Two Join Team Through Dynamic Winfield United Internships​

This summer Harvest Land is excited to welcome two summer interns into roles that will offer them a dynamic in-field agricultural experience, WinFieldUnited_PMSstrengthen our partnership with Winfield United and allow us to better serve our farmer-members. This week we’d like to introduce you to the two outstanding college students that we’ll welcome this summer.

Garrett Lowes hails from Anderson, IN and will be our Sales and Operations Intern. He is studying Agribusiness Management at Purdue and will graduate in December. Garrett’s Garret Lowes-2role this summer will put him in the heart of ag center operations, affording him a full-circle look at Harvest Land. He’ll work with seed treatment processes, assist in the management and placement of and the data draw from the DTN Smart Traps, collaborate with our sales team to promote fungicide and insecticide with growers, conduct tissue tests with our YieldPro department, and also develop dynamic relationships with our ag sales team and agronomists during on-farm sales calls.

I am excited to gain a more well-rounded knowledge of Harvest Land and to develop long-lasting relations this summer while learning to better serve Harvest Land’s customer base. – Garrett Lowes

Levi Logue is from Liberty, Indiana and will be a sophomore at Purdue in the fall. Levi is a student in the Krannert School of Management where his major is General Management.  Levi’s internship will focus on digital marketing strategies and customer engagement. Much of his time will be focused on strategic conversations with customers to better understand their communication preferences, what information Levi Loguethey prefer to be delivered from the cooperative system and how timely information affects their buying and operational decisions. Levi will spend much of his time with our Communications Manager and YieldPro Sales Specialists to have these pertinent conversations, gather the data and finally, formulate a plan to move forward with successful customer engagement.

With this internship, I hope to gain valuable real-world experience within the agriculture industry, while also giving me the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and learn about the different aspects of analysis. I anticipate this internship will give me insight to career opportunities in agriculture. – Levi Logue

We gladly welcome Garrett and Levi to the team and very much look forward to working with these two bright minds to provide them with an educational experience that will only advance their career goals.

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2019 Forum Speaker Line-Up

FAKE NEWS.

We’re over it.

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That is why our Winter Innovation Forum brings in the nation’s best presenters to Wayne County, giving you only the facts on the industries that matter most for your business.

We thought today may be a great time to introduce you to the five individuals who will lead the discussions throughout the day on February 20.

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Terry Barr
Senior Director, Knowledge Exchange Division,
CoBank, ACB

Terry Barr, a nationally recognized economist, is senior director for CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division, an information-and-knowledge-sharing initiative created in 2009. The division draws upon the expertise and insights of experts inside CoBank as well as those of its customers and other third-party experts and professionals in the industries it serves.

Previously, Dr. Barr served as chief economist for the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives in Washington, DC from 1985 to 2009. Prior to joining NCFC, Terry held several positions during a 14-year tenure at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He served as chairman of the World Agricultural Outlook Board, which is responsible for coordinating USDA’s commodity forecasts and for publishing its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. He also served in the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture as director of economic analysis. Terry holds a doctorate in economics from Washington State University.


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Chuck Conner
President and CEO, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

Charles F. (Chuck) Conner became president & CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) on January 22, 2009. As president of NCFC, Conner will oversee the organization’s work to promote and protect the business and public policy interests of America’s farmer-owned cooperatives. He will also provide the strategic vision for the trade association as it continues to seek new ways in which to add value for its membership.

Prior to joining NCFC, Conner had served as the Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture since mid-2005. In this capacity, he was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) overseeing day-to-day operations of the department. Conner interacted directly with President George W. Bush and his senior staff to formulate domestic and international food, trade, security and energy policy. He led development of the Bush Administration’s $300 billion Farm Bill proposal and the strategy to educate and inform industry, constituents and Congress.

From August 2007 to January 2008, Conner served as both USDA Secretary and Deputy Secretary. He played a key role in developing the Administration’s immigration policy including important changes to the H2A program.

Conner’s experience also includes the assignment of Special Assistant to the President, Executive Office of the President, from October 2001 to May 2005, working on the 2001/2 Farm Bill to develop the strategy behind the transfer of several USDA agency functions to the newly formed Department of Homeland Security. From May 1997 to October 2001 Conner served as President of the Corn Refiners Association. He also served for 17 years as an advisor to U.S. Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana.

Conner is a graduate of Purdue University, with a Bachelor’s of Science degree and is the recipient of Purdue’s Distinguished Alumni Award. He and his wife Dru have four children.


Steve Dlugosz, CCA, Agronomist, Harvest Land Co-opDlugosz

Steve Dlugosz received a BS in Agronomy from Purdue University in 1980, and a MS in Entomology from Purdue University in 1991. He started his career as an Area IPM Extension specialist for Purdue, and worked an eleven county area of southwest Indiana. In 1985, he went to work for Indiana Farm Bureau Cooperative Inc. He has held various agronomic positions within the Cooperative system over the years of industry consolidation, and is currently the Lead Agronomist for Harvest Land Co-op.

Steve has been heavily involved in the CCA program since its inception, and has served in a number of leadership roles including Chairman of the International CCA Board in 2006. Steve has also served on a number of agricultural and industry boards and committees over the years. In 1997 he was appointed by the Governor of Indiana to serve on the Indiana Pesticide Review Board and currently serves today. He testified before two different Congressional Committees on Agriculture in 2005 and again in 2010


dysleTodd Dysle, UAN Products Manager, CHS

Todd Dysle has had a 31-year career in the Crop Nutrient industry, working for a retail/wholesale fertilizer distributor. He has spent more than 10 years with two international trading companies. Dysle joined CHS in 2008 as the Product Manager for UAN (Nitrogen Solutions) and has since handled all crop nutrients at one time or another. Today he manages the UAN and the Ammonia books

It with great fondness that Dysle shares his fertilizer business experience with you today. He has witnessed many industry changes over the years and very much enjoys sharing that information with farmers.

Todd Dysle was raised on an Ohio dairy farm where his passion for agriculture was ignited. He went on to serve as a State FFA Officer and then received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from The Ohio State University. Dysle went on to be a Farm Broadcaster for 10 years and also a part time grain farmer.

Dysle has lived with his wife Paula in the Tampa, FL area the past 18 years. In his spare time he enjoys travel, golf, and his two granddaughters who reside in Ohio.


smith-charlie-091504Charlie Smith,
President/CEO
CountryMark

Charlie Smith is President and CEO of CountryMark Cooperative Holding Corp. (CountryMark). CountryMark’s operations encompass oil exploration and production, refining, and distribution-refined products to its branded retailers. Charlie began his career with the Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) where he held a number of petroleum-related assignments in Houston, Anchorage and Dallas. In 1991, he joined a leading international petroleum consulting firm where he became Vice President and Director, managing the firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions practice. Charlie joined CountryMark in his current capacity in January 2003. Charlie holds a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Purdue University and is a graduate of the Hoosier Fellows program at Indiana University’s Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence. He also is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas. Charlie served eight years on the Advisory Board of the new Indiana State Department of Agriculture for which he received the Partner in Progress Award from Lt. Governor Becky Skillman. He currently serves on the Board of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Advisors for Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business (Indianapolis), the Board of the Michigan Oil and Gas Association, and the Industry Advisory Council for Purdue University’s School of Chemical Engineering. Charlie recently received the 2015 Purdue University School of Chemical Engineering’s Outstanding Chemical Engineer Award.


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Unique Training Tool

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.

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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.

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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.

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Pictured from left to right: Mike Kress, Jake Bottoms, Mike Whitney, Brian Stump and Chandler Grogan

You can check out this educational display at our 2019 Winter Innovation Forum to be held in Richmond on Wednesday, February 20!

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2018 Scholarship Recipients Announced

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:

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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.

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Hancock County Ag Safety Day

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.

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Thank you, Julie Lamberson, Risk Manager, for spending the day with these students.

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These two young men belong to Tarra Youngclaus from our Junction location.

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Many thanks to The Photography Barn for snapping these photos of our work.

 

 

 

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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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Summer Harvest Supper

Harvest Land farmer-members recently attended a Summer Harvest Supper, hosted on the family farm of one of our members. The intent of this supper, organized by Farm Bureau, was to invite consumers to share a meal with local producers and open the evening to conversation about food production.

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The evening began with a brief reception with wine from  J&J Winery and vegetables – and the best candied bacon you could imagine –  from local growers and pork producers.

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Each supper table was set for six consumers and two producers. The producers consisted of dairymen, beef, poultry and swine producers, grain farmers, large animal veterinarians, extension agents, and fruit and vegetable growers. Harvest Land was well represented, having farmer-members, an employee and even a former Director serving as experts in food production.

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The consumers included a wide array of people, including college students, business owners, school superintendents, bankers, the Chamber of Commerce, real estate agents, medical doctors and more.

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The setting of the event was perfect, in the yard of the farmstead, next to a cornfield lined with sweet corn, which the attendees shared during the family-style supper.

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Everything enjoyed during the supper was grown and prepared locally. Sweet corn, green beans, beef, honey, bacon and more.

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Each table had a set of prepared questions, should the consumers not know what to ask in order to learn more about where their food comes from. Our experience was that no one needed those prompting questions! The consumers came with questions and concerns about various things, such as raw milk, pesticides, what to look for at the meat counter to have a great beef eating experience, confined feeding operations and much, much more.

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Every twenty minutes the two producers would rotate to the next table, giving the consumers the opportunity to ask the experts in many different areas – dairy, pork, beef, grain, vegetables, etc.

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Local FFA chapters from Western Wayne, Hagerstown and Northeastern joined us to serve the dishes and deliver drinks in an efficient manor.

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The Summer Harvest Supper was a success and a very enjoyable evening. Some indicators of success at an event such as this are having a consumer approach you after the event and simply say, “Thank you for tonight. I feel so much better about grocery shopping for my family.” Or, “I’m not afraid of milk anymore!”. The event allowed people to put a friendly face with the idea of food production.

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We’d like to thank Neil and LuAnn Gettinger for opening their farm to a large group of curious folks. Everyday those involved in food production are faced with a general public which is largely misinformed about where their food comes from and how it is produced. This event helped farmers educate consumers on the safest, most abundant food supply in the world: Ours.

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