Carl’s Comments: Working Together

Carl Dickinson, CEO

Carl Dickinson, CEO

As you read this, we will be wrapping up what by most accounts is a successful harvest.  Yields across the UFC trade territory exceeded expectations and many had some of the best yields ever.  It is amazing with all the technology used to produce a crop today that Mother Nature is still the most important component.

Not only was this a successful harvest for our producers, it was once again a successful year for your cooperative.  We will be holding our annual stockholders meeting on November 18th at the City Auditorium in York, followed by an informational meeting in Cuba, KS on November 19th.  I encourage you to come and hear about how your cooperative performed, participate in the governance of your cooperative and pick up your dividend check.  The cooperative system is still a unique business structure that is here to serve the owner/customer; please join us.

By partnering with producers in RD Plots, we had many key learnings; learning from each other for the benefit of all.  During harvest we were able to work with many of our owners to take advantage of grain markets to reduce drying costs and pass along higher cash prices.  (Above: Aerial view of the UFC Answer Plot 2013)

By partnering with producers in RD Plots, we had many key learnings; learning from each other for the benefit of all. During harvest we were able to work with many of our owners to take advantage of grain markets to reduce drying costs and pass along higher cash prices. (Above: Aerial view of the UFC Answer Plot 2013)

If we learned anything from the past year that directs us to the future, it is that working together we can create real value in the cooperative system.  By partnering with producers in RD Plots, we had many key learnings; learning from each other for the benefit of all.  During harvest we were able to work with many of our owners to take advantage of grain markets to reduce drying costs and pass along higher cash prices.  All of these opportunities have one thing in common; we are interdependent.  Many times in agriculture we like to think of ourselves as independent.  I believe the day the horses left the farm and we needed diesel fuel to work the fields we became interdependent.  Today the keys to our interdependence revolve around information, technology and speed.

Our ability to understand what is going on with a crop and communicate those needs allows you to make better decisions to increase yields.  Our ability to communicate what we see in the marketplace – where there may be advantages – allows you to make better marketing decisions.  By sharing information from the farm to the cooperative and from the cooperative to the farm in real time, we can take advantage of opportunities that create real value.  And the best part is that when we create value on the farm, you get it.  When we create value at the cooperative, we give it back in the form of dividends.   Your cooperative is investing heavily in technology, information, learning and innovation.  We believe that these investments will pay you dividends for years to come.

Working together, sharing information gives you and your cooperative an advantage in the marketplace that no one can match.  I encourage you to reach out to your FSA, Grain originator, energy specialist, or location and have the conversation about how we can work together for your benefit.  Co-ops were created to do together what we are not able to do alone.  This past year is an indication that the Cooperative System is alive and well.