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.