Monday, December 31, 2012

Making a difference

MKC employees take great pride in donating their time to communities and charitable organizations. MKC encourages their employes to help keep their communtiies strong by supporting organizations of their choosing.  Lane Allison, Seed Logistics Coordinator, is one more employee who volunteers to make a difference.

Lane is very involved within his community through several groups including Personal Energy Transportation (PET), a local nonprofit group in Moundridge. The organiztion manufactures and delivers all-terrain, self-powered wheel chairs to people in developing countries.  He has helped deliver 11 PET chairs to children and adults during two separate trips to Ethiopia.

"I would much rather donate my time and energy in a way that I can meet the people I am supporting and develop an actual relationship with them and know exactly to who or what my contribution is going toward.  These trips have allowed me to see the true happiness and joy from these people simply by receiving the gift of mobility.  I am extremely grateful to have witnessed that firsthand." - Lane Allison

Thursday, December 27, 2012

MKC to award nine scholarships

Mid Kansas Cooperative Association will award a total of nine scholarships valued at $500 each to high school seniors within the MKC trade territory.  Any high school senior who plans to attend an accredited university or college including junior, community, vocational or technical school is eligible to apply.

"We are pleased to offer the scholarships," states Kerry Watson Communications/Administrative Specialist for MKC.  "This is our opportunity to recognize outstanding students in our communities who have demonstrated a balance of academics, school activities and community activities."

Applications are available online at www.mkcoop.com and are also available through area high school guidance counselors' offices.  Application deadline is March 15, 2013.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Joining forces for ag education

Educating today’s youth about agriculture has become a concern for many in recent years. Often children do not understand that many of the things they use every day are products of agriculture, nor do they realize the farm equipment and products they could encounter have potential to cause them harm.

Third graders across Dickinson County gathered earlier this fall in Abilene for “Ag Day” sponsored by the Dickinson County Farm Bureau, a day of farm education, safety, and fun.  Matt McCune, Talmage Location Manager, was on hand to assist Jeff Bathurst, an area producer, with a station on crop nutrient and crop protection safety.

Bathurst, who farms in the Abilene and Talmage area, has participated in the Farm Safety Day for the past eight years and places an emphasis in his farming practice on educating kids. McCune saw where Bathurst had been recognized in the community for his involvement in Ag Day in previous years and approached him about MKC getting involved in the education effort. This is now the second year the two have partnered to present for Farm Bureau.

 “It is important to educate the public about chemicals and what we use them for,” said Bathurst. “Part of MKC’s strength is they understand the farmer and we appreciate the help in educating the public.”
Students were shown the size of an acre of land, discussed safety practices when dealing with crop protection/nutrition products, and had a chance to view one of the Case Patriot sprayers, with 120 foot booms, MKC utilizes in agronomy services.

The students were amazed to learn from McCune that the spray rig could “drive itself” through the use of GPS technology and auto steer.
 “I feel that we need to educate kids in our cities and towns about farm safety, because there is a high likelihood that these kids will encounter farm equipment at some point in their life,” said McCune. 

Shane Eck, Lindsborg Location Manager, recently got involved in the effort to help educate area youth on agriculture by presenting a program on the process of how food and everyday products travel from the farm to their hands.

“I wanted to get involved in classroom education because I feel it is important to teach the next generation about the importance of agriculture.  There are a lot of individuals that do not truly realize the impact agriculture has on society and how much we rely on it,” said Eck.
Eck presented to the fourth grade class at Eisenhower Elementary School in McPherson, beginning his presentation by asking the students what kind of things they used every day. Responses ranged from vehicles to breakfast cereals.

Through an image based web map, students were shown how vehicles could be traced back to the farm by the use of ethanol fuels, a product of corn and milo, which are made locally in Kansas. Or how the cereal they had for breakfast was made from a wheat product.
“The class was very involved and receptive which helped the lesson progress as we hoped,” Eck commented.

Students then moved onto building a model pizza discussing how each ingredient in the pizza from the dough to the toppings came from agriculture. And as a treat for lunch, pizza was provided to solidify the idea that agriculture is truly what feeds them.
“The agriculture presentation by Mid Kansas Coop was a very engaging hands-on experience for my class,” said Tiffany Pacey, fourth grade teacher at Eisenhower Elementary.

“I felt the program went very well,” said Eck. “Since it was our first time presenting it I was unsure of how well it would be received.” 
Eck commented that he would like to further develop the program for middle and high school aged kids with a more advanced program that focuses on career opportunities in agriculture.

MKC places an emphasis on environmental and community stewardships as written in its Core Values. Involvement in safety and education programs is just one way this is demonstrated.
“They learned about where their food comes from through a wonderful visual display, and learned about the various crops grown in Kansas and their uses,” said Pacey. “My students loved looking at and touching all the grains that are grown in Kansas.”
 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Revenue program protected production costs during drought

2012 marked the second year that MKC worked with Swiss Re to offer a revenue program designed to assist producers manage the risk associated with the production of double crop soybeans. While MKC promoted the program to producers, MKC did not assume any of the financial risk associated with it.

In 2011, the first year the program was offered, Swiss Re paid out over $2.65 million to 138 producers throughout 11 counties.  During the growing season of 2012, the program was utilized by over 200 producers in 21 counties. Approximately $2 million will be paid to those producers.

MKC was the first in the nation in 2011 to offer this one-of-a-kind program to producers when double crop soybeans weren’t traditionally eligible for federal crop insurance. Following the program laid out by MKC, several other vendors in the state adopted similar programs.

The risk associated with double crop beans is typically weather related, drought being the largest issue over the past two years.

“Due to unfortunate growing conditions the vast majority of fields have seen yield reduction which will result in a significant number of customers receiving payments,” said Dave Spears Chief Marketing Officer for MKC.

"While the growing conditions were unfortunate, we are fortunate in that we were able to offer this risk management tools to our members," stated Spears.
 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Enter our holiday photo contest!

Mid Kansas Cooperative invites members and employees to participate in its holiday photo contest.  We are looking for colorful photos that depict a rural holiday scene in Kansas.

Three prizes will be awarded. The winning entry will win a $50 Cenex gift card and the potential to earn the cover of the December 2013 issue of Connections, the cooperative’s periodical that is mailed to approximately 4000 households.  Second and third place entries will receive a $25 Cenex gift card and the potential to be used in seasonal marketing materials for MKC.
Photos will become the property of MKC and will be posted on MKC’s social media sites.  To participate, submit your photos to photocontest@mkcoop.comPhotos should be high resolution (not to exceed 5MB) and submitted in JPEG or GIF format by no later than Friday, January 11, 2013. For additional details, read the Contest Rules.  

Monday, December 10, 2012

Brightening the holidays for those less fortunate

MKC employees, Shannon Hastings and Erin Riley wrap a
number of presents donated by employees for the
Angel Tree program.
MKC employees are giving back this holiday season by purchasing gifts for those who are less fortunate and donat-ing them to Angel Tree programs throughout MKC's territory.
 
MKC’s Community Involvement Committee coordinated the company’s participation in the program.  According to committee member, Matt Henderson, MKC committed to providing 119 gifts. While many Angel Tree programs often provide for toys and clothing for children, MKC employees chose to provide clothing as gifts.
 
"We know there are families struggling to provide gifts for their children," stated Henderson.  "We just wanted to make sure their Christmas was a little bit brighter."
 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Diligent about safety

Providing a safe environment for employees and customers is a top priority at MKC. Increasing our employee’s awareness of potential hazards is just a small part of MKC’s safety preparedness and training programs. 

Recently, the cardtrol fuel site at Moundridge experienced a minimal product spill due to an overflow.  This occurred when the vehicle’s overflow protection failed to release the latch on the fuel nozzle.  MKC employees, Cody Dent, Davin Girard and Rory Howard are trained as Class C Operators and observed the mishap during their morning process of measuring fuel tanks.  

Kansas Department of Health and Environment requires a report of spills exceeding 10 gallons.  Although this particular event was estimated to be approximately one gallon, the alert employees did not take it lightly and immediately proceeded with proper procedures to clean the spill.  The customer also took action and had the vehicle’s overflow protection inspected and repaired. It is the awareness of these employees and customer that helped prevent any further problems. 

Our employees’ knowledge of equipment and their surroundings helps provide a safe environment.  It is this diligence that helps ensure every customer and employee who steps foot on MKC property returns safely home to their family.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

One producer, two jobs. One coop to ease the burden.

Note: This article was written by a former intern and was originally printed in our December, 2010 issue of "Connections".

It has been said that farmers have to be part agronomist, conservationist, meteorologist and economist. But for many, farming is not their single career choice.  Some may be teachers, engineers or business people. At MKC, we strive to provide the services needed to make a farming operation as simple as possible.

“We understand how limited and valuable time is for our business partners,” says Steve Peterson, Director of Northern Area Operations for MKC.  “It’s our goal to pre-plan with customers to be accessible when needed and to create and provide services, labor and expertise that fulfills their needs.” 
Once seen as a temporary response to the Great Depression, off-the-farm employment is now regarded as a regular feature of farming communities. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, more than half of the farm operators in the United States now work off the farm.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Are you capturing your field's true potential?

The Veris Mobile Sensor Platform (M.S.P.) is a great starting block or addition to your precision platform.  The Veris utilizes a soil electrical conductivity (EC) member, pH electrodes as well as a GPS system to map out (down to the foot) the specific soil type, elevtion and pH levels in your field.  All of these elements can affect your field and reduce revenue per acre.  Having this specific data allows individual producers to make better decisions and take fewer chances when investing in their crops.

Features:
·         Minimal investment
·         Equipment design allows for minimal soild disturbance
·         Covers 35 acres per hour
·         Better pH representation (compared to grid sampling)

Benefits:
·         Provides base layer for precision management
·         Minimal soil disturbance (excellent for no-till)
·         Assists with zone management decisions
·         Helps in determining high and low yield areas
·         Make prescriptions based on zones
·         Determines variable seeding rates
·         Determines placement of crop nutrients
·         Saves money by sampling soil in correct areas

MKC will provide professional map books and interpretation of the maps to assist you in your decision making process.  For more information about the Veris M.S.P. program, contact your nearest MKC location.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Does your career need a change of scenery?


As a progressive and growing agricultural company, MKC believes employees play an important role in the growth and success of the cooperative.  We focus on promoting from within and have a management and sales development program that provides the skill set necessary to further one’s career.

We offer competitive wages, a complete benefit package that includes Blue Cross/Blue Shield health and dental, a guaranteed pension plan, 401k, life and disability insurance, paid holidays, vacation and sick leave.

If you are seeking a challenging role with a fast-paced and aggressive organization, visit the careers section of our web site to search for an opportunity that matches your qualifications.

 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Employees who make a difference

Many of MKC’s employees take great pride in donating their time to their communities and charitable organizations.

LeRoy (Lee) Goertzen has been driving MKC’s route truck for the past four years following his retirement from the commercial trucking industry.  To keep himself young and in shape, he walks daily.  Lee recently walked for a good cause by participating in the Christian Rural Overseas Program (CROP), raising over $1,200.  At 77 years of age, he was the oldest participant.

“It’s a good thing to help poor people,” stated Lee. “I wasn’t sure at first if I would be able to complete the six miles, but I felt good so I kept going.”

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Coat drive a huge success


The month-long coat drive sponsored by MKC was deemed a huge success, collecting 518 coats along with a small number of caps and gloves.  Members of the MKC Community Involvement Committee initially set out to collect 250 gently used or new coats. 
Committee members Erin Riley and Shannon Hastings prepare
the 100 (plus) coats dropped off in Moundridge.

“We are overjoyed by the generosity of those who donated,” states Committee Member, Shannon Hastings. “We want to thank everyone for their support.”

Delivery of the generously donated coats started earlier this month.  When finished, more than 12 communities will have benefited from the drive.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Help save a life - donate blood

For about 45 minutes to an hour of your time, you could help save someone’s life.  That’s the amount of time it takes to donate one pint of blood.

MKC employees and the public will have the opportunity to donate at upcoming blood drives co-sponsored by the MKC Community Involvement Committee and local American Red Cross chapters.  Drives will be hosted in Moundridge, Haven, Walton, Bennington and Lindsborg.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

MKC helps donate rescue equipment


MKC Director of Northern Operations, Steve Peterson, (center)
joins other ag representatives in the donation of a RESQ-tube. 
Representatives from area ag-related businesses hope that the Minneapolis Fire Department never has to use a piece of rescue equipment known as a RESQ-tube.

The RESQ-tube aids in rescue during a grain engulfment when a person has become entrapped in grain.  The equipment, made possible through a joint donation by MKC, Scoular Grain, Delphos Co-op and Scoular Grain was presented to the Minneapolis firemen because of their central location in Ottawa County. It will be used for emergency situations throughout the county including commercial and private farming operations.

The Minneapolis Fire Department is the third emergency response department in which MKC has assisted in the purchase of a RESQ-tube.

 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Producers asked to provide feedback

Producers are asked to participate in meetings that will be conducted throughout MKC’s territory during the month of November.
 
The meetings will be used to gain feedback from area producers on what the cooperative can do to help make their operations more successful. In addition, MKC management will share information about current projects.  MKC’s President and CEO, Dave Christiansen, along with Directors of Operations, Steve Peterson and Erik Lange, will facilitate the meetings.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

MKC donates to Walton Rural Life Center

MKC recently presented a check for $4,000 to the Walton Rural Life Center in Walton.  Jeff Naysmith, MKC’s Location Manager at Walton made the presentation which was part of a matching funds program through Land O’ Lakes and the “Shared Success” program offered by CoBank.

Jeff Naysmith, MKC Location Manager, presents a
donation to students from Walton Rural Life Center.

“We truly appreciate this donation and would like to give a big Walton Rural Life Center thank you from the students and staff,” said Natise Vogt, Principal.  “Part of the money will go directly to enhance our project-based learning and part will go into our foundation for expanding the school.


Friday, October 12, 2012

MKC announces favorable private letter ruling

MKC announced that it has received a favorable private letter ruling from the Internal Revenue Service with respect to the application of the rules in subchapter T of the Internal Revenue Code (concerning the taxation of cooperatives and their patrons) and the calculation of the Domestic Production Activities Deduction (section 199).

According to Danny Posch, Chief Financial Officer, the ruling will allow the cooperative to significantly increase the annual tax deduction allowed under the Domestic Production Activities Deduction.  “The ruling supports our position that with modest changes to the grain settlement process, grain purchased from our members through Team Marketing Alliance (TMA) can be considered per-unit retain allocations paid in money with respect to the Domestic Production Activities Deduction calculation,” states Posch.  “This simple clarification will allow the cooperative to increase the annual tax deduction from approximately $300,000 to $3.5 million.” 
 
Posch added that this deduction, once calculated, can be utilized as a cooperative deduction or passed through to its' members to be utilized on their personal tax returns.  "We anticipate to be fully utilizing this deduction by next year and will be communicating to our membership over the next 10 to 12 months about the benefits of the deduction and how it affects inidividual members."

 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Celebrating the cooperative structure

Do you remember why you chose membership with your local cooperative? It may be among many reasons shared by 130 million people who have also chosen cooperatives, but it most likely has something to do with the common philosophy of people helping people.

Unlike other businesses, cooperatives are not-for-profit, democratically controlled, volunteer-run, member-owned enterprises. They exist to serve their members, and that level of service remains high even during even the toughest times. Instead of issuing stock or paying dividends to outside shareholders, co-ops provide value to their members through their level of customer services and membership checks at the end of each year.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Painting a big picture

Imagine your canvas is 109 feet tall and 250 feet wide.  While you don’t have to worry about painting with too many colors, you still want your work to resemble that of a masterpiece.

Crews from H and H Construction, located in Nebraska, were hired to paint a big picture for MKC. Well, maybe not a picture, but the canvas they are painting is a rather large one! The concrete elevator silos located in Buhler have been undergoing a facelift this past month.   

Repair work began August 20 as the crews repaired and sealed the areas where weather had caused the paint to chip away.  Painting began in September and is expected to be completed towards the end of this month or early November, weather permitting. 

When completed, this masterpiece will provide a picturesque backdrop to the business district located on Main Street in downtown Buhler. 


Crews prepare for painting by repairing and sealing areas
in which paint has chipped away.


Crews prepare for painting by repairing and sealing areas
in which paint had chipped away.

 
With completion of the west side, crews move to the south side.

 




Monday, September 17, 2012

Energy programs provide convenience, value and peace of mind

By Cassie Wandersee, MKC Staff Writer
MKC operates one of the top professional energy departments in the state of Kansas and their Certified Energy Specialists (CES) are a crucial aspect of the energy department.

Certified Energy Specialists Chris Chandler, Brian
Huxman and Donne Holtzinger play a critical
role in the success of MKC's energy division.
Certified Energy Specialists are highly trained in petroleum products and petroleum applications in order to provide the best service for customers and producers. Overall the goal of a CES is to provide convenient service and help the producer manage risk. MKC employs three Certified Energy Specialists to best serve customers.

“I think the most valuable skill a CES can have is the understanding that relationships drive this business,” said Chris Chandler. Chandler joined MKC in 2009 as a CES and was recognized in 2010 as a top lubricant salesman by Cenex.

Each CES working for MKC realizes the importance of building a relationship with the customer and understanding the customer’s need. Their purpose is to assist the producer in their farming practice, not simply sell them a product.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

MKC to sponsor coloring contest in celebration of Co-op Month

Mid Kansas Cooperative is sponsoring a coloring contest for Kindergarten through 4th grade students within its trade territory as part of  Co-op Month (held each year during the month of October).  Co-op Month provides an opportunity to celebrate the ways in which cooperatives strengthen the economy, support communities and provide much-needed services to co-op members.

47 elementary schools received a packet from MKC containing a supply of coloring sheets and information on the cooperative system to use in their classrooms as education tools. 

Students in Kindergarten to fourth grade are invited to participate in the contest. Entries will be split into three divisions: Kindergarten, 1st – 2nd, and 3rd – 4th. Prizes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each contestant group.
The contest will run until September 28, with entries to be featured on MKC’s social media sites during the month of October.

Additional coloring sheets are available at any MKC location.  Entries can be submitted through participating schools or  your nearest MKC location.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Why focus on growth?

By Dave Christiansen,
President & CEO
 
I always find it interesting when I run into someone who asks the question, why focus on growth?  Somehow the vision the founders had for growth, from the day this company began, went from being an expectation to being assumed. Today, active growth is at times thought of with negative connotations.

At the time the coop was organized, the passion for meeting the constantly changing needs of the farmers’ expectations may not have been referred to as growth.  However, I’m sure our  founders had certain expectations of the coop’s ability to meet the changing needs of the growers.  At that time, they built elevators and purchased equipment that satisfied the needs of the day and new assets were surely designed with the future in mind. I assure you our founders didn’t or couldn’t dream big enough to anticipate the speed at which we operate today.  Nor could they grasp the complexity of the challenges and the volatility the future would bring with markets, supply, technology, communication, regulations, labor, finance, or the myriad of issues faced by growers or their coops today.  We face the same challenges today that our founders did. It is difficult to conceptualize or anticipate the speed at which we will operate in the future. I don’t believe the founders would expect us to be satisfied with mediocre performance or allow us to be content with leaving things alone.


Friday, August 31, 2012

Interns gain new perspecitive of industry

As the agriculture industry advances into the future, it is essential to ensure that younger generations are going along with it. One of the ways MKC is doing its part to ensure that this happens is through the internship program.

This summer, 10 college students or recent college graduates were selected for internships in various departments within MKC. Many were referred to the internship by current employees or were recruited at college job fairs. Others have previously been summer employees for MKC and were approached about the internship.

Jeff Frizell, Human Resources Manager for MKC, says that the internship program, “gives us high quality talent during the summer months to assist the cooperative with special projects.”
Although MKC has had interns for a number of years, Frizell says this is the fourth year for the improved program since it was reorganized, with the number of interns significantly increased. One of the biggest developments of this year’s program is the manager for each intern was brought in to a special meeting to create a list of goals for interns to complete over the summer.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Input finance program earns recognition

MKC's input finance program has been recognized by the Cooperative Finance Association (CFA) for holding the number one position in the Top Ten Volume Award 2012.

“CFA is such a great tool for our field marketers and managers. It helps them in selling the product, helps in timing of grain marketing - it is more than just funding the producer’s inputs,” said Brent Heizelman, Credit Manager for MKC.

Steve Fenton, Portfolio Manager for CFA, presented the award to MKC and said that, “MKC is a fantastic group to work with. Our goal is to help MKC and their producers be successful, and in turn make CFA successful.”

CFA serves over 140 cooperatives in 13 different states. Over the 2012 crop year MKC generated 171 loans totaling over $20 million.

Heizelman stated that the loans offered through CFA present the farmer member with convenience more than anything else. “It is so convenient for the producer to not have to worry about how he is going to pay for his fertilizer or seed one month after he purchases it,” said Heizelman.

Dave Christiansen, President and CEO for MKC commented that the number of loans and total loan volume continues to grow.

“While the recognition for our efforts is certainly nice for our entire team, the loan volume demonstrates our efforts are working to insure customers can have the available capital at their fingertips to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves,” stated Christiansen. “CFA gives us one more tool to help them manage their risk.”

Monday, August 27, 2012

Maximizing wheat yields

“If we learned one thing from last year it should be make sure you do not skimp on the wheat crop,” said Kent Nichols, MKC Agronomy Field Sales Manager.

Some producers in the MKC trade area believed the revenue generated from crop insurance would be guaranteed due to the high cost of the premium. This way of thinking justified, to them, cutting back on seed treatments, crop nutrients and crop protection products.  

One producer said, “We cut back at planting and could never recover”. 

As producers question their decision to apply seed treatment, crop nutrients and crop protection products, Nichols would encourage them to speak to their Field Marketer about the choice first – seed treatment.  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ag Advocate Challenge Investment Pays Off

MKC is pleased to celebrate the success of its $2,000 investment in educational programs provided by Kansas Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom (KFAC). 

Executive Director, Cathy Musick, presents to a group of
grade school students.
The contribution to the Ag Advocate Challenge, pooled together with other donations, allowed KFAC to reach over 23,000 Kansas elementary students and their teachers. Donor dollars helped pay for printing of lesson plans, educator guides and Kansas Kids Connection Magazines. 

Additional dollars were leveraged as teachers attended summer graduate courses and in-service trainings. Funding was used to perform research and development activities to develop new delivery methods for agriculture literacy lesson plans.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Second scale planned for Moundridge

The City of Moundridge has unanimously approved a petition submitted by MKC to vacate Edwards Street between Herschler Street and Cole Street allowing for the planned addition of a second scale at the Moundridge location.

“Our current bottleneck at Moundridge is the weighing of trucks," stated Erik Lange, Direcgtor of Southern Area Operations for MKC. "We are confident that the addition of a second scale will reduce wait times and improve traffic flow through the facility for the customer."

View of Edwards Street that will be vacated to allow for addition of second scale.

While investigating the addition of the second scale, it was discovered that there is a six inch water main that runs under one of the large steele bins.  Lange explained that the water main could cause a structural foundation issue in the future if it would ever rupture or have a significant leak.

With the vacating of the street, the city will need to move the water line and MKC will work with the city to get the water line moved or to find an alternative water distribution plan.

Construction for the second scale is expected to begin after fall harvest.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

MKC contributes to area food banks

During the month of June, MKC Community Involvement Committee members sponsored a food drive to benefit local food pantries and emergency shelters.

“It is part of MKC’s core commitment to take part in the growth and success of the communities we live and operate in. This would include supporting our employee’s efforts to donate food to local food banks,” said Erik Lange, Director of Southern Operations for MKC. 

Shane Eck, Location Manager at Lindsborg, stands
among items collected at his location.
Collection boxes were placed at each location. Producers traveling to and from locations during harvest were encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to donate. Employees were also encouraged to bring in items to donate and some locations took the initiative to collaborate with local grocery stores to receive donations.

Larry Brake, the location manager at Abilene, got the Abilene community involved by approaching the local grocery store to help with the food drive. The manager at Country Mart agreed to match what the Abilene location raised in donations. A donation spot was also established at the entrance to the store so shoppers could participate. The idea soon caught on with other locations.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Just how good is your equipment warranty?

Does it pay to invest in protection for your valuable agricultural equipment?  Absolutely, because in this line of business there’s no such thing as an “inexpensive” repair – and there’s no time for downtime.

Dennis Friesen (top photo) and Dale Friesen receive
warranty payments from Cenex Representative, Curt Courtright.
Also pictures is Donnie Holtzinger, Certified Energy
Specialist for MKC.
Just ask McPherson Co. producers Dale and Dennis Friesen.  Both men had issues with the injector pump on their equipment.  And since they were enrolled in the Cenex® Total Protection PlanTM warranty program, they had the peace of mind knowing that their repair costs would be covered.


Whether you cover new or used equipment, the warranty offers four primary benefits:

·         Unsurpassed coverage that goes beyond – but won’t interfere with your original manufacturer’s warranty.

·         A no-hassle claims process with no deductive and no “burden of proof,” meaning you don’t have to prove that your engine problems were caused by an oil or fuel defect.

·         Extended equipment life, thanks to quality Cenex lubricants and Cenex Ruby Fieldmaster® Premium Diesel Fuel (products that are specially formulated for the tough challenges of farming).

·         The early-warning advantages that come from conducting regular oil sampling, a simple yet important set that can help prevent major problems and alert you before expensive damage occurs.
The Cenex® Total Protection PlanTM provides coverage up to 10 years or 10,000 hours on new equipment and 8 years or 8,000 hours on existing equipment.  You get great protection, plus all the advantages that come from using proven Cenex Premium Diesel Fuels and lubricants – like longer engine life, extended drains, more power for pulling heavy loads, quicker starts and improved fuel efficiency.

For more information about the warranty program, contact one of our Certified Energy Specialists:

Chris Chandler, CES 620-664-4172
Donnie Holtzinger, CES 620-345-8909
Brian Huxman, CES  620-386-0763

Monday, July 16, 2012

New traits, technology and products introduced at Answer Plot® session

Each year MKC hosts several Answer Plots® that are presented by Winfield Solutions. The sessions are designed to answer the many questions producers have related to their farming practice.

Jared Miller, Field Marketer for MKC, says that the Answer Plot® provides, “a chance for producers to get an in depth look at new traits, technology and products being introduced into the field of agriculture.”

2012 marks the fourth year that MKC has been utilizing the Answer Plot® program.  Merle Nelson, who farms outside of Lindsborg, Kansas, has been coming to the Answer Plot® since MKC first began offering them. “I come to get ideas on seed variety selections and answers to fertility questions,” Nelson said.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Stockholders to vote on proposed by-law changes

MKC’s board of directors will ask for stockholder’s approval to adopt four changes to the Cooperative’s Articles of Incorporation and By-laws at the annual meeting scheduled for Thursday, July 19, at the Bicentennial Center in Salina.

If approved, the proposed changes would allow members the option to vote by means of electronic and mail ballots; provide for the nomination of directors via petition (in addition to the normal nominating committee process) and vote for directors by mail or electronic ballot; allow the coop the option to utilize and/or to pass through to patrons the federal income tax benefits of Section 199; and establish the distribution of net assets (in the unlikely event of liquidation or dissolution) based upon total allocated stock and equity then outstanding.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Camp teaches kids about farm safety

McPherson County area youth ranging in ages 9 to 12 learned about staying safe on the farm at the annual McPherson Co. Farm Safety Day Camp held last week in McPherson.

Co-sponsored by McPherson Co. Farm Bureau and MKC, the camp included presentations on electrical safety, fire safety in the home, staying hydrated in hot weather, food safety, lawn mower and ATV safety as well as PTO and pinch point safety.

Dale Ladd, McPherson County Extension Agent presented the pinch point and PTO safety demonstrations. During the pinch point safety course, kids ran hot dogs, celery, and carrots through a pinch point device to see what would happen to their fingers, hands or feet should they become caught in a belt, chain or gear.  A dummy stuffed with newspaper was used for the PTO safety demonstration.  As the tractor was started, the dummy’s clothing became wrapped around the PTO leaving an impression on the participants as to the power and destructiveness of a PTO.

According to Ladd, the McPherson County Extension office has offered the safety camp for the past 15 years and MKC has helped co-sponsor the camp for most of those years.

 “Most everyone involved in agriculture knows someone whose life has been affected by a farm-related injury,” states Kerry Watson, Communications Specialist for MKC.  “We want to make sure the youth in our communities have the opportunities to learn about farm safety.  Co-sponsoring the McPherson Co. Farm Safety Day Camp is just one more way in which we can do that.”

Friday, June 15, 2012

Grandma’s Whole Wheat Bread

MKC customer, John Murphy (Lindsborg area) treated the Lindsborg employees to his delicous homemade rye bread during harvest.  He has graciously offered to shared his reciped with us.  Enjoy!

Mix the following ingredients in a small bowl and let rise for 15 minutes:
½ c. warm water
2 T. yeast
1 T. honey

In a large bowl, mix the following:
5 c. warm water
7 c. whole wheat flour
2 T. salt
2/3 c. oil
2/3 c. honey
Yeast mixture from above

Mix in about 6 more cups of wheat flour until dough starts to pull away from side of bowl.  Dough should be tacky but not sticky.  Knead for ten minutes.  Form dough into a ball and place in lightly oiled bowl, turning dough once to oil the top.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave in warm place to rise until double (1 to 1½ hours).

Knead dough for 30 seconds; form into 3 or 4 loaves and place in greased loaf pans to rise until double. Slit top of loaves with a sharp knife and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  Remove loaves from pans.  Bread is done when a rap on the bottom of the loaf makes a hollow sound or when internal termperature is 190 degrees.  Cool on rack in draft-free location before cutting.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

First responder training contributes to safety

MKC employee, Murl Garver, shows first responders the
electrical panel in one of the grain elevators.
Thorough training about what to expect is a firefighter or first responder’s best friend when it comes to grain elevator fires, explosions or other accidents. Along with these types of trainings, a familiarity of the facility in which such events might occur is the responder’s next best friend.

Members of the Abilene and Grant Township fire departments recently spent an evening touring the facilities at MKC’s location in Abilene. The tour was organized by Matt McCune, the location manager at Talmage and a member of the Grant Township Fire Department. Matt said he volunteers, “because I feel it is important to give back.”