January 18, 2021

Archives for June 2017

Costas Hatzipavlides: Soil Sample & Crop Scout Intern

Costas HatzipavlidesCostas Hatzipavlides grew up in the suburbs of West Chester, Pennsylvania and came to Iowa State University to study Agronomy and minor in Agricultural Business and Sustainability. Early experiences working in his family garden sparked his interest in agronomy. As a Soil Sample and Crop Scout Intern, Costas has gained many hours of hands on experience and has learned about topics beyond his current college level. With ambitions to become an Agronomist, Costas believes that this is a great first internship, “It has confirmed my career goals, advanced my agronomic skills and provided building blocks to be an Agronomist.”

Q: What have been some of your responsibilities and experiences within your internship?

A: The internship has provided hands on experience with soil fertility, weed identification, crop-staging crop stand quality, herbicide chemistry and client relations.  I also have the opportunity to shadow Agronomist Specialist Justin Zwiefel. Justin has taught me so much in the field and practical agronomy solutions.

Q: What have you enjoyed about your Soil Sampling and Crop Scouting internship?

A: Talking to clients and making observations out in the fields have been some highlights. When you get out into a field to sample you see many different soil types that are within that one field, that’s really cool to me. It’s not just something from a textbook. I like talking with the clients if they happen to stop by, and ask them about their application and other farming methods that they use in the field.

Q: How have you benefited by having Rodney Legleiter and Justin Zwiefel as your mentors at MaxYield?

A: Having Rodney as a mentor is great. He always motivates us to keep working hard. Rodney has taught me the science behind grid soil sampling and the benefits of soil analysis. Having Justin as a mentor is awesome too. He is always open to answer questions and has taught me a ton of information I haven’t learned in school yet.

Q: What are your hobbies?

A: I hunt white tail deer. I am a part of the Soil and Water Conservation club; also, I compete and serve as Treasurer for the Iowa State Wrestling club. I have learned a lot from wrestling and value character traits like honesty, self-respect and perseverance that I have developed through the sport.

Helping Kids Shine: MaxYield Makes 4-H Affordable in Dickinson County and Beyond

Chad Meyer, Karen Schwaller, Hannah Brockshus

Where can you still get a great return on a $10 investment? Dickinson County 4-H. While the annual enrollment fee is $30 per youth, MaxYield Cooperative is pleased to contribute $10 per child, lowering enrollment to $20, to help offset the cost so kids can participate in the new Lakes Area Youth Bass Club, robotics club, shooting sports club and traditional 4-H programs.

“Last year we had 186 kids in 4-H in Dickinson County, and we’re still growing,” said Hannah Brockshus, county youth coordinator for Dickinson County. “We focus on goal setting, team building, leadership, community service and helping kids find ways to shine.”

The economic diversity in the youth of the area makes MaxYield’s financial support invaluable, Brockshus added. In the local schools, for example, Dickinson County has a free and reduced lunch rate of 42 percent. “MaxYield’s contributions also give us the opportunity to expand our reach to help kids reach their fullest potential. MaxYield’s support definitely helps the families with multiple kids in 4-H,” Brockshus said.

MaxYield pays a portion of 4-H dues in Dickinson, Emmet, Clay, Palo Alto, Kossuth, Hancock and Wright Counties. “We want to make 4-H affordable for families,” said Chad Meyer, client relations/ communications with MaxYield. “Paying a portion of each 4-H member’s enrollment fee also reflects MaxYield’s mission to support area youth and every member enrolled in 4-H.”

Alison Bueltel, a nine-year member of the Superior Lakers 4-H Club, has enjoyed showing beef cattle through 4-H and helping younger 4-H members learn how to exhibit their animals. The 2017 graduate of Spirit Lake High School plans to attend Iowa State University to major in animal science and ag business. “I have career aspirations in the fields of livestock nutrition and genetics,” said Bueltel, the 2016 Dickinson County Fair Queen. “I encourage all kids to try 4-H because it offers such a great opportunity to meet new people, try new things and develop skills you’ll use throughout your life.”

Empowering people, growing lives

Each fall, Dickinson County hosts an open house at the Extension office to help the community learn about 4-H and invite new members. Dickinson County boasts ten 4-H clubs, including the Lakes Area Youth Bass Club, which started in the spring of 2017. Led by Shane Kendall of Great Lakes Marine, the new club aims to partner volunteers, professional anglers and members of the Iowa State University fishing team with youth to enrich learning experiences on fishing and conservation.

Each Dickinson County 4-H club offers a unique culture of its own, said Brockshus, who noted that Dickinson County celebrated 100 years of Iowa State University Extension in the county in 2016. Kelsey Peck, president of the Hook ‘Em Cook ‘Em 4-H Club, enjoys showing rabbits, entering baked goods and displaying photography projects at the county fair and Clay County Fair.

“I’ve learned communication skills, leadership skills and sportsmanship,” said Peck, whose mother, Kristi, leads the club. “I’ve developed many friendships through 4-H that Mom says will last a lifetime.”

4-H creates leaders

Dedicated volunteers support 4-H’s mission to help students learn by doing, noted Brockshus, who offers a training program for 4-H volunteers. For the past 13 years, Karen Schwaller has led the Milford Pioneers 4-H Club.

“This year we have a record 50 club members,” said Schwaller, who leads the club with her husband, Dave, and co-leader Mary Weaver. “We have to meet in a large public gathering space these days because we no longer fit in people’s living rooms.”

Club members completed 21 service projects last year alone. “We try to model the importance of helping others,” Schwaller said. “Members of our 4-H family become part of something larger than themselves through community service.”

The club’s “Random Acts of Kindness” committee looks for people in need and suggests ways to get involved. Last year, a committee of girls from the Milford Pioneers renovated a large doll house and donated it to the Centers Against Abuse & Sexual Assault (CAASA) in Estherville. “This citizenship project helped our 4-Hers learn how to approach businesses to ask for donations, stick with a job that takes a little time and discover the joy of helping others,” Schwaller said.

Milford Pioneers members also coordinate Ag Day, an agricultural-related educational afternoon to help third graders at Okoboji Elementary School learn where their food comes from. “All these 4-H projects turn good kids into amazing kids who have servant hearts and hands,” said Schwaller, who is grateful for MaxYield’s financial support of 4-H. “4-H creates leaders, and it’s amazing to be part of this growth process.”

Essential Elements Enrich the 4-H Experience

4-H emphasizes the importance of positive youth-adult relationships to help kids excel. “Some of the kids we serve have adverse childhood experiences outside of 4-H,” said Hannah Brockshus, county youth coordinator for Dickinson County. “Positive role models offer one of the best ways to help kids develop skills for resilience and stress management.”

4-H offers:

  • Caring adults who serve as advisors, coaches and mentors
  • A safe environment that encourages learning
  • An inclusive setting that fosters a sense of belonging
  • Service to others
  • Opportunities to build knowledge, skills and friendships

4-H also helps young people thrive. Dr. Richard Lerner, a youth development scholar and researcher at Tufts University, has found that:

  • 4-H youth make healthier choices. Young people in 4-H have significantly lower alcohol, drug and cigarette use than their peers. They are also 2.3 times more likely to exercise and be physically active.
  • 4-Hers excel in school and the sciences. Young people in 4-H report better grades and are nearly two times more likely to plan to go to college. 4-Hers (including girls) are also more likely to pursue careers in science, engineering or computer technology.
  • 4-Hers are committed to improving their communities. 4-H youth are 3.4 times more likely to contribute to their communities, compared to youth who don’t participate in 4-H.





“From the Field” MaxYield Seed Video Updates

MaxYield Seed Team Leader, Dan Bjorklund, discusses how corn plant characteristics determine genetic differences between hybrids, in this video filmed July 17, 2017.

MaxYield  Seed Team Leader, Dan Bjorklund, discusses several factors that cause yellow coloration of soybean plants in this video filmed June 26, 2017.


MaxYield Seed Team Leader, Dan Bjorklund, discusses the early signs of rootworm infestation in corn plants in this video filmed June 19, 2017.


MaxYield Seed Team Leader, Dan Bjorklund, discusses corn genetic diversity and root system differences, in this video filmed June,19 2017.


MaxYield Seed Team Leader, Dan Bjorklund, discusses early season corn root issues, in this video filmed June 19, 2017.



Spencer Shaw: Seed & Agronomy Sales Intern

Spencer ShawSpencer Shaw, 21, of Garner, IA, joined the MaxYield Seed and Agronomy Sales team, having participated in the “wheat run” last summer, harvesting wheat fields non-stop from middle of May to mid-August. Spencer enjoyed the experience and the scenery harvesting in states like Kansas, Colorado, and Idaho, and hopes he can do it again in the future. As a senior at Iowa State University he is majoring in Ag Business and minoring in Agronomy and has continued pursuing these interests through his MaxYield internship.

Q: What have been some of your responsibilities and experiences within your internship?

A: I have gone on sale calls to sell the Winfield United’s R7 Tool, working in the east territory meeting with the clients. I have also been able to spend time in the field to crop scout and tissue sample.


Q: How have you benefited by having Matt Keel and Cody Ostendorf as your mentors at MaxYield?

A: It’s been nice getting to know both of my mentors, they have their own knowledge base which has helped me learn about both sales and the science of agronomy. Matt is a fun guy to be around and he has taught me a lot about sales. Cody is very smart, and I have learned a lot about the seed, chemical, and application side of the job from him.

Q: How would you describe your internship experience to another student?

A: This internship is very informative; you can do a little bit of everything and learn about what interests you. You get out what you put into your work.

Corwith Area Farmer Receives Check from Cenex

MaxYield recently delivered a warranty check to Corwith, IA area farmer, Mark Shipman. The check was delivered to Shipman by Mark Collins, energy solutions specialist for MaxYield Cooperative. The check represents the money paid for a claim submitted under the Cenex Total Protection Plan® program.

Shipman received $5700.14 to cover repairs to his Case IH 290 tractor covered under the Cenex Total Protection Plan, which extends beyond manufacturers’ warranties to provide valuable coverage to farmers who use Cenex premium diesel fuels and lubricants. It covers new equipment for up to 10 years or 10,000 hours and used equipment for up to 8 years or 8,000 hours, with no deductible.

Shipman has all four of his Case IH 290 tractors on the Total Protection Plan. “The Cenex warranty check covered the balance of the claim that his Case IH warranty did not. He was very happy to have that part covered by Cenex,” Collins said.

Enrolling equipment in the Cenex Total Protection Plan was easy. “If there ever was a no-brainer in agriculture, this is definitely it,” says Collins. “For the small amount of money you spend on the plan, compared to the high cost of today’s equipment and repairs, it’s very worthwhile protection for both new and used equipment. And as far as the quality of the products goes, there’s nothing better on the market, period.”

More information about Cenex Lubricants and the Total Protection Plan is available at any MaxYield location or by contacting them online at www.MaxYieldEnergy.com.


Skalicky leads every lap of MaxYield Seed IMCA SportMod Nationals race

Anna Ehlers photo.


BRITT, Iowa (June 20) – Jesse Skalicky and his crew had been looking for a special or two that didn’t interfere with their regular Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod weekly racing.

After leading every lap of every race he was in at Hancock County Speedway’s MaxYield Seed Northern SportMod Nationals, Skalicky was looking for a place to put his $2,700 in winnings and a very tall trophy for the six-hour tow home to Fargo, N.D.

Skalicky had never raced at Britt before Tuesday night but don’t be surprised to see him return soon. He led every lap of his heat race, drew the pole and repeated that flag-to-flag run in the $200 to win dash, then led every circuit in the $2,500 to win main event.

“”I have never had a night like this. It’s the biggest win I’ve ever been part of,” said Skalicky, whose previous top payday was $400 and dated to his pure stock days. “We had been looking around for specials and one of my crew guys saw this on Facebook.”

“Being on a Tuesday, it didn’t interfere with my weekly racing,” added Skalicky, a regular at Red River Valley Speedway and North Central Speedway. “It was about a six hour trip for my chassis builder, D.J. Kubik at Fury Chassis. He met us at the track and helped.”

Jake Sachau spent much of the 30-lapper chasing Skalicky. Sachau pulled even with the leader following a late restart but was unable to complete the pass and Skalicky pulled away over the last three circuits.

Nate Whitehurst, Matt Looft and Sam Wieben completed the top five. Colby Fett was the $100 Croplan by WinField United Hard charger, advancing 11 positions to seventh.

“We won everything we went into tonight. It was a blast. This was by far one of the coolest tracks I’ve ever been on,” Skalicky said following his eight win of the season. “At a race like this, every­thing has to be perfect, from the draw to the heat to staying out of the ‘B’ and “C” features. We were fortunate to win everything and start up front.”

Forty-six Northern SportMods saw action Tuesday at Britt.

Feature results – 1. Jesse Skalicky; 2. Jake Sachau; 3. Nate Whitehurst; 4. Matt Looft; 5. Sam Wieben; 6. Austin Schrage; 7. Colby Fett; 8. Nate Chodur; 9. Austin Luellen; 10. Johnathon Logue; 11. Jake McBirnie; 12. Taylor Musselman; 13. Nick Meyer; 14. Josh Appel; 15.Josh Meyer; 16. Ryan King; 17. Brett Meyer; 18. Kevin Goben; 19. George Nordman; 20. Jared VanDeest; 21. Gerald Curry; 22. Doug Cook; 23. Jared Boumeester; 24. Chase Rudolf.