January 25, 2021

Archives for March 2017

Funeral Arrangements for Dan Feller

Arrangements for Dan Feller are as follows:

Visitation on Sunday, April 2nd from 2 pm to 5 pm at Andrews Funeral Home in Belmond

Visitation on Monday, April 3rd from 4 pm to 7 pm at Huebner Funeral Home in Denison

Funeral Service on Tuesday, April 4th at 10:30 at Zion Lutheran Church in Denison

Our deepest sympathies go out to Dan’s family and friends during this difficult time.



Statement Regarding Accident at MaxYield’s Belmond Facility

UPDATE: March 28, 2017, 4:00 p.m.

MaxYield Cooperative continues to cooperate fully with all appropriate agencies regarding the passing of team member Dan Feller, which occurred yesterday at our Belmond grain facility.

This morning, OSHA completed their onsite investigation of the accident. OSHA will take this information back to their offices for review. It will be several days and possibly weeks for their investigation to be completed.

We thank all the team members, and our outstanding local emergency response personnel and law enforcement for their quick response yesterday. We are grateful to each of you for your assistance, professionalism and support.

MaxYield understands that this is a very difficult time for our team members, especially those that were close to Dan. We are grateful for everyone that has offered support and we will continue to offer resources and support for any team member that needs or requests it. We will make our way through the healing process with the strength and resilience of each other.

We offer our prayers, condolences and deepest sympathy to Dan’s family and friends. He was very much a valued member of our team and will be greatly missed.

MaxYield will post details of his funeral arrangements when they are made available.

Keith Heim, CEO
MaxYield Cooperative


Original Statement: March 27, 2017

Contact:               Chad Meyer                                                                       Date: March 27, 2017
Client Relations/Communications Director
Office: 515-887-7211, ext. 216
Cell: 515-320-2593
Email: cmeyer@maxyieldcoop.com


Statement Regarding Fatality at Belmond Facility

WEST BEND, IOWA, March 27, 2017 – At approximately 2:15 p.m. Monday, March 27th, grain by-products were being loaded into a semi-truck located at the Belmond, IA location of MaxYield Cooperative. During the truck loading process, Dan Feller, an employee of MaxYield Cooperative, fell from a platform, resulting in his death.

We take the safety of our employees very seriously and we have in place comprehensive and extensive training programs and safety protocol. It is unknown at this time how the accident occurred and the accident is being investigated. MaxYield is cooperating fully with the appropriate authorities.

MaxYield Cooperative and I are deeply saddened by this tragic accident and we extend our sincere condolences and sympathy to Dan’s family.

More details about the accident will be released when they are available.

Keith Heim, CEO
MaxYield Cooperative


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.




Celebrating Abilities: Brad Ostwald Thrives at West Bend Cenex Store

Brad Ostwald and store manager Lisa Bruellman

Need a little pick-me-up? If you stop by MaxYield Cooperative’s Cenex store in West Bend, you can’t help but smile when you meet Brad Ostwald.

“Someone may be having a bad day, but when they see Brad, he turns their whole day around,” said Lisa Bruellman, store manager.

Ostwald is also setting new standards for people with disabilities. Ostwald, who has mild Down syndrome, has become a valued MaxYield team member, thanks to a unique partnership between the cooperative and Exceptional Opportunities, an organization in Burt and Algona that serves people with disabilities.

For the past two years, Ostwald has worked at the West Bend Cenex store every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Whittemore resident helps restock supplies from coffee cups to window washer fluid, in addition to sweeping and mopping the floor, cleaning tables and more. “Brad is a hard worker who’s focused on getting the job done,” Bruellman said.
Not only does Ostwald know all the coffee crowd regulars by name, but he loves to talk and joke with clients. This die-hard Minnesota Vikings fan also keeps everyone updated about his favorite NFL team. “Brad is very personable,” Bruellman said. “He can also take grief from his friends and give it right back.”

Having a job at MaxYield has been a huge blessing for Ostwald. “Brad is a people person and enjoys his team members and MaxYield’s clients,” said Beth Buscherfeld, Ostwald’s sister who manages MaxYield’s Cenex store in Whittemore. “This job opportunity has given Brad more independence, a bigger circle of acquaintances and more self-worth.”

Connecting with the community

Integrating people with disabilities into the community can be life changing for everyone involved.

“The MaxYield Cenex store has been a wonderful opportunity for Brad,” said Rodney Davis, director of employment services for Exceptional Opportunities, which serves approximately 100 disabled adults in the Kossuth County area. “It’s a great environment that fits Brad’s skill set and allows him to complete meaningful work. He’s also having fun, and so are the people he serves.”

Finding employment opportunities like this reflects a move away from traditional “sheltered employment,” where people with disabilities gathered at a center to work on projects like recycling. Today, these people are placed in actual work environments where they interact with a wide range of people. “I look at this as one of the biggest civil rights’ movements for people with disabilities,” Davis said. “I also applaud companies like MaxYield for offering employment for these folks.”

MaxYield was happy to explore employment options when Exceptional Opportunities approached the company a few years ago. “Giving back is part of our culture,” said Diane Streit, MaxYield’s human resource director. “We’re glad to help someone who is willing to work hard.”

When Ostwald started working at MaxYield, a mentor accompanied him throughout the training process and helped the MaxYield team learn how to work with Ostwald. Now that Ostwald is more experienced, staff from Exceptional Opportunities check in with Ostwald and MaxYield’s Cenex team regularly to make sure things are going well.

“While Brad was very quiet at first and wouldn’t ask for help, now he has opened up,” said Bruellman, who noted that Ostwald has an amazing memory. “Brad is having the time of his life working here, and we’re glad to have him.”

Ostwald has been given more responsibilities over time. “Brad is the boss on Fridays and gets to decide who mops the floor,” Bruellman noted. “We want to make him feel special.”

Helping people grow and succeed

While some of Ostwald’s tasks may seem repetitive, they are comforting to someone with a disability, said Davis, who noted that Ostwald loves coming to work. “Brad has benefited in so many ways from MaxYield,” Davis added. “His speech and communication skills have improved, along with his decision-making skills and sense of independence.”

Clients look forward to seeing Ostwald at the Cenex store. “Everyone in town knows Brad,” Bruellman said. “When he isn’t there, people notice.”

Ostwald’s family appreciates MaxYield’s willingness to give him the opportunity to earn a paycheck. “Brad has always held a job throughout his adult life and would be lost without one,” Buscherfeld said. “He also doesn’t like to miss any days at work. S-N-O-W is a bad, four-letter word in his vocabulary.”

This kind of work ethic is impressive, Streit said. “Brad is raising the bar at MaxYield. He’s always positive and happy and is such a joy for our team members and clients.”

Davis is grateful for employers like MaxYield that support Exceptional Opportunities. “People with disabilities want to feel like they are earning their paychecks and making a difference. It’s exciting to see how MaxYield is helping Brad grow and succeed.”

Making a Positive Difference
While Exceptional Opportunities had eight disabled adults employed in 12 locations a little over a year ago, this has now increased to 35 people in 24 locations in north-central Iowa, thanks to partners like MaxYield Cooperative.

Fighting the Invisible Yield Robber: Proven Seed Treatment Combats Sudden Death Syndrome

Is sudden death syndrome (SDS) plaguing your fields? If so, you’re not alone.

Roughly 80 percent of the fields in MaxYield Cooperative’s trade territory are affected by SDS. “Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there,” said Matt Keel, a MaxYield seed solutions specialist. “It’s a problem that keeps creeping up and causes serious yield losses.”

SDS was prevalent in northern Iowa this year. The soilborne SDS fungus thrives in wet conditions and poorly-drained, compacted soils. It made its appearance earlier than normal in some fields, showing up in early August, Keel said.

In the eastern part of MaxYield’s trade territory, some growers have struggled for three years in a row with SDS, taking yield hits of 20 to 25 bushels per acre. “In some cases, fields that would have normally yielded 70 to 75 bushels per acre only yielded 38 bushels due to SDS,” Keel said.

Infection occurs early in the growing season. Once the SDS fungus is present in a field, it does not go away and can be spread by soil movement to neighboring fields. “Since the SDS fungus affects the roots, it’s an invisible problem,” Keel said.

SDS takes a toll by limiting plants’ water and nutrient uptake. By the time you see any symptoms, including dramatically smaller soybeans and aborted pods, it’s too late.

ILeVO® seed treatment protects yield potential

While you can select varieties with defensive traits to fight SDS, plus improved drainage can also help, there’s a new option to help take manage SDS. ILeVO® is the first seed treatment for soybeans that offers protection against SDS and nematodes in the seed zone throughout the critical growing period.

“We’ve done many trials with ILeVO in the past couple years and have seen it give a 4- to 9-bushel yield advantage,” Keel said.

ILeVO protects against early-season infection, so your plants will be healthier and perform better, even in the absence of foliar SDS symptoms. “It only takes a bushel or two to pay for ILeVO,” Keel said.

As you plan for 2017, contact your MaxYield agronomist today to see how ILeVO can protect your soybean yields.


Key Benefits of ILeVO Seed Treatment

  • Increased yields. MaxYield trials have shown a soybean yield advantage of 4 to 9 bushels per acre when ILeVO is used.
  • Activity against SDS and SCN. SDS and soybean cyst nematode (SCN) are two of the top yield robbers in soybean production. ILeVO kills all nematode species in the seed zone.
  • Early plant protection. Because seeds are protected from the time they’re put into the ground, they can be planted earlier in the season.
  • Increased plant performance. ILeVO helps produce stronger, healthier plants.


Kevin Quastad Benefit

A benefit will be held March 18th for MaxYield team member Kevin Quastad. In January 2017, Kevin was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer.

When: March 18, 2017
Where: VFW – Estherville
*4-8 p.m. Dinner (serving Jane Olson Tacos) Free will donation

*Raffle, silent and live auction to follow!

Download Event Flyer (PDF)

Since January 10th, he has had six major surgeries to remove his jaw with reconstruction, using bones and muscles from his legs and chest.

Kevin is a lifelong  resident of Estherville and Gruver. He and his wife, Chris, have two sons, Alex (24) and Levi (22).

Following his lengthy hospitalization, Kevin will have six weeks of daily radiation treatment. Neither Kevin, nor Chris, have been able to work since January and Chris has been staying in a hotel since January 23rd through Kevin’s release from the hospital on March 2nd.

Please join us as we lend a helping hand to our friend and co-worker. Any support offered will be greatly appreciated!

Raffle prizes
1st place: Choice of 2016 Arctic Cat 300 ATV (MSRP: $4399) Courtesy of J&K Snowmobiles
or $3000 cash

2nd place: Traeger Grill

Questions of to purchase raffle tickets, please contact Diann Minion at 712-209-2644.