Landmark Services Cooperative Hosts 87th Annual Meeting

COTTAGE GROVE, WI, January 24, 2020 – Landmark Services Cooperative held the 87th annual meeting on January 23, 2020, at the headquarters in Cottage Grove, WI.

The meeting was called to order by Board Chairman Jim Lange. Lange then welcomed guests and introduced the board of directors prior to giving his chairman’s report.

Secretary Kevin Klahn reported on the minutes from last year’s annual meeting and informed the group that these were available as members arrived and had been approved at the January 2019 board of directors meeting.

Chairman Lange gave the chairman’s report including topics addressing logistics issues with fertilizer, Landmark’s new Evansville fertilizer plant, Cottage Grove feed mill upgrades, securing energy supplies for our customers, board of directors’ training, and a recap on the donations made through the Landmark Gives Back program including scholarship recipients, summer lunch programs, breakfast on the farm, Lennox Feel the Love program, and the Second Harvest Foodbank contributions.

Jeff Brandenburg, independent auditor, stated that CliftonLarsonAllen found Landmark’s financial statements to be accurate and issued an unqualified opinion on the financial statements.

Chief Financial Officer Keith Arnold presented the financial report comprising of an overview of the 2019 statement of operations performance, consolidated balance sheet, financial analysis for fiscal years 2015-2019 of working capital, local net worth and cash returned to patrons. Arnold also touched on Landmark’s patron note program.

President and CEO Jim Dell provided the management report and opened by thanking Landmark’s members, board of directors and employees. Dell’s report provided a recap of the 2019 fiscal year and an overview of Landmark’s equity, section 199A deduction, capital expenditures, and $1.3 million in total patronage to be paid back in cash in 2020. Dell also discussed the focus of the 2020 fiscal year to be ‘2020 and Beyond,’ which includes evaluating and optimizing staffing needs and Landmark’s asset base, improving sales growth, growing Verity Financing, completing key capital expenditure projects within budget, and improving communications to our members.  Dell also recapped Landmark’s current fiscal year to date.

Director John Blaska announced his retirement from Landmark’s Board of Directors. John served on the board for 25 years. During his time, John helped spearhead steady growth of the Cooperative, mostly through various mergers and acquisitions.

Mike Hinz, nominating committee chair, reported that this year’s nominating committee worked very hard to recruit qualified board candidates for the expired term of retiring Landmark Director John Blaska. The candidates for the at-large director position were Brian Brown of Belleville and Josh Hiemstra of Brandon. Hinz shared the winning election results in which Brian Brown will serve a new three-year term on the board of directors. Hinz then announced the 2020 nominating committee: Jim Fahey, John Blaska, Rick Austin, Scott VanderVeen, and eastern and northern district positions to be determined.

After the meeting the board reconvened in a special session to elect board positions. The 2020 board is as follows: Jim Lange, Board Chairman; Jon Prochnow, Vice Chairman; Kevin Klahn, Secretary/Treasurer; Brian Brown, Director; Sandy Larson, Director; Keven Schultz, Director; Max Wenck, Director.

President and CEO Jim Dell concludes the management report and fields questions from Landmark members during the annual meeting held on January 23, 2020.

Landmark scholarships invest in the future of agriculture

COTTAGE GROVE, WI, Jan. 15, 2020 – Landmark Services Cooperative (LSC) is pleased to announce the winners of its annual scholarships. The cooperative recently presented 15 scholarships of $750 each to a group of local high school seniors and collegiate students pursuing post-secondary education. Scholarships were awarded during Landmark’s annual scholarship recipient luncheon attended by recipients and their parents as well as Landmark staff and members of the board of directors, on January 9 at The Oaks Golf Course in Cottage Grove.

“We are proud to invest in the future of agriculture. It is a pleasure to help students along their academic journey. By awarding scholarships, we are able to set students on a path to success,” emphasized Jon Prochnow, vice-chairman of LSC.

The Landmark scholarship program encourages academic, professional and leadership development. Landmark is delighted to announce the 2019 winners:

Annika Bernstein – Brodhead, parents Peter & Theresa Bernstein; Madison Calvert – Cuba City, parents Bill and Kelle Calvert; McKenzie Calvert – Cuba City, parents Bill and Kelle Calvert; Katherine Eugster – Stoughton, parents Joe & Carol Eugster; Dylan Horstmeyer – Marshall, parents Dave & Shannon Horstmeyer; Karigan Hunter – Markesan, parents Corey & Kim Hunter; Hunter Huschitt – Monroe, parents Erik & Heather Huschitt; Allison Lund – Cambridge, parents Dennis & Judy Lund; Emma McNally – Milton, parents Jeff & Tonia McNally; Molly Olstad – Stoughton, parents Eric & Angie Olstad; Isaac Ripp – Waunakee, parents Jeff & Kari Ripp; Ashlyn Sarbacker – Edgerton, parents David & Candace Sarbacker; Simon Shelley – Deerfield, parents Kevin & Sandra Whitney; Aleya Stibbe – Richland Center, parents Kirk & Shelly Stibbe.

Landmark has awarded 380 scholarships totaling $257,100 to date to students since 1989 in support of building a strong future for its members, its communities and the world. “For many years, Landmark Services Cooperative has demonstrated a commitment to investing in the future of agriculture and the communities it serves. Providing scholarships for the children of co-op members is just one of the many ways Landmark delivers on that commitment. This year’s recipients are poised for a bright future. They have excelled not only in academics, but also in their personal, extra-curricular and employment endeavors,” said Ethan Giebel, executive director of Federated Youth Foundation.

Recipients were selected from a pool of applicants based on cumulative grade point average, leadership, scholastic achievement, extracurricular activities, personal motivation and academic and career goals. All members and employees of Landmark Services Cooperative and their children attending four-year universities, two-year technical programs or short courses and high school seniors planning for post-secondary education were eligible to apply for the awards.

LSC recently presented 15 scholarships of $750 each to a group of local high school seniors and collegiate students pursuing post-secondary education. Pictured from left to right (back row): Dylan Horstmeyer, Hunter Huschitt, Simon Shelley, Karigan Hunter, Katherine Eugster. Left to right (front row): Aleya Stibbe, Ashlyn Sarbacker, Emma McNally, Molly Olstad, Annika Bernstein. Not pictured: Isaac Ripp, Madison Calvert, McKenzie Calvert, Allison Lund.

2019 Annual Report

2019 Annual Report is now available.

Landmark Services Cooperative Annual Report FY2019 featuring construction site of the Evansville Fertilizer plant.

One Landmark Team Makes a Difference

One Landmark Team Makes a Difference
Landmark Services Cooperative donates over 115,000 meals to families in need

COTTAGE GROVE, WI, December 23, 2019 – During the season of giving, Landmark Services Cooperative (LSC) did just that to help local families in need. Thanks to the generosity and caring nature of the employees, members, and business partners, LSC was able to raise and donate 115,614 meals to Second Harvest Foodbank through their NBC15 Share Your Holidays campaign, far exceeding last year’s number of 81,982.

LSC is proud to be a diamond sponsor and support this campaign to help end hunger in our communities. This is the seventh year of partnering with Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin on the NBC15 Share Your Holidays campaign. The foodbank receives over one million requests for help with food security in the 16 counties it serves.

Together, over the course of the campaign employees and members participated in various events, including an online auction, online pet/farm animal costume contest, balloon pop, soup & bread contest, ice cream social and much more. Money raised from each of the events was donated to the campaign.

“Our Landmark team truly exceeded all my expectations with their generosity and big hearts during this campaign. The impact their donations will have in our local communities is absolutely remarkable,” said a heartfelt Shannon Horstmeyer, executive assistant of LSC.

Grain Exchange – Weather Forecast Continues to Bring Optimism

A quick glance at the local 10-day forecast gives me optimism that there will be the weather windows needed to do what we look forward to all year, harvest grain. Wisconsin’s soybean harvest came in at 32% completed vs last week’s 15% while the 5 year average for the same time frame was 55%.  For the US, the soybean harvest is at 46% completed vs an average pace of 64%.  Wisconsin’s corn harvest sits at 7% completed and the 5-year average is 24%.  The US is currently 30% completed vs a 5-year average of 47%.

Although crop progress was viewed slightly bearish, overnight markets made their way higher as traders say China has issued another 10 MMT quota of duty waivers for US soybeans. President Trump claims China has indicated that negotiations are advancing with hopes an agreement can be made next month in Chile.  The Chinese Vice Foreign Minister said they have achieved some progress and the world wants the two countries to end their trade war.

Over the last few weeks as harvest has been delayed and some optimism has grown in trade, funds have purchased bean futures and a modest amount of corn and wheat.  Although overall their position is viewed neutral, it allows for slight support of farmer selling as harvest moves slowly and business decisions are made in the spot market. It is important to always keep in mind breakeven and de-risk when possible/profitable. This year handling the crop will incur greater cost with extra drying, trips to town and most importantly quality management.  With the possibly of more discounts/costs in this crop making timely sales will be as important as ever.

Applications Now Open for the Landmark Scholarship Program

Landmark Services Cooperative (LSC) is excited to announce that applications are now available for high school seniors and current college students to apply for LSC’s 2020 scholarship opportunities.

Once again, LSC will be awarding $750.00 scholarships to fifteen exceptional students. Applications are available on the LSC website at landmark.coop/landmark-gives-back, and completed applications will be accepted through December 1, 2019. Scholarship recipients will be announced later in December, 2019. All Landmark members, employees and their children are eligible to apply for the scholarship program.

The LSC scholarship program was created to recognize and reward success as well as encourage academic, professional and leadership development among post-secondary students.

“We cherish the opportunity to be able to support our area students in pursuing and continuing their education,” says LSC’s CEO and President Jim Dell, “Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders, and it’s highly rewarding to play a small part in their continued growth and development.”

LSC is committed to building a stronger future for its members and communities, as well as the agricultural industry as a whole. This scholarship program is one of the many ways that LSC aims to give back to its members. Since its first awarded scholarship in 1989, the LSC scholarship program has bestowed a total of $245,850 in scholarships to deserving students.

Landmark Heating and Cooling and Lennox Industries Team Up to Help a Neighbor

Landmark Heating and Cooling team members in Cottage Grove, WI, know that the frigid winter temperatures will be here soon. That’s exactly why they will be spending next Saturday morning installing a new furnace for helping a deserving Edgerton family. The recipients this year are the Gumbles. Teagan has health issues that are reactive to heat, cold, humidity, allergens and clean air so a program like Feel the Love can really make a difference in her quality of life.

For ten years the Landmark Heating and Cooling team has donated all labor and installation materials to install a brand new high-efficiency furnace, which is  generously donated by Lennox Industries, for a family whose existing unit is severely inefficient or unrepairable at no cost to the recipient.

The Wisconsin family was nominated and selected as part of the Feel the Love program, which asks members of the community to nominate people who are in need. Nominations for the program are accepted year-round, with recipients chosen based on specific criteria each September—before the temperatures start to drop.

“It’s such a rewarding program to be a part of,” says Tom Stangl, sales coordinator at Landmark Heating and Cooling, “There’s no better feeling than knowing that you’re bringing warmth and a sense of security to a well-deserving neighbor in your community. For me, it’s a great way to spend a Saturday.”

Building Excitement in Evansville

COTTAGE GROVE, WI, September 17, 2019 – Landmark Services Cooperative is excited to announce it will break ground on its new 28,000 ton dry fertilizer building at 2:00p.m. Tuesday, September 24, 2019. The new building will be located at 750 South County Road M in Evansville. The project will start this fall with an anticipated completion of early summer 2020.

At the June board meeting, the agronomy senior management team presented the opportunity to build a 28,000 ton dry fertilizer plant in Evansville, which was unanimously approved by the board. This new expansion will bring additional dry fertilizer storage capacity, while improving customer service, operational efficiency, and speed of service for members. The increased capacity also means the cooperative will be able to take larger product positions and capture freight savings.

The new plant will allow faster loading, resulting in shorter wait times for the tender fleet and members getting direct loads. Loading time of tender trucks and semi-trucks will be under ten minutes versus 30 minutes in the past. Other key benefits for Landmark members include:

  • Blending 250 tons per hour.
  • Receiving product at 600 tons per hour.
  • Flexibility of fertilizer delivery to Landmark by rail or truck.
  • Cost savings related to insurance, utilities and repairs with older facilities.

“As our membership continues to grow, we remain focused on our ability to serve members’ operations of all sizes in the most timely and efficient manner,” said Landmark CEO & President Jim Dell. “Landmark is proud to be committed to our members’ current and future needs.”

For more information on Landmark Services Cooperative’s programs, contact Chrissy Long at chrissy.long@landmark.coop or 608-819-3126.

Landmark Services Cooperative is a member-owned cooperative dedicated to providing customers with the highest quality products and services. For 85+ years, Landmark has provided farm-related products and services to its more than 11,000 members in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Employing more than 300 full-time people and reaching sales in excess of $373 million, Landmark provides a customer service-oriented approach in the communities it serves. For more information, visit landmark.coop, or call 800-236-3276.

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Landscapes Newsletter | Fall 2019

We’ve got something really big coming soon, something that will help us service our members’ needs for years to come… More details inside our latest newsletter.

Landmark Welcomes Cris Breidenbach As Vice President Of Grain

Cris Breidenbach

Landmark Services Cooperative is pleased to announce that Cris Breidenbach has accepted the position of vice president of our grain division, effective August 5. Cris brings to Landmark a great array of experience with a strong focus on safety. He takes an employee centered approach and prefers to lead by example.

Cris has been involved in Agribusiness for 25 years and most recently serving as the general manager for BTR Farmers Cooperative in Devils Lake, North Dakota. He graduated from Minnesota State University with a degree in accounting and has a strong background in the cooperative business. Cris helped guide the completion of a successful merger of BTR Farmers Cooperative and Cendak Farmers Union Cooperative to form Cendak Cooperative in 2018. His experience consists of auditing grain and agronomy locations for ADM-BQ before moving into management for the company where he developed a CP Shuttle facility in 2002. Cris served on the board of directors for Prairie Grain Partners of Clarkfield, Minnesota and was also general manager for Kensal Farmers Elevator in 2015.

Cris recently moved to Janesville, WI with his wife Andrea and daughter Julia, who is currently attending UW-Whitewater. His wife, daughter, and he are looking forwarded to “relocating to this awesome area”.