Jake Oldenburg, VP Operations

The winter has been fairly mild. We didn’t dedicate much equipment or employee time to moving snow, which is frankly a timewaster. On the other hand, we didn’t deliver as much propane, because of abnormally warm temperatures. Despite this, our employees stayed busy preparing for the spring agronomy season and studying to serve you better.

I’ll talk about studying in a minute, but first I want to say I am impressed with the cooperation and communication between departments. I see agronomy team members helping haul propane in the winter, and energy team members volunteering to help in agronomy in the spring and summer. As owners of NuWay-K&H Cooperative, you can be proud of their teamwork.

Okay, now about studying. Your cooperative has, throughout the winter, invested in both its employees and the equipment they bring to your fields. See David Anderson’s and Ryan Schmidt’s story on page 20 for details on our recent equipment investments.

We’re investing in our people by offering more training on the products we provide you and your neighbors. It’s all part of our current initiative to do more with less. The idea is this—the more the employees know, the more efficient and effective they’ll be and the less time they’ll require to serve you well.

Not surprisingly, our employees themselves have asked for additional training. Responses to a recent employee survey showed training on specific products as high on their wish list. So, during the cold months, we’ve asked vendors to conduct classes on everything from oil and lubes to new fungicides like Miravis® Neo and insecticides like Sefina®. We’ve also scheduled training on seed treatments, biologicals and inoculants—along with safe handling practices for these products.

And we’ve identified some areas we can improve in our custom application services. To help with that, we’re putting together standard protocols to guide our operators in putting down these products safely and effectively. In training on these new protocols, we’re inviting both new employees and long-time employees with a wealth of experience who can help us all become better applicators.

We’ve got one more educational and fun event planned in March that will bring a variety of vendors and training on multiple products to our employee group. This event will also serve as a team-building exercise as we all get ready
for spring.

Refined Fuels and LP Updates

NuWay-K&H Cooperative operates a half-dozen refined fuel bulk plants. We’ve been working at cleaning and inspecting our storage tanks at these plants to make sure we’re continuing to distribute quality products to you, our customers. Inspection includes testing each tank’s integrity so we can maintain compliance and prevent environmental issues.

We plan this scheduled maintenance every 5-10 years depending on what products are stored at each site.

We’re also looking at ways we can improve storage and loading at our LP bulk plants, and I will have more information on that in our next newsletter.


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