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Country Visions Spring 2017 Newsletter

Posted in News

It is spring 2017 and just like we do every year, we are waiting for the right weather conditions to get out and plant, do yard work, and play outside. It has been a roller coaster for types of precipitation and temperatures this month. Our Cooperative has been preparing for the season and looking forward to some exciting opportunities for 2017.  See our spring newsletter for more details...

Spring_Newsletter_2017

 

2017 Youth Proficiency Award Program

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CP Feeds, LLC and Country Visions Cooperative have joined together to offer the Youth Proficiency Award Program as a way to recognize the time and effort 4-H and FFA members put into raising their show animals.  This program hopes to encourage students to be involved in agriculture now and stay involved into their adult lives.  These exhibitors enjoy many benefits of taking part in their local, state and national shows. They learn irreplaceable life lessons, make memories and friendships that will last a lifetime and of course, earn those coveted blue and purple ribbons.

This program is open to active 4-H and FFA members who buy feed from Country Visions Cooperative or CP Feeds.  Project animals include dairy, beef, swine, sheep, equine, goats, poultry and small animals.

The Youth Proficiency Award Program helps to alleviate the financial burden of exhibiting an animal.  Award winners have exhibited at any level, from county fairs to national shows, and have received a variety of honors from class winners to supreme champions. In addition, CP Feeds and Country Visions Cooperative will donate gift items to each participant no matter how they place in their respective shows.

Rules and application

on-line application

Applications are due by May 31, 2017

Country Visions and Kettle Lakes Cooperatives pursue merger

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Breaking Ground for a new state-of-the-art agronomy facility!

This week, representatives from Country Visions Cooperative and Kettle Lakes Cooperative, along with several of the contractors involved with this project officially broke ground at the site located in the industrial park in Plymouth, WI. Weather permitting, larger equipment will replace the shovels next week as the construction process begins. A goal of completion in early 2018, puts this plant in operation before the spring planting season next year for the Cooperative.

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Reedsville, WI (April 14, 2017) The Board of Directors at Country Visions Cooperative and Kettle Lakes Cooperative have formally signed letters of intent to pursue a merger of the Cooperatives. Discussions started as an agreement between the two Cooperatives and their Agronomy divisions for a joint venture in a new facility, but developed into merger talks as the possible efficiencies were realized for all divisions within their operations.

Country Visions is a farm supply Cooperative operating in eastern Wisconsin and in the UP of Michigan. They have sales of $158 million from divisions including agronomy, grain, petroleum, propane and retail stores. Country Visions is also a 60% owner of CP Feeds which manufactures and sells over $146 million in feed to area farmers.

Kettle Lakes Cooperative is a farm supply in eastern Wisconsin currently operating just south of Country Visions trade area. Kettle Lakes sales of $40 million come from divisions including agronomy, grain, feed and retail. Kettle Lakes is also a 50% owner of Co-Energy Alliance, which sells petroleum and propane to area customers.

Under terms of the merger agreement, the Kettle Lakes Cooperative voting membership will vote on June 30, 2017. According to Country Visions CEO, Steve Zutz, if approved by the membership, the joint organization will begin business on September 1, 2017. “There will be membership informational meetings prior to the vote in June to discuss the specifics of the plan of merge,” said Zutz.

Both board members and management of the two successful Cooperatives feel the merger will enhance the value of the Cooperative to the membership. Better purchasing power and new joint operations will drive efficiencies for the business. The two Cooperatives have already announced the building of a new state-of-the-art agronomy facility in the industrial park in Plymouth, WI. This plant will enable the Cooperatives to continue to deliver the goods and services the customers have come to appreciate from their businesses.

Assessing that wheat field

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As a grower, you or your agronomist will want to venture out into your winter wheat field to assess winter injury and see what you need to consider for spring treatments. Your Country Visions Agronomist will work with you to assess your field and make recommendations based on that information.  Though it is a bit premature to make any rash decisions regarding crop destruction, it is time to look at the condition of the plants and check the temperature of the soil.  Growers and consultants can either reassess in a week or pull plants from the field and place in warm environments. Milk houses and kitchens work perfect. Watch Country Visions Agronomist,  Loree Johnston LaChey, in this video on wheat assessment.

wheat assessment video

winter wheat 2

Agronomy.. good news, bad news in the field

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field photoLook at this. There is enough water standing in alfalfa and wheat. It’s not the best case scenario. It freezes, it thaws, it freezes, it thaws, it is almost 60, then it’s back down to 16.  My advice – be prepared. Talk to your agronomist about a backup plan. Do some reading – UW and Nebraska.

Here’s another point to ponder – its thawed on top, but still frozen underneath – in spots. The good news – I only sink so far.  field photo 2The bad news, my poor dog is a smelly, muddy, wet mess when she gets in. The even worse news – this could lead to frost heaving.

Also, for those who are considering xtend beans and its new chemistry – make sure to keep up on this. It’s changing almost daily. www.xtendimaxapplicationrequirements.com Check it out. Or make sure to work closely with your favorite Country Visions Agronomist. I hear they are pretty smart people. :)

Excerpts from notes by Loree Johnston LaChey, Agronomist at Country Visions Cooperative

What is a Co-op?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines a cooperative as a user-owned, user-controlled business that distributes benefits on the basis of use. Member users, or patrons, own and democratically elect the board of directors, which provides oversight of the co-op. Net earnings are distributed on the basis of proportional use, or patronage, rather than on investment.

Cooperative associations have been organized throughout history to carry out many different activities, often in response to economic and social stress. Cooperative organizations in the United States first appeared in the late 1700's and today co-ops can be found in all sectors of the U.S. economy. Consumer, purchasing and farm supply cooperatives are all organized to provide the specialized goods or services that their member patrons want to buy.

By combining member demand, a co-op can provide better availability, selection, pricing, or delivery of products or services to individual consumers, businesses or farmers. Farm supply co-ops cost-effectively supply input, fuel and agronomy services to farm business owners.