Co-op News

1st Annual Holiday Food Drive

Dec 08, 2020

In recognition of the need faced in our communities, Premier wanted to find a way to give back this holiday season. With the uncertainty of the world today, the need to eat stays constant. Beginning mid-November, Premier branches began to collect non-perishables to donate to local food pantries. The food drive officially ended on Friday, December 4th with a total of 1,849 items to be donated to local food pantries.    

A Successful Year

Dec 04, 2020

We’ve almost reached the end of 2020. 2020 had a lot of challenges but Americans are resilient so most of us have found healthy ways to cope with our new realities. Here’s to hoping 2021 finds you healthy and prosperous.  Speaking of prosperous, if you read Andy’s Manager’s Desk article, most divisions had a solid year in 2020. The energy division also did well again this year, which will allow us to continue to invest in new trucks and other equipment and services in order to increase safety and efficiency. The easiest way for us to increase our efficiency is through routing our deliveries properly. That is why we ask our will call customers to call in when they are around 30%. It gives us a chance to work the will call orders into our scheduled delivery orders for the greatest efficiency. If you call in to order your propane, please work with us to avoid delays or additional charges. For your safety and ours, please don’t create an emergency so that our employees have to enter your home to start your propane appliance after you’ve let yourself run out of propane.   

Soybean Thistle Caterpillar

Year End Crop Inputs

Dec 03, 2020

The 2020 crop year has just about come to a close. We have had a great fall giving us all time to harvest, apply fertilizer, soil test, till and many other tasks that sometimes get caught undone before winter sets in. Now, many of you have begun to turn your thoughts to 2021.  Seed should be at the top of your list. I hope many of you have a chance to book or take advantage of the early season prepay discounts, giving you the opportunity to lock in those top varieties from Croplan, Dekalb, Asgrow, Brevant or NK Seeds that we carry.  If you have not, please contact your agronomist today to work with you, using the R7 Technology, to match the right seed on the right acre to maximize your yield and ROI.

Beef Cattle Pasture

Feeding your Top Replacements

Dec 02, 2020

As producers continuously push to get more pounds of milk and combined solids, there tends to be more conversations around developing healthy eating habits within the lactating herd. As nutritionists, we might recommend switching up the feed routine to avoid running the bunk out of feed or even increasing feed push – ups per day. However, have we ever thought about how we train our cows to eat in the stages before they get to the lactating herd? Here are four points to consider when feeding your herd’s top replacements.

From the Manager's Desk

Dec 01, 2020

As I mentioned last month, we held our audit in November and I’m very pleased to report that your cooperative had another solid year in 2020. In addition to the expected challenges we face each year, like unpredictable weather and commodity markets, this year was like no other as we navigated through the new challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the pandemic, and because of your continued support and the dedication of our employee team, we were able to overcome the challenges in fiscal 2020 and post very solid performance. With the exception of grain and convenience stores, all divisions reported increased performance. The grain division was hindered by the poor 2019 growing season and harvest while the convenience stores were impacted by reduced gallons and inside sales as businesses were closed and many employees started working from home. The feed division and Do it Best Hardware and Lumber, as well as ACE Hardware, each saw significant gains again this past year. Overall, your cooperative recorded its best bottom-line performance in its 127-year history. As a result of this performance, we’ll be returning nearly $4.6 million in patronage this spring with 60% (a record $2.7 million) being returned in cash. The cash returned this spring will represent 2% of the patronage-based purchases in 2019, up from 1.6% the past several years. Twenty years ago, in our 102nd year, your cooperative had nearly $26 million in sales, $13.6 million in total assets and about $7 million in member equity. Because of your support, in 2020 we’ve grown sales to about $190 million and reached $149 million in assets while returning almost $40 million in cash over the past 20 years, with $19 million of that in the past five years. Congratulations to all of you as the members/owners of one of the top performing farm and consumer supply cooperatives in the country. On behalf of the employee team and board of directors, thank you for the tremendous support that has made this possible.

Scholarships for High School Seniors

Dec 01, 2020

Again this year Premier Cooperative is proud to be sponsoring scholarships for graduating high school seniors planning to pursue an Ag Short Course or any other 2+ year accredited degree program after high school. In order to qualify for one of the 30 potential scholarships (up to $500 each) to be awarded at the Premier January 2021 virtual meeting, the student must: Be a graduating high school senior in the class of 2021.Be the child of an active member of Premier Cooperative. Active members must have done over $1,500 of patronage business with Premier from October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020.Student must submit a video essay on the role and importance of cooperatives in rural America. Length of the essay must be at least 200 words.

Soybean Thistle Caterpillar

Get a Head Start on Spring

Nov 05, 2020

Getting your phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) applications made now offer many advantages over spring applications.  The likelihood of dry soils, agronomic benefits, availability of fertilizers, your workload and time, are all factors on why fall is the preferred time over spring.  In addition, fall is also a good time to apply P for environmental reasons. There is generally a lower risk of P runoff with the typical fall weather and soil conditions.  If you think back on spring and weigh the pros and cons you will consider fall applications as one job that can be done now and not be at the risk of what the spring will bring. Contact your Premier Agronomist today and get a head start on your spring!

Annual Meeting Updates

Nov 03, 2020

Due to the current pandemic, Premier will not be holding our traditional in-person annual meeting in January. Instead, Premier plans to host a virtual update meeting in January which will include a 2020 financial review, reports from the CEO and board chairman, scholarship selections and more. As this will not be an official annual meeting, all board of director positions and terms will be stayed over for one year. More information and instructions on how to join this virtual meeting will be available in the coming months.  Again this year Premier Cooperative is proud to be sponsoring scholarships for graduating high school seniors planning to pursue an Ag Short Course or any other 2+ year accredited degree program after high school. In order to qualify for one of the 30 potential scholarships (up to $500 each) to be awarded at the Premier January 2021 virtual meeting, the student must:  

Propane Season

Nov 03, 2020

Is it just me or does it seem like we went from summer to winter? I was a bit slow in making my cold weather gear accessible. I went bow hunting and I was pretty sure I was going to break off one of my toes when I pulled off my boots. I learned my lesson and my cold weather stuff is now within easy reach. By the way, no wildlife were harmed in the course of this experience.  Wow, what a difference a year makes! The fall harvest this year is a polar opposite to last year’s harvest. Soybean harvesting is nearly finished and the corn harvest is nearly 50% complete in Wisconsin as I write this. The corn moisture is low so that should cut crop drying expenses.

From the Manager's Desk

Nov 02, 2020

As we wrap up October, the first month of our 128th fiscal year, I’d like to thank all of you for helping make our 127th fiscal year a very solid one at your cooperative. Despite the pandemic, and in some cases because of it, sales for the year will be similar to last year at about $190 million. One thing about a pandemic, it can create a lot of volatility. In a commodity business, like many of our divisions are, volatility can offer both opportunities and misery. At your cooperative we were fortunate to capture many more opportunities than setbacks. For one, with the price of fuel down, our fleet of over 600 vehicles saved about $400,000 this year compared to 2019 in just the cost of gas and diesel. That goes right to the bottom line and increases patronage refunds to our members. Of course, the biggest challenge was figuring out how to provide the many products and services to our customers while keeping them and our employee team as safe as we can. This isn’t the first time your cooperative has had to deal with a global pandemic, but I was unable to find any of the meeting minutes from the board meetings in 1918 to help layout a roadmap for 2020/2021. I want to thank all our members and employees for the support they have shown one another as we’ve worked through these challenges together.  I look forward to sharing the results of the audit with you in next month’s newsletter. Thank you for the tremendous support that allows us to continue to provide the quality people, products, equipment, and services you need for your farm, home, or business.  

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