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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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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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.

Benefits of Premium

As consumers we are bombarded by sexy marketing campaigns claiming bigger, better products and services that offer to simplify and improve our daily lives. Oftentimes, it is difficult to sift through the clutter as to what is factual and what is a half-truth marketing claim set out to confuse or convince us into purchasing products or services we may not necessarily need.

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The reality is that some products and services are indeed worth the additional cost if you consider value and not price. From a business perspective, if you calculate that the product or service will create long-term profit for your business then ultimately the higher-priced product may be worth the upfront investment. Or perhaps, if the premium product brings added-value including an extended warranty, a product guarantee, additional service or a network of proven experts, then the added cost may be warranted. Understandably, it is human nature to be skeptical of marketing claims especially when as customers we may have been deceived in the past.

When I was a first-time mom shopping at the grocery store for infant formula, I recall wanting nothing but the best for my daughter. I quickly noticed some name brands were nearly 20 to 40 percent more expensive than the generic brands. That is a significant cost difference especially when you consider an infant drinks 24 to 30 ounces a day for most 150327114044-05-baby-formula-stock-super-169of their first year. After additional research, I determined that nearly all infant formula is the same nutritional formulation aside from a few exceptions and relative to taste preference. In fact, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), all formula marketed in the U.S. must meet the same federal nutrient requirements, which are set at levels to fulfill the needs of infants. Although infant formula manufacturers may have their own proprietary formulations, brand name and generic formula must contain at least the minimum levels of all nutrients specified in FDA regulations.
Ultimately, the choice and the responsibility to delineate value and determine preference is the customers. The buying decision is simple when the product or service demonstrates proven value and improves the bottom line. A farmer-owned cooperative in Indiana known as CountryMark refines and markets premium, high-quality gasoline, diesel fuel and lubricants. A general consumer may not be able to comprehend the difference between diesel fuel products in the marketplace. But there is a distinct semi waiting on combinedifference particularly between a standard No. 2 diesel product and a premium diesel fuel. CountryMarkrefines a unique, premium diesel fuel called Premium Dieselex-4 (PDX-4) proven to bring added-value to the marketplace for several reasons. First, the refining process begins with local, light, sweet crude oil, refined to the highest specifications at the CountryMark refinery in Mt. Vernon, Ind. Fuel quality is protected as the product travels north along a 238-mile private pipeline to one of three CountryMark-owned terminals. Meanwhile, fuel quality and cleanliness Richmond stationis comprised with other brands because their fuel is intermingled with others across the country. In addition, the term premium is quantified because of the substantial additive package in PDX-4. The number “4” in the product name stands for lubricity, detergency, cetane and stability. Added lubricity in PDX-4 minimizes the wear and tear on fuel injectors and injector pumps, which leads to less downtime and extends the life of the engine. Added detergency helps maximize combustion efficiency, minimizes maintenance costs and also eliminates downtime. Added cetane improves engine performance, improves combustion and lowers emissions. Added stability reduces the fuel deterioration process, which leads to longer fuel life and assured performance. In addition, PDX-4 winter fuel is designed to withstand the coldest winter weather conditions to prevent fuel gelling and keep diesel engines running smoothly day and night.

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But if you don’t believe me, take it straight from a loyal CountryMark customer. A home-based fleet owner/operator in Bluffton, Ind., said, “In this business, I have learned that it doesn’t pay to run cheap fuel. With CountryMark’s PDX-4, we have seen a one-half to three-quarter percent increase in fuel mileage which equates to a 3 to 5.5 cent savings per mile or $4,500 to $5,000 savings every month and up to $50,000 to $60,000 a year. Premium quality fuel really makes a difference to our bottom line.”

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So there you have it, there are proven benefits to a premium diesel fuel product such as CountryMark PDX-4. Still skeptical? As an educated customer, be sure to research the options, weigh the benefits and determine what works best and what creates the most value for you and your business. Your Harvest Land EnergyPro team is ready to discuss your options for maximum performance.

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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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