more. But I won’t include the entire menu here. You’ll have to join us to find out more. Attend the annual meeting to enjoy a warm meal that you don’t have to prepare. 

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Don’t forget: Ticket sales end on January 9 and the event is at the Wayne County Fairgrounds at 6:30 on January 16.

We’ll see you there!

 

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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…

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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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