Co-op News > From the Manager's Desk

From the Manager's Desk

Nov 01, 2021

Give thanks

November Update

It would be difficult to turn on the evening news or glance at the latest top stories on your phone without seeing the headlines of supply chain issues. While the news stories and images of container ships backed up off the ports on the west coast are all recent, anyone that is involved with purchasing inventory for a business would tell you the issues have been here long before the news outlets began covering the stories or our elected officials started demanding action. 

For your cooperative, we deal with many of the same challenges seen on the news when it comes to back filling shelves at our retail stores with new products. In other divisions of our company, supply chain disruptions can be a normal part of doing business. Take for example our agronomy division. A large portion of our supply sourced from around the globe is received from barges on the Mississippi River. With river closure in the winter months for ice, and unpredictable port closures in the gulf due to tropical storms, planning for supply disruptions is a part of doing business. 

To help reduce the supply and price risks associated with these types of disruptions, our team has consistently worked with our members to plan out their annual needs to fill warehouses and secure product before it is needed. The expected supply challenges we’ve managed in the past, and the more recently talked about supply issues with labor, trucking, tariffs, and more, working with a partner you can trust is more important than ever. Close cooperation with your Premier agronomist, livestock nutritionist, and energy specialists will help us all make sure product is available when you need it most.
Relating to the issues with supply, and as predicted, energy prices have increased dramatically from last year. To help reduce supply disruptions, our propane staff has been working hard to get tanks filled ahead of winter. If you are not a scheduled delivery customer, I recommend you call and sign up. It helps our drivers deliver more gallons each day and gets them home earlier each night, while giving you peace of mind and assuring you our best applicable volume price. At a minimum, please don’t wait until the first snowstorm to call in an order. I assure everyone that we will have cold enough temperatures requiring all of us to heat our homes, so why not fill the tank early and check that off the “to do” list?

We have tentatively reserved Wednesday, January 26th, 2022, for this year’s annual meeting. Still some uncertainty with COVID restrictions, but our goal is to return to an in person annual meeting. Mark your calendars. More information will follow in the next couple of months. One of the events at the annual meeting each year is the selection of our scholarship recipients. We managed last year with virtual essays, but I think everyone would agree that getting the students to the annual meeting in person would be preferred. Please look for more information regarding this in the newsletter, website, or on our Facebook page.

The fall harvest got off to a great start again this year and we have seen some very good corn and soybean yields throughout our trade territory. High yields, low moisture, and an early harvest in the same year is rare, but two years in a row is almost unheard of (as I sit here knocking on my desk). Other than a few rainy days, the weather has been great for bringing in the crop. By the time you receive this we hope to be in the home stretch. For those with crops still in the field, please be careful as you rush to get the last of your harvest completed. For those that don’t farm, please be extra careful as you run about doing your daily tasks as farm machinery and deer will be moving around a great deal in the days ahead. 

In a few weeks we will be celebrating Thanksgiving. Holidays always add stress to our business as employees take extra days of well-deserved vacation time to spend with family and our work week loses a day to serve you. Please help out the co-op staff you work with by calling in your feed, propane, lumber and other deliveries as much in advance of the holidays as possible. With one less day in the week to work with, it’s greatly appreciated by all the staff as it allows them to get home at a decent time to spend the holidays with their family and friends. Veteran’s Day is November 11. Thank you all for your service and sacrifice. Please be safe and have a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving.

Matt Severson

CEO


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