Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Renewing Our Infrastructure

By Nichole Gouldie, Communications Specialist

Recognizing the need for new locations and making upgrades to current facilities allows MKC to keep pace with the growing needs of the producer. As MKC has continued to focus on renewing infrastructure this past year, the cooperative has invested more than $16 million dollars across its trade territory.

Jon Brown, director of facility management for MKC, has overseen each of the projects. “Meeting our customers’ needs and improving the customer experience has been the driver behind these projects,” Brown says. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Participants Sought for New Leader Forum

By Kerry Watson, Director of Communications

MKC is entering its tenth year of sponsoring participants to attend the New Leader Forum, held in conjunction with the CHS Annual Meeting. This year’s event will be held December 3-5 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Over the course of the forum, participants examine in-depth issues and challenges facing cooperatives, agricultural and rural America, as well as learn ways to build their leadership skills to benefit their cooperatives and communities. Sessions feature top-notch professional speakers and agribusiness experts. The conference is geared towards individuals and/or couples, ages 25 to 45 years.

Since 2004, MKC has sponsored 89 participants. Ben and Tina Schrag of Canton attended the event in 2013. "For me it was a great educational experience," said Ben. "I learned how MKC fits in with larger cooperatives’ grain distribution, not only in the United States, but internationally as well." Schrag also commented on the value of networking with other MKC customers who attended the event. "I didn’t know them before attending the Forum and still keep in touch with them today."

If you are interested in being considered for participation in the 2014 New Leader Forum, please contact a field marketer or Nichole Gouldie at 620-345-4119.

2009 Participants
(Left to right): Matt & Daisy Friesen, Josh & Emily Regier and
Mike and Angie Maloney.

2011 Participants
Back row: Kent Nichols, Devin Sheriling, Jon Brown
Front row: Amber Brown, Katie and Derek Sawyer, Doug Graber and Aaron Vogts.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Legislative Staff Members Spend Day at MKC

By Kerry Watson, Director of Communications

In its inaugural Legislative Staff Day on August 15, MKC hosted five staff members from Kansas House and Senate offices providing a firsthand look at the breadth of services provided by MKC. The full-day event included discussions with MKC employees and a tour of facilities at Groveland and Canton.

"We know it’s critically important to host congressional staff so they can see up close the facilities and services we provide to our members and their constituents," said Dave Spears, vice president of marketing. "Staff members are often the first point of contact for the constituents of their members of Congress. This visit was a great opportunity for the staff to gain a better understanding of MKC and the cooperative system."

Mel Thompson, state agriculture representative for Senator Pat Roberts, noted having contacts in the industry is invaluable. "MKC is a class act. You’ve succeeded in the peaks and valleys," said Thompson. "Thanks for being a partner to serve your members and our constituents and representing agriculture."

Staff members attending the event included John Sachse and Judd Gardner with Senator Jerry Moran, Steven Howe with Congressman Tim Huelskamp, Rachel DeGarmo with Congressman Mike Pompeo and Mel Thompson with Senator Pat Roberts.

During the site tours, congressional staff gained a better understanding of how technology is used in the grain and agronomy industry.

Backrow (left to right): Ted Schultz with TMA, Devin Schierling with TMA, John Sachse with Senator Moran, Judd Gardner with Senator Moran, Steven Howe with Congressman Huelskamp and Dave Spears with MKC.  Frontrow (left to right): Kerry Watson with MKC, Rachel DeGarmo with Congressman Pompeo, Mel Thompson with Senator Roberts and Danny Posch with MKC.


Monday, July 7, 2014

Annual Meeting to Feature Bruce Vincent

MKC's 49th Annual Stockholders' Meeting will feature keynote speaker, Bruce Vincent, a third generation logger from Libby, Montana.

Vincent speaks throughout the United States and the world and often provides testimony on resource issues before Congress. He has been reported on by numerous publications and newspapers including The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post. He has appeared on "60 Minutes" and participated in radio shows, documentary videos and news broadcasts throughout the nation and in several countries.

During Vincent's career, he has been awarded the national Timber Industry Activist of the Year, the Montana Timberman of the Year, the Sylvan Award for service to the national timber industry, and the Public Service Award from the Association of Consulting Foresters of America. He is this year's Women in Agriculture "Keeper of the Tenth" award winner, recipient of the Agri-Women's 2007 Veritas Award, and has been inducted in to the Libby High School Hall of Fame.

The annual meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 24, at the Bicentennial Center in Salina. Reservations for the event are requested by July 17.  Click here to register.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Mike Becker Seeks Election to MKC Board of Directors

Three positions on the MKC Board of Directors will be decided by a vote of the membership at the 49th Annual Stockholders' Meeting on July 24. Mike Becker is seeking election to represent District 2.
Becker is honored to be a candidate for the MKC Board of Directors. He and his wife, Sarah, own a diversified crop and livestock operation southwest of Lindsborg along the Smoky Hill River where the majority of their farm ground is located. They raise corn, soybeans, wheat and sorghum, with over half the acres irrigated. Their livestock operation includes 250 commercial cows and half-interest annually in 200 bred heifers which they develop, AI, calve and sell as pairs. Their grass is located in six counties so they travel long and hard.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Duane Johnson Seeks Re-election to MKC Board of Directors

Three positions on the MKC Board of Directors will be decided by a vote of the membership at the 49th Annual Stockholders' Meeting on July 24. Incumbent, Duane Johnson is seeking re-election to District 2.

Johnson operates a diversified dry land and irrigated farm located between Lindsborg and Marquette. The main crops raised are wheat, milo, soybeans and feed for livestock. He also has a cow-calf operation. Duane previously served as chairman of the Farmers Union Elevator board at Lindsborg, and on the MKC Board of Directors from 2000 to 2009. He was re-elected to the MKC Board of Directors in 2011. Other activities have included Farm Bureau board, township board, church board and 4-H activities.  He served as secretary on MKC's board of directors in 2006 and 2007, vice-chairman in 2008 and 2009 and served on several committees.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

MKC Hosts Dignitaries

By Melissa Woeppel, Communications Intern

MKC’s Manhattan location recently hosted Congressman Tim Huelskamp and Mr. Jack J.C. Yang, director general of the Taiwan Consulate for a round table discussion with members from the Kansas Grain and Feed Association, the Kansas Pork Association, Seaboard Foods and the Kansas Cooperative Council. Discussion centered on trade between Taiwan and Kansas and opportunities for improvement.

Following the roundtable discussion, MKC’s Vice President of Eastern Operations Darin Marti led a tour of the facility, explaining the benefits of the cooperative system. "We can’t offer our customers anything different except service, so our goal is to provide exceptional service," Marti stated.

The use of genetically modified organisms, GMOs, was also a topic of discussion on the tour. According to Congressman Huelskamp, "the approval process for GMOs in the United States is the most stringent in the world, ensuring the safest products."

Utilizing modern technology allows for safer and cheaper agricultural practices.

"We can’t continue to use technology from 30 years ago," Marti added. "With improvements in corn hybrids, we’ve learned how to grow corn better, which results in larger yields, safer products and a profit for the producer."

Congressman Huelskamp serves on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, the Small Business Committee, the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy & Trade, the Subcommittee on Health & Technology, and the Subcommittee on Contracting & Workforce. As an ambassador for Kansas agriculture, Congressman Huelskamp is excited about the prospects for growing the markets for Kansas products in other parts of Asia, including in Vietnam and Japan.