November 22, 2019

Built to Last: Looking Forward to the Next 100 Years

MaxYield100GradientHow do you create a company that stands the test of time? Make strategic business decisions. Overcome adversity. Repeat.

While it’s never that simple, the principles of adapting and overcoming drive any business that joins the exclusive group of 100-year companies, including MaxYield Cooperative.

“Celebrating 100 years in business is a tremendous milestone, whether it’s a Fortune 500 company, a farm, or an ag cooperative,” said Keith Heim, MaxYield’s CEO. “For MaxYield, it means staying relevant in a world that continues to change fast.”

Staying relevant reflects the goals that motivated the first stockholders to meet at 2 p.m. on April 6, 1915, to create the new West Bend Elevator Company. For generations, the cooperative has allowed members to band together and achieve things that they couldn’t do individually, from purchasing coal at a competitive price to providing a viable market for grain.

While the cooperative’s founding principles haven’t changed, clients’ needs have evolved dramatically through the years, Heim noted. By January 1943, the Algona Upper Des Moines newspaper reported that a meeting was held at the West Bend Elevator Company to urge local farmers to grow more flax in support of the war effort. In fact, the state of Iowa was asked to increase flax production by 28%.

Adapting to changing times has meant more than growing new crops during the cooperative’s 100-year history. “The cooperative had a close call in the 1990s,” Heim said. “Weathering major challenges is not uncommon, however, for any company that has lasted 100 years.”

Honoring the past, focusing on the future
To celebrate MaxYield’s 100th birthday, the cooperative hosted barbecues this summer in Algona, Belmond, Britt, Emmetsburg, Lakota, Spencer, and West Bend. “We had excellent attendance and thank you for your continued support of MaxYield,” Heim said.

This support will remain vital to MaxYield in the future, he added. MaxYield is embracing the fast-paced world of precision ag, where the data revolution continues to evolve and modern seed technology is breaking yield barriers while increasing the need for efficient grain-handling systems.

MaxYield will operate in a much different world than the cooperative’s founders experienced in 1915, yet some things never change. “We remain focused on providing the solutions you need to stay competitive,” Heim said. “We look forward to helping your cooperative succeed for the next 100 years.”

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