September 19, 2020

Archives for December 2012

Every Day Is Harvest at Lakota – Location Profile, Part 2

Teamwork pays off

MaxYield Cooperative - LakotaAlthough the ethanol plant at Lakota has gone through many changes, from MGP being sold to Global Ethanol in 2006 and Global Ethanol being sold to GPRE in 2010, MaxYield’s commitment to the plant and area farmers hasn’t changed.

“We try to do the best possible job we can, and this starts with good communication between MaxYield, GPRE, and our clients,” said Denney, who has been named to MaxYield’s All Star Team. “It takes a team effort, and it’s fun to play a role in helping things go well for our clients.”

To make things more fun during harvest, the Lakota and GPRE teams grill hamburgers and chicken fillets for clients, and serves the free meals with potato chips and homemade pumpkin bars and brownies a few times each fall. “If our clients want to take a lunch to their harvest crew, we box up the food for them,” Denney said. “We try to help wherever we can.”

All these efforts reflect MaxYield’s commitment to third-party grain origination agreements, which have become an important part of MaxYield’s business, said Keith Heim, MaxYield’s CEO. “This continues to be a win-win-win for MaxYield, GPRE, and area corn producers. Our grain origination agreement with GPRE was recently extended three years, and we look forward to this opportunity.”

Focusing on the future is important to MaxYield’s Lakota team, which serves not only many long-time clients but also their sons and daughters who have joined the farming operation. “I believe this area has the best clientele ever,” Denney said. “I like working with our clients, keeping them updated on the markets and offering competitive prices and solutions for their farms. I enjoy getting to know the farmers and their families. They become your friends, not just your clients.”


Every Day Is Harvest at Lakota – Location Profile, Part 1

MaxYield Cooperative - LakotaWhile harvest is always busy, nothing quite compares to MaxYield Cooperative’s Lakota location, where the team keeps things rolling year-round, no matter how hectic things get.

“We hit a new record on October 1 this year when we weighed 294 trucks hauling 302,637 bushels of corn—and we got the job done in eight hours and seven minutes,” said Sheryll Denney, grain originator. That same day, the team also weighed 25 trucks hauling products for the Green Plains Renewable Energy (GPRE) ethanol plant, which is located next to MaxYield’s Lakota office.

This milestone surpasses the previous one-day record set in 2010, when the team weighed 274 trucks in eight and a half hours. Farmers like Bill Lofstrom of Lakota value this exceptional service. “We’re in communication with MaxYield’s Lakota grain team frequently and deliver a lot of our grain there. They’ve always been very accommodating and work hard for the farmer.”

Growing from small beginnings

MaxYield has been involved with the ethanol plant at Lakota for more than a decade. At Lakota’s inception as Midwest Grain Processing (MGP), MaxYield had been already originating corn at Hobarton for six years, said Harry Bormann, MaxYield’s grain team leader. Not only did the farmer-owned MGP approach MaxYield about grain origination, but MaxYield became a significant investor in the business, which helped the plant become a reality, Bormann noted.

MaxYield - LakotaIn September of 2002, MaxYield’s Bob Burkhardt hired Denney, an experienced cooperative controller, to get the computer system running at the Lakota location. By the time the facility opened on November 8, 2002, Denney and one other employee weighed in 28 trucks from the tiny MGP office.

Lakota-area farmer Rod Smith is glad that the ethanol plant and MaxYield located in his area. “This has improved grain prices and revitalized the whole community,” said Smith, who has farmed full-time since 1979 and sold land so the ethanol plant’s rail line could be built. “I like doing business with MaxYield, because they work for the clients and treat everyone with respect.”

Keep that corn coming

The business has grown rapidly through the years, said Denney, who noted that the plant used 1.5 million bushels of corn each month in the early years but now requires 3 million bushels each month since the plant doubled in size around 2005-2006.

MaxYield takes in approximately 36 million bushels of corn each year for this 100-million-gallon plant. In comparison, MaxYield’s Hobarton location takes in 12 to 15 million bushels a year. “The MaxYield locations that would come close to the volume of grain we handle at Lakota would be Belmond and Mallard,” said Denney, who stated that the Lakota team dumps grain from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. each weekday.

Lakota is one of the few 100-million-gallons-per-year ethanol plants that sources more than 75% of its corn directly from farmers, added Bormann, who noted that this arrangement provides the plant with high-quality corn and offers area farmers better corn prices.

Anyone can deliver grain to Lakota, as long as they are a MaxYield client. “Just about every week, we have new clients here,” said Denney, who boasts that her team works with 600 clients across northern Iowa and southern Minnesota.

MaxYield Lakota team

The MaxYield – Lakota team, from left: Kathie Ostrander, Sheryll Denney, Tiffany Wycoff, Kelsie Koppen.

Grain deliveries from at least 150 trucks are required each weekday to ensure there will be enough corn to supply the plant during the week and throughout the weekend. “While we have 1.4 million bushels of grain storage, it’s not that much for a plant that operates 24/7,” Denney said. “That’s why we’re constantly in contact with clients to buy grain.”

Denney and her team, including Kathie Ostrander, Tiffany Wycoff, and Kelsie Koppen, know their clients by name and recognize many of their voices when they call in. This individualized service extends to deliveries, added Denney, who noted that the MaxYield team works with clients’ schedules to ensure that the 3 million bushels required each month are spread out into manageable amounts each week.

Sometimes Mother Nature can complicate the process. Denney keeps a close eye on the weekly weather forecast, especially in the winter, to ensure that the ethanol plant has enough corn. “In the winter of 2010, by the time we’d get a truck in and out of here, the road would blow shut with snow. While situations like this can make our work stressful, our clients always come through for us.”

To learn more about grain marketing opportunities at the GPRE plant at Lakota, click here.


Energy market update

A few notes from Chad Besch, Energy Team Leader at MaxYield…

Regarding diesel fuel for spring, interest in filling tanks and contracting for spring is starting to pick up with the end of the year approaching.

Over the past 10 years, buying during the month of December has paid off many more times than it has not.

To learn if now is the right time to buy your spring diesel fuel, contact your MaxYield energy team. We are ready to fill up your tank for spring with Ruby Fieldmaster fuel from Cenex.

And you won’t pay a thing, until spring.

That’s right. Buy now, and have until April 2013 to pay.

Contact our Energy Central team, or your MaxYield representative for spring diesel fuel at today’s prices.

Stay up-to-date on the energy markets, click here to view Chad Besch’s weekly energy commentary.


MaxYield Cooperative Supports Hancock County 4-H

Hancock County 4-H

MaxYield’s Max Kalkwarf (right) presents members of Hancock County 4-H with a contribution that will decrease the cost of enrollment in the program. (4-H members, l to r: Kevin Tlach, Jared Wellik, Ashley Smeby, Susan Pistek, Nathan Nedved.)

MaxYield Cooperative announced recently that they are continuing their commitment to Hancock County 4-H members and clubs by decreasing the cost of enrollment in the youth program.

“We are continuing our support of local 4-H clubs and our commitment to 4-H,” said Chad Meyer, MaxYield Client Relations Director. “Recently, we presented a contribution for $10.00 per 4-H member in order to decrease the cost of 4-H membership.”

Meyer said the cooperative has two goals in providing the program. “First, we want to make 4-H an affordable youth program for local families. Secondly, by paying a portion of each 4-H member’s enrollment fee, we are able to continue our mission in supporting 4-H so that each member benefits.”

The cooperative contributed over $1500 to Hancock County Extension.

“We believe that 4-H is one of the cornerstones in developing youth and 4-H provides an excellent foundation to build strong families in this area. 4-H also provides a great way for young people to learn more about agriculture and its exciting future,” commented Meyer.

MaxYield Cooperative is a local farmer-owned cooperative serving members and clients in northern Iowa, southern Minnesota and eastern Michigan. Founded in 1915, MaxYield Cooperative is headquartered in West Bend, Iowa.

More information about the cooperative can be found online at

Tough Enough to Drive Pink

Anne Hagedorn’s 3010 Promotes Cancer Awareness

Anne Hagedorn John Deere 3010When Anne Hagedorn headed home from a KICD tractor ride in June of 2010, she swore it was her last tractor ride.

“The tractor ride was something the guys liked, but it wasn’t a lot of fun for me,” said Anne, 37, a self-described town girl who grew up in Sioux Rapids and lives on a farm south of Royal. “I told my husband, Matt, I’d keep going, however, if he would paint me a pink tractor.”

Matt immediately vetoed the idea—until a simple text message changed everything. “My friend Sue texted me later that day and said, ‘It’s the big C,’” said Anne, whose friend, Sue Logan from Primghar, had just been diagnosed with breast cancer.

With tears in her eyes, Anne asked Matt for a John Deere she could ride in honor of Sue’s battle—in the shade of pink to represent breast cancer awareness. His response went from “no” to “let’s do it.”

Fight like a girl

Matt decided this tractor had to be special, and when he found a 1965 John Deere 3010 in Minnesota in March of 2011, he raced to get the restoration done in time for summer tractor rides. He had a friend from Peterson sandblast the chassis, while Brian Mortensen from Royal painted the classic rig.

Anne Hagedorn John Deere 3010When the 3010 was ready to roll, there was just one small issue—Anne had never driven a tractor before.

Matt, who owns Hagedorn Excavating, gave his wife a brief lesson and sent her on her way to Spencer. “I had no clue how to drive a tractor, but I had to learn quick,” said Anne, a stay-at-home mother who keeps busy with four children ranging in age from 19 to six.

“Stunned” was the reaction from everyone Anne encountered when she fired up the pink John Deere for its maiden voyage on the 2011 KICD ride. After seeing the “Fight Like a Girl” logo emblazoned on the front, with a pair of boxing gloves hung from the cancer awareness ribbon, people caught on, said Anne, who displays a small design on the tractor’s sides to announce she’s “Riding for Sue Logan.”

“People have been really supportive of this, because everyone knows someone whose life has been impacted by cancer,” Anne said.

In fact, the pink tractor has become the talk of the area. After answering endless questions during the tractor ride, Anne created a Facebook page for the project, Riding Pink, so that others can follow the effort. Nearly 1,000 people “like” the page, which Anne updates often with inspirational quotes, such as “Be the change that you want to see in the world.”

Pink tractors rock

Anne Hagedorn John Deere 3010Anne continues to participating in tractor rides in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin and has no plans to retire her pink John Deere. She also loans the tractor for special events, including “Pink Out” breast cancer awareness events at local schools from Clay Central Everly to Sioux Central.

“It has been amazing to see how much my own kids have learned from this,” added Anne, who noted that one of her six-year-old twins, Grace, recently decorated a school art project with pink ribbons.

Anne’s tractor has also been displayed for the past two years during the Clay County Fair, which provides a high-profile venue to draw attention to breast cancer awareness. “I told my husband that if I can get one woman to think about going for a mammogram, it’s worth it,” said Anne, who supports fundraisers for the Abben Cancer Center in Spencer. “Maybe we’ll save someone’s life someday.”

Above all, Anne is grateful that her friend Sue’s treatments have been successful, and her cancer is now in remission. “Sue is a very strong person and is so incredibly positive,” said Anne, who is still amazed that a simple show of support for her friend has turned into something much larger than she ever dreamed.

“If my pink tractor can put a smile on someone’s face and touch their life, I’m happy.”



Don’t pay a thing…’til spring

MaxYield EnergyGet one more thing checked off your list before spring. We are ready to fill up your tank for spring with Ruby Fieldmaster fuel from Cenex.

And you won’t pay a thing ’til Spring.

No need to apply. Just order now.

Get your diesel fuel tanks full for spring, and don’t pay until April 2013.

Contact your MaxYield representative for spring diesel fuel at today’s prices.

You’ll be all set for spring. One more thing off your list, and one more way that, at MaxYield, we see more in your fields.

MaxYield contributes to West Bend Fire Dept.

MaxYield Cooperative

Photo caption:

Judy Frieden, Client Care Representative, presents West Bend Fire Chief Clint Schneider with a check following their training session at the cooperative.

MaxYield annually provides financial support to area fire departments.

Algona, IA Soldier Laid to Rest

By Chad Meyer, Client Relations/Communications

MaxYield AlgonaHundreds lined the streets of Algona Friday, November 30th to honor fallen solider, Army Sgt. Joseph Richardson, who was killed in an attack in Afghanistan.

Sgt. Richardson was killed November 16 after his unit was attacked by enemy forces in the Pakitka province of Afghanistan.

The photos included here were snapped by MaxYield agronomy specialist Kody Trampel, just prior to the arrival of St. Richardson’s procession back to Algona.

I am not sure any photo does justice to the somewhat surreal feeling of watching the procession entering Algona that day.

Every student from Algona Community Schools was holding a flag, paying their respects on Hwy. 169.

Once the procession arrived, the only sound that was heard was the rumble of bikes from the Iowa Freedom Riders, leading the way.

Sgt. Richardson was proud to serve his country. We are grateful for his and everyone’s service that keeps us free.

Our thoughts continue to be his family.