From the Manager's Desk

May 01, 2020

Do It Best Green House

May Update

Due to the coronavirus we were forced to postpone this year’s open house celebration normally held in early May.

As we mentioned in last month’s newsletter, due to the coronavirus we were forced to postpone this year’s open house celebration normally held in early May. Despite this, we will be sending out this year’s patronage refund and eligible equity redemption checks later in May.

Like last year, we are very pleased to be returning over $4 million in cash to our members again this year, at a time when so many need it. This past fiscal year (10/1/18-9/30/19) the minimum amount of purchases needed to qualify for a patronage check was about $930.

If you purchased more than this but do not receive a check please reach out to Emily at our Mt Horeb office to be eligible for future distributions. It’s 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).

Thanks for the support that has made this patronage and equity redemption possible.

Well, it took eleven words in this update before I mentioned coronavirus.

Like everyone reading this, the pandemic has touched all facets of our lives. It has certainly had a dramatic impact on your cooperative, but at least we are one of the fortunate essential businesses given the opportunity to continue operating.

I’ve written many times in this update that if your cooperative is going to be successful our producer and consumer members that own and use the cooperative must also be successful. Unfortunately, while I have been through many challenging times in my 32 plus years at the cooperative, none have been nearly as damaging for our members as this one. Whether it’s the price of milk, beef, pork, chicken, corn, or soybeans, all of production agriculture has seen some of the most dramatic price drops in history.

Rain can put a damper on the agronomy division's busy season, but at least we got a rainbow out of it!

At the same time, many of our tremendous propane, hardware, lumber, convenience store, and auto/truck/tire repair customers have faced lay-offs, furloughs, reductions in hours, lost daycare providers, and more, dramatically impacting their livelihood. For those with a sick family member, or perhaps who lost someone close to them, everything else simply takes a back seat. While each day we hear about the number of new illnesses and the tragic deaths, the emotional toll this pandemic is causing may never be fully quantified.

I hope each of you can make the time each day to decompress and think about some uplifting things happening around you. This morning a coworker shared a picture he took of a rainbow over our Mt Horeb agronomy location, and for a moment it reminded me what a beautiful day it really was. I hope you can find your rainbow in each day.

Thanks to everyone who supported our team this past heating season

As winter and spring seem to battle one another daily to dictate the weather, I’d like to thank everyone who supported our energy team this past heating season. Whether you use propane or fuel oil for your home, we appreciate the trust you place in us as your supply partner.

If you’re not a propane customer but would like to be, please call one of our energy offices in your area. Your cooperative is ranked a top 25 propane supplier in the country, and our team would like to make you part of our propane family.

This year the prepay and booking contracts will again be mailed out in mid-June.

Slow down & be patient

Please pay special attention over the next 60-90 days to farm machinery pulling in and out of fields and wide loads coming around the next corner or over the next hill. If you have teenage drivers at home, please share this reminder with them.

It's that time of year where we have to share the road with more farm equipment.

To our producer members, be extra careful this spring as you need to protect yourself and your family from all the usual farming hazards in addition to COVID. Get plenty of rest, eat right, take a short walk to unwind, follow good virus prevention practices, and if you get behind give us a call and we’ll do what we can to help.

This May

I’m not sure what May will bring, but I do hope we all are able to celebrate two special dates.

Whether you are a mom, grandma, or great-grandma, from every son, daughter, dad, grandpa, and great-grandpa, thank you so much for all you do for us and those we love. Have a very Happy Mother’s Day on May 10th.

With Memorial Day later this month, I’m hopeful things will improve enough that we can hold services celebrating the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives to protect all of us and our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

God Bless them all and may He watch over all of us as we find a path out of this pandemic and into brighter days ahead.


Andy Fiene


Read More News

May 26,2020
Dan Toay, and his agronomist Dan Durst, talk about how they improved Toay’s alfalfa stand to be thicker, greener and more vibrant with 98G pelletized limestone from Calcium Products.
May 22,2020
Premier Nutritionist Craig Wagner talks about Relative Feed Value (RFV) and using that information to decide when it's time to start cutting alfalfa.
Keep an eye on our Interactive Alfalfa Map, which updates daily with information on how alfalfa is maturing throughout the region.
May 21,2020
Nearly daily there is new information released for grants, low interest loans, and other government assistance programs related to Covid-19 financial aid and direct producer payments.