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From the Boardroom - April 2017

Spring is just about upon us and everyone will busy getting the crops in. Even though it was a relatively mild winter, it is still time for it to be over. 

It has been a busy winter for the directors. During January we attended the U of M Director/Management training session at Redwood Falls. Chris, Bob, Jon, Mike, Galen, Les and Rod attended the two day seminar discussing the future of agriculture and the cooperative system. Meetings like this prove to be valuable because of the chance to interact with Directors from other local coops, big and small. Seems like regardless of our coop’s size, a lot of the challenges we face every day are the same. Mike Boland from the University leads this seminar and does a good job making it relative to our coop, our challenges and our future. Jon Wolff also attended the first half of his “Director Certification” training with the Iowa Institute of Cooperatives. He will complete the certification next year. Both I and Galen have completed this certification training, as well as Les, who completed the first half of his certification last year and will complete the process next year. Bob and Rod also represented Equity at a one day Land O’ Lakes Director training in early January.

In the first part of February, the Board engaged our auditing firm, CliftonLarsonAllen, to conduct our annual six month review to make sure everything is on track and proceeding according to our annual budget. The six month review showed that the first six months of our fiscal year 2017 was right on track. The auditor related to the Board that everything looked good and was just as expected. We are grateful to Anne and her accounting group for providing us with accurate, timely records each month. 

In March the Board attended the Minnesota Grain and Feed Association Annual Meeting and Convention in downtown Minneapolis. Aside from the meetings and trade show, a highlight for me was when we as a Board spent a half day in a planning session discussing what we think the next two, five or 10 years will bring and how Equity is equipped to react to a constantly changing cooperative and business environment. Planning is an important function of the Board as we work hard to protect the members Balance Sheet and serve the members needs.

Other items Board has addressed: (1). The Board has agreed to offer a value added program to the equity holding members for purchasing vehicles. This program can save you thousands of dollars if you use it to purchase new pickups and etc. Check the information on this program in this newsletter and contact either fleet purchasing account manager or Rod for more information. (2). The Directors also approved the purchase of a new high wheel fertilizer spreader to put urea on side dress. This will allow you to apply your own dry nitrogen. Remember, we also are set up to apply liquid 28% nitrogen with our Miller applicator. (3). The Board approved the construction of a new Board/Employee meeting room to be built in the northwest corner of the store. By the time you read this construction should be well under way. (4). The Board reviewed our current property tax in detail, part of our planning process as we look to future projects for Equity. (5).This winter we have been spending time looking at cleaning up our membership and equity records. We have a good start, but it will take some time to complete. As a part of our planning process we need to get our house in order and make sure we are adhering to our Articles and Bylaws and the laws of the State of Minnesota.

It has been a busy, but productive winter. If you have questions or comments, please feel free to contact any of the current Board Members or our General Manager.

Have a safe and productive spring.

Chris Long