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)
- Fire, rescue and ambulance services
- Investment in the next generation (ag scholarships, college recruitment activities, etc.)
- Community betterment projects
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.
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.”