November 20, 2019

Learning From the Ground Up: Mick Hoover Named 2013 Solutions Provider of the Year

Mick Hoover - MaxYield At first, the opportunity to work full time at MaxYield didn’t seem to fit Mick Hoover. After earning his education degree from Buena Vista University in 2006, he turned down two job offers from MaxYield Cooperative while he waited for the right teaching job to open up. The third time proved to be the charm, however, for MaxYield and Mick.

“I’d worked for MaxYield part time in college, so I said yes when they called again,” said Mick, a grain solutions specialist at the Mallard location and 2013 Solutions Provider of the Year. “I had a lot to learn about grain origination, though, and will never forget the harvest of 2007 at Mallard.”

Back then, it wasn’t uncommon for a line of trucks and tractors delivering grain to stretch from the elevator to Main Street at the peak of harvest. When Mick got a call from Walt Reichert, MaxYield’s west area team leader,
on one of those days, the message was simple—and urgent. “Walt said, ‘Get up here now,’” recalled Mick, who was working the grain dump. “It turns out they were short staffed and needed me to run the scale.”

After a crash course, Mick started weighing trucks. “It was trial by fire, and I was on pins and needles the whole time,” said Mick, who feared he would forget a key step in the process.

By the time he walked out of the office that night, Mick breathed a sigh of relief. “I remember thinking, ‘Well, I made it through one day. I think I can do this.’ I was a lot more comfortable by the second day.”

They’re not just clients; they’re friends

Learning from the ground up has defined Mick’s MaxYield career from the start. While Mick had grown up in the Mallard area and had worked for area farmers and Dr. Nesheim, the local veterinarian, he didn’t know much about the ag cooperative system. All that changed when he began working part time at MaxYield Cooperative in 2001 at age 19.

“Coming up through the ranks helped me build my career,” said Mick, who studied agriculture at Iowa Lakes Community College after graduating from West Bend-Mallard High School in 2000. “You understand the big picture when you’ve dumped grain, cleaned the grain dryers, filled anhydrous tanks, driven a tender truck, run the fertilizer plant, and loaded trains.”

This first-hand knowledge also helps Mick serve MaxYield’s clients more effectively. “Before I leave home in the morning, I check to see what the markets are doing,” said Mick, who learned the grain settlement process after joining MaxYield full time. “I also watch the markets and news throughout the day so I can keep clients informed and help them however I can.”

Sometimes that help means providing reports for federal crop insurance, while other times it means providing grain accounting paperwork. “I’m a numbers guy, I enjoy collecting and exploring data,” Mick said.

While Mick stays in touch with clients via phone calls, text messages, and email, he also enjoys visiting with them when they stop by the Mallard office. “I want them to know I never take their business for granted. These aren’t just clients; they’re friends.”

It takes a team

Providing this level of service wouldn’t be possible without the MaxYield team, from the outside operations crew who unload grain to the scale operators in the Mallard office to the support team in the West Bend corporate office, Mick noted.

Mick and his team members are looking forward to the new opportunities that will be created by the 2014 addition of a separate grain receiving area with a pit; a 20,000-bushel-per-hour receiving leg and conveyance system; and a 722,500-bushels bin at Mallard. “We’re fortunate to have good facilities, and this will make it that much better,” Mick said.

It’s an honor to be named Solutions Provider of the Year, added Mick, who appreciates MaxYield’s modern facilities and services geared towards local producers’ needs. “It’s a great feeling when you serve your clients and provide the solutions they need. That’s what I shoot for every day.”

Editor’s note: Mick and his wife, Lindsay, have three young children, Lauren, Ali, and Kale. In his free time, Mick enjoys spending time with his family, golfing, and fishing. ■
What Makes Mick a Solutions Provider of the Year?

Here’s what Walt Reichert, MaxYield’s west area team leader, says:

“Mick has been a true MaxYield success story. He started in the grain dump and has now elevated himself to a key grain solutions team member in the west area. This starting point has helped Mick understand what MaxYield is capable of operationally so he and his team members can provide clients with great service. Mick also knows the pulse of his client base, and his business relationships are based on trust. It has been fun to watch Mick develop his career at MaxYield, and there’s no doubt he will continue to grow.”

What Defines a Solutions Provider of the Year?

“Mick is passionate about his work. He’s also a detail person who doesn’t let anything fall through the cracks. He really understands what it means to be client focused and makes sure clients have a good experience every time. Mick makes MaxYield a better solutions provider every year.”
—Keith Heim, CEO
MaxYield Cooperative

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