April 22, 2019

Archives for April 2017

Tractor Fever: 5 Things Drive Cassie Degner

There’s just something about old iron. Just ask Cassie Degner, who answers with one word when you ask about her favorite tractors—Case.

“I love Case tractors because they are unique and are a family tradition,” said Degner, a MaxYield Cooperative grain accounting assistant. “Restoring tractors isn’t just a hobby—it’s more like an obsession.”

While people may not take Degner seriously at first, they quickly learn she knows her stuff when she starts “talking tractor.” Here are five things you may not know about Degner:

  1. She’s country. Degner was born and raised in northeast Kansas in the country near Perry. When Degner was 12 years old, her grandfather found a 1951 Case D tractor in a grove in western Kansas when he was pheasant hunting. “The basics of it were pretty good, although we had to get fenders from another tractor,” said Degner, who got hooked on restoring classic tractors.
  2. Agriculture brought Degner to Iowa. After Degner earned her feed science and management degree from Kansas State University in 2009, she accepted a job with Murphy Brown (now Smithfield Hog Production). She joined MaxYield in November 2012, first as a client care leader at Hobarton and later as a grain originator. After MaxYield’s relationship with Murphy Brown concluded in January 2015, Degner moved to MaxYield’s corporate office in West Bend as a grain accounting assistant. For the past two years, she has also handled accounting for Enogen® MaxYield acts as a liaison between Syngenta and ethanol plants, feed mills and other buyers that purchase Enogen corn. “We work with Enogen growers in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, South Dakota, Illinois and Wisconsin to get this corn to end users,” said Degner, who dispatches trucks and manages approximately 7 million bushels of Enogen a year. “I like the variety in my job.” Degner also appreciates the family environment at MaxYield. “It’s a good work-life balance.”
  3. Case tractors get Degner’s engines running. With her love of agriculture comes Degner’s passion for tractors. “When we get a new tractor, we try to restore it back to its original condition,” she said. This includes the 1944 Case VAC tractor that Degner’s great-grandfather, Charles Hannah, purchased new. “We had to give it new paint and typical maintenance,” said Degner, whose family handles nearly all the restoration work themselves. As she has worked on more tractors, Degner has learned a lot from her grandpa, Dennis Knudsen. She also studies vintage owners’ manuals, books and online resources. Once a tractor is restored, the Degners put it to use, from pulling a drag to groom the driveway to pulling floats in parades to powering stationary equipment at farm shows. “We don’t restore these tractors just to let them sit,” Degner said.
  4. Tractor restoration is a family affair. Degner and her husband, Travis, a feed truck driver, recently purchased two more vintage Case tractors, including a 1945 Case VAI from Rolfe and a 1947 Case VAC from Breda. The VAI, an industrial version with a wide front end, was designed for construction and road maintenance. The VAC is a row-crop tractor. “It’s fun to collect tractors, but we can’t buy any more until we fix up the ones we’ve got,” said Degner, whose family has nearly a dozen Case tractors.
  5. Maintaining tradition is important. Degner and her family love the Meriden Antique Engine and Threshing Show in Meriden, Kansas. “I practically grew up there, and it’s our absolute favorite show,” said Degner, whose family’s tractors power the stationary baling at the shows. Other events also offer glimpses into rural America’s past, from old-fashioned lumber milling to corn shelling. “Our kids love to see how things used to be,” said Degner, who has a 12-year-old stepdaughter, Sophie, and 7-year-old son, Walker. “It’s important to appreciate our heritage.”

Editor’s note: In addition to restoring vintage Case tractors, Degner enjoys vegetable and flower gardening at her family’s home south of Lone Rock. Her crops include large, juicy Beefmaster tomatoes, which she shares with her MaxYield team members.

 

 

Swenson’s Direct $2500 to Okoboji Elementary School

Gary and Kay Swenson (center) present their $2500 Monsanto donation to representative of the Okoboji Elementary school. MaxYield’s Nolan Hauge (back row, left) joined the presentation at the school.

Dickinson County farmers and MaxYield Cooperative clients Gary and Kay Swenson have won the opportunity to direct a $2500 donation from the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, to Okoboji Elementary School. The school will use the funds to support students at risk through summer programs and supplemental nutrition. “We really appreciate the Swenson family and the Monsanto Fund for supporting our program. Students at risk can be very successful when appropriate programs and supports are in place for them,” said Teresa Goehring, Behavioral Skills Program, Okoboji Elementary School.

The Grow Communities program’s purpose is to make a positive impact in farm communities by partnering with farmers to support causes that are important to them in their communities. Each year farmers enter for a chance to win a $2500 donation that they direct to a local nonprofit organization.

Since the program began in 2010, farmers have directed more than $26 million in donations across a broad cross-section of organizations that reflect the makeup and character of rural America, including food banks, emergency response organizations, schools, youth agriculture programs and many others.

“Farmers have directed funds to more than 8,000 community organizations across rural America since Grow Communities began,” said Al Mitchell, Monsanto Fund president. “Farmers are truly committed to this program because they see the difference the donations make in their community.”

For more information or to see a complete list of thee 2017 America’s Farmers Grow Communities recipients, visit www.GrowCOmmunities.com.

About MaxYield Cooperative

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

 

 

Investing in Your Future: MaxYield Helps Make Rural Iowa a Great Place to Call Home

Charitable giving has a subtle influence at first. Measure it by the day or the week, and the results are often hardly noticeable. Over months and years, however, the results are dramatic.

That’s why MaxYield Cooperative invests in a variety of projects each year in the communities we serve, including a new greenhouse at Garner/Hayfield-Ventura High School and an addition to the Meservey fire station.

“Giving back is part of the cooperative principles that guide MaxYield,” said Keith Heim, CEO. “It also reflects our commitment to our clients and rural communities.”

MaxYield’s leaders develop a budget for contributions each fiscal year. Each MaxYield location receives an allocated amount of funds to support projects at the local level. An additional budget is set aside for larger projects that fit MaxYield’s criteria of benefiting the area ag industry and rural communities. Our priorities include:

  • 4-H (MaxYield pays $10 of the annual dues for each 4-H member in eight Iowa counties in our trade territory)
  • FFA
  • Fire, rescue and ambulance services
  • Investment in the next generation (ag scholarships, college recruitment activities, etc.)
  • Community betterment projects
  • Schools

Projects we’ve supported recently include the new Lakota fire station, Wright County’s new fair building, the new Emmetsburg Community Center, the Kossuth County Fair Ag Learning Center, improvements at the Belmond Arts Council’s farm, new bunker gear for the Whittemore Fire Department and many other worthwhile projects throughout MaxYield’s territory.

While the tightening ag economy means smaller budgets for donations, MaxYield continues to invest in local communities. If you have a request, reach out to your local MaxYield location.

Greenhouse grows new opportunities for ag students

MaxYield was pleased to provide $2,500, along with an additional $2,500 from the Land O’Lakes Foundation and $1500 from CoBank’s “Sharing Success” program, to help build a new Poly-Tex greenhouse in 2016 at Garner/Hayfield-Ventura High School. The greenhouse, which measures 30 feet by 48 feet by 12 feet, is giving students hands-on learning opportunities in agronomy and horticulture.

“We really appreciate what MaxYield has done for our school and our community,” said Robert Baumgard, ag instructor and FFA advisor. “We have 116 ag students and 93 FFA members, and I’m going to have all of them be part of the greenhouse this first year.”

Joshua Chizek, Iowa River FFA chapter president and greenhouse committee chairperson, is interested in incorporating fresh, student-grown produce into the school lunch program. The possibility of adding aquaculture is also exciting. “I’m looking forward to seeing products come from our greenhouse that we raised ourselves,” said Chizek, 18, a senior from Clear Lake who plans to major in pre-med and biomedical engineering at the University of Iowa.

Chizek credits FFA and the greenhouse project with helping him learn about agriculture, expand his leadership skills and develop an interest in community involvement. “Agriculture is a field I was not familiar with before taking ag classes and joining FFA,” said Chizek, who has given numerous programs to help local residents learn about the greenhouse and promote fundraising. “We appreciate MaxYield’s tremendous support, which gives us opportunities we may not have had otherwise.”

Baumgard appreciates MaxYield’s ongoing support for ag education and FFA, from supplying seed and crop protection products for ag students’ test plots to awarding college scholarships to area high school graduates. “With support from companies like MaxYield, the future of agriculture looks positive for today’s students,” Baumgard said.

MaxYield agronomy specialist and Meservey fire chief Jon Kaduce.

Expanded Meservey fire station becomes a community hub

Supporting local first responders is also vital to the future of rural communities. In 2016, MaxYield contributed $2,500 and secured another $2,500 from CoBank and $1,500 from Land O’Lakes Foundation to help the Meservey Volunteer Fire Department build an addition to the fire station. This extra space will serve the community, in addition to accommodating a larger fire truck that will eventually replace the department’s aging, 30-year-old pumper truck.

“The fire station is the main hub for many community events, including the city’s annual Christmas drawing, the fire/EMS/American Legion annual fireworks fundraiser events and fire department training meetings,” said Jon Kaduce, a MaxYield agronomy specialist and Meservey fire chief.  “The building is also the precinct for all elections. Since this is the only public city building equipped with a generator, the fire station transforms into public shelter in time of need.”

Meservey is building a 16-foot by 81-foot addition to the current fire station. “The additional space will allow the fire department to aggressively pursue an appropriate replacement pumper truck, as well as enhance community resources,” said Kaduce, who noted that plans for the space include a handicap-accessible bathroom, kitchenette and room for training.

Completion of this project will have a big impact around Meservey, since it will ensure enough room to house a dependable pumper truck that can transport more water to emergencies throughout the area, Kaduce added. “This project is an opportunity for MaxYield to be part of something positive in the community.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ag Scholarship from MaxYield Cooperative Awarded to Connor Langerman

MaxYield Cooperative announced today that Connor Langerman is a recipient of the cooperative’s $1000 Ag Scholarship.

He is the son of Jim and Stacie Langerman of Whittemore. He is a graduate of Bishop Garrigan High School and is attending South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD, majoring in Ag Systems Technology.

MaxYield Cooperative annually makes scholarships available to graduating high school seniors and college students pursuing degrees in agriculture. Students completed applications forms answering questions about their career goals and why cooperatives are important to agriculture. They also submitted essay’s titled “Why I selected agriculture as my career.”

Many scholarship applications were received, and the top 9 candidates were interviewed by MaxYield’s scholarship committee. Six $1000 scholarships were awarded by the cooperative.

MaxYield Cooperative is a farmer-owned cooperative headquartered in West Bend, IA. More information about the cooperative can be found at www.MaxYieldCooperative.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Andrew Dornbier Awarded Ag Scholarship from MaxYield Cooperative

MaxYield Cooperative announced today that Andrew Dornbier is the recipient of the cooperative’s $1000 Ag Scholarship.

He is the son of Phillip and Michelle Dornbier of Garner. He will be a 2017 graduate of Garner-Hayfield-Ventura High School and plans to attend Iowa State University in Ames, IA, majoring in Ag Engineering.

MaxYield Cooperative annually makes scholarships available to graduating high school seniors and college students pursuing degrees in agriculture. Students completed applications forms answering questions about their career goals and why cooperatives are important to agriculture. They also submitted essay’s titled “Why I selected agriculture as my career.”

Many scholarship applications were received, and the top 9 candidates were interviewed by MaxYield’s scholarship committee. Six $1000 scholarships were awarded by the cooperative.

MaxYield Cooperative is a farmer-owned cooperative headquartered in West Bend, IA. More information about the cooperative can be found at www.MaxYieldCooperative.com.

 

 

Alison Bueltel Awarded Ag Scholarship from MaxYield Cooperative

MaxYield Cooperative announced today that Alison Bueltel is a recipient of the cooperative’s $1000 Ag Scholarship.

She is the daughter of Jeff and Sandi Bueltel of Estherville. She will be a graduate of Spirit Lake High School and is planning to attend Iowa State University in Ames, IA, majoring in Animal Science and Ag Business.

MaxYield Cooperative annually makes scholarships available to graduating high school seniors and college students pursuing degrees in agriculture. Students completed applications forms answering questions about their career goals and why cooperatives are important to agriculture. They also submitted essay’s titled “Why I selected agriculture as my career.”

Many scholarship applications were received, and the top 9 candidates were interviewed by MaxYield’s scholarship committee. Six $1000 scholarships were awarded by the cooperative.

MaxYield Cooperative is a farmer-owned cooperative headquartered in West Bend, IA. More information about the cooperative can be found at www.MaxYieldCooperative.com.

 

 

Evan Hansen Awarded Ag Scholarship from MaxYield Cooperative

MaxYield Cooperative announced today that Evan Hansen is a recipient of the cooperative’s $1000 Ag Scholarship.

He is the son of Curt and Julie Hansen of Spencer. He will be a graduate of Spencer High School is planning to attend Iowa State University in Ames, IA majoring in Agronomy and Seed Science.

MaxYield Cooperative annually makes scholarships available to graduating high school seniors and college students pursuing degrees in agriculture. Students completed applications forms answering questions about their career goals and why cooperatives are important to agriculture. They also submitted essay’s titled “Why I selected agriculture as my career.”

Many scholarship applications were received, and the top 9 candidates were interviewed by MaxYield’s scholarship committee. Six $1000 scholarships were awarded by the cooperative.

MaxYield Cooperative is a farmer-owned cooperative headquartered in West Bend, IA. More information about the cooperative can be found at www.MaxYieldCooperative.com.

 

 

 

 

Nathan Nedved Earns Ag Scholarship from MaxYield Cooperative

MaxYield Cooperative announced today that Nathan Nedved is a recipient of the cooperative’s $1000 Ag Scholarship.

He is the son of Lewis and Andrea Nedved of Britt. He is a 2016 graduate of Garner-Hayfield-Ventura High School and is attending Iowa State University in Ames, IA, majoring in Ag Studies with a minor in Agronomy.

MaxYield Cooperative annually makes scholarships available to graduating high school seniors and college students pursuing degrees in agriculture. Students completed applications forms answering questions about their career goals and why cooperatives are important to agriculture. They also submitted essay’s titled “Why I selected agriculture as my career.”

Many scholarship applications were received, and the top 9 candidates were interviewed by MaxYield’s scholarship committee. Six $1000 scholarships were awarded by the cooperative.

MaxYield Cooperative is a farmer-owned cooperative headquartered in West Bend, IA. More information about the cooperative can be found at www.MaxYieldCooperative.com.

 

 

 

Jane Roberts Earns Ag Scholarship from MaxYield Cooperative

MaxYield Cooperative announced today that Jane Roberts is a recipient of the cooperative’s $1000 Ag Scholarship.

She is the daughter of Carl and Carol Roberts of Belmond. She will be a graduate of Belmond – Klemme High School is planning to attend Iowa State University in Ames, IA, majoring in Ag Education.

MaxYield Cooperative annually makes scholarships available to graduating high school seniors and college students pursuing degrees in agriculture. Students completed applications forms answering questions about their career goals and why cooperatives are important to agriculture. They also submitted essay’s titled “Why I selected agriculture as my career.”

Many scholarship applications were received, and the top 9 candidates were interviewed by MaxYield’s scholarship committee. Six $1000 scholarships were awarded by the cooperative.

MaxYield Cooperative is a farmer-owned cooperative headquartered in West Bend, IA. More information about the cooperative can be found at www.MaxYieldCooperative.com.

 

Joe Elbert Retires from MaxYield Cooperative

Joe Elbert (left) and Keith Heim, MaxYield CEO.

Joe Elbert, a member of MaxYield’s maintenance team, recently retired from the cooperative. Based out of West Bend, Elbert worked as an electrician across MaxYield’s territory since 2005.

During a retirement coffee held in his honor on March 31st, MaxYield Cooperative CEO Keith Heim (right) presented Elbert with a stainless steel Coleman cooler as a token of appreciation for his years of dedicated service.

We wish you well, Joe! Congratulations!

About MaxYield Cooperative

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