February 23, 2019

Archives for January 2017

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone: A Minute with Board Member Barry Anderson

When Barry Anderson was growing up and saw his father, Wendell, serving on the local pork producers’ board and Dickens co-op board, he learned an unforgettable life lesson.

“Both my dad and mom emphasized that it does no good to sit on the sidelines and complain,” said Anderson, a Greenville-area farmer who is serving his fourth year on MaxYield Cooperative’s board. “They instilled in me the value of being part of the solution.”

This spirit guides Anderson as he represents MaxYield’s West Area. We recently caught up with him to see what he sees for the future of MaxYield and local agriculture.

Q: What’s the one thing you want members and clients to know about MaxYield?

A: MaxYield is more than a place to deliver grain. This is a place where you can find a wide variety of solutions tailored to your needs, from agronomy to energy to grain marketing.

MaxYield’s roots run deep. The cooperative has served local farmers for more than 100 years. We’re here for you in the good times and the tough times.

With the acquisition of our new locations, I’d like everyone to know that MaxYield’s leaders look at the big picture. We always ask, “What will help the company as a whole?” Providing a high level of service keeps the cooperative strong, which benefits each of us in the long run.

Q: What’s the most significant thing you’ve learned by serving on MaxYield’s board?

A: Leadership, vision and communication are keys to success. I appreciate the leadership Keith Heim provides as our CEO. He and MaxYield’s management team are forwarding thinking and make sure MaxYield offers the products and services our members and clients need. MaxYield’s managers, board members, area leaders and team members also work hard to keep the lines of communication open within the cooperative and with our farmer members. We’ve got good people in place and are always looking for ways to improve.

Q: MaxYield grew by seven locations in 2016. Why was that important?
A:
Keith Heim encourages the board to consider ways to help MaxYield expand to better serve our members. We look for potential partners that share our core values and financial focus. With the acquisition of The Andersons, it was interesting to unify locations from a private company with a cooperative. We’ve been able to achieve this transition fairly seamlessly. This growth is allowing MaxYield to expand into a region where there’s a lot of opportunity, from good clients to high-producing farmland.

Q: How does MaxYield benefit clients and local communities?

A: MaxYield is very a professional organization with knowledgeable team members. I’m glad MaxYield provides high-quality employment opportunities in rural Iowa. I’m also proud MaxYield has always been in the forefront of supporting youth by investing in college scholarships and internships for students. MaxYield also supports ag education through Grandpa’s Barn at the Clay County Fair. It’s great to see how MaxYield team members volunteer with many organizations that keep our local communities strong.

Q: What challenges do you think MaxYield will face moving forward?

A: Margins have become very tight now that agriculture is in a down market. This challenge will likely be here for the next several years. MaxYield will need to manage finances carefully while continuing to invest in the business. A co-op has a lot of moving parts, including grain-handling equipment and rolling stock, at our locations. Some of this equipment is newer than others, but we’re trying to keep everything running smoothly. I also appreciate MaxYield’s safety culture, which ensures team members are well-trained so they can work safely and efficiently.

Q: Why is service to the community important?

A:  People’s willingness to serve, and the health of our rural communities, are closely linked. I saw that when my father was serving on local ag and church boards. People need to know we care about them, their businesses and their families. I like serving with MaxYield because I see all the positive things the cooperative is working on to benefit our communities. I’m proud to say I’m a MaxYield board member. I encourage others to step out of their comfort zone and become a leader.

 Editor’s note: Anderson raises corn, soybeans, hogs and cattle south of Spencer. He also serves as a Clay County Supervisor and has been honored with the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award. Anderson and his wife, Dana, who is a paralegal for an attorney in Spencer, have three children. Their oldest daughter, Megan, works for Sanford Hospital’s foundation in Sioux Falls. Their daughter, Taylor, is a student at South Dakota State University (SDSU) and plans to become an orthodontist. Both girls are planning weddings in 2017. The Anderson’s son, Christopher, is also an SDSU student and serves in the Army National Guard. Christopher hopes to return to Clay County to farm and work in law enforcement. The Andersons’ family “grew” this year, since they have been hosting two foreign exchange students.

 

 

Protect Your Engine: Big Changes Ahead for Engine Oil

Have you heard the news? Major changes in the categories of engine oil are coming in 2017 and will affect your vehicles.

“These changes are part of the federal government’s standards for greater fuel efficiency,” said Chad Besch, energy team leader at MaxYield Cooperative. “They will affect both diesel and gasoline engines.”

Here’s what you need to know:

  • While CJ-4 is the current standard for heavy-duty engine oil, CK-4 will soon take its place. FA-4 will become the standard for lower viscosity oils.
  • While CJ-4 was “backwards compatible,” meaning it would work on previous model engines, this isn’t true for the new categories of oil. If you buy a new 2017 truck or tractor that takes CK-4 engine oil, don’t use other types of oil in the vehicle. “If you have a new truck and an old truck, you’ll need two different kinds of oil,” Besch said.
  • These changes aren’t a ploy by manufacturers or retailers to sell more oil. These standards are set by the American Petroleum Institute (API), and oil manufacturers have to follow these requirements, Besch said.
  • MaxYield Cooperative will continue to offer all the oils we carry today, along with the new oils that will meet the new regulations. “We’re proud to offer high-quality Cenex oils,” said Besch, who noted that Cenex is working with the API to meet these new regulations.

Save with 5W-40 Enviro-Edge® oil

      These aren’t the only changes in modern engine oil technology. While the synthetic oil blend 15W-40 has been used for years in diesel engines, new options are available, including 5W-40 Enviro-Edge® oil.

“This can give you extended drain intervals, which means you can save money over the long haul,” Besch said.

The key is proper testing. Pull a sample, and if the oil checks out okay, the oil can be used longer. MaxYield uses this oil in its semi-trucks and fuel delivery trucks. “We’ve almost doubled our drain intervals, in some cases,” Besch said.

Other trends in engine oil include lower viscosities for passenger car engines. “We’ll likely see this trend in truck diesel engines, too,” said Besch, who noted that 0W-20 oil is recommended for some newer cars.

The bottom line? Follow your engine manufacturer’s specifications, and count on MaxYield for the energy solutions you need. “It makes sense to invest in today’s high-tech oils,” Besch said. “It’s a small price to pay to protect an expensive engine.”

For more information on oil options, contact Bryan Traub, MaxYield’s service station team leader, at 515-887-3531.

 

 

           

How Grain Futures Contracts Revolutionized Finance

MaxYield grain analyst Karl Setzer provides a few comments in this Open Markets/CME story…How Grain Futures Contracts Revolutionized Finance.

The story is available here….http://bit.ly/2jCazIx.

 

 

Jim Unrau Honored at Retirement Coffee

Roger Wagner (left) energy sales and marketing team leader, presents Jim Unrau with his retirement gift at a coffee held in his honor January 11th. Unrau served as an energy solutions specialist in MaxYield’s west region.

Unrau joined MaxYield when the northwest Iowa locations formerly owned by The Andersons, Inc. were acquired by the local cooperative May 1, 2016. His last day at MaxYield was January 11th.

Unrau farmed in O’Brien County until 1994 before joining the ag cooperative in Archer, Iowa for three years. He relocated to this area in 1997, serving as feed department manager at the cooperative in Ruthven. He later transitioned to energy sales upon taking a position at Green Plains in Spencer and then with The Andersons.

About MaxYield Cooperative

MaxYield Cooperative, headquartered in West Bend, IA, is a member-owned agricultural cooperative that was founded in 1915. The cooperative has 24 locations, and three Cenex convenience stores in Iowa. They also provide grain origination and accounting services for two Iowa feed mills. For more information, visit MaxYield online at www.MaxYieldCoop.com or www.FromTheField.com.