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From the Manager - April 2017

Ah, the first day of spring, 2017. As I write this, it is close to fifty degrees and just feels like spring is in the air. I realize in Minnesota the winter weather can still linger on for a number of weeks, but I have the feeling that spring is here to stay and it will be nice weather from here forward. I still have enough farmers’ blood in my veins to be an eternal optimist.

May is a busy month. We will be honoring our beef producers, during Beef Month, for providing us with the best tasting, most nutritious beef in the world, right here in Minnesota. In May, Memorial Day, is also when we honor those that have sacrificed so much to give us the life and freedoms that we enjoy today and hold sacred to our way of life. And of course, we should not overlook one of the most important days of the year, Mothers Day. We honor our Mothers for not only giving us life, but shaping our lives to become the people that we are. As I looked back I thought I had an average, normal childhood with two parents that loved us and provided for us as well as taught us what was important in life. I was wrong, I had exceptional parents. My Mother was very adamant about teaching us four boys that the foundation of life consisted of three important principles. These three principles for life were God, The Golden Rule and Family. Everything in your life revolves around God and your relationship with Him. In order to be well grounded in life, you need to be well grounded in the Lord. Treat others as you want to be treated, “The Golden Rule.” We grew up having respect for our elders, other people and other peoples’ property. That included respect for every one you come in contact with at school, work or play. One thing that sticks out in my memory was a conversation I had with my Mother right after I agreed to take my first General Manager’s position. She said, “Be good to your employees and treat them with respect, remember yesterday you were one of them.” I have always tried to follow her wishes, although I am sure that not all employees, past and present, will believe I have done a good job honoring my Mother’s wishes. None the less, she did her level best to instill the “Golden Rule” into my character. The one foundation my Mother spent the most time on with us boys was family. Nothing is more important than taking care of family! According to Mother, nothing is more important and you do have a responsibility. More times than I care to remember, Mother would ask me to do something for someone, probably a younger brother, and I would either object or make a face. Her response was always, “Are you not your Brother’s keeper?” I mention this not only to honor my Mother, but also to make the point that at Equity Elevator we are family. I think that is one of the most important bonds we have every day we come to work. We are here to look out for each other as employees and serve the members needs. We definitely are our brother’s keepers. I think that is one of the things that separates Equity from our competition. One of my favorite events of the year is the Annual Meeting held in late summer. I love to see friends and neighbors come together to enjoy an excellent meal along with fellowship. That is family!

I also want to make sure that I send out an acknowledgement to our Dairy Producers for the fine job they do keeping us in milk, ice cream, cheese, yogurt and numerous other dairy products. June is Dairy Month. The dairy farmer works tirelessly, 365 days a year, producing the safest, best tasting and nutritious food you can nourish your body with. Thank you for hard work and dedication.

Please take note of the page in the newsletter that tells about our new “Value Added Vehicle Purchase Program” that offers an opportunity for equity holders in Equity Elevator and Trading Company to purchase pickups and trucks at discounted prices. An excellent program if you are interested in ordering a new pickup. You deal directly with the fleet management company. Equity’s only involvement is the verification that you, as an Equity Elevator member have equity in your local cooperative. If you have questions, please feel free to contact the fleet management company listed on their information page or call me and I will share whatever information I have with you.

During the first week in February we finished our six month financial review with the CliftonLarsonAllen auditing crew. I am happy to report that at the six month mark we were ahead of budget and everything was on track. No surprises, no discrepancies according to the auditing team. We are looking forward to a busy spring and summer serving you the customer-owner-members.

Have a safe spring!!!


Rod Winter
General Manager