Co-op News >General

Change is Good

Sep 03, 2020

I hope you’ve been enjoying your summer. I spent almost 3 weeks training with the Army Reserve in late July and August. During our time at Ft. McCoy we were tasked with getting certified on the new Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) so that we can test others in our unit and we also went to the rifle range to qualify using the Army’s new Marksman Qualification Test. I’m 58 years old. The word ‘new’ to me doesn’t necessarily trip my trigger (no pun intended). I’ve been doing the same physical fitness and marksmanship tests since 1983 and they’ve been working just fine for me, so why change?  

From the Manager's Desk

Sep 01, 2020

As I write this in late August, most of our trade area has missed out on any measurable rain the past couple of weeks and it is really showing up in the fields. I can’t remember seeing corn and beans go from lush green to golden brown quite so quickly. Despite this, and because of the excellent weather earlier, it looks like we will have a very good harvest this year. Our team is busy hauling out the last of about eight million bushels of grain we received at our facilities this year. September will be a big push as we empty out and get the bins ready for the 2020 crop. Last year at this time we had one very big grain project underway in Westby and a smaller, but much needed, addition in Mazomanie. Both finished up midway through harvest, so we are looking forward to having both up and running at full speed to start this fall. We are still hoping to get a couple smaller projects completed ahead of harvest in Richland Center and Mineral Point, but the recent Derecho storm in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana has thrown a wrench into the availability of millwrights, equipment, and materials needed. I’ve never seen destruction so widespread. One cooperative in Iowa had severe damage at 21 of its grain locations, toppling or damaging an estimated 30 million bushels or more of storage. Thank goodness there was only one minor injury at the company. With harvest already underway in our area, please watch out for farm equipment and grain trucks as you navigate our country roads. If you need help with handling or marketing your grain, please give us a call.  

Corn Harvest

The 0% Interest & Get All Your Seed Discounts Financing

Aug 19, 2020

Often with our financial decisions the question isn’t so much about “Can I invest in/purchase X to improve my operation?”, the question is “If I invest in/purchase X to improve my operation, can I also invest in/purchase Y and Z?”X, Y, and Z could be different options based on your personal situation. For an expanding operation, it could be a new piece of equipment (or land) to increase your throughput or bring down your cost per acre...

Energy Professionals

Aug 05, 2020

I read through my last few newsletters. I feel I need to update you on the projects I’ve been doing on the farm. I’m happy to report that I won the Battle of the Bats. I installed a homemade bat extruder in early May and after watching the bat tornado outside my bedroom window the next morning it was obvious (that was creepy) the bats couldn’t figure out how to get back in. They won’t be missed. My barn roof project didn’t go quite so well. After replacing the majority of the nails with screws and sealing the crown, I went into the haymow yesterday during a thunderstorm to check my work. It’s still a huge improvement but I still have some leaks. Fortunately I have enough buckets to catch the drips.  What did I learn from this? If you want a professional job done, hire a professional to do the work. Especially when it comes to propane. Today we were unable to install a propane system to a brand new house because the homeowner decided to do the gas piping himself. He used fittings that are not allowed to be used in a propane system, there were no drip legs on appliances and the shutoff valves were closed up inside of the drywall. We red tagged the system because we couldn’t safely hook it up. If the customer had hired a licensed plumber to install the gas piping, he wouldn’t have found himself in this predicament. 

From the Manager's Desk

Aug 01, 2020

Our convenience store in Mt Horeb finished its first full month of operation in June since shutting down for over a month for renovations. Starting last fall, we added nearly 6,000 square feet to the west end of the building. The addition more than doubled the size of the convenience store, providing needed space to expand the kitchen, coolers and freezers, self-serve food and beverage choices, a future drive-thru window, and more. Our store was recently featured on the latest CHS (Cenex) marketing material promoting new programs for other Cenex locations to upgrade their facilities. Maybe that’s a sign we made some good design choices. I know the employee team is excited about the look and functionality. While the store was closed for remodeling, the outside pump islands, tanks, fuel lines, electrical, and concrete pads were all replaced. These changes will help ensure our fueling system meets or exceeds existing codes and will provide safe operations and added environmental protection for many years. On the backside of the addition, the auto/truck and tire center will have two new large truck service bays. If you’re in the area, please stop in and say hi to our coworkers.

Cow in Sand Bedding

DRP & Driving Production Webinar

Jul 08, 2020

Delivering more dollars & protecting your investment June 30th we hosted a webinar with Dr. Tom Overton (Cornell University) and Jessica Sarbacker (State Bank of Cross Plains) on the Dairy Revenue Protection program and driving components and pounds of solids. 

From the Manager's Desk

Jul 01, 2020

I hope you enjoyed the Independence Day holiday with family and friends. With some staff members, including yours truly, taking a day or two off during the holiday week, it often leaves others picking up the slack to make sure we deliver on our promise to provide our members with excellent, hassle free service. Thanks to all of you who called in your orders early so our staff could wrap up the week on time Friday and enjoy the holiday weekend with family (and a limited number of aware, cautious, and socially distanced friends). I’d also like to thank all of you who returned your propane contracts by the end of June. It’s a crazy week when they are all coming in so quickly and we appreciate your patience and support. Thanks too for your understanding as we fielded more calls than usual due to the energy offices still having very limited access for face to face assistance with questions this year. Like all of you, we are very anxious to get back to in person contact as soon as we can ensure the safety of our members and staff. If reading this reminded you that your contract is still sitting on the kitchen table, just pick up the phone and call the energy office nearest to you. I’m sure we’ll be able to take care of you. The last of the propane contracts (Cap renewals) and safety mailings will be sent out later this month. On behalf of our energy team and everyone at your cooperative, thank you for choosing us to serve your propane needs again this year.

Beef Cattle in Lush Pasture

Cattle Market & Creep Feeding Webinar

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.

Show animals

Get Rewarded For Your Show Animals

Jun 15, 2020

In 2002 Premier instituted a new program to reward the youth in our area for their participation in showing of LIVESTOCK at the fairs in our trade area. Over the years we have rewarded thousands of kids with tens of thousands of dollars for their hard work and commitment to animal agriculture. This year, because COVID has canceled most fairs and pretty much everything else, we are offering a new program. Each student of a Premier member who had planned on showing LIVESTOCK at a fair will be eligible to earn $30 whether or not they were able to show the animal (and earn a ribbon). The student's parent will need to upload to our website a picture of themselves with their animal while holding the attached Premier logo for the picture. The logo can be printed in color or black and white. Each student who successfully uploads a completed form will receive $30 regardless of the number of animals they had planned to show. After receiving the emailed picture, we’ll compile them weekly and send out checks to the students. Look for your picture on our website—premiercooperative.com. Thanks for participating and supporting animal agriculture.

PPP - Small Business Programs

Herds & Overcrowding

Jun 03, 2020

Over the past 60 days I have heard rumblings of dairy farms selling cows in attempts to reduce their milk production, only to see their bulk tanks not budge an inch. As a nutritionist traveling the countryside, it is not often a question of “if” herds are overcrowding, but more so “how much.” There is a fine line between the two, and every herd’s line is different. If we want to ride closer to the overcrowding line, here are five steps that can help in successfully doing so.    

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