October 1, 2020

Archives for September 2020

Fueling Your Power Base: Meet Teri Meyer, Energy Solutions Coordinator

When you call Energy Central at MaxYield Cooperative, you’re not just talking to someone who sits behind a desk all day. When you connect with Teri Meyer, you quickly discover she brings her own brand of energy to her new role.

“When I started this job in April 2020, I wanted to get out in the field and see what a typical day is like for our drivers,” said Meyer, energy solutions coordinator.

She rode along with Dave Solberg, a refined fuel delivery driver in the West Area, on a cold, rainy spring day. Every time he got out of the truck to fill a fuel tank, she didn’t stay behind. She followed him and even helped him install a new nozzle on a fuel hose.

“Dave said I didn’t have to get out of the truck at each stop, but I wanted to get the full experience,” Meyer said.

Those experiences can involve eating lunch in the truck on a gravel road, interacting with clients and knowing you’ve put in a full day’s work when it’s quitting time. “By the end of the day, I was shot,” Meyer said. “Riding with Dave gave me a whole new appreciation for how hard the energy team works.”

 

FINDING A NICHE IN FUEL

This appreciation for agriculture and all things rural took root when Meyer worked for the Cartersville Elevator in Nora Springs, Iowa.

“I grew up in Hampton, so I was familiar with a few basics about Iowa farming. Until I starting working at an elevator, however, I had no idea how so many things come together to make agriculture work. The more I learned, I kept thinking, ‘This is so awesome!’”

During the six and a half years she spent at the Cartersville Elevator, Meyer ran the scale when farmers delivered grain. She also started handling some of the fuel work. “I really enjoyed learning about the energy business,” Meyer said. “There’s never a dull moment.”

When Meyer joined MaxYield Cooperative in February 2019, she started as a client care leader at Everly. “Everyone here has been so welcoming. You can tell the MaxYield team truly cares about their clients and team members.”

Meyer didn’t hesitate to apply when a job opportunity with Energy Central opened up this spring. “There was no doubt in my mind I wanted to pursue this,” she said. “I love building strong relationships with our energy clients and finding the solutions they need.”

For some clients, this might mean operating as efficiently as possible to contract propane or sign them up for the even-pay program. For other clients, it means taking the time to visit. “I was on the phone for 17 minutes recently with an 84-year-old client who wanted to chat,” Meyer said. “Our clients are diverse, so we tailor our solutions to fit their style.”

Meyer also enjoys working with the energy team members, from the delivery drivers to energy solutions specialists to Sara Sparks, who also works extensively in providing energy solutions to MaxYield clients.

Meyer appreciates MaxYield’s many training opportunities to help team members become better solutions providers. She has taken everything from computer classes to a crucial conversations class, which helps team members learn how to foster productive, open dialogue when conflict arises. “It’s important to treat each person as an individual so we can work more effectively together,” Meyer said.

Technology makes this easier. Meyer appreciates the Energy-Force™ software system, which streamlines MaxYield’s fuel delivering routing system. These opportunities energize Meyer about her work. “I want to excel in my new role. I’m learning as much as I can, and I’m so excited to be here.”

Editor’s note: Meyer enjoys spending time with her 10-year-old son, camping, attending auto races and tractor pulls, being outdoors and staying active.

Harvest Update and Health Precautions – September 2020

Dear MaxYield Cooperative Clients,

As we’ve seen throughout the spring and summer, agriculture remains an essential business. While many sectors and industries have shut down or reduced production during this time, farming and the business activities associated with agriculture have maintained operations and will continue to do so.

Though harvest 2020 is beginning, COVID-19 is still present in our communities. We must continue to make choices that help protect our team members, neighborhoods and you, our clients. All counties in the MaxYield trade area are experiencing a steady or increased number of positive cases. In response we are continuing with adjustments to our office procedures:

  • Team members, clients, and others should refrain from entering location offices, other than to conduct essential business (paperwork, grain samples, etc.). Meetings will be held via web conference or phone when possible.
  • If entering a location for essential business or meeting elsewhere, please maintain six feet of distance between yourself and others. This includes any on-farm visits by MaxYield team members.
  • We encourage the use of masks by team members and clients, especially when social distancing is not possible.

Though we are conducting business a little differently, we’re still working hard to provide solutions to you and your farming operation. Our grain, agronomy, feed, energy, and on-farm trucking teams are ready to work with you this fall.

We encourage clients who prefer to contact our team via phone, email or text to do so when possible and appropriate this season. You can find contact information for all MaxYield locations on our website. Connection Central is another great tool for you to view grain contracts, sales tickets, statements and more online and in real time.

I thank you for your flexibility and perseverance through the past several months. I wish you a safe and healthy harvest, and we all look forward to the day when we can put the coffee on, pop the popcorn, and welcome you into our locations with open arms once again.

 

Cooperatively,

Keith Heim
CEO

Bob Beaver Announces Retirement from MaxYield Cooperative

Gene Lueders (left), MaxYield Superior and Gruver Location Leader, presents Bob Beaver with a stainless steel cooler as a token of appreciation for his many years of service. Bob’s last day at MaxYield is September 9, 2020.

Bob Beaver, Client Care Leader at MaxYield’s Gruver location, has announced his retirement. Bob has held a variety of roles between the Superior and Gruver locations during his tenure and has spent 42 years with the organization that is now MaxYield Cooperative. His last day with MaxYield is September 9, 2020.

We thank Bob for his many years of dedication to serving MaxYield clients. A highlight of his retirement, he says, will be getting to see his children more who live in Storm Lake (Iowa), Wisconsin, and Arizona. Congratulations, Bob!

Fostoria Fire Department Receives Matching Funds Contribution from CHS, MaxYield

Fire chief Kim Kroger accepts contributions from MaxYield Cooperative and CHS that will complete their fundraising campaign to purchase new bunker gear for the Fostoria Fire Department.

MaxYield Cooperative presented the Fostoria Fire Department with a contribution of $2500, plus an additional $2500 in matching funds from the CHS Seeds for Stewardship program. Fire chief Kim Kroger accepted the contributions and the funds will be used to purchase new bunker gear for the fire department.

“After receiving grant money from other sources and with these contributions from CHS and MaxYield, we now have raised enough money that every volunteer with the fire department will now have new and updated gear,” Kroger said. “For a small fire department like ours, that is a big deal. We are really grateful for CHS and MaxYield’s support on this project.”

About CHS Seeds for Stewardship

The CHS Seeds for Stewardship is a competitive grant program that matches funds for projects that develop the next generation of ag leaders, improve ag safety and enhance rural vitality in local communities. CHS is a leading global agribusiness owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives across the United States. More information about CHS is available at www.chsinc.com.

About MaxYield Cooperative
MaxYield Cooperative is a diversified local farmer-owned cooperative serving members and clients in Iowa, and southern Minnesota. Founded in 1915, MaxYield Cooperative is headquartered in West Bend, Iowa. More information about the cooperative can be found online at www.MaxYieldCooperative.com and www.FromTheField.com.

 

Belmond Location Construction Update 9.23.2020

Good spring and summer weather allowed crews to finish capital improvement projects at MaxYield’s Belmond location before harvest. The new grain bin will increase storage capacity by 750,000 bushels and will phase out the east soybean receiving facility. Because of this, clients hauling into Belmond can expect increased grain delivery efficiency. Construction in Belmond is complete and the location is fully operational this fall!

Interested in setting up delivery to the Belmond? Call 515-200-5140 to talk with one of our Belmond team members.

Klemme Location Construction Update 9.22.2020

Summer has brought major changes to the Klemme skyline thanks to a $4.5 million investment at this MaxYield Cooperative location. The location is open for grain receiving as usual this fall and construction is nearly complete. Crews are slated to finish improvements early this fall, which includes a 750,000-bushel bin, 4,000-bushel-per-hour grain dryer, upgrades to two existing bins for wet corn, overhead truck load out capability, and additional infrastructure. While construction wraps up, the Klemme location is fully operational and will be taking grain as normal this harvest. Please be mindful of additional equipment and construction workers as you dump grain.

Interested in setting up delivery to the Klemme location? Call 712-454-1061 to talk with one of our Klemme team members.

Britt Location Construction Update 9.21.2020

Harvest is here and the team at MaxYield’s Britt location is ready to serve you with additional storage and scale improvements this fall. Work on the new 750,000-bushel grain bin is complete and ready for usage this fall. A new scale ticket printer, intercom system, and signal lights have also been installed over the summer to increase your grain delivery efficiency. The Britt location is fully operational and ready to receive grain this harvest!

Interested in setting up a delivery to the Britt location? Call 641-843-3878 to talk with our Britt team.

Leadership Grows from Strong Roots: Meet Greg Guenther, MaxYield Board Member

Greg Guenther will never forget a summer day in the early 1990s when he crossed paths with Tom Urban, Pioneer Hi-Bred’s chief executive officer at the time.

“I was an intern, and I happened to meet Mr. Urban when I was walking across campus,” said Guenther, a Corwith-area farmer who was elected in 2019 to the board of MaxYield Cooperative. “He stopped me on the sidewalk and wanted to know who I was, where I was working, and how I liked the experience so far.”

That five-minute conversation left a lasting impression on Guenther. “I was a nobody, while he was the CEO. Still, he took the time to get to know me.”

That leadership style also influences Guenther’s role as a MaxYield board member. “The co-op is the biggest employer in many of the towns where MaxYield is located. It’s important to maintain strong connections to the communities and clients we serve.”

 

HOW HAS YOUR FARMING BACKGROUND INFLUENCED YOUR OUTLOOK ON LIFE?

I grew up on a farm near Corwith in Kossuth County. I was a curious kid who was always asking questions as I followed my dad around. “What’s this? Why are we doing it this way?” Dad was patient as he explained things to me. I still have that curiosity to learn more about agriculture.

 

HOW HAS YOUR AG CAREER GROWN THROUGH THE YEARS?

When I was earning my ag business degree at Iowa State University (ISU), I got an internship at Pioneer Hi-Bred in Johnston. That turned into a full-time job after I graduated in 1992. I worked with the seed crop planning team and later transitioned to field testing projects and data analysis in the research department. Later in my career I moved to eastern Iowa near Williamsburg to work with Holden’s Foundation Seeds, a division of Monsanto. Those experiences expanded my knowledge of seed genetics and also taught me a lot about how that part of agribusiness works.

 

YOU RETURNED TO THE CORWITH AREA TO FARM. WHAT HAS THAT EXPERIENCE BEEN LIKE?

Well, 2012 was my first crop year, and that was the big drought year. I figured there was nowhere to go but up after that. I do miss the days of $7 corn, though.

 

AS A FARMER, WHAT DO YOU APPRECIATE ABOUT MAXYIELD?

I have a full-time job in addition to farming, so I depend on the co-op to help me make important decisions for my operation and provide crop protection application services. I’ve worked for Illinois Foundation Seeds for nine years. I can remember when seed was fairly far down on the list of crop inputs; now it’s ranked more like number two. I need help to maximize the crop as it grows. MaxYield’s agronomy specialists help me put together a crop-protection program, so I don’t have to worry about the details.

 

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO RUN FOR THE MAXYIELD BOARD OF DIRECTORS?

You need to challenge yourself and be part of the solution. If you want to effect change, get involved. My fellow board members have been willing to help me learn and answer my questions. I’ve enjoyed meeting people from all over MaxYield’s trade territory. If you’re interested in running for the MaxYield board, go for it. It’s a good learning experience.

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK THE CO-OP NEEDS TO DO TO REMAIN COMPETITIVE?

One of the roles of a farmerowned cooperative is to provide collective bargaining for the members so they can get better prices on inputs. To operate effectively, today’s co-ops need top-of-the-line managers, team members and equipment. MaxYield is doing a good job with all three of these areas. Going forward, it’s extremely important for MaxYield to continue recruiting new talent at college career fairs, too.

 

WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE MAXYIELD MEMBERS AND CLIENTS TO KNOW?

I don’t think you can be a farmer without being an optimist. You hope that next year will be better yet. You also look back at the end of each year and ask yourself, “How could I have done things differently?”

 

If you have an idea or a question regarding MaxYield, contact me or any MaxYield board member. We appreciate your input and look forward to hearing from you.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Guenther and his wife, Janelle, met at ISU and have been married 25 years. Their oldest daughter, Elise, recently graduated from the University of Northern Iowa and is starting her teaching career in Schleswig. Their middle daughter, Lila, is a junior at South Dakota State University, where she is majoring in medical laboratory science. Their youngest daughter, Evie, will be in 8th grade in Algona. When Guenther has some free time, he enjoys traveling with his family. In 2019, the Guenthers toured northern Germany to do some “ancestry sleuthing.”

Boost Your Potential: How to Earn a Bonus Premium for Old-Crop, New-Crop

Would you like a bonus on your old-crop corn or soybeans when you market your grain to MaxYield Cooperative? You have the chance to get a better price when you use a bonus premium

Ben Buie, Grain Team Leader

contract.

“Bonus premium contracts work well when you have old-crop grain to sell and you haven’t made many new-crop sales,” said Ben Buie, grain team leader at MaxYield. “If you have grain in the bin or on price-later, plus you have a good crop on the way, these contracts are worth a look.”

Bonus premium contracts can be tailored to your specific needs. “The premiums can be fairly significant,” added Mick Hoover, grain solutions and origination team leader at MaxYield. “Some have generated a premium of 37 to 38 cents on soybeans. Most of the corn premiums are 12 to 18 cents.”

 

HOW IT WORKS

You get paid a premium on today’s grain in exchange for a committed offer to sell grain in the future, if the market rises above a set price. If today’s price is around $3 per bushel on corn, for example, you could get a 15-cent premium in exchange for making an offer to sell the same number of bushels if the market goes above a target price in the specific month you set.

“The price level you set for your target will affect the premium, as well,” Buie said “The further out you go and the lower price you pick for your target, the better premium you’ll get.”

GET THE BALL ROLLING

MaxYield has been offering bonus premium contracts for about two years. While these contracts offer many benefits, there are risks. “When you’re making an offer to sell, there’s some uncertainly with this contract,” Buie said. “The further out you go, the longer you don’t know how things will shake out.”

If you have old-crop grain to sell and you haven’t sold much new-crop, however, don’t shy away from bonus premium contracts. “I don’t see a lot of downside,” Hoover said. “You need to sell new-crop, so put that offer out there. Even if the offer doesn’t hit, you still have a check in your pocket from the premium for selling the old-crop.”

Reach out to the MaxYield grain solutions team to learn more about bonus premium contracts. “Some of the contracts coming up look favorable,” Buie said. “We look forward to serving you and appreciate your business.”

 

ATTENTION, TRUCKERS!

We’re always looking to hire more trucks in the fall for our on-farm grain pickup service. If you’d like to work during the fall, we guarantee the income to the truck. Call Cassie Degner at MaxYield’s corporate office at 515-200-5115 for more details

 

 

On-Farm Grain Pickup Makes Harvest Easier

Ever feel like you don’t have enough time to get everything done? Our on-farm pick up service helps you save time, trims labor costs and reduces the wear-and-tear on your equipment.

Big or small, on-farm pickup works for all. “About 26 percent of our fall corn deliveries in 2019 were acquired by our on-farm pickup service,” said Ben Buie, grain team leader at MaxYield Cooperative.

We can tailor the trucking needs to fit any size farming operation. It’s not too early to let us know if you’d like to take advantage of on-farm grain pickup. Contact your nearest MaxYield location to sign. “The sooner you contact us, the higher likelihood of getting a truck,” Buie said.

While MaxYield gears up on-farm pickup at harvest, we also offer this service year-round. “We work hard to get everyone’s grain hauled in a timely manner and make your life easier,” Buie said.

Smart Moves: 3 Tips for Internship Success from a Former MaxYield Intern

When Emily Campbell was growing up on her family’s southwest Iowa farm, she knew she wanted to pursue a career in agriculture. By the time she was a student at Iowa State University, she was open to going where she found the best internship opportunities.

In her case, that meant moving more than 100 miles away from home to work at MaxYield Cooperative, first as an intern in the summer of 2019, and now as a full-time talent recruitment and communications specialist. As she works with high schools, colleges and universities through MaxYield’s recruiting efforts, she offers students her top 3 tips to help them find the right internship and full-time job:

  1. Don’t have preconceived ideas of what the “ideal” company might be. Make a list of things that are most important to you in an internship or full-time job. Consider company culture, company size, type of work, opportunities for advancement, salary and benefits, geographic location, continuing education opportunities, etc. Then look at companies that can help you meet your goals. “Ask yourself why you want to work for a certain company,” Campbell said. Is it just the prestige of the company’s name, or the salary? Does the company fit your working style and learning style? “Sometimes students get so caught up in wanting to work for a specific company that they don’t consider other good companies that would fit their goals better,” Campbell said. “You don’t want to miss a golden opportunity that’s right for you.”
  2. Find a mentor. The best internships match students with mentors who help them learn. “I can’t overemphasize the value of a mentor to guide you,” Campbell said. “Mentors can teach you a lot, plus they make it easier for you to build relationships with other team members and other ag professionals.”
  3. Grow your network. Getting to know your team members can make it easier to adjust when you move to a new community to start an internship or full-time job. “Since I moved to northern Iowa, it has been easier to make connections with local people when I say I work for MaxYield or mention some of the people I work with,” Campbell said. “This helps me answer the question, ‘Who are you?’ and helps me build even more relationships in my new community.”