Anne's Accounting - July 2013

When I started thinking about our summer newsletter, I thought about how busy summers get… They start with graduations (our oldest son Kolten graduated this year), then come the weddings along with camping or going to the lake and all the town celebrations, parades and fairs.  We Minnesotans sure try to pack a lot into these months, don’t we? 

But amidst the thoughts of the busy summer were you… Our loyal patrons for over 100 years.  You recently came to mind when I saw a sign that had some of the lines from “So God Made a Farmer”.  That speech of Paul Harvey’s from the 1978 Future Farmers of America convention was featured in the Dodge Ram commercial during the last Super Bowl. The ad featured photographs of rural America.  When I hear it, it just gets me…I’m not sure if it’s the nostalgia of Paul Harvey’s voice, of days gone by, or the images of my family and many of you as I work at Equity Elevator & Trading Co., but it just gets me so I’d like to share some of the lines with you!

And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, "I need a caretaker."  So God made a farmer.

God said, "I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board."  So God made a farmer. 

"I need somebody with arms strong enough to rustle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, wait with lunch until his wife’s done visiting ladies and tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon – and mean it." So God made a farmer.

God said, "I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt. And watch it die. Then dry his eyes and say, ‘Maybe next year’. I need somebody who can -- during planting time and harvest season -- finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then pain’n from ‘tractor back’, put in another seventy-two hours." So God made a farmer.

God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop in mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor’s place.  So God made a farmer. 

God said, "I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bails, yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs, who will stop the mower to splint the broken leg of a meadow lark. It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed and rake and disc and plow and plant and finish a hard week’s work by going to church.

Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply, with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life ‘doing what Dad does’.” So God made a farmer.   

I thought of the Remigers getting up to milk cows every day, rain or shine, and Rick Timm taming the cantankerous machinery. One of our past board members Jerome Timm and his wife Darlene - with their kind gentle spirits - came to mind when I read this again. I couldn’t help but think of our son Jack staying up in the night during past lambing seasons drying some of their eyes with ‘maybe next year’ and smiling at the ones who had the will to live. I thought of the Hinz families with all the ‘irons they have in the fire’ and my brother-n-law, Dave Luepke, baling his family together with soft strong bonds.

“So God Made a Farmer” depicts many of you… Our loyal patrons. Please be safe during your busy summer and take some time to listen to the birds sing and watch the stars twinkle at night.

At Equity Elevator & Trading Co., we will be diligent as we have our financial audit and prepare for our annual meeting. I hope to see you there as we have improved financial results to share!  

Anne M. Anderson

Administrative Team:  Pam Redetzke, Jeanne Gabbert, Carroll Kuehn & Kim Ose


Anne's Accounting - March 2013

As I thought about writing for our newsletter, I just got a lump in my throat. Long time Equity Elevator employee, Ron Gabbert, is free from his battle with cancer but it’s hard to imagine the elevator without him. Even though he has been retired for over a year, we frequently saw him drive by and when the guys were covering the bunkers this last fall, he was there… Not in the middle of it all (as he had been for over 40 years) but watching from a ways back in his truck. 

When I was in 7th grade, Echo and Wood Lake joined schools so I came to Wood Lake for Jr. and Sr. High. At Ron’s funeral, my mind wandered back…

Back to the football field where our communities joined to support our team.

Back to the bonfires we had before games and decorating floats at the bus garage for Homecoming.

Back to the gym where we played basketball and the stairs we ran in the older part of the school to make us tougher. 

Back to a simpler time before cell phones and the internet, where people were truly more connected. In my mind, I could picture this tall guy… So proud of his sons and his community. I have to admit Ron’s exterior could be hard at times but boy did he have a big heart, much like my own Dad. 

I also can’t picture Wood Lake without him here… I saw him watch from his truck as they took down Gus’s Café. My mind goes back to the lollipops there and wearing my new school clothes to the Wood Lake Fair and listening to the jukebox at Brown’s Rec. What a tribute to Ron as the Wood Lake Fire Department (that he had been on for 20 years) along with area fire departments and first responders sat together in the front of the church at his funeral. Also, they lined up outside and had their trucks there with flashing lights… A hat, boots and jacket were on the Wood Lake fire truck in memory of Ronnie. 

Ron’s wife Laurie and family are just beginning (with faith and support) to live without him… Son, brother, husband, Dad and Grandpa… All those roles he treasured more than anything. I was so impressed with the beautiful words their boys Mike, Matt and Mitch shared about their Dad. Here’s a part of what they wrote... "We will remember your work boots hitting the kitchen floor after a long day of work, and could tell from the height in which they were dropped whether or not Mom had ‘told on us’.  We will remember supper as a family, and the hustle to get home after hearing the 6 o’clock whistle.  You taught us the value of a hard-earned dollar. You taught us loyalty and commitment, both at work and at home. In your passing, you taught us the most important lesson of all. Your family is the legacy you leave behind. Don’t waste time on anything else. Invest in it, nurture it, and watch it grow."

In the 101st year of our coop, the first six months are showing much improved financial results.  We are stronger today because of Ron’s hard work for over 40 years, along with other employees, dedicated board members and loyal patrons. Blessed be his memory.  

Anne M. Anderson

Administrative Team:  Pam Redetzke, Jeanne Gabbert & Carroll Kuehn

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