From The Manager's Desk

Dec 01, 2018

Last month I mentioned our auditors would be spending a week with us in November and that I’d report the results in this month’s update. I’m pleased to report that sales at your company were up about $4 million over last year. Despite a small drop in pretax earnings, your cooperative’s board of directors has approved cash patronage refunds greater than last year. Thanks to your support, we will be returning about $2.1 million in cash patronage to our members this spring. Next month, the board will approve our annual equity redemption plan which will once again drive our cash returns to the country to well over $3 million in 2019. On behalf of the employee team and board of directors, thank you all for the tremendous support that has made this possible. Just a quick reminder that we’ll be holding our annual meeting on January 16th at the Quality Inn in Mineral Point. This year we’ll again be awarding up to $15,000 in scholarships to eligible graduating seniors. I look forward to seeing many of you at the meeting and celebrating Premier’s 2018 fiscal year.
If you weren’t prepared for the snowfall on opening day of deer hunting, stop by one of our locations to stock up on your winter survival needs. Our ACE and Do it Best hardware stores stock snow blowers, shovels, gloves, window scrapers, jumper cables, and mountains of ice melt. The automotive shops can make sure you don’t break down on the way to grandma’s house this holiday season and can set you up with a new set of tires ahead of the next snowfall. Finally, don’t forget to keep your gas tank topped off with quality CENEX fuel at one of our five fueling stations.
The cold, damp weather during much of October and November made harvesting the corn and soybean crop a challenge. I’d like to thank our employee team for once again answering the call and working up to twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to help receive and dry the crop. While the weather caused harvest challenges, it also meant a lot more gallons of propane were burned to heat our member’s homes. It’s been a while since we’ve had as cold of a November as this year. If you are not on our scheduled delivery service, please be sure to check your tank and call the nearest Premier propane office if you are at or below 30% full. In the past, you may not have needed a fill until late December, but with this year’s colder fall you’ll need a fill earlier in the season. If you don’t want to hassle with checking your tank, simply call and sign up for our scheduled delivery service. Thanks for your support again this winter.
December will be super busy at your cooperative as propane deliveries ramp up, grain winds down, feed inbound and outbound loads battle the elements, agronomy prepares prepay programs, the auto/tire shops change out hundreds of sets of new tires, and the retail stores help last minute shoppers and travelers with their needs. It will also be a month full of meetings and planning for our proposed merger with ProVision Partners Cooperative. While there are still many details to work out, the underlying vision to bring these two successful, member owned cooperatives together is clear. Simply put, we need to be able to combine the ability to deliver industry leading products and solutions to our members in an efficient manner while having the size and scale to be a preferred partner of the major suppliers. The face of agriculture is constantly evolving, and your cooperative must continue to adapt as well, like we have done for the past 125 years, or face irrelevance. In January, the board and employees of ProVision Partners will be asking their membership to vote in favor of joining our two companies together. Premier and ProVision Partners are two of the most financially sound ag and consumer supply cooperatives in the Midwest. Both have an incredible passion for and commitment to animal agriculture, crop production, grain services, and home, farm, and business energy, hardware, convenience, and other retail products and services. These are challenging times in agriculture and brick and mortar retailing, but with challenges there are also opportunities. Your cooperative’s board and employee team are excited about this opportunity and thanks you for your support.
For those that were still battling Mother Nature to finish this fall’s field work, I hope you were able to take a break long enough to sit around the dinner table and enjoy some quality family time. Thanks to all of you that called in feed, propane, and other deliveries early so that our employee team could also enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday. With Christmas and New Year’s falling on a Tuesday, and many locations closing early the day before, our employee team will need your help getting ten days of work done in less than eight days. That’s not easy considering many days they are already running well into the evening to make deliveries. Together we can get it done. If you end up in a rush around the holidays, don’t forget nothing says “Merry Christmas” like a Premier Gift Certificate. Where else can you get propane, gas, tires, hardware, lumber, pet food, and more, all with just one gift certificate? Thank you for the continued support, have a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

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