Co-op News > From the Manager's Desk

From the Manager's Desk

May 03, 2021

May Update

As we mentioned in last month’s newsletter, due to ongoing restrictions with public gatherings, we were forced to postpone this year’s open house celebration normally held in early May. Instead of personally handing out checks, we will be mailing out this year’s patronage refund and eligible equity redemption checks later in May. We are pleased once again to be returning over $4 million in cash to our members this year. This past fiscal year (Oct 1, 2019 – Sept 30, 2020) the minimum amount of purchases needed to qualify for a patronage check was about $750. If you purchased more than this but do not receive a check by early June, please reach out to Emily at our Mt Horeb office to be eligible for future distributions. It is likely that we do not have the required information needed to issue patronage. The IRS requires us to report all patronage refunds we distribute by the recipient’s taxpayer identification number. This is usually a social security (for individuals) or federal ID number (for businesses). If you are keeping track, we have returned over $30 million in cash to our members in the past 10 years. Thank you for the support that has made these patronage and equity redemptions possible. 

As I pulled into the office this morning on April 26 just before sunrise, I was met by one of our fertilizer tender trucks leaving the property and another fueling up at the pumps. The point is not that I get up early (I can hear my kids, ”Dad, you got up early. Nobody cares”), it’s that some of our staff is already well into their day. If the fertilizer tender trucks are full and leaving before 6:00 am, that means the airflows and spinners applying the fertilizer are already in the fields and needing a refill. Long days and short nights can be the norm this time of year for our agronomy division and our producer members as they work to get this year’s crop in the ground. This is a great reminder to please pay special attention over the next couple of months to farm machinery pulling in and out of the fields and wide loads coming around the next corner or over the next hill. Whether you are in your car on your way to work, or in the tractor moving to the next field, never assume the other person sees you. Slow down and be extra careful. If you have teenage drivers at home, please share this reminder with them as well. 

We are now putting the finishing touches on the addition to our Mt Horeb Auto and Truck shop that increased the overall shop space by about a third, just in time for the busy spring season. Located behind the new Mt Horeb convenience store, the new addition for the shop will now be a home for large truck repair. In addition to the increased space, equipment has been added to improve employee safety and comfort. I was very impressed the first time I saw Dakota raise a quad axle dump truck about five feet off the ground using the new portable hoist system and touchpad controls. What would have required kneeling or laying on his back to work on the truck can now be done at eye level. With over 600 vehicles in our fleet and the growing large truck customer base, this new addition will help take our auto and truck shop into the future. If you know of someone looking for a career as a skilled auto or large truck diesel technician, please let them know we’re hiring! 

Soon our propane division will begin compiling contracting options for the next heating season. In June they will begin mailing out contracts to over 12,000 of our propane members that purchased at least 400 gallons or more during the past heating season. While some of our business units may not be easily accessible to all members, propane is the one division that can reach everyone reading this update. If you use propane to heat your home or business, and are not currently purchasing it through Premier, please consider making the change. We would love the opportunity to earn your business and show you why we consistently rank in the top 25 propane companies in the country. As an added benefit, since you are already a member of Premier, a cooperative that you own, all purchases count towards your share of the annual patronage distribution I mentioned above. This year’s cash patronage will amount to about three cents back on each gallon of propane purchased. 

I’d like to wish all Mothers out there a Happy Mother’s Day on May 9. If you are still looking for something for that special Mom or Grandma, stop by either our Mt Horeb Do it Best or Westby ACE stores and pick up a beautiful floral hanging basket. 

With Memorial Day later this month, I hope everyone has a chance to honor the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives to protect all of us and this great country. 

Have a wonderful May.


Matt Severson

CEO


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