A Photographic Lesson in Perspective

It was a day full of media creation:

  • Interview an agronomist on-camera about current disease pressures.
  • Interview an energy manager on-camera about propane safety.
  • Film a propane sales specialist conducting an in-home safety check.
  • Take various photos during each of these video shoots to have stored in our photo library for use down the road.

We arrived at the homestead where we were going to shoot the in-home propane safety check and I was impressed. A beautiful home which sat off the road, a well-manicured yard, and flawless landscaping that seemed to put a bow on the entire package.

I took many photos that day and have since used them extensively over the last two years.

Fast forward to Tuesday of this week. I asked our CEO to give a promotional piece a final review before sending it to print.

“The detailer looks good. Accurate. But that photo needs replaced. It is terrible,” said our CEO.

“What photo?!” I responded. I work to ensure every print piece that comes out of our office is professionally done and pleasing to the eye.

“The propane one. What do you see when you look at that photo?” he asked.

I studied it.

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“A man delivering propane on a sunny day. A clean truck,” I was quick to remark.

“Weeds! Two weeds. Big weeds. They really stand out,” he responded.
I laughed. “Those aren’t weeds! Those are flowers. That’s part of the landscaping around  the tank. Black eyed Susan’s. They’re just not in bloom,” I defended my use (extensive use over the last two years) of the photo. It had been on every social media channel and used in several print pieces.

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Black eyed Susan

He studied the photo. “Those are weeds. Goldenrod. They need pulled or sprayed.” He was steadfast in his conviction of weed identification and treatment.

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Goldenrod

I asked why, if the photo bothered him and it was used so many times, had he not mentioned it before now? He revealed that he had confidence that I would notice the weeds, remove the picture from things and the problem would be solved. Boy was he wrong!

I was taken back by the misunderstanding, so I tried explaining that the very reason we shot at that particular customer’s home was because it was so well tended.

Well groomed.

Landscaped with colorful details waiting to emerge.

No weeds.

Immaculate.

Our CEO then explained that anyone who sees this photo won’t know that. They only see a guy delivering propane with two big weeds in the way. Our audience didn’t drive up the driveway and see the house, the yard, the barn. They only see the goldenrod (black eyed Susans).

He was right. Unless you know your flowers pre-bloom, these plants looked like weeds.

I appreciated that particular photo because of the natural lighting that day. The clean and well-maintained propane truck. The faceless driver, intentional so no one associated the image with a particular person. The spotless propane tank. And finally, the two flowers awaiting their time to shine.

But unless you were in my shoes – or, the shoes of the homeowner who planted them with intention – you wouldn’t know those were flowers. You may think those were weeds.

It was a classic lesson in perspective: What one person sees, another may not.

That is why it is critically important to value perspectives as we move through life experiences, careers and relationships.

In fact, the key to successful relationships lies solely in our ability to value the perspective of another and find the ability to look at things from a point of view other than our own.

It can be tough, but it can be done.

Is there an area in your personal life, career or relationships that might benefit from a change in perspective?

To step out of your shoes and into another’s?

To ask questions in order to learn, rather than assume? Especially during this time of uncertainty and unpredictability.

Perhaps now is the time. I know that a brief conversation in the corner office earlier this week sure changed the way I’ve thought in the last couple days, and it will continue to do so. I’ll certainly remember this lesson when I am tasked with the job of taking photos or video on behalf of our cooperative.

Now, I’d love to visit more with you about perspective, but I’m spending the rest of the morning replacing the goldenrod (black eyed Susans) photo on every piece of promotional material on which it has appeared.

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By Lindsay, Communications Manager

 

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EnergyPro Assurance

Our EnergyPro sales team’s milage has slowed quite a bit in the last month for obvious CMC Vertical Tag CMYKreasons. They’re taking quite seriously the health and well-being of their customers and families. EnergyPro customers can rest assured that while you may not see them in the office, at the pump or at the farm gate, they’re still working diligently to provide the highest quality fuel and lubricants to our customers.

This week we invite you to meet the dynamic team members and hear their message regarding the slow in -face-to-face contact.

We invite you to reach out to Jason, Cindy or Mae for your energy needs. The show must go on, and we’re here to help.

Jason Deboo: 765.914.1541, jdeboo@harvestlandcoop.com

Cindy Lee: 765.993.4359, clee@harvestlandcoop.com

Mae McDaniel: 765.748.3636, mmcdaniel@harvestlandcoop.com

 

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Our Encouragement of Youth in Agriculture

It was cold, but they showed up.

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Harvest Land understands that high school students in our trade territory are a tremendous asset as they emerge as the future generation of leaders within the workplace. With one-third of our workforce retiring in the next 3-5 years and many similar stories echoing throughout the agriculture industry, the career options that students interested in ag will encounter are tremendous.

_DSC0784This week and next,  we welcome high school ag students to our local ag centers as we help them discover the many career options at the cooperative, including roles as Agronomists, Custom Applicators, Office Support Administrators, Fuel and Propane Delivery Drivers and much more.

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Whether today’s students are focused on heading to college or simply graduating high school, our employees are excited to share their similar stories and experiences that have brought them to where they are today.

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Students in attendance got to tour our facilities and encounter several stations along the way, which provided interactive experiences for students. All segments of our cooperative business, Agronomy, Energy, Grain and Feed, are represented during these career day events.

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As your local cooperative, we appreciate any opportunity to encourage youth participation and education within agriculture.

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We truly appreciate the schools and teachers who participate in these career days, which provides an enhanced view of local careers post-graduation while simultaneously raising awareness on some options for scholarships, internships and learning tools in the interim.

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We’re proud to be local.

We’re proud to work safely and as a team.

We’re proud to be owned by 5,500 dedicated farmers.

We’re proud to employ so many in rural Ohio and Indiana.

We’re proud to do work daily that enhances the lives of so many.

We’re proud to have so many different career opportunities within one company which can satisfy the curious minds and busy hands of so many in rural America.

We’re proud to be Harvest Land.

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Energy Price Management: Contracting Options

Big jobs require big planning – how can you best prepare for the work ahead?
  • Harvest Land can provide ways to help you plan and manage your fuel expenses, and these tools help take the guess work out of the process.
  • We offer two types of contracts to help you mitigate risk in the price of your liquid fuels: Flex Contracting and Fixed Contracting.
  • We can help you determine which works best for you!
Watch the video below to join Jason DeBoo and Tim Deardorff of Harvest Land’s energy team as they explain both contracts and how they can truly help your operation’s bottom line.

 

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Our Commitment to Propane Safety

Harvest Land delivers propane in eastern Indiana and western Ohio to keep homes, businesses, schools, and churches running. Propane has proven its versatility for heating homes, heating water, cooking, fueling gas fireplaces, lighting and heating outdoor living spaces, crop drying, greenhouse operations, irrigation and much more. It’s environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

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We operate with no hidden fees (such as delivery, environmental and membership). It’s as simple as that. We also have programs to fit your budget and lifestyle with contracts, tank programs, guaranteed pricing and more.

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Safety for our customers is our top priority. This is why each of our propane professionals are CETP trained and certified. This week we invite you to take a look inside our propane business and the careful steps we take to ensure your family is safe with Harvest Land Propane.

Energy Risk Management: Contracting Options

We know that what happens overseas affects your price at the pump, daily. Harvest Land can provide ways to help you plan and manage your fuel expenses, and these tools help take the guesswork out of the process.

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We offer two types of contracts to help you mitigate risk in the price of your liquid fuels: Flex Contracting and Fixed Contracting.

Watch the video below to join Meggie Foster, Energy Sales & Marketing Manager, and John Speer, Energy Manager, as they explain both contracts and how they can truly help your operation’s bottom line. 

 

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2018 Salute to Service Winner: John Bell

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 60 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 2018 Salute to Service Award.

At our cooperative Christmas party on December 8 the winner was announced. Today we want to share with you the winner:

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John is a fuel driver out of our Greenville, Ohio location.

The winning submission:

“I was visiting my Grandma in early fall when John Bell arrived to fill her fuel tank. In her older age (she’s 88 and in poor health) Grandma is extremely paranoid about running out of fuel. She was so glad to see John pull down the farm lane. John topped off her tank, then came in to reassure her that he wouldn’t let her run out of fuel, ever. John could have left the ticket in the door and went about his business, but he stepped inside Grandma’s kitchen to check on her, ask her how she is feeling, then assure her fuel level was fine – even better now that he topped it off! As her granddaughter, I truly appreciate the time he took to deal with an 88-year-old lady who spends much of her day worrying. John was kind, reassuring and very pleasant. He represents Harvest Land so well and he made me proud to be associated with the cooperative.” Submitted by Lindsay Sankey

Below are five more nominations that were submitted on John’s behalf. In fact, not only did the above get the greatest number of votes, but John also had the most individual nominations!

“John Goes above and beyond for the company” Submitted by Doug Fark

“I’m writing to nominate John Bell (Greenville, OH Terminal) for your Salute to Service program. I’ve been with Trans Alliance, LLC in Greenville, OH for 6 years now, and for 5 of those years I’ve been handling the bulk fuel purchase and delivery. John looks out for our company like he is one of our employee’s. We receive fuel 3-4 times per week, but I feel it’s safe to say that John is probably here at least 5 days a week taking measurements to make sure we haven’t had an influx in fueling that could empty our tank. Numerous Bellconversations have been had with John that he checked our tank the previous night, after everyone had left, never wanting us to run out. If he didn’t have the fuel on his truck that night, he’d make sure that we were the first stop the following morning. This means a lot to our company, me personally, and our drivers always know they’ll be able to fuel up at the yard. When John comes into our office to get a receipt signed, he says “Hello” to everyone,
and usually by name. Now I understand I deal with John on a daily basis, and it should be pretty easy to remember my name, but to say hello to the other 10 employees here at Trans Alliance by name is very impressive. As he leaves, a “See Ya/Have a good day” is said before he walks out the door. Reliability is a huge reason I feel John should be recognized for your program. As stated above, we always know they’ll be fuel in the tank. But I’ve called John on his cell many times with issues or questions, and he always answers when I 
call or returns the call ASAP! If we’ve got an issue with our tank or reader, he’s out there with tools in hand to try and fix it himself. Thanks to Harvest Land and John Bell for providing the quality fuel that keeps the trucks of Trans Alliance going down the road 365 days a year!” Submitted by Cory J. Griesdorn, TransAlliance

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“I would like to submit the name of John Bell to receive an award for service beyond the call of duty. I believe he deserves the Salute to Service Award. Last winter, shortly after we had a new furnace installed, we woke up one morning with no heat. We called the furnace installation and they sent out a service man to check the furnace. He checked the furnace and could not find anything wrong. He checked our oil tank outside the house and said we were low on oil and the oil might be frozen and to call our oil delivery man. We called John Bell and he came out and checked our oil tank and found we were not low enough with oil to affect the furnace. He filled our tank but we still didn’t have any heat. He bled the oil line and we had heat after the house was really cold. He didn’t have to do this but he knew we needed heat. He stayed with us until we the house warm.” Submitted by Arthur Glover

“We nominate John Bell our Fuel Delivery Guy! John has shown his loyalty to Haves Land Coop by serving in a prompt manner whenever we call him for special delivery times it always seems like we are the next on his list or he is just around the corner. He has been pleasant and friendly. He has been very willing to iron out mistakes that we have produced and mistakes the Coop has produced. I hope your management team finds him in this manner also.” Submitted by David and Shari Harms

“I’d like to nominate John Bell as an employee to be commended on a job well done. John has serviced the property I live at for longer than I’ve owned it. Without a moment of hesitation, he remembered the property when I called him out of the blue to set up the first oil delivery. I find that remarkable given that he more than likely services hundreds of properties in the area. To date, John has consistently delivered within a few days of calling (as he always promises) and is very professional in his procedures. He offers advice when I ask questions and even offered to replace the oil tank gauges on my tanks for free. Again, John is an outstanding employee, please put him in for this wonderful ‘Salute to Service’ prize as he deserves to win every bit of it.” Submitted by Joshua Wilson

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John pictured with Harvest Land President/CEO Scott Logue. John’s prize is $1,000 cash and two vacation days.

Congratulations to John!

We’re proud to have you represent our cooperative so well in the countryside.

We offer sincere thanks for all who nominated an employee for this program. reading through the submissions is one of the most gratifying things about working for your local farmer-owned cooperative.

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A Harvest Land Christmas Story

With Christmas just days away, this Friday we wanted to publish a story that was shared with us, not by a customer, but by the daughter of a customer. This was actually a nomination for our Salute to Service program. While we’ve not announced the 2018 winner on our blog yet, we thought this week was a perfect time to share the story of Brian Henderson.

We received the following in the mail:

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This is a copy of a handwritten letter by my 92-year-old mother, Charlotte Bailey. A handwritten letter is rare anymore, but Brian Henderson went above and beyond to help Hendersonher and she wants you to know about it. His actions also helped me, her daughter. I do my best to care for her, but I struggle from some serious health problems and Brian’s intervention was a Godsend for us both.

It might be hard to read so I will type it out for you:

“It was a blustery, cold Saturday before Christmas Day on Monday. The thermometer was dropping and the little old lady (these are her words not mine) who lived back the lane began to wonder, “Is there enough fuel oil to last through the cold weekend weather until Tuesday when Harvest Land would be open?” So she called Harvest Land hoping someone would be at the office to help – she got a recorded message: “Open Tuesday.”

In a few moments, her phone rang. Someone had intercepted her call and a sympathetic voice inquired about the problem and the little old lady explained her anxiety. Within anFuel Delivery hour on that windy Saturday evening, a Harvest Land fuel truck drove up the icy lane. The driver jumped out with wind and freezing rain hitting his face and with kindness and caring took care of the low oil worry for the little old lady back the lane. _DSC0719


Thank you so much Brian Henderson, for your big-hearted caring on a cold Christmas weekend. This is a truly happy Christmas story.”

In this world where so often a company puts their focus on their bottom line, it’s great you are recognizing your hard-working employees. Please thank Brian on our behalf and award him this honor from your company. He truly touched my mom’s heart and deserves this. Her name is Charlotte Bailey.

Submitted by Charlotte Bailey and Lori Stone (daughter of  the little old lady who lives back the lane)

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From you friends and neighbors at Harvest Land,

we wish you a very Merry Christmas. 

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Winter Warmth: Now Is the Time

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you changed your calendar seven days ago, you should already know: Winter is coming.

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While we’re still hitting the 90-degree mark in Indiana and Ohio, it won’t be long until the autumn chill sets in and harvest is running full speed ahead. Before we get to that point, we want to remind you that now is the perfect time to plan ahead, be prepared and consider a budget payment plan for heating your home, shop and business this winter.

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We take pride in providing propane and fuel oil to heat homes and businesses throughout eastern Indiana and western Ohio. Safety for our customers is our top priority. This is why each of our propane professionals are CETP trained and certified.

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Programs

Automatic Fill – This program takes the worry of running out of product off of your mind. Harvest Land will keep track of the product level in your tank for you.

Budget – This program allows you to make monthly payments on the product you use.
Guaranteed Price, Prepay and Budget Programs available to suit your needs. Contact us to learn more!

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They say when you’re dying of thirst it is far too late to think about digging a well – the same can be said for heating your home!

Contact Harvest Land today to get your family taken care of before Old Man Winter shows up at your doorstep.

 

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Photo Friday: Energy Team Earns CountryMark Awards

Our energy team members were recently recognized for their outstanding service and sales volumes at the CountryMark Awards Banquet in Indianapolis. On this Photo Friday, we thought we’d share a few shots from the evening.

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Mark Brown receiving the Gold Award for Liquid Fuels and Bronze Award for Lubricants
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Harvest Land Award Winners
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Mike Munchel receiving recognition for 35 years of service
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If you know Munchel, this shot does not surprise you!
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CountryMark CEO, Charlie Smith, presents Harvest Land CEO, Scott Logue, with the third place award for lubricant purchases
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Brent Stang and Mike Bradley watching the video announcing Brent as the 2017 Petroleum Sales Representative of the Year
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This is the second year in a row that Brent has received this honor
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Two of the best! RaeAnn Kennedy and Laura Wood from our Richmond office
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What a great group!

Here are the official awards given to our team:

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We’re proud to employ this group of people who represent our cooperative so well.

 

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