Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Passionate about giving back

By Cassie Wandersee, Staff Writer

Lana Hauschel and her mother, Donna Lyman, are passionate about quilting for Project Linus, a non-profit organization that provides quilts to children that are hospitalized in critical condition or terminally ill.
“It is so rewarding to give something back. I remember the first time we drove to Wichita to drop the quilts off, I cried on the way home. It is such a small piece to give of ourselves, it really is the least we can do,” she said.
Lana first learned of Project Linus from a woman in Galva that was involved in the organization and that’s how she began donating quilts to the project.
“We’ve always been quilters,” said Lana. “We used to have to drive quite a ways to get them machine quilted though, so we bought our own and started doing it at home.” Having a machine at home allowed the production of quilts to increase, as well as decreasing their costs of production.
“The quilts can be made from scraps or leftovers of material,” Lana explained.
It would seem that others in the community have embraced her quilting efforts. Lana often comes home to find bags of material or quilt pieces on her doorstep. She said that the largest donation that has been left at her home was three large trash bags full of material. “I have no idea who dropped it off, but I was so thankful they did,” she said.
Over the 10 years she has been involved in the program, Lana and her mother have donated 274 quilts to the cause.
Under the program, the blanketeers that donate never meet the children that receive the quilts. But that doesn’t dampen the spirits of Lana or her desire to keep on quilting.
“I wish I had more time to quilt,” she said. “Quilting is my retirement plan.”
Lana is the Counter/Grain Specialist for MKC (Lindsborg) and represents a growing number of employees who donate their time to their communities. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Educating producers for success

By Cassie Wandersee, Staff Writer

"To me the success of our producers is important."  This single line sums up the reason for Shane Eck, MKC's Location Manager at Lindsborg, to host and organize a sprayer clinic for producers in his area. "By educating our producers, we can help them to be more successful," commented Eck.

The spray clinic was broken down into a morning session where the importance of droplet size, styles/types of spray nozzles, adjuvants, drift control, and tank compatibility in mixing were covered.

“We came to the clinic to learn more and learn how to do it right,” said Cody Chase, a producer in the Talmage area. Cody went on to comment that the information on droplet size while spraying was very helpful and made him realize the importance of doing things the right way.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

MKC's internship program provides value in careers

By Cassie Wandersee, Staff Writer

Internships are an integral part in attracting the best and brightest individuals, and their ideas, to MKC and their partner in business, TMA, in order to better serve their customers.
“I think one of the benefits for producers is the talent and raw knowledge that an intern can bring to the table,” said Jeremy Peterson who completed an internship in the summer of 2010. During his internship Peterson was able to work in several different areas of the company including agronomy and grain.
Now looking back on his experience, Peterson recognizes the value it offered to him as well. "As a student going into the workforce it makes a huge difference having real world experience," stated Peterson.  "A structured intern program such as MKC's gives people a chance to 'try before you buy' when making those career path decisions."

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Customer workshops scheduled for online business system

By Kerry Watson, Communications Specialist

A series of workshops that will assist producers in learning more about features available through MKC's and TMA's online customer systems will kick off on March 13 in Lindsborg. Craig Roebke, Trainer for MKC, will conduct the workshops. "We know we have a number of customers who are using only the basics on these systems, and we know there are some customers who just haven't tried the online system at all," states Roebke.  "Our goal is to show our customers how the online systems can save them time and help them become more efficient."
The workshops will cover a number of tools available on the sites. Participants will learn how to access detailed information including purchase history on products.  Participants will also learn how to sort data listed on invoices and how to schedule payments online.  “One misconception about paying bills online is that it will automatically occur each month,” stated Roebke.  “This feature actually gives customers the flexibility to schedule the payment when they want it to occur. They can use the online bill payment system one month and then not use it again for a couple of months if they choose.”

In addition, participants will learn how to use the online grain system to determine the amount of grain available for sale as well as view any open contracts. Participants will also learn how to review grain sold and capture proof of yield information including splits.  

Another great feature that saves the producer time is the offer contract system.  “Producers can go online any time of the day and make an offer for their grain,” states Roebke.  “The offer is good for 30 days and can be cancelled at any time during that time period.”  Roebke added that a trip to the bank can also be eliminated if the producer is enrolled in the direct deposit program.

The premise behind the online customer systems is to allow producers to do business online and on their time.   “If a producer fully understands how to use the online systems, he may very well no longer have to stop what he’s doing just to make a trip to the coop,” commented Roebke.

Producers should contact their MKC location for information about workshops scheduled in their area.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

MKC and CHS to build grain shuttle loader in Canton, Kan

 By Kerry Watson, Communications Specialist

The boards of Mid Kansas Cooperative (MKC), a full-service cooperative founded in 1965, and CHS Inc., an energy grains and foods company and the nation's leading farmer-owned cooperative, have approved an agreement to form a limited liability company (LLC) to build and operate a high-speed shuttle loading facility in Canton, Kan.

Construction on property currently owned by MKC is expected to begin spring 2013 and be completed in about 12 months.  Located on the Union Pacific rail line, the grain shuttle will load 110-car trains bound for export facilities in the Pacific Northwest and the Gulf Coast and Mexico.  Upon completion, on-site storage will be in excess of 3 million bushels.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The passing of a community and co-op icon

Robert Krehbiel
1936 - 2013

By Kerry Watson, Communications Specialist

We were saddened to learn of the passing of Robert “Big Bob” Krehbiel this past week.  He was an icon, not only of the Moundridge community, but also of Mid Kansas Cooperative Association. 

Bob served in various roles during his fifty-one years of service at the co-op but most notably was the role of the on-site repairman for large farm equipment tires and station manager. 

In an interview with MKC in October, 2008 Bob commented that he was amazed at how the co-op had changed since his first day at Elyria Coop Station.  He also commented that nobody ever thought they would work for one company that long. While he did look for other jobs from time to time, Bob mentioned that he never found one that he thought would be better.  His job at the coop was close to home and he commented it paid better than a factory job.

Bob started out changing tires, greasing cars and filling gas tanks and then went on the road fixing tires across the county.  One of the few on-farm repair service trucks in the area, Bob commented that it wasn’t easy work.  Old tractors were terrible to work on, according to Bob. The tires were filled with calcium chloride that would rust iron and shrink leather – his shoes lasted about three months and once a glove accidently dropped into the mixture shrunk to about one-fifth of its original size after two weeks.  The tire material itself was stiff and difficult to work with and the split rims on much of the farm equipment and trucks could be dangerous to work on.  Bob developed techniques that would keep him out of harm’s way.

Besides his work, Bob was also a member of the Bachman Oilers, a fast pitch softball team.  Back in the day, he was the pitcher for the team and often would pitch 8-10 games on a long weekend tournament after working on tires under the hot Kansas sun. Bob was known in the area for his “wicked change-up”; an off-speed pitch that was known to buckle the knees of the batters he faced. 

According to friends and family, Bob worked hard and played hard, but his specialty in life was relationships.  He wasn’t just a well-known person, but he was a person that people wanted to know. In retirement, Bob began a new routine, with old and new friends, drinking coffee, recapping sporting events and talking about virtually everything at the local coffee spot.
So long, Big Bob.  Your smile and laughter will be missed by many.