Dec 25, 2019
Andy Fiene | CEO
Your cooperative just wrapped up another fiscal year-end audit. Despite continuing challenges in agriculture, we are proud of the results we generated for our members/owners. I hope that your continued tremendous support of your cooperative’s employee team is a reflection on their commitment to exceeding expectations each day. We’ve assembled a great group of employees that at times work some long, crazy days making sure fields get sprayed, feed gets delivered, our homes stay warm and cozy, we’re able to satisfy our early or late day snack and fuel needs, grain gets dried, our cars and trucks stay on the road, and you get the part and advice to help fix that annoying dripping faucet. To you, the employee team, and their families that support them while they are away from home, thank you for being part of Premier Cooperative. We look forward to serving you in 2020.
Because of the member support and hard work above, we were excited to return a record amount of cash to our members in 2019 for patronage and equity redemptions. The nearly $4.2 million in cash we returned exceeded the old record by about $1 million. It’s too early to tell for sure what we’ll be returning in cash redemptions for old equities, but we do know the cash patronage will exceed $2.1 million next spring, up slightly from last spring.
This past year was another exciting one for Maureen (Mo) and me. Our two oldest grandchildren, Cooper and Ava, generally spend a couple of nights a month with us. The two of them are “best friends”. Just be sure to ask them that early in the day after a good night’s sleep. Having them spend the night often leads into our family Sunday morning breakfast. Grandpa is the cook and grandma the dishwasher. It’s such a blessing to see the kids and grandkids as often as we do, and I’ll never take it for granted.
For the first time in about 33 years, I’m playing co-ed volleyball in an organized rec league with David (son), Andrea (daughter), Sam (Andrea’s new fiancé), and two of their friends. Following my neck surgery in 2015 I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to play again. We are about 6 weeks into it now and I’ve been able to get out of bed the next morning and put on my shoes with no real issues, so I’m pretty hopeful I’ll be able to make it through the full winter schedule. Considering I can’t jump half as high as 33 years ago, the risk of serious injury is way down. I am very confident I’m the only one that has had or will have a grandchild come and watch him play. It does give me something to look forward to each week during the doldrums of winter.
In August, Sam asked my permission for Andrea’s hand in marriage. I’m guessing it was a formality and no matter what I said it was a done deal, so of course I said yes and congratulated him. He continues a great tradition at our household of the men marrying up. Not a jab at Sam, but a complement to Andrea, Mo, Becky and Kim. Speaking of Becky and Kim, they seemed to have arranged to have round two of kids close together in age again, so Jack and the yet to be named (due in February) can be as close of friends as Cooper and Ava. Our third grandchild, Jack, was born in September to Steve and Becky. David and Kim are expecting in February and Sam and Andrea are getting married in July. Sprinkle in a 35th anniversary in March and 2020 is shaping up to be a fun year.
I hope your 2019 was full of great memories with the people you enjoy the most and I hope that 2020 will be one for the ages. From my family to yours, have a very Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year. Go Badgers!