September 15, 2019

Statement Regarding Fatality at Belmond Facility

Contact:               Chad Meyer                                                                       Date: June 25, 2019
Client Relations/Communications
Office: 515-200-5115
Cell: 515-320-2593
Email: cmeyer@maxyieldcoop.com

WEST BEND, IOWA, June 25, 2019 – At approximately 4:20 p.m. Monday, June 24, grain was being removed from a steel bin located at the Belmond location of MaxYield Cooperative. During the grain removal process, MaxYield seasonal contract worker Victor Diaz was involved in an incident that took Victor’s life.

MaxYield takes the safety of our team members and contract workers very seriously and we have in place comprehensive and extensive training programs and safety protocol. MaxYield continues to cooperate fully with all of the appropriate authorities. A full OSHA investigation is underway and an autopsy will be performed, as there appeared to be no immediate hazard in the space that Victor was working in at the time of the incident.

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

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 Victor’s family, friends and our team members. 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 Victor’s family and friends.

Keith Heim, CEO
MaxYield Cooperative

 

Finding Opportunity in Her Own Backyard: Megan Brown’s MaxYield Experience

Even though Megan Brown, a 2017 Bishop-Garrigan graduate and current student at South Dakota State University, grew up with MaxYield Cooperative in her backyard, she never planned on interning at the co-op. But when the current Jackrabbit saw the MaxYield booth at SDSU’s career fair, she decided to learn a little more about what the company offered. “I knew growing up [near West Bend] that [MaxYield] had interns, but I didn’t really look into it until I saw Chad [Meyer, Client Relations and Communications Director,] at the job fair.”

As a student majoring in agricultural business and minoring in accounting and agricultural marketing, with experience on SDSU’s National Agri-Marketing Association’s (NAMA) competition team, Megan knew the Corporate Grain Accounting internship was just the fit for her. “I decided to intern with MaxYield because it was close to home, but I also have a lot of opportunities to learn about future careers and how my major fits into the cooperative world.”

Getting to experience her position both in the corporate office and out at cooperative locations has been a favorite part of Megan’s experience. “One of my favorite parts [of the internship] is definitely going out to see locations- I get to see how what I’m doing in the office with contracts and settlements starts, not just the paperwork side. But, I also really enjoy doing the contacts and settlements and all the paperwork that comes with it!”

Megan has a large group of mentors, including Rick Abrahamson & Kayla Meyer (Corporate Grain Accounting), Cory Thilges (Controller), and Susan Post (CFO). She has gained a great deal of knowledge through her mentors, who make an extra effort to make sure she understands the work she is doing. “They always sit down and explain what I’m doing before I start. My mentors are friendly and are genuinely curious about my life. They want to get to know me as a person- I’m not just ‘some employee they have to work with’.”

This friendliness, which Megan has found throughout the entire cooperative, has come as a pleasant surprise. “I didn’t expect them to be mean or anything, but everyone is friendly. People just come up to me and ask ‘Oh hey, Megan, how’s your day going?’ Everyone is really here to be your friend.”

To Megan, the best way to describe this summer has been ‘Eye-Opening.’ “Growing up [on a farm,] I experienced the farmer-side of working with a co-op. Now I’ve been able to see when my dad brings in grain, what happens with that grain in the elevator and everything that has to do with farming from the cooperative’s perspective.”

Megan isn’t quite sure what the road after college graduation will look like. She does know, however, that her summer at MaxYield is giving her a taste of the life she may want after she walks across the stage. “I want to be in a smaller town where I can see that the work I’m doing matters… and be able to work in the ag industry, whether that’s working at a bank in lending or working at a cooperative.”

All in all, Megan is grateful for the experiences she’s gained this summer and is excited to see how her time at MaxYield propels her into her next adventure. “If you have the opportunity and the interest in being an intern at MaxYield, definitely take it. You learn a lot and you also get to experience the company culture as a whole. Their brand is something MaxYield really prides themselves in and you can see that from just being in the office or out in the field with the team. They are really passionate about everything they’re doing and they inspire you to want to be a part of that.”

For more information on MaxYield’s internship program, including communications, grain accounting/finance, soil sampling/crop scouting, and agronomy sales, check out www.maxyieldcooperative.com/internships. Applications for 2020 internship positions will be posted later this summer!

Going Out With a Bang: How Emily Campbell is making the most of her last internship

maxyield ag communications internIt might surprise you that an Agricultural (Ag) Studies major from Iowa State University is this year’s Client Relations and Communications intern at MaxYield Cooperative. But Emily Campbell, an ISU junior from Hamlin, Iowa, has used the wide variety of subjects covered in her course of study to her advantage. From agronomy to animal science and communications to economics, the classes and the people of the ag studies major just felt like home to Emily. “I chose [ag studies] because of the diverse, well-rounded educational experience it offered. I also loved the family feel of the Agricultural Education and Studies (AgEdS) Department. It was just the right fit for me and my goals.”

Although she initially planned to be a field sales agronomist, Emily found after her first agronomy class that it was not the path for her. Instead, she found she had a love for communicating and opted to add a public relations minor to her degree. Her love for writing, speaking, and messaging directly translates to the clubs she has been involved in at ISU, including Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, CALS Connections student publication, and the National Agri-Marketing Association club and competition team. She also enjoys helping with AgEdS department transfer orientation events, sharing her passion and knowledge about ISU with newly admitted transfer students.

Arriving at a MaxYield Cooperative internship is actually a journey that started on the third day of Emily’s freshman year. “I first heard about this internship while attending the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Freshman and Transfer BBQ during my first week of my freshman year. Although I enjoyed my visit at MaxYield’s booth, I ended up pursuing a different opportunity for 2018. Then, my good friend Katie Decker had [the Client Relations and Communications] internship last summer. When she returned to ISU in the fall and spoke highly of her experiences at MaxYield Cooperative, I decided to give it a chance.”

It wasn’t her friend’s praise that made MaxYield Emily’s frontrunner internship in the fall, however. Strangely enough, it was actually the interview process that made her realize that MaxYield was the place she wanted to be. “[In the interview,] I wasn’t being asked generic, ‘tell me about a time when’ questions. Instead Chad Meyer, who I interviewed with, really focused on getting to know me and what my interests were to see if the internship was a good fit for me. This showed me everyone at MaxYield really cared about me and my goals before I was even offered the position.”

On any given day, a combination of writing, social media, videography, photography, and recruiting projects are a part of Emily’s agenda, but her favorite part of the job is actually pretty simple. “I love getting to represent MaxYield Cooperative with clients and at a variety of community events. One of the things I do is travel around the trade territory, and sometimes even beyond, to listen to the stories of clients and people who have been positively impacted by MaxYield Cooperative. One week I traveled to local fire departments to present donations from MaxYield for impactful projects, heard from a former MaxYield intern about the tractor he has proudly restored to prepare for the annual tractor calendar, and chatted with our team leaders to learn about how they are marketing their departments both internally and externally. That’s what’s cool about this internship- you’re really focused on learning the story of MaxYield and then retelling it to others in a variety of mediums.”

Emily credits much of her positive intern experience to her mentor, Chad Meyer, the Client Relations and Communications Director at MaxYield. Even in the first few weeks of her internship, Chad was making opportunities available to Emily to explore her interests, try new things, and network. “Chad has positively impacted my intern experience in a number of ways. He has worked for MaxYield for a large part of his career, so he understands how to communicate to cooperative stakeholders and I’ve learned a lot from his expertise. He’s very skilled at handling internal and external matters delicately, assertively, and tactfully all at the same time, so I’ve taken away quite a bit from a public relations aspect, as well. I think the most important, though, is probably the fact that my goals are put ahead of almost everything else. Chad has allowed me to tailor my schedule and intern projects to meet my needs. He has also encouraged me to share my thoughts and ideas, which has made me feel like I’m part of the team at MaxYield.”

Chad has not been the only team member who has made Emily’s MaxYield experience positive. “The most surprising thing about interning at MaxYield Cooperative has definitely been how friendly everyone is. I don’t know too many places where on the second day you can have lunch in the break room next to the CEO and have a conversation about using plastic grocery sacks as lunch bags- which actually happened. The team at MaxYield has made an effort in making sure we all feel like we fit in, and that has made a huge difference in my experience as an intern here.”

“Fulfilling” is the one word Emily feels encompasses her intern experience, and rightfully so. “Everyone wants to do something that matters. At MaxYield I’m not just fetching coffee and opening mail. Here, the work you do matters. Every project, every meeting, and every person makes a difference.”

After she graduates from Iowa State in May 2020, Emily hopes to find a job in public relations and communications at a cooperative, agricultural non-profit/commodity organization, or privately-held seed company in Iowa. She would also like to stay somewhat involved in her family’s 5th generation row crop operation in rural Audubon County. Wherever she goes, she knows her intern experience this summer will help her reach her full potential. “Everything you do at MaxYield impacts someone, including yourself. The growth you experience in the internship program is phenomenal, as are the people you meet. If you intern at MaxYield Cooperative you will not regret your experience!”

 

For more information on MaxYield’s internship program, including communications, grain accounting/finance, soil sampling/crop scouting, and agronomy sales, check out www.maxyieldcooperative.com/internships. Applications for 2020 internship positions will be posted later this summer!

MaxYield Contributes Funds towards Wright County 4-H Membership Dues

Jessica Norman (far left) with Wright County 4-H members at the check presentation.

CLARION, IOWA, June 3- MaxYield Cooperative made a contribution of $1410 towards the membership dues for all Wright County 4-H members. The check, presented to Jessica Norman, Wright County Youth Coordinator, and members of the 4-H program on June 3rd, will pay $10 of the $35 state dues for all 4-H members in the county. This membership not only allows students to showcase and compete with their projects at the Wright County Fair and Iowa State Fair, but it also provides them with opportunities to participate in conferences, workshops, and community service.

“MaxYield Cooperative recognizes the value that 4-H brings, not only to the youth that participate but also to our communities,” explained Emily Campbell, Client Relations and Communications Intern. “Being a 4-H alumna myself, I know that the members of Wright County 4-H will be the next generation of leaders that impacts the world. MaxYield is proud to assist the next generation of leaders in growing as 4-Hers by easing the financial obligation of the families of Wright County’s 140-plus members.”

Hunting with Heroes Makes a Difference in the Lives of Wounded Veterans

Since 2011, MaxYield Cooperative has been a proud supporter of Hunting with Heroes. Hunting with Heroes is a non-profit organization centered on the physical and emotional healing of America’s veterans. Each year, 4-6 Marines are flown to Iowa from the Wounded Warrior Battalion in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina to begin their trip of camaraderie, hunting, and healing. MaxYield Cooperative is happy to play a small part in these veterans’ journeys by covering the cost of the airfare to and from Des Moines.

Once in Des Moines, the Marines travel to Lakota, Iowa where they stay and hunt for the duration of the trip. But this is not “just” a hunting trip. Hunting with Heroes makes an impact on the emotional and mental wellbeing of our nation’s veterans. Captain James Nash’s story is one of the many success stories from Hunting with Heroes, which we featured on From the Field back in 2015. You can read his story here. More about his time as a Marine and what he is up to now can be seen in this video:

 

 

Hunting with Heroes is truly making a difference in the lives of our nation’s most loyal, committed citizens. The impact the organization is making on the Marines in attendance is real, and MaxYield Cooperative is proud to be a part of their mission.

If you are interested in learning more about Hunting with Heroes, or would like to make a contribution, you can find them on Facebook by searching ‘Hunting with Heroes’ or email jasonb41@yahoo.com.

MaxYield Contributes to Belmond, Britt Fire Departments Fundraising Efforts

WEST BEND, IOWA, May 28- MaxYield Cooperative made a contribution of $2500 each to the fire departments of Britt and Belmond. The funds, presented on May 28, 2019, were matched by MaxYield’s lender CoBank through their Sharing Success program for a total contribution of $5000 to each department.

The Belmond Fire Department will be utilizing their funds to purchase a breathing air compressor and fill station, along with supplementary equipment and installation. The system fills the air bottles that firefighters wear when going into a fire-filled or toxic environment, ensuring they have clean air to breathe. According to Dean Adcock, Belmond Fire Chief, this new equipment will increase the department’s efficiency and ability to serve its own needs.

“[The breathing air compressor] system will make it easier and quicker to refill our air bottles after a call so they are back in service and ready for use. It will also make us less reliant on having someone transport them to a facility where liability, along with timing to fill many bottles is an issue.”

belmond fire department

(Left) Members of the Belmond Fire Department at the check presentation included (from L to R): Chandler Bachman (Operations Manager at MaxYield Belmond location, firefighter), Nolan Ysker (Assistant Chief), Dean Adcock (Chief), Kyle Braun (firefighter).

The Britt Fire Department will be upgrading their fleet with the funds they received. A 1986 1-ton Chevrolet pickup, currently on load from the Iowa DNR, will be upgraded to a safer, newer chassis. In addition, the new truck will also have a few other upgrades, fire chief Jon Swenson explains.

“We would [sic] like to upgrade to an aluminum flatbed that would allow for more storage and help make the truck more efficient. We also need to upgrade the light bars and lights to all LED to make the environment safer for firefighters.” In addition, the new truck will also have a quad-cab and air conditioning.

 

(Left) Those in attendance at the Britt Fire Department Presentation included (from L to R): Andrew Hunt (Captain), Jon Swenson (Chief), Bob Smith (Location Manager at MaxYield Britt location), Eric Marchand (Secretary).

 

“MaxYield Cooperative is proud to help the Belmond and Britt Fire Departments towards their fundraising goals,” stated Emily Campbell, MaxYield Client Relations and Communications Intern. “Volunteer fire departments are some of the most important groups in our communities. Many of our team members and clients are volunteer firefighters themselves, or have been serviced by their local fire department at some point, and it is our pleasure to assist those organizations.”

New Scale Installation at Algona

MaxYield’s grain receiving location in Algona is in the midst of a scale improvement project. As shown in the first photo, the concrete and scale platform from the old east grain receiving area was removed last week.

With the old scale platform removed, workers readied the area for new concrete and placement of the new scale platform.

MaxYield annually invests in upgrading facilities, equipment and rolling stock. The total cost of this project is expected to be $120,000.

The MaxYield Algona location will not be taking grain deliveries during the scale installation, estimated to last until June 3rd.

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation! Be sure to call the Algona office at 515-295-2741 for more details and updates on grain receiving.

 

 

Improvements Underway at Greeville Grain Facility

A transformation is taking place at our Greenville grain facility. MaxYield’s millwright and maintenance teams are hard at work improving the grain reclaim and load out equipment at the site.

Though there is a lot of ‘stuff laying around’ the Greenville facility now, when the project is completed, it will have a very positive effect on operations at that location.

Shown in the photos are new bottom conveyors that take the grain to the load out area. Also shown is maintenance team leader Frank Schmidt working in the site’s control room.

Once all of the renovations and upgrades are complete, grain flow and grain load out will be significantly improved. In addition, once renovations are completed, all load out operations can be performed from the Greenville office. This will make operation of the site much more efficient.

Estimated project cost for the facility improvements is $90K.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome 2019 MaxYield Interns!

MaxYield Cooperative welcomed its 2019 Intern Class on Monday, May 20th. The newest members of the MaxYield team began their first day at the West Bend corporate office completing safety training, human resources onboarding, and meeting their mentors. We are excited to see what each of them can do with the skills they will learn this summer!

Logan Besch: Crop Scouting/Soil Sampling, Hawkeye Community College/Iowa State University
Megan Brown: Grain Accounting/Finance, South Dakota State University
Emily Campbell: Communications/Client Relations, Iowa State University
Marissa Cornine: Crop Scouting/Soil Sampling, Iowa State University/Northwest Missouri State University
Hunter Gelhaus: Agronomy Sales, Iowa State University
Nick Hunt: Crop Scouting/Soil Sampling, Iowa State University
Reece Westphal: Crop Scouting/Soil Sampling, Hawkeye Community College

 

Be on the lookout for blog posts and videos highlighting each intern throughout the summer. Welcome to MaxYield Cooperative!

MaxYield Supports Palo Alto County Honor Flight Vets

Recently several donors gathered at the Wild Rose Casino in Emmetsburg to wish these Palo Alto County veterans well on their May 11th Honor Flight to Washington DC. MaxYield is proud to provide financial support to help make it happen! Present at the ceremony were…

Front Row: (from left) Terry Chamberlain, VFW Post #2295 Commander, Jerry Dillon, Jack Kibbie, May 11 Honor Flight Vets John VanOosbree (US Army, Vietnam), Gerald Theesfeld (US Army, Vietnam) and Ray Christian (US Army, Vietnam); Bill Ortman, Larry Herbers and Wayne Turck.

Back Row: Wild Rose Representatives Molly Nerem, Katrina Williams and Zach Stewart; Chuck Roberts, Wild Rose General Manager Steve Cody, Emmetsburg Mayor Myrna Heddinger; and Diane Streit, MaxYield Cooperative Representative.

Thank you to the Emmetsburg Reporter/Democrat for the photo!