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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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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Janel Cowart: 2019 Support Staff of the Year

We’re so excited to share that our very own Janel Cowart, part of our EnergyPro team located at the Junction, was recently named Support Staff of the Year at the CountryMark awards banquet.

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Janel has been a Harvest Land employee for only five years, but in that time she has made quite an impact on coworkers and customers. Janel is just downright fun to work with – yes, you read that right! During long, hot, or cold days in the energy business, Janel always works to make Harvest Land a pleasant place to be.

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Janel has an outstanding, positive attitude around customers as well as Harvest Land employees. She is also the definition of a team player. If there is an issue that needs attention, you can confidently turn it over to Janel and she will find the problem. Janel demands nothing less than accuracy in her work, and she expects the same from others. In fact, if she finds inaccuracy is other’s work that may affect our business, she will fix it without hesitation.

Janel does an excellent job of building spreadsheets that track information when needed. She is very timely with meeting deadlines. She will work over or take work home when needed. Janel is very well respected by those she works with, including drivers, service techs, and fellow support staff.

Janel does not only focus on what she can accurately get done in a day, but she also constantly finds ways to make the job more efficient for herself and the entire energy team.

Janel Cowart is the best of the best and we are so proud to have her on our team. Watch a few EnergyPro team members speak about Janel:

 

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Congratulations, Janel!

Thank you for representing our cooperative so very well.

 

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CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: Salute to Service

With more than fifty locations, it can be difficult to hear about all the great things happening within our cooperative, thanks in large part to our team of dedicated employees. In a world with media that seems to sensationalize negative news, Salute to Service is a way to find the good.  

So, let’s hear all the good news. 

We’d like to invite you to participate in our Salute to Service program, which will recognize employees for a job well done.

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You can participate by sending us stories of the positive encounters or experiences you have with Harvest Land employees.

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 invite you to tell us

why an employee deserves to be

commended on a job well done.

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In late fall, we’ll present the top Salute to Service entries to our employee base and ask them to vote for the best example of a Harvest Land employee exceeding expectations. The winner – as chosen by their peers – will be rewarded with a $1,000 cash prize and 2 vacation days. For the person that submits the winning entry? Well, they’ll walk away with $250.

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Keep a watchful eye this harvest season as the weather cools and don’t hesitate to contact us with your story/stories for Salute to Service.

You can submit entries by emailing  nominations@harvestlandcoop.com or contact our President/CEO, Scott Logue at 765.962.1527.

The deadline to submit entries is November 15, 2019 at 5:00 PM.

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2018 Winner, John Bell

 

If you need a pick-me-up today, just read about a few of our previous winners and nominations:

2018 Winner, John Bell

2017 Winner, Kim Buttery

Brian Henderson nomination, A Harvest Land Christmas Story

Randal Reese nomination, Who is Harvest Land?

Tammie Fox nomination, Who is Harvest Land?

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We look forward to hearing about all the great things our hard-working employees do to cultivate positivity in communities and keep our cooperative business strong for the next generation.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Tools for Training and Keeping Good Employees Increasingly Important in Agribusiness

A few months ago, Matt Reese of Ohio’s Country Journal reached out to Harvest Land asking if we have any tools for training and keeping good employees, as this topic has been increasingly important in agribusiness. We decided to share the details and success of our ACE program with Matt and Ohio’s Country Journal. This week, we share with you the full article Matt wrote:

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Tools for training and keeping good employees increasingly important in agribusiness

By Matt Reese

It is not an uncommon story. A young employee starts at the lowest levels of a company, works in every facet of the business and one day ends up running it.

“Our CEO is in his early 40s. He hired on at a local ag center as an applicator, which is a technical job driving big machines. He was willing to do anything. He would tie feed sacks at the mill, sweep shop floors, check out customers at the counter — that man now is our CEO,” said Lindsay Sankey, communications manager for Harvest Land Cooperative with locations in western Ohio and Indiana. “He has worked in every department of our business. He is a prime example that if you are willing to learn and take on responsibility, there is so much opportunity in a farmer owned cooperative. We have several examples of this. He started on the lowest rung and now he is leading the cooperative.”

Unfortunately, for a number of different reasons, this type of ground up experience and long-term company loyalty seems to be less common in the modern pool of employees. Harvest Land Cooperative recognizes the value of this type of experience for young potential leaders and has taken extensive steps to recreate it as a way to groom tomorrow’s leaders.

“About 5 years ago we started talking about succession in the cooperative system. Harvest Land has about 300 full time employees and about a third of them will retire in the next decade. We recognized the need to fill our bench, you might say, with people who are qualified to be a valuable leader in our business. As we prepare for future demand of an evolving agricultural climate, we also must provide our emerging front runners with a broad perspective of what our cooperative does,” Sankey said. “That gave us the idea for our Accelerated Career Excellence (ACE) Program. We invite people to apply for this program, right out of college or trade school, maybe someone who is interested in working for Harvest Land, but they might not know exactly where they could fit. This is a great program because it allows them to see all facets of our business in 12 months and determine what areas suit them and how they suit our system the best.”

The paid position through the ACE Program sets the stage for future leaders by teaching them about Harvest Land from the ground up.

“They go on a tour of our co-op. They work in the agronomy department, they work in the energy department that includes fuels, home heat and propane, they have to dive deep into our seed business, and then they go through training on the importance of organization and prioritization skills. They go through a whole session on personality testing and how to understand and work with multiple types of people. They also are required to dive deep into the financial understanding of the cooperative system and specifically Harvest Land’s balance sheet. We give assigned reading to them and we bring in a professor from Purdue on communication skills and how to work with customers, growers and the community. As they go through this they are showing up every day at a local location or our headquarters,” Sankey said. “We started this in 2016 and we have had really good success. We had a young man come out of the casket industry, and he applied for a job at Harvest Land. He had grown up on a small farm in Indiana but had not been a part of that farm in a decade. He is about to take over our grain marketing department in September. He has excelled so much. He showed up. He was willing to learn. He really shined in grain marketing and when our grain marketing manager retires, this young man will take over the department. Every one of our candidates has accepted full time positions. They are doing cool things for the co-op and are proving their leadership abilities. We recognize we are building strength on our bench at Harvest Land.”

 

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Kyle Baumer is one of many success stories through Harvest Land’s ACE Program.

ACE offers a chance for young leaders to discover where they may fit, but it also provides a chance for management to learn about the upcoming talent.

 

“The managers supervise, evaluate and enrich the experience for these individuals so they get a boots on the ground look at Harvest Land. Our managers are always looking for good help and their feedback is extremely valuable and candid. We know when things are going well or when an ACE candidate is not so interested in that area,” Sankey said. “ACE is managed by our HR department and it is a large part of what they do. From the very beginning when they interview someone, this is in the back of their mind. Because this is a 12-month program and it is cyclical, they are constantly having to manage how long someone has been in the department, where they are now, and who they have worked with. It is a lot of work. We have three HR individuals on our team and they do a great job of facilitating the ACE Program.

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“When you recognize the needs of running a business, you know you are going to have to put in some work to attract young talent. Every ounce of effort put into this will pay us back if we can create a good culture and hire these employees that will stick with Harvest Land.”

Good, long-term employees are shaped by their work experiences, but they also respond to a workplace culture including positive core values. Emphasizing and instilling those values with employees is the reason behind the IREP program at A&L Great Lakes Laboratoriesbased in Ft. Wayne, Ind.

“A couple years ago we had a bit of an identity crisis. We needed to distinguish ourselves in the marketplace. So for about 9 months, we worked on identifying what we really stood for as a company,” said Jamie Bultemeier, agronomist and corporate sales director for A&L Great Lakes Laboratories. “We identified our core values are doing the right things with integrity when no one is looking. We want to do things right the first time every time. We want to be easy to work with. When the customers are looking for solutions, we want to solve those problems. And, we want to be partners with our customers. If their business grows, our business grows and we can build loyalty with our customers that way. A group of employees came up with IREP: Integrity, Right, Easy, Partnership as a way to remember them. That has stuck and become a foundation for what we do.”

IREP is focused inward.

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If employees decide to embrace the principles of IREP at A&L Great Lakes Laboratories they get to add their name to the wall.

 

“Our outward appearance and marketing is based on these four core values too, but this is about getting employees to adopt the same internal branding that we are pushing outward. And when someone calls the office, no matter who they talk to, we want these core values to exude from the conversations. We want a consistent message of what A&L Great Lakes stands for. IREP has been a way to bring this into an easy to understand concept that people can buy into,” he said. “When you can articulate your core values, it opens doors for sales and hiring new talent. It really clarifies our value messages to people. When we make big decisions, does it stand on our core values? If it doesn’t, we don’t do it. It has made the decision making process easier too.”

From the beginning, new employees are introduced to the IREP concept. It is featured on a plaque in the office lobby, but more importantly it is emphasized on a wall in the back of the office for employees to sign if they agree with those principles.

“We are hoping we can build an emotional tie to the company. We rely heavily on seasonal employees and when we can get an employee to return it really helps. When they come back we do not have to retrain them and they understand how things work. We hope to bring those part timers back year after year,” Bultemeier said. “We have always had a small group of seasonals who return, but trying to get them to return has gotten more difficult. Now we are getting to the point where those people are developing a personal tie to the company and become something more than just a seasonal employee. That makes them more likely to come back each year.”

Because it was developed from the inside out, IREP has been very effective.

“IREP has been around for about a year and a half. When we started going through this branding process, the company morale took a little bit of a dive. It created some open conversations that maybe weren’t the most fun to be a part of. We have really since then seen a real change in morale as we have brought some of these things out and company morale has really gone up dramatically. Employees are taking ownership in this. We are also now trying to catch people following the IREP values and highlighting it. We encourage it and celebrate it when it occurs,” Bultemeier said. “It doesn’t matter the size of your business or what it is, that unified belief or value set is important. It is tough if those values are only in your marketing. If it doesn’t resonate through the employees of the company, it is lost. Now we hear from our customers using the words directly out of IREP. That is huge when we see that manifesting itself in our customer base. That is not something you can fake or get in advertising. This is deeper than a marketing program. This started out as a management need. It was a very methodical business oriented decision to do it. When the employees took ownership of this, it took on a life of its own.”

 

This is the third of a series of five stories in cooperation with the Ohio AgriBusiness Association highlighting human resource management solutions in Ohio agribusinesses.

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We apprecaite Matt reaching out to Harvest Land. You can read the full article printed in the recent edition, or online here.

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ACE Program Welcomes 2019 Hires

As our cooperative business evolves, Harvest Land recognizes the need to invest in our greatest asset: our employees. With nearly 1/3 of our employee group retiring in the next ten years, there is immense opportunity for individuals to advance their careers within our cooperative and gain extensive experience to provide greater service and value to our members.

As we prepare for the increased responsibilities and future demands of an evolving agriculture climate, we must provide emerging frontrunners with a broader perspective. This more-strategic perspective enables them to see the business as a whole—beyond specific functions or departments. By gaining this perspective, they are more prepared to successfully operate in leadership positions.

The ACE (Accelerated Career Excellence) program is a 12-month career development ACE Logo-01
program designed to enable participants to strategically frame their thinking, learn and use basic cooperative business knowledge and tools, and apply what is learned in the context of their accelerating career.

We recently welcomed two new ACE candidates to Harvest Land:

Kenzi Schwieterman, originally from Ridgeville, Indiana, joins us after graduating from Purdue with a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy. Before joining our team, Kenzi worked previously as a crops resource center teaching assistant at Purdue, a research diagnostic intern with the USDA and plays an active role on her family’s farm. Kenzi begins her career at Randolph Ag. 

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Nick Arnold is originally from Hagerstown and has launched his career with Harvest Land at Central Ohio Ag. Nick recently graduated from Purdue with a Bachelor of Science degree in agribusiness management. Prior to joining our team, Nick worked as a sales intern with AgriGold Hybrids and was also a Harvest Land Field Tech summer intern in 2017. Nick has also been a large part of operations on his family’s farm, where his passion for agriculture was ignited. 

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We’re extremely excited about these two individuals joining the Harvest Land team and we look forward to the perspective they’ll bring to our farmer-owned cooperative.

Welcome, Kenzi & Nick!

 

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Building a Cathedral​

Harvest Land has an internal monthly newsletter called theLINK. TheLINK was created in 2014 in an effort to bridge the gap between our agronomy, energy, feed, and grain Company Newsletter May 2019_Page_1marketing businesses, highlight employees and share good news across our entire cooperative. The newsletter comes out on the last day of each month so that we’re able to kick off a new month with positive insight about our employer. Employees do a great job of sending in content to be used in theLINK so their co-workers can be recognized for a job well done.

In this monthly communication, our CEO writes a message to the entire employee base. Usually, he writes about an area where employees have contributed to the improvement of our cooperative in a special way or shares business insight that employees may not see otherwise.

 

We found this month’s Message from Scott

worth passing on to our Trust & Traction readers:

 

Have I ever told you the story of the three bricklayers?

A traveler came upon three men working. He asked the first man what he was doing.

The first man answered gruffly, ‘I’m laying bricks.’

The second man replied, ‘I’m putting up a wall.’

But the third man said enthusiastically and with pride, ‘I’m building a cathedral.’

They were all doing the same thing. The first man had a job. The second man had a career. The third man had a purpose.

There are countless positions held by our 300+ employees, and within a day, a single person can manage multiple tasks within their position. Every act that you contribute on our behalf matters. Whether you’re keeping organized records of fuel deliveries within the cab of your truck, paying our operational bills so that we keep the lights on, cleaning out the warehouse so we ensure critters are at a minimum or coordinating the delivery of a product to a farmer who is anxious about the season ahead: Your job at Harvest Land serves great purpose.

It is easy to get lost in the day-to-day immediate tasks. Those are the things that must be done now, or else. But let’s not lose sight of the value of the work. We may be laying bricks every day – come (excessive) rain, snow, or shine – but if we can envision the end result and go through our days with intention, our daily work becomes much more meaningful.

Today and always, I thank you for your work, brick by brick.

 

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This week we’ll leave you with this thought:

Are you viewing your day-to-day work as laying bricks or building a cathedral? If you make a daily effort to find value in even the smallest of tasks you’re taking on, your sense of purpose will become much greater. And living with purpose – if even in your 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM job – will offer you much more fulfillment than simply laying bricks.

We invite you to join our team in finding ways to value the work you do with a strong and stable vision of the end result.

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Harvest Land Brings Home Ag Volunteer, Corporation of the Year

The Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce had their 2019 Annual Dinner last week and Harvest Land represented the agriculture industry well in front of a crowd of nearly 600. The annual event honors the top businesses, volunteers and community leaders.

Harvest Land’s own Danielle Baumer, Human Resources, won the award for Agribusiness Committee Volunteer of the Year.  The mission of the Agribusiness Committee is to promote agriculture as a major segment of the local economy, lead community efforts regarding agribusiness and economic development, and unite and network groups and activities to address issues important to agriculture.

We asked Danielle about the tremendous honor (she serves on the committee with ag lenders, business owners, insurance representatives, implement dealers, and more) and she had this to say:

I am honored to have received this award, especially within our county where agriculture is not only an essential part of our economy, but also the passion and livelihood of so many. It has been an absolute pleasure to serve on the Agribusiness committee; not only to advocate for Ag within our county (and beyond), but also to have the opportunity to meet so many new faces who also share the same love and passion for ag that many of us do here at Harvest Land Co-op. I am delighted to have the opportunity to assist in representing our Co-op alongside Lindsay, and hope to continue serving for many years to come.

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 Pictured with Baumer is Lee Elzmeyer, outgoing Chamber Board Chairman

Later in the evening, Harvest Land was named Corporation of the Year. This award represents the highest recognition given by the Chamber to a business/corporation. What an honor to be recognized as the business that most exemplifies being a good corporate citizen of the community.  We join a prestigious group of previous winners such as Reid Health, Belden, Hills Pet Nutrition, Richmond Baking and more. Since the award began in 1993, Harvest Land is the first agricultural company to be honored.

It is truly an honor to be recognized by the Chamber as 2019 Corporation of the Year. Much of our work in the last decade has been telling the story of agriculture to those who are not directly involved. Our relationship with the Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce has supported those efforts greatly, and we very much appreciate being recognized amongst our peers. Harvest Land is nearly 100 years old, and we will continue to serve the east central Indiana community through our hard-working farmer-members for generations to come.  – Scott Logue, Harvest Land President/CEO

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Lindsay Sankey, Communications Manager, accepts the award for Corporation of the Year on behalf of Harvest Land

While our home base in Wayne County isn’t necessarily rural, a large part of our efforts on NW 5th Street is finding ways to educate the public about agriculture and continue our commitment to cultivating communities. We’re honored to be recognized, not only for our business operations in Wayne County but also through the outstanding people we employ.

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785 Years of Service

785 years.

That is the total number of years of service our 2018 honorees have dedicated to Harvest Land Co-op. Annually we recognize employees by five-year increments and thank them for their continued work on our cooperative’s behalf. At the Christmas party in December, we recognized the following individuals.

According to an Economic News Release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics in November 2018,  the average number of years that wage and salary workers have worked for their current employer is currently 4.6 years. With that statistic, we’re quite proud to honor the following folks for their commitment to Harvest Land.

Note that not all honorees were in attendance. 

5
Five Years

Five Years of Service:

Teri Dunlavy Richmond
Kipp Huth Junction LP
Shannon Bodey Lena Ag
Sara Nave Lena Ag
Kyle Brooks Central Crops
Brigette Mauck North Crops-Durbin
Troy Bane YieldPro
Tim Hammond YieldPro
Curt Naylor Reg. Mgr./Seed
Garet Ribel Decatur
Cindy Kay Richmond Energy
Tim Gibbs Kalmbach
James Thompson Versailles
Nicole Pyott Risk Dept.
10
Ten Years

Ten Years of Service:

Steve Miller West Liquid Fuels
Darren Klein Pershing
Jeff Riester Central Crops
Tiffany Miller Rushville
Robert Moore Rushville
David Williams Rushville
Mike Hartsock Rushville
John Rines Limberlost
Royce Kukelhan Limberlost
Joe Werling Williams
Dennis Mount Ohio Energy
Terry Miller Ohio Energy
15
Fifteen Years

Fifteen Years of Service:

Mike Klein Hagerstown
Lance Eyler Transportation
Mark Smith R&F
20
Twenty Years

Twenty Years of Service:

Vickie Fleenor Richmond
Duane Brooks Hagerstown
Henry Branscum Jr. Monroe LF
Mike Reed YieldPro
Bob Newhouse Director
25
Twenty-Five Years

Twenty-Five Years of Service:

Michael Chalfant Junction LP
Jay Scharnowske Junction LP
Tim Lanman Pershing
Ivan Brumbaugh Transportation
Greg Hayes Richmond LF
Jeff Osborn Richmond LP
Todd Duncan Ohio Energy
30
Thirty Years

Thirty Years of Service:

Susan Metzger Randolph Ag
Jamie Cressman Decatur
Brian Becker Director
Tom Tucker Director

Thirty-Five Years of Service:

Brent Stang West LF
David Taylor YieldPro
40
Forty Years

Forty Years of Service:

Mark Garretson North Crops
45
Forty-Five Years

And finally, Forty-Five Years of Service:

Stan Hicks Richmond

We asked Stan Hicks, our Chief Operations Officer, about his forty-five years at Harvest Land. Here are a few words from him:

“It’s been amazing to look back over the years and see how the farmers within our trade territory have banned together, consolidated their 19 co-ops into one very solid cooperative and established an organization that works for their long-term well-being in the agricultural community.”

 

“The Cooperative System has been for me, and many others, a long-term career in the field of agriculture when the means were not afforded to be a farmer that planted, harvested and marketed their own production.”

We offer sincere thanks to Stan and all others who celebrated another year with Harvest Land. We truly appreciate you.

 

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