From the Manager's Desk

Jun 01, 2020

Do It Best Green House

June Update

Again, this year, I had the pleasure of stopping at several of our member’s farms, homes, and businesses to drop off equity redemption checks. While it was much different this year--appropriate distancing, meeting outdoors, and no handshakes—it was still very enjoyable. Part of the thrill was just driving somewhere other than the office and back home for the first time in nearly two months. The opportunity to stop and visit some members I’ve never had the chance to meet, or to catch up with some I haven’t seen in quite some time, was extra special this year given how long we’ve all been cooped up. Even more rewarding is handing them an unexpected check for the eligible redemption equity they have in the cooperative. Each of the members I had the pleasure of visiting this year seemed quite surprised to be receiving their old eligible redemption equity.

Several commented that they never expected to see the equity returned.

When we changed our equity management program in 2002, it was our goal to drive down the age at which our members received the old equity they had to pay the tax on. At the time, we had many millions of dollars of this old equity belonging to members as old as ninety plus. Today, we’ve driven the age down to 65 years old or younger, depending upon when the member joined Premier. Two years ago, we hit a milestone when we retired all the old eligible equity of the members who were part of Premier when the new program started. With your continued support, over the next few years we hope to redeem all the eligible equity issued under the old programs from each of the cooperatives that partnered with Premier more recently. In addition to this, fiscal 2019 patronage refunds were mailed out in mid-May. This year’s patronage refund was returned as 70% cash to nearly 9,000 members for a total of $2.1 million. Increasing the percentage of total patronage returned in cash was also a goal of the plan. Since 2008, the percentage of patronage returned in cash has increased from less than 30% to more than 70% the past two years. Thanks for your support that makes this possible and for being part of our cooperative family.

Propane-Contracts-700x600.jpg2020-2021 propane should be arriving in your mailbox soon.

We’ll be mailing out most of our propane contracts and safety mailings in mid-June for the coming heating season. With all the uncertainty in the global economy, and with contract prices appearing to be down a little from last year, be sure to choose from one of the many contracting options we offer to lock in your supply and prices for the upcoming year. The peace of mind you’ll have knowing you won’t have unexpected price spikes next winter is well worth the few minutes it will take to complete and return a contract. If you do not purchase propane from us, or do not receive a contract by mid-June, please give our nearest energy office a call and our staff will take care of you. If you receive a packet in the mail, please be sure to open the safety information and share it with your entire family. Thank you for supporting our energy team and for helping your cooperative rank as a top 25 propane company in the United States.

In my 33 spring planting seasons working at the cooperative I can’t recall one that had weather quite as accommodating as this spring. The anticipated challenges following a long, wet fall quickly evaporated away and our employee team jumped into action and helped our producer members get the crop in the ground much earlier than normal. A late freeze created a lot of anxious moments, but for the most part it looks like there was very little lasting damage. Let’s hope Mother Nature continues to be kind and we can help bring in a bumper crop this fall. Thanks to all our members and employees for the great job they did working together this spring. 

Thanks to all our members and employees for the great job they did working together this spring.

Despite the many challenges created by COVID-19, our entire employee team has done a remarkable job of adapting to the changes. I hope as customers you feel the same. For example, a typical day at our Mineral Point feed manufacturing facility starts at about 1:30 am and ends at about 6 pm, with some deliveries running well past this. Our new Westby mill doesn’t have the early morning start time, but the rest of the day is very similar. Despite supply chain challenges, additional time spent cleaning, working apart more, and endless ration changes, the team has continued to help our members keep their families safe and their animals healthy and well fed. Our retail staff has continued to be available for member fuel, food, vehicle repair, and home maintenance needs.

We consider ourselves lucky to have been deemed essential and appreciate the continued support you have given us so we can emerge from this pandemic as your dedicated, trusted, member owned local cooperative.

While we certainly aren’t out of the woods yet, May brought some special moments that under different circumstances I may not have treasured nearly as much. In early May I was able to see my grandkids when the weather allowed us to hold a very small 4th birthday party for Cooper. While hugs and kisses were still not part of it since grandpa was commuting to and from work each day, just being able to sit around and enjoy watching them play helped overcome much of the previous eight weeks of isolation. The near perfect weather over Memorial Day weekend, and once again being able to have my immediate family over for an afternoon of fun, was a great way to cap off the month. Despite wanting to show off the newly remodeled convenience store in Mt Horeb, we are adding this year’s Dairy Day to the list of canceled or postponed events—sports, schools, graduations, fairs, and more. As of last week, we added my daughter’s wedding to the list and moved it from July to September in hopes of continued better days ahead. At least we won’t have to worry about the mayflies invading the backyard ceremony. We’ve had very large hatches each of the past three years and they’ve come in June and July. If you aren’t sure what mayflies are, google “mayfly swarms” and imagine it happening during an outdoor wedding. Before I close, I’d like to thank Lynda H for the nice note last month about the picture of my grandkids on the front page. I can’t wait to update it with Walter (#4).

Have a wonderful Father’s Day and June Dairy Month, congratulations to this year’s graduates, and please support our hardworking farmers by consuming as much dairy, meat, eggs, and local vegetables as you can.


Andy Fiene


Read More News

Jun 30,2020

Biostimulant Fertilizer for High Management Alfalfa -
Containing plant-based amino acids and seaweed extracts, Kriss® biostimulant fertilizer
can help enhance plant growth and resistance to stress. The primary positioning of this
product is to help drive yield potential and feed quality on highly managed alfalfa. 
What are biostimulants? Natural compounds used to enhance plant growth or increase resistance to abiotic stress.

What is KRISS® biostimulant fertilizer?

  • Registered as a 5-8-4 NPK fertilizer
  • Combination of seaweed extracts and plant-based amino acids
  • Active compounds include tryptophan, arginine and plant extracts
  • KRISS® biostimulant fertilizer can help drive yield and quality on highly managed alfalfa by supporting regrowth
Jun 30,2020

Advances in technology continue to bring innovative ways to improve quality and tonnage for your alfalfa crop. Just in the last few years biostimulants have become an integral part of top alfalfa production.  Here at Premier Cooperative we have incorporated that technology into our “QT” Alfalfa Treatment Program. 

Jun 18,2020

As we wrapped up National Beef Month just a few weeks back, we THANK YOU all for everything you do day-in and day-out to provide us with wholesome quality protein to feed our families and friends. As we put national beef month behind us we still have everyday needs, marketing, and management decisions that need to be made to ensure our operations are profitable and we obtain the desired outcomes we expect in the fall when we decide to market or retain ownership of our calf crop. All this is dependent on market and how many pounds we sell can be influenced by management on farm, allow us to play a role in providing you some insight on dollars you can expect and dollars you could gain.