August 15, 2020

Archives for July 2015

My MaxYield Internship: Kimberly Dornbier

Meet Kim Dornbier, MaxYield’s Grain Accounting/Finance Intern

20150616_maxyield_237 (681x1024)What is unique about your ag background and/or experiences?
My ag background is kind of unique because I was born and raised on a diversified farm with row crops and finisher hogs. The unique part is that I have never lived on a farm or acreage. Though being a part of all different parts of agriculture, I fully developed my passion for ag when I became a member of a 4H club. I’m truly blessed that I was raised around ag, and was given the tools to learn about agriculture hands on.

What types of ag related activities, organizations, and/or projects were you involved in growing up?
Growing up I was very active in organizations such as 4H, FFA, and the Iowa Swine Jackpot Series (ISJS). Each of these organizations have helped me further my career in agriculture, giving me connections and experience in many different fields.

Currently, through my collegiate career, at Iowa State University, I have been active in many different clubs such as the Agricultural Business Club, Block & Bridle, and Sigma Alpha Delta (Agriculture Sorority). I have enjoyed my time with these organizations and can’t wait to see what the future holds for me in each of them.

What are you career goals after graduation?
My goal is to graduate from college in four years or less and to land myself a job in a great workplace. I’m currently unsure of which career direction I want to go, but I do know I want to stay active in agriculture, and be a world advocate. I guess I will have to wait and see what my future has in store for me!

How do you see your MaxYield internship helping you with your future plans?
My MaxYield internship will be beneficial to my future in agriculture. Interning at MaxYield has given me many chances to network with other farmers and leaders in the ag industry, giving me real live situations to handle, and it has taught me that every day isn’t the same in the world of ag.

Celebrating a Century of Solutions

West Bend RailBy Keith Heim, CEO

In 1915, World War I raged in Europe, the transcontinental telephone service debuted in America when Alexander Graham Bell called San Francisco from New York, and northwest Iowa farmers gathered to create a new cooperative.

The first stockholders’ meeting for the West Bend Elevator Company (WBEC) was held on April 6 at 2 p.m., with Henry Dunn elected president. The cooperative was incorporated on May 29, 1915. As we celebrate your cooperative’s 100th anniversary this year, it’s worth looking back on the company’s remarkable history.

To me, 2015 is a major milestone for MaxYield and its predecessor, WBEC, as well as the other cooperatives that have unified with the company along the way. While some people say 100 years in business is no big deal, I say it’s a huge deal. A recent business article made this point in reference to corporate sustainability. In the late 1800s, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was made up of 12 companies. By 1929, 11 of those 12 no longer existed. That was only a 40-year period, not even close to the 100-year mark.

That pattern also exists in the cooperative world. In 1950, there were about 710 grain elevator/farm supply cooperatives in Iowa, which equates to about seven per county. Today, the number of grain elevator/farm supply cooperatives in Iowa has plunged to 58, and the trend continues.

Sometimes people are quick to dismiss the 100th anniversary because they say MaxYield wasn’t the original company that started in 1915. History has proven, however, that companies built to last adapt to meet the changes that transform their industry.

Think of how much Iowa agriculture has evolved since 1915. MaxYield has had to evolve, too, to meet the needs of our clients. Just like our clients, we would not be in business if we hadn’t changed in the past 100 years by adopting new technologies, shutting down business units that were no longer profitable, and growing for the future.

While MaxYield isn’t your grandfather’s or great-grandfather’s cooperative, we continue to embrace the cooperative principles that the company’s founders valued. Principles that have stood the test of time. Throughout 2015, we’ll be highlighting MaxYield’s unique history through our website, magazine, radio advertisements, client events this summer, and more.

It has been an amazing journey for your cooperative in the past 100 years, and we look forward to the next 100 years. Congratulations and thank you to all the stockholders, directors, team members, and clients who have made MaxYield the successful cooperative it is today.

My MaxYield Internship: Dominic Snyder

Meet Dominic Snyder, MaxYield’s Market Research Intern

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What is unique about your agriculture background and/or experiences?
What is unique about my ag background and experience is that I didn’t get involved with agriculture until I was in college, so I did not have the advantage of pervious hands-on knowledge and work like most kids who grew up on a farm. Growing up in a small town I knew agriculture was around, but I never had the opportunity to get involved. Now that I have the chance to be involved with agriculture, I try to gain as much experience possible by doing different tasks and learning new things. Because I don’t have a ton of experience, I’m always open to trying new jobs and learning new things to expand my horizons.

What are you career goals after graduating?
Upon graduation, I would like to find a career in the agriculture field and remain somewhere in Iowa. It would be nice to find a job close to my hometown, but at the same time I have always considered moving away from home for a different perspective. I would definitely prefer living in a small town compared to a big city, and I hope to work for a smaller company, rather than a large corporation.

How do you see your MaxYield internship helping you with your future plans?
I’ve learned a lot while working with MaxYield this summer, and all of my experiences will help benefit me in the future. Working with MaxYield has shown me that I would enjoy working for a company of its size. This internship has exposed me to many different areas of a cooperative, and I hope that the experience I gained helps me become an asset to a company, and a more versatile employee.

MaxYield Supports Dickinson County 4-H

(left to right): Janet Neppl, Barb Utech, Keith Brockmeyer, Betsy Harwood, Karen Byers.

(left to right): Janet Neppl, Barb Utech, Keith Brockmeyer, Betsy Harwood, Karen Byers.

MaxYield Cooperative announced recently that they are continuing their commitment to Dickinson 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 $3520 to Dickinson 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


Soil Health Partnernship: Field Day

Thursday, August 6, 2015   Host: Bruce and Wade Kent 9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Kent Farms @ SHP field demonstration site 1 mile East of 140th on Highway 18 Algona, IA 50511
Thursday, August 6, 2015
Host: Bruce and Wade Kent
9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Kent Farms @ SHP field demonstration site
1 mile East of 140th on Highway 18
Algona, IA 50511


kent map

The Soil Health Partnership will host a field day to talk about the benefits of soil health to crop yields, economics and the environment.

The field day will feature:
• Cover crops 101 – What you need to know
• Benefits of soil health to your farm
• Hands on look at strip till and no-till systems
• Update on Iowa water quality news

Lunch will be provided — event will be held rain or shine


An NCGA Initiative

Initial Support From
Monsanto and The Walton Family Foundation

With Technical Support From
The Nature Conservancy



Higher Yields Ahead? MaxYield Puts Multi-Hybrid Planting to the Test

20150504_maxyield_284 (1024x681)Any farmer knows that not all fields—or even areas within a field—are created equal. Since there’s no one-size-fits-all corn hybrid or soybean variety that’s right for each management zone, multi-hybrid planting offers the chance for higher yields.

What was once science fiction is becoming reality in 2015 as SciMax Solutions puts this promising technology to the test in clients’ corn and soybean fields.

“We tried multi-hybrid planting last year, and the results whetted our appetite,” said Peter Bixel, SciMax Solutions’ team leader. “We think multi-hybrid planting can bring value to our clients and want to take a closer look at it.”

Multi-hybrid technology provides farmers with the ability to change the seed hybrid they are planting as the planter moves through the field. Instead of selecting an average seed variety for use across an entire field, seed hybrids can be selected and automatically planted to suit different field management zones.

In 2014, MaxYield and SciMax used a six-row planter for multi-hybrid planting on 90 acres. DeKalb also used multi-hybrid planting last year with a prototype 16-row planter on 1,000 acres farmed by SciMax clients.

This spring, SciMax Solutions Specialist Rodney Legleiter used a John Deere 1770 center-fill planter with vSet Select multi-hybrid planting technology from Precision Planting on nearly 1,400 corn and soybean acres on 10 SciMax clients’ farms. The vSet Select technology can plant two hybrids in the same row, switching back and forth as environments change to plant the hybrid that will produce the most in each management zone.

“The vSet Select meters we used on the planter were just released in December of 2014, so this is cutting-edge technology,” Bixel said.

Does it pay?
While a few companies have experimented with multi-hybrid planting in the Midwest, the technology is still in its infancy.

20150504_maxyield_196 (681x1024)SciMax is partnering with WinField® on multi-hybrid planting research in 2015. “This is something SciMax and MaxYield Seed have wanted to do for a long time,” Bixel said. “We have the information to know where specific hybrids should go, based on SciMax and MaxYield Seed data, the Answer Plot® database, and expertise from partner companies.”

The technology doesn’t come cheap. It costs approximately $30,000 to add the multi-hybrid equipment to a 12-row planter. “We want to find out if the technology is worth the investment, especially in these times of tighter margins,” Bixel said. “Past research has shown a yield advantage of nine bushels on corn and three to four bushels on soybeans.”

This spring, the SciMax team worked with MaxYield Seed specialists to write the multi-hybrid planting recommendations. The recommendations can include two hybrids or two soybean varieties. These “prescriptions” told the monitor which of the two planter boxes to draw from as the planter rolled through each field. Getting the data entered into the monitor was an important part Legleiter did before planting.

“It’s all about placing the right hybrid or variety in the right management zone to maximize yield potential,” Bixel said. “There’s no need to plant a defensive hybrid in the high-yield environment of an A zone, for example, but this hybrid would be a good fit for the C zone, where the soil tends to be lighter and sandier.”

Technology requires more management
While SciMax is interested in multi-hybrid planting for corn, the technology might be especially useful to boost soybean yields. “With the pH, disease, and soybean cyst nematode issues we have throughout northern Iowa, we think multi-hybrid planting might have a significant impact on soybean yields,” Bixel said.

While SciMax’s 2014 multi-hybrid planting trials generated promising results for corn and soybeans, the technology isn’t for everyone. “It requires more attention to detail, so you need to be willing to manage for higher yields,” Bixel said. “We’re here to help you combine the technology, seed selection, and information management to help you get the job done.”

Few companies offer this level of service. In addition, SciMax will share the 2015 results from the multi-hybrid planting trials during grower meetings this winter. “Our goal is to stay two to three years ahead of the competition and see more in your fields,” Bixel said. “Stay tuned for more details.”

My MaxYield Internship: Mark Wellik


Meet Mark Wellik, MaxYield’s Crop Scouting/Soil Sampling Intern

- Mark

What inspired you to study agriculture?
Growing up on a farm all my life, and gaining so much knowledge and experience form working hands-on is what made me decide to study agriculture.

Why did you apply for MaxYield’s Crop Scouting/Soil Sampling Internship?
Growing up in the area, I am very familiar with MaxYield, and for being a co-op, MaxYield holds some of the most prestigious internships, and they are great at job placement upon graduation. I also know several employees and customers that make it a great place to work and they are overall a great co-op.

Who is/are your mentor(s) this summer, and how have they helped you through your first few weeks at MaxYield?
I have two mentors this summer, Cody Ostendorf and Rachel Amundson. Cody has shown me several things on weed identification, crop growth, diseases, chemical products and application, and client care. Rachel is very easy going, yet she knows how to keep us on task and busy with soil sampling.

What have you learned through your internship so far? What has been your favorite part about your internship?
I have learned a lot of different things in my internship so far. Most of all I have enjoyed watching the different agronomy specialists and how they handle their clients, and learning about the differences in agronomy jobs.

What are you most looking forward to this summer?
This summer I look most forward to the little field trips that the other interns and I attend. In August we will be touring the soil testing lab in Wisconsin where our samples are sent to be analyzed. I look forward to being able to see the in-between steps of the processes started by sampling in the fields.

What challenges are you looking to tackle as the summer progresses?
As the summer has progresses it has become very wet, slowing down our soil sampling opportunities. So as the sampling season comes to a close I am looking forward to trying to finish off all of the acres before we run out of time.

Kim Kroger Wins TV from DOW AgroSciences

DSC_0209 (1024x902)Kim Kroger of Spencer is a recent winner of a 42” Vizio® Smart TV courtesy of DOW® AgroSciences and MaxYield Cooperative®.

Targeted growers were sent information about the importance of nitrogen stabilizers from DOW. MaxYield agronomy specialists then discussed the benefits of N-Serve® and Instinct II® with each grower and qualified growers were entered into a drawing for a chance to win one of five TV’s.

Megan Phelan, MaxYield agronomy specialist, presented the TV to Kroger.

More information about N-Serve and Instinct II is available at while more information about MaxYield Cooperative can be found at and

Jordan White Wins TV from DOW AgroSciences

DSC_0221 (1024x706)Jordan White of rural Meservey was the winner of a 42” Vizio® Smart TV courtesy of DOW® AgroSciences and MaxYield Cooperative®.

Targeted growers were sent information about the importance of nitrogen stabilizers from DOW. MaxYield agronomy specialists then discussed the benefits of N-Serve® and Instinct II® with each grower and qualified growers were entered into a drawing for a chance to win one of five TV’s.

Jon Kaduce, agronomy specialist at MaxYield, and Dow’s Lyndsie Kaehler presented the TV to White.

More information about N-Serve and Instinct II is available at while more information about MaxYield Cooperative can be found at and

MaxYield 100 Years: November 1956

Davenport Elev.West Bend Elevator Company, founded in 1915, and later renamed MaxYield Cooperative, owes a portion of its history to the former Davenport Elevator Company.

West Bend Elevator was established on the south side of the railroad tracks in West Bend.

Davenport Elevator Company was operating at the time on the north side of the tracks.

Later, West Bend Elevator acquired the Davenport Elevator property, moving most of the operation to its present location.

With this newspaper clipping from the Mason City Globe-Gazette dated November 13, 1956, we look back at an upgrade that Davenport Elevator completed for their feed department.

With the photo below, we also show an original seed bag from the Davenport Elevator Company.


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