January 18, 2021

Archives for July 2013

VIDEO: Mid-Season Crop Evaluation

Winfield Agronomist, Dan Bjorklund, provides SciMax Solutions a mid-season crop evaluation in North Central Iowa.



My MaxYield Internship: Haley Banwart

Over the course of the paHaley Compressed 2st few weeks I have continued to have great experiences as a MaxYield Communications Intern. As a former 4-Her, I was pleased to represent MaxYield Cooperative in three different Iowa counties in support of the 4-H program. During the Palo Alto County Fair I was motivated to organize a MaxYield booth in the commercial building. Being in my home county, it was fun to see many familiar faces and share about my intern experience. I even received many compliments regarding the popular My Solutions magazine.

On the evening of July 22, I traveled to the Dickinson County Fair where I had the opportunity to practice my public speaking skills. As part of the awards celebration, I delivered a short speech on why MaxYield supports the 4-H program by donating $10.00 towards enrollment for each 4-H member. The following afternoon I visited the Kossuth County Extension and Outreach office where I conducted a check presentation on behalf of MaxYield as an enrollment donation.  I was delighted that I could represent MaxYield at each of these local 4-H events.

Another intern activity that I have been involved with lately includes working with freelance photographer, Greg Latza, in the field. We recently completed the summer photo shoots and I had a great deal of fun being involved in the action.  I have really enjoyed being a part of the stages of the magazine and calendar process and it has proven to be a significant learning tool for me. Because the 2014 antique tractor calendar is one of my main projects this summer, I am looking forward to seeing my work come to life.

There are many more projects and activities that I could share that have strengthened my knowledge as a student and my skills as a communicator. I have always believed that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. After having such valuable opportunities as a MaxYield intern I know that I have more than enough evidence to prove this belief.

My MaxYield Internship: Jake Mullenix

Internship Update Jake Compressed

What have been some of your responsibilities as the Agronomy Operations Intern? Throughout the summer I have worked out in the warehouse and delivered chemical for farmers or custom application sprayers. I have also helped with returns on bulk tanks, driven tender truck, and loaded chemical in the field.

Who is your mentor and what have you learned from working with him? Ryan Stokes is my mentor and he has helped me succeed at my internship by teaching me about the warehouse such as storing inventory, organizing supplies, and keeping the area clean.  He has also taught me about filling anhydrous tanks and loading fertilizer.

What is one of the best experiences you have had as a MaxYield intern? I was really grateful that MaxYield gave me the opportunity to obtain my CDL. The company helped me to sign up for a class where I passed and am now certified.

What are some of the intern related activities you have been involved with this summer? This summer the other interns and I had the opportunity to tour other facilities in the agriculture industry. We visited the Murphy Brown Feed Mill in Hobarton, the Green Plains Ethanol Plant in Lakota, and the AGCO factory in Jackson, MN.

 What made you decide to pursue an agronomy internship with MaxYield? After working as the grain operations intern I realized that I really enjoyed the company and my internship experience so I was interested in broadening my horizons in agriculture.

What has made your internship experience with MaxYield Cooperative successful? MaxYield is a great place to work. The company’s workplace is a very friendly environment and the people are very team oriented.


Keeping Patriotism Alive: Whittemore Reinvigorates Its American Legion Post

Whittemore legionAt a time when many American Legion chapters in rural Iowa are declining, the Seely-Walsh Post 425 in Whittemore is thriving.

“We increased our membership 12% in the last year and have received the American Legion’s Road Runner Award for this achievement,” said Mick Zimmerman of Whittemore, who is an active member of Seely-Walsh Post 425.

Named for two local men (Bert Seely and Leo Walsh) who were killed in World War I, Seely-Walsh Post 425 boasts 124 members ranging in age from their early 20s through their early 90s. “It’s so enjoyable to go to the monthly meetings now, because we usually have 40 people instead of 10,” said Stuart Simonson, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Vietnam.

What has made the difference? A willingness to find new ways to invigorate a proud tradition, said Zimmerman, a retired Bancroft postmaster who served in the U.S. Army for three years. “We knew we were going to suffer the same fate as other small, rural American Legion posts if we didn’t do something.”

Expanding the American Legion family

Part of the solution comes from supporting the various ways that people can join the American Legion family, either through the American Legion, Sons of the American Legion, the American Legion Auxiliary, or the Whittemore American Legion Riders Post 425.

The local Sons of the American Legion, which started in 2008, has grown to include more than 50 members. It’s open to males of all ages whose parents or grandparents served in the U.S. military and were eligible for American Legion membership. Females whose parents or grandparents served in the U.S. military can join the American Legion Auxiliary, which includes approximately 30 members in the local area.

The 31 members of the Whittemore American Legion Riders have also added to the camaraderie. Established in 2009, the group hosts monthly rides where members fire up their motorcycles, classic cars, and other vehicles to visit veterans who reside in area care centers.

You don’t need to be part of Seely-Walsh Post 425 to join the Whittemore American Legion Riders, noted Simonson, senior vice president of Farmers State Bank in Whittemore. “We welcome anyone from other area posts who would like to be part of the group.”

Whittemore legionServing the community

As the American Legion family has grown in the Whittemore area, members are able to serve the community more effectively. Their honor guard attends military funerals and provides a firing squad for 21-gun salutes. The Legion also supports the annual carnival in Whittemore, where members serve their World Famous Legion Burgers.

In addition, the Legion’s popular chicken barbecue has become a tradition each August, complete with Bossy Bingo behind the Legion Hall in Whittemore. To add to the fun, local Legion Rider members added a chicken wing feed and karaoke night in March of 2013. “It was a huge hit,” said Zimmerman, who noted that the group sold all of its 1,400 wings during the free-will-donation fundraiser, which also included raffles for prizes donated from local sponsors.

The money raised from these events allows the Legion to support many worthy causes. “Veterans share a connection with each other and their community,” Simonson said. “Staying active and having a visible presence in the local area promotes love of country and respect for our veterans.”

Join the Group

Interested in learning more about the local American Legion and its affiliated groups? “We invite to you to come to a meeting and see what we’re all about,” said Mick Zimmerman of Whittemore, who noted that the Seely-Walsh Post 425 holds its regular meetings the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Legion Hall in Whittemore.

Contact Zimmerman (515-320-1406) or Stuart Simonson (515-320-0779) for more details, or call Chris Zinnel (712-260-6664) for more information on the Whittemore American Legion Riders Post 425.

My MaxYield Internship: Ryan Mayland

Internship Update

What arRyan Editse some projects you have been working on throughout the summer? As an agronomy intern I am in charge of one of MaxYield’s clients. About every two weeks I go out to their fields and check the stage of the plants and I also note the presence of weeds or insects. I send in tissue samples for testing and when the results are in I discuss them with the client.

What types of skills have you gained throughout your internship? I have learned a great deal about agronomy, especially through the SciMax program. SciMax is geared towards a more technical side of agronomy than what I have ever worked with before. I have also had the opportunity to develop my interpersonal skills by meeting with clients on a daily basis.

Who are your mentors and how have they helped you succeed at your internship? Kurt Metzger and Dan Stokes are my mentors. Both of my mentors and other agronomy specialists at MaxYield have helped me to succeed by always being available to answer my questions.

What motivates you working as an intern at MaxYield Cooperative? I am motivated as a MaxYield intern because I learn something new every day and no two days as an agronomy/seed sales intern are the same.

What has been your best experience this summer? My best experience this summer as an intern has been meeting with clients every day. During a previous job as a crop scout intern I didn’t have any interaction with the clients so it has been a great experience getting to have a relationship with the growers.

How has your internship experience impacted your agricultural knowledge? My MaxYield internship experience has benefited my agronomy knowledge both in the field gaining hands on experience and in the office learning from my mentors. The things I have learned as an intern have definitely exceeded the limited knowledge that a student can learn in a college textbook.

Unlocking the Science of Nitrogen Management

SciMax NitrogenWith the release of Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy, it’s more important than ever for farmers to make the most efficient use of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). For more than four years, SciMax Solutions has been finding science-based solutions to help local producers advance conservation efforts and protect water quality.

“It’s all about healthy people, healthy crops, and a healthy environment,” said Peter Bixel, SciMax Solution’s team leader. “That’s why we’re focused on continuous improvement and continue to learn more every year.”

The stakes are high. The Gulf Hypoxia Task Force requires Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy to reduce the nitrogen and phosphorus load to the Gulf of Mexico by 45%. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting a strategy that emphasizes state implementation of new and existing N and P management practices for point and nonpoint sources.

SciMax is leading the way in nutrient management by focusing on four key areas:

1. Optimized nutrient rates. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to nourishing a crop properly. Sometimes fewer nutrients are required, and sometimes more nutrients are needed, depending on the soil type, crop removal rate, and many other factors. SciMax harnesses the power of modern precision ag solutions and variable-rate technology to pinpoint these needs and spoon-feed the crop, said Larry Arndt, MaxYield Cooperative’s agronomy team leader. It’s not unusual to find ways to cut back on nutrient applications while protecting yield potential. In one field where SciMax clients Brian and Mike Riggert normally applied a flat rate of 150 pounds of N per acre, SciMax helped the Whittemore-area farmers determine that they only needed to use 70 pounds of N.

2. Solutions based on science. While many nutrient management guidelines were established in the 1970s, there are more current, effective systems to determine proper nutrient applications, said Dr. Rick Vanden Heuvel, a partner with SciMax Solutions who has worked on nitrogen throughout his career. He favors the Illinois Soil Nitrogen Test (ISNT), a soil-based system that promotes sustainable agriculture, offers growers increased profit potential, and enhances environmental stewardship. SciMax uses field-specific agronomic information to interpret the ISNT data and develop detailed nitrogen management prescriptions tailored to each client’s specific needs. “The ISNT, variable-rate technology, and SciMax have opened up many new opportunities to fine-tune N applications,” Vanden Heuvel said.

3. Support for the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. The nutrient management solutions available through SciMax fit with the Nutrient Reduction Strategy developed by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “Successful nutrient management is already happening, thanks to MaxYield’s willingness to make major investments in SciMax,” noted Vanden Heuvel, who added that growers have enrolled nearly 15,000 acres in SciMax. “Putting these nutrient management solutions into practice hasn’t required a dime of taxpayer investment.”

4. Promoting a voluntary approach. Since Iowa has countless soil types across the state and many different types of farming operations, a voluntary approach to nutrient management through SciMax offers much more practicality—and effectiveness—than a regulatory approach, said Bixel, who serves on the Nutrient Reduction Plan Science Team. Bill Northey, Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture who farms near Spirit Lake, agrees. “The tools for successful N and P management aren’t going to be driven by government regulations—they will be driven by innovation. MaxYield Cooperative is playing a huge part of putting this innovation in the hands of producers through SciMax.”

While there’s no silver bullet with the complex issue of nitrogen (N) management, SciMax is taking a key leadership role in nutrient management, Northey added. “The SciMax team has the sophisticated tools that deliver solutions to get more conservation on the ground. Very few individuals or organizations have made the investment that SciMax is making to research new solutions, protect water quality, and provide proven, practical solutions that benefit farmers as well as our nonfarm friends and neighbors.”

To see how SciMax Solutions can benefit your farming operation, log onto www.scimaxsolutions.com.

Homegrown Leader: Roger Allen Thrives Where He Was Planted

Roger Allen MaxYieldIf you’ve ever stopped by MaxYield Cooperative’s Britt location, there’s a good chance you’ve met Roger Allen. As the location leader, Roger is the right man for the job, especially since he’s worked for the co-op since 1979.

Here are five things you might not know about Roger that make us proud to have him on the MaxYield team:

1. Agriculture planted a seed early in Roger’s life. Raised on a 400-acre crop and livestock farm near Kanawha, Roger knew early on that he preferred the rural lifestyle. “I enjoyed the farm work and liked growing up in the country,” said Roger, who has six siblings. After graduating with his 21-member class of 1968 from Kanawha High School, Roger served in the U.S. Army from 1969 to 1971 before returning to north-central Iowa. He began his career on the assembly line at Winnebago Industries and was later promoted to foreman. When business in the motorhome division slowed down, Roger also built prefabricated homes for Winnebago.

2. Roger’s roots run deep at the co-op in Britt. When Farmers Cooperative of Britt was growing in the late 1970s, Roger was hired to lead the company’s new liquid propane division in September of 1979. The co-op’s rapid expansion came at a heavy cost, however. “Around 1980, we were growing faster than what our capital would allow, and this led to a 30-day period when the employees didn’t get paid.” Board members and co-op supporters led a capital call to sell preferred stock and reached the $1 million goal, so the co-op’s lenders would refinance the business.

3. Roger goes with the grain. Through the years, Roger has handled just about every job at the co-op, from spraying to running the grain division. “I like buying grain, handling the grain settlements, and socializing with the farmers,” Roger said. One of the most memorable events in the grain division occurred in February of 1996. Despite a severe shortage of rail cars to haul grain, the co-op secured 25 coal cars. “We had to clean them out, and it was a filthy job,” Roger recalled. A photo in the Britt News-Tribune showed Skip Miller, Jim Miller, Al Burgardt, Ron Eisenman, and Dennis Hrubes volunteering to shovel frozen coal from the rail cars. After cracks in the cars were filled with a foam sealant to help contain the grain, each car was loaded with 3,200 bushels of corn. “Thanks to the employees and volunteers who helped with the coal cars, we were able to empty the elevator enough so that we could take all of the February contracts from farmers.”

4. The fire department yields many opportunities. Roger has served on Britt’s volunteer fire department almost as long as he has worked at the co-op. “I was asked to join the department in 1983,” said Roger, who later served as chief for 15 years. In those days, a lot less training was required for volunteer firefighters, added Roger, who can remember when fire calls were announced with two quick rings on each firefighter’s landline phone. House fires that occurred during the winter were some of the toughest to fight. “In the bitter cold, our 5-inch flow of water in the hoses could drop to a 2-inch flow, due to ice,” Roger said. Today, the Britt fire department deals with many more vehicle accidents than structure fires. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the teamwork that defines the 24-member fire department. “I like the camaraderie and being able to help others,” Roger said.

Roger Allen 402 Chevelle5. Roger knows a classic when he sees it. There’s nothing like the muscle cars of the late 1960s and early 1970s, said Roger, who purchased a 1972 Chevelle SS at an auction last year. “I like cars I can drive, not ones I need to restore or need to keep in a glass house.” Roger entered his Chevelle in Clear Lake’s car show and parade and also participated in the 2012 car show during Britt’s National Hobo Convention. There will be another classic car in his future, added Roger, who’s leaning towards a 1969 or 1970 Nova, or perhaps a late 1960s-vintage Camero. “I’m going through my second childhood.”

Editor’s note: Roger Allen and his wife, Judy, have been married for 40 years. For 37 years they’ve lived in the same house in Britt, which is located three blocks from the co-op and near the Hancock County Memorial Hospital, where Judy manages the purchasing department. The couple has one daughter, Heather, who lives on a farm near Britt with her husband, Luke Noble, and their daughter, Chloie, 3. A lifetime member of the American Legion in Britt, Roger enjoys traveling, boating, and fishing at Clear Lake and Okoboji, and spending time with his family.

MaxYield Interns Observe Manufacturing Process at AGCO

On Wednesday, July 10th the Interns CompressedMaxYield summer interns, international trainee, Iurii Nadtochii, and team members, Ron Sikora and Chad Meyer, traveled to Jackson, MN where they participated in a public tour of the AGCO factory.   The visit began at the AGCO Jackson Intivity Center as the group read about the company history and innovation of products. Three full scale working models, two Challengers and a Massey Ferguson, of the AGCO lineup dominated the Intivity Center. The guests were invited to climb into the machinery giants and check out the latest features.

The tour proceeded to a mini theatre where the MaxYield crew watched a short inspirational film on rural life and AGCO’s role in Jackson. Following the clip, the visitors were equipped with safety glasses and a headset in preparation of entering the working factory. Once inside, the group was exposed to the high tech tools and mechanisms of the industrial plant and observed the manufacturing process from the bottom on up. From viewing the painting process, to welding, and part assemblage, the tour laid out the big picture of farm equipment production but also informed the group on a few of the more fascinating details.

Overall the visit to AGCO was a success as the MaxYield group learned a great deal about the production and innovation of modern-day manufacturing. Observing the precision and time put into the equipment used daily in the agricultural world was a wonderful way to gain appreciation for the technology that has brought us to today’s incredible advancements in farming. Thank you to AGCO for hosting the MaxYield members on such an educational tour.

Meet MaxYield’s 2012 All Star Team

At MaxYield Cooperative we know that trust is never given. It is earned—always. Nowhere is this more evident than in our 2012 All Star Team.

“We received a lot of nominations this year for the All Stars, who exemplify MaxYield’s people-first practices,” said Keith Heim, MaxYield’s CEO. “It’s very rewarding to watch these team members succeed in their roles and be recognized by their peers.”

Each All Star must exhibit a client-centered focus and a positive attitude and behavior, routinely exceed job mission functions, live MaxYield’s non-negotiables (integrity, safety, professionalism, client focus, accountability, and teamwork), and live the MaxYield brand promise every day.

We’re proud to congratulate MaxYield’s 2012 All Stars: Bryan Traub, Ron Hutchison, Dave Hubka, Sheryll Denney, Joe Behounek, and Jennifer Allen, who was named MaxYield’s Solutions Provider of the Year during the team member/board appreciation event held in Des Moines on Feb. 9.

Bryan TraubBryan Traub, service station team leader

For Bryan Traub, a person’s power of positive influence is more valuable than a job title. This positive influence results from the little things, like showing up for work on time, to the big things, like working together as a team.

“I rely on my team heavily for their knowledge and experience,” said Traub, who understands the value of mentoring and leading. “It’s not just top down or bottom up; it’s full circle at MaxYield.”

As the service station team leader in West Bend, Traub arrives at the shop by 7 a.m. each weekday to get things organized, print off price sheets for the day’s fuel contracts, and account for the sales tickets. He also enjoys brainstorming with MaxYield’s energy solutions specialists to identify potential clients and discuss ways to offer them value. “Finding these solutions opens the door to build a stronger relationship between the clients and MaxYield,” said Traub, who was named to MaxYield’s All Star Team for the second time.

Traub’s own relationship with MaxYield has grown since he joined the company in 2009 following an extensive military career. He started as a part-time delivery driver and hauled fertilizer in the spring and the fall before being asked to lend a hand at the service station in West Bend. This developed into an opportunity to become the service station’s team leader.

“We’re not just focused on a client’s immediate needs, like a new set of truck tires,” said Traub, who credits Gene Sewell, MaxYield’s tire specialist, and Tom Zaugg, MaxYield’s energy technician, for building the station’s foundation of success. “We want to establish long-term relationships and become your partner for the long haul.”

To support this goal, MaxYield has invested in the service station, from safety enhancements to new equipment like a state-of-the-art tire balancer. “The details can make or break you, and it’s all about follow-through in this business,” said Traub, who strives to provide competitive prices. “We’re seeing some new faces we haven’t seen in years at the station, which is a win-win for the clients and MaxYield.”

It takes more than the All Stars to make this happen, he emphasized. “There’s a lot of talent at MaxYield, and it’s a privilege to be part of a team that works together so well.”

Editor’s note: Bryan and his wife, Susan, both served in the U.S. Army. Bryan, who served for 22 years, completed two tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom before retiring in 2009 as a Sergeant First Class. The couple enjoys spending time with their children and grandchildren, who live in Iowa and Nebraska.


Ron HutchisonRon Hutchison, Whittemore location leader

Since he didn’t grow up on a farm, Ron Hutchison never expected to make agriculture his career. A native of Plainview, MN, Hutchison worked as an auto mechanic for 17 years before joining MaxYield Cooperative more than five years ago.

“I like the fact that MaxYield is willing to train people who may not know a lot about agriculture,” said Hutchison, whose family moved to Emmetsburg after he graduated from high school. “I’m constantly learning every day and like getting my hands dirty.”

After working part-time at MaxYield’s Mallard location for a few seasons, Hutchison joined MaxYield full-time at the Whittemore location on Oct. 10, 2008. He specialized in outside operations, dumping grain at the elevator and running an applicator, before becoming the location leader in September of 2011.

“I was excited to have the opportunity to take on a new challenge,” said Hutchison, who oversees three team members who handle outside operations. He also works in the office with Jennifer Allen, Whittemore’s client care leader and 2012 Solutions Provider of the Year. “Jennifer has been great about teaching me about how things work in the office,” said Hutchison, who noted that his typical day’s tasks can range from running the scale and answering the phone to loading crop protection products. “You’re never doing the same things day to day.”

Hutchison also likes visiting with the many clients who stop by and ensuring that they receive the best service possible. “We try to make things fast and easy, whether clients are coming in to deliver grain or buy products from us.”

While he was surprised to hear his name called for MaxYield’s All Star Team, Hutchison is quick to share the credit. “A great team makes it fun to come to work.”

Editor’s note: Ron and his wife, Kimberly, a Pampered Chef consultant, live in Mallard. They have three sons, Jacob, 19, who is a student at Iowa Lakes Community College; Zach, 16, who enjoys golfing; and Aaron, 14, who participates in track and field. Since September of 2012, the Hutchisons have also hosted a foreign exchange student from Berlin, Germany. For the past several years, Ron and Kimberly have served as coordinators for the nonprofit Education First (EF) Foundation for Foreign Study and have hosted international students from Thailand and Sweden.


Dave HubkaDave Hubka, Belmond location leader

Although Dave Hubka’s career has taken him around the world, he has always remained rooted in rural Iowa.

“Iowa is all about agriculture, and I’m proud to work for MaxYield,” said Hubka, who is responsible for grain operations, safety, train loading, and many more jobs at the Belmond location.

After joining MaxYield in October of 2007 in grain operations, Hubka was promoted to grain superintendent within three months and was named Belmond’s location leader in February of 2010. His leadership skills are a direct reflection of his military training.

Hubka, who grew up on a dairy farm near Cresco, served in the U.S. Marine Corps for nine years and seven months after graduating from Sheffield-Chapin High School in 1980. Following two tours of sea duty, including one on the U.S.S. Iowa, Hubka had traveled to 34 countries and achieved the rank of sergeant before returning to civilian life.

He worked at the Eaton Corporation, a power management company, in Belmond for 14 years as a CNC (computer numerical controlled) machine operator before joining MaxYield. “I wanted to work in agriculture, and I’m glad I had the chance to come to MaxYield. They care about their people, and there’s a lot of diversity with the job.”

Hubka, who works with 10 team members at the Belmond location, makes sure everyone receives the proper education through safety meetings, which are held twice a month. He also stresses the importance of mutual respect among team members. “People are MaxYield’s best assets, and I’m a firm believer in respect both ways.”

Being named to the All Star Team caught Hubka by surprise. “You never expect an honor like this. I like to continue learning and try to give 110% every day.”

Editor’s note: Dave and his wife, Sarah, have one son, Malachi, 10, and Dave has two step-daughters, Mandy, 32, and Holly, 30. The Hubkas enjoy traveling and spending time with their grandchildren.


Sheryll DenneySheryll Denney, grain originator

When Kathie Ostrander texted Sheryll Denney that she had been named to the All Star Team, Denney was humbled by the news.

“I rely on my team members, and each year we grow as a team,” said Denney, a grain originator at MaxYield’s Lakota location. Her 2012 All Star Team award marks her third time to receive this honor.

Denney, Ostrander, Tiffany Wycoff, and Kelsie Koppen work together to find solutions that benefit the clients who deliver grain to Green Plains Renewable Energy (GPRE). “We know our clients by name and can recognize many of them by their voices when they call in,” said Denney, who has worked at the ethanol plant since 2002, when it was known as MGP.

The team hit a new record on Oct. 1, 2012, when they weighed 294 trucks hauling 302,637 bushels of corn—and got the job done in eight hours and seven minutes. That same day, they also weighed 25 trucks hauling products for the GPRE ethanol plant.

Teamwork is vital at a location that handles 3 million bushels of corn each week for the 100-million-gallon plant. “Just about every week we have new clients here,” said Denney, who noted that her team works with 600 clients across northern Iowa and southern Minnesota. “While we have 1.4 million bushels of grain storage, it’s not that much for a plant that operates 24/7. That’s why we’re constantly in contact with clients to buy grain.”

To make things more fun during harvest, the Lakota and GPRE teams grill hamburgers for clients and serve the free meals with chips and deserts 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.”

Many people throughout the company make the work easier, Denney added. “Teamwork doesn’t stop at the Lakota location; it extends throughout MaxYield. I’m proud to work with a company that invests in their team members and clients.”

Editor’s note: Sheryll and her husband, Roger, live in Garner and have three grown sons. Lance, his wife, Stephanie, and sons Ty and Trever live in Garner; Jason, wife Ivy, and new son Garrett, who was born Feb. 20, live in Wesley. Brian lives in Waterloo. In her free time, Sheryll spends time with her grandsons and rides motorcycle with Roger.


Joe BehounekJoe Behounek, systems and network technician

Whether a fellow MaxYield team member’s computer is crashing, a printer isn’t printing, or a phone isn’t working, Joe Behounek can help.

“I enjoy figuring out how to fix things,” said Behounek, who is based in West Bend and works with team members throughout MaxYield. “There’s always plenty of variety with this job, and I stay pretty busy.”

Behounek, who joined MaxYield’s information technology (IT) department in September of 2010, works with IT Team Leader Jeff Wittkopf to keep MaxYield’s computer networks, servers, printers, cell phones, tablet computers, and more working properly. “We can fix a lot of issues remotely,” said Behounek, who also travels to MaxYield’s many locations to install new equipment and provide on-site support when issues can’t be fixed online. “Jeff is very knowledgeable, and we work well together.”

The job is a good fit for Behounek, an easy-going guy who has always been fascinated by how things work. While other people might get frustrated when a machine isn’t functioning properly, Behounek enjoys the challenge. “As a kid, I liked fixing dirt bikes and motorcycles as much as riding them. It would be weird to buy something new and just take off.”

A native of Livermore, Behounek earned associate of applied science degrees in information systems, architectural drafting, and network administration from Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo, where he also earned his diploma in computer science in 2009.

Behounek appreciates the opportunity to be part of MaxYield’s IT team. “It’s exciting to be named to the All Star Team, and it’s awesome to be able to live in the area where I grew up and have a good job with MaxYield.”

Editor’s note: Joe and his wife, Carissa, who grew up in Bode, opened a photography studio in West Bend in March of 2012. Carissa also offers graphic design services and handles web design for a company in Traer, Iowa. In his free time, Joe farms with his parents, Mike and Rhonda, who run a cow-calf operation and operate a custom baling business. Joe also enjoys hunting, fishing, and overseeing the construction of a new home he and Carissa are building near Livermore.

My MaxYield Internship: Haley Banwart

In my opinion, role models are essential in the shaping of a career path for every student. Throughout my internship experience I have met many great people who have positively influenced my perception of the agricultural workforce. One of these role models includes D20130619_maxyield_300arcy Maulsby, a freelance journalist who has worked with MaxYield Cooperative for several years.  On July 1st and 2nd I had the opportunity to learn from her as she interviewed the individuals scheduled to be featured in the upcoming issue of My Solutions. After talking with Darcy and seeing her in action I am even more confident that agricultural communications is the right path for me.

Another important puzzle piece of discovering one’s professional destiny includes gaining experience. From organizing the 2014 calendar, event planning, and conducting video interviews, I definitely feel that I have expanded my skill set in the communications field. Challenging myself in a real life business setting has been a great opportunity for me as I have realized the corporate culture compared to the nature of performing manual farm labor for my dear old dad.

To be an intern at MaxYield Cooperative is a true privilege. During my first weeks as a freshman at Iowa State University I was already being encouraged and advised to seek out internships early on in my college career. Now that I am about half way through my internship with MaxYield I certainly understand the reason why this objective is so heavily preached at ISU. Not only have I developed and improved my communications skills, but I have also gained a better understanding of what opportunities are available for me in a future career. Additionally, my internship has helped me to narrow down which career path I would like to pursue and has strengthened my enthusiasm to act as an advocate of agriculture.