Landmark Services Cooperative Opens State-of-the-Art Dry Fertilizer Facility in Evansville

Landmark’s new 28,800 ton dry fertilizer facility opened on September 14 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and celebration.

The building was constructed by the agribusiness division of Minnesota-based Greystone Construction, which also served as the project manager. Construction began in October 2019. At 452 feet long, the building covers 1.5 acres, and the loadout section is big enough to pull in a semi and close both overhead doors.

The tower has 250 tons of overhead storage and is fed by a 350-ton-per-hour leg and conditioner. The alleyway is 40 feet wide to allow easy access for the payloader, equipped with a 5-yard fertilizer bucket and a 9-yard roll-out bucket for grain pickup. The floors of the alleyway are heated to reduce moisture in the spring and summer.

Fertilizer equipment was provided by Sackett Waconia, and automation equipment was provided by Kahler Automation. Sackett Waconia manufactured the 200-ton-per-hour High Intensity Mixer, which is used for precision fertilizer blending and designed to eliminate “dead zones” by keeping every particle in motion. Mixing times run about 10 minutes for a 25-ton semi load. The mixer is able to achieve such high speeds because of dual overhead 4-ton weigh hoppers and an 8-ton surge hopper underneath.

The highly effective Declining Weight system that handles the liquid fertilizer impregnation, which is the process of applying coatings and other liquid additives to fertilizer granules.

The inbound system can unload either rail or truck at 600 tons per hour, and the tunnel for the inbound system is 20 feet deep to allow for the equipment needed to unload cars at the speed required to benefit from unit trains. Rail cars can be moved and positioned before doors are shut to speed up the unloading process.

The new fertilizer plant will enable Landmark to efficiently serve a larger portion of their trade area while improving customer service, operational efficiency and speed of service for members.

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, northern Illinois and eastern Iowa. Employing more than 275 full-time people and with 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.

Landmark Services Cooperative cut the ribbon for their Dry Fertilizer Plant on Monday, Sept. 14. Pictured left to right: Board members Sandy Larson, Max Wenck, Brian Brown, Kevin Klahn, and Chairman Jim Lange, and Landmark Director of Agronomy Operations Nick Christen, Landmark CEO Jim Dell, and city representative Jason Sergeant, Evansville Mayor Bill Hurtley, and Evansville Chamber Ambassadors Toni Voegeli and Dierdre Beltran.

Landmark Services Cooperative launches new partnership to benefit the Columbus School District

Landmark Services Cooperative is piloting a new program in partnership with the Columbus School District. From September 1 through November 30, 2020, the Landmark Cenex convenience store in Columbus will donate 5% of all sales generated inside the store and 5 cents per gallon of gas purchased when customers shop using their Landmark Rewards Program cards. All proceeds will benefit the Columbus School District.

“The district is always excited and appreciative to collaborate with community partners for additional resources, especially during a time when funding is strained due to the extra precautionary measures we are putting in place to keep the students and staff safe,” said Columbus School District Superintendent Annette Deuman. “We truly appreciate the local support from the Landmark Cenex.”

Josh Halvensleben, who oversees all of Landmark’s Cenex convenience stores, said: “As a locally owned cooperative, Landmark is proud to give back to the communities we serve, including our recent donations to various summer lunch programs as part of our Landmark Gives Back program. The Columbus school program is another way Landmark can support our local communities.”

Landmark is optimistic that the Columbus school pilot will be successful and expects to expand the program to other school districts where Landmark operates Cenex convenience stores. Results from the program will be announced in December, when Landmark will present the Columbus School District with a check for the initial proceeds.

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, northern Illinois and eastern Iowa. Employing more than 400 people (includes full-time, part-time and seasonal) and with 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.

###

Landscapes Monthly Newsletter – September 2020

The monthly Landscapes Newsletter is sent to Landmark Services Cooperative members with each monthly statement.  View the Landscapes Newsletter for news and important information from Landmark Services Cooperative.

Merger Approved between Landmark Services Cooperative and Countryside Cooperative

Marking a key milestone in the merger of two Wisconsin-based cooperatives, Countryside members have voted “Yes” to confirm the merger between Landmark Services Cooperative and Countryside Cooperative. Now that the merger has been approved, it will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. CST on March 1, 2021.

The new cooperative will serve more than 26,000 members, employ over 800 people (includes full-time, part-time and seasonal), and generate annual sales in excess of $600M. The combined organization will be headquartered in Cottage Grove, WI, and the cooperatives will continue to maintain operations and staff at multiple locations.

“The management team at Countryside is pleased that our member producers voted yes on the merger with Landmark Services Cooperative,” said Countryside CEO Frank Brenner. “When I came to Countryside in 2014, I made the statement that by 2020, our cooperative would need to achieve $500M in sales to continue being a viable long-term business to serve our members while remaining profitable. The formation of this new company provides both cooperatives the size and scale needed to achieve this strategic objective to remain relevant well into the future.”

With an expanded geographical footprint covering Southern and West-Central Wisconsin, Northern Illinois, Eastern Iowa, and Eastern Minnesota, the new coop will offer benefits including innovative logistics opportunities, sharing of agronomy assets, and backup feed mill options.

“The board of directors feel positive about this decision to merge with a strong company like Landmark Services Cooperative. This decision allows Countryside to compete within the ag industry while being profitable and protecting our members’ equities,” said Countryside Chairman John Creaser.

Landmark and Countryside chose each other as merger partners because they share many similarities and merging into a single cooperative was a natural fit. The cooperatives are tightly aligned with respect to their core businesses, have very similar cultures, care about the success of their members, and are driven by the same mission, vision, and values.

During the merger exploration process, Landmark and Countryside identified primary impact areas that include savings through procurement opportunities, safeguarding membership equities through capital asset management and rationalization, increased sales, and lower operating costs.

“For both cooperatives, this is an important chapter added to our histories of growth,” said Landmark CEO Jim Dell. “We recognize that with any major change, there will be a lot of hard work, challenges that are met, and hurdles to clear along the way, but our members have the unwavering commitment of both boards and leadership teams that this merger will be a success.”

The new cooperative will have a strong focus on becoming a leader in technology so it can streamline operations, enhance efficiencies, and improve the member experience. It will also have a greater ability to attract and retain talented employees via an increased investment in employee development and training.

“Joining the resources of two long-standing, successful cooperatives will increase our competitive advantage and drive value to our members and employees,” said Landmark Chairman Jim Lange.

Both cooperatives have a long history of charitable contributions and recognize the importance of giving back to the community by supporting local organizations. That same commitment will be part of the new cooperative.

Continuity of leadership with both the CEO and the board of directors will play a critical role during the merger integration process. Dell will serve as the new cooperative’s CEO, and he will work with Countryside CEO Frank Brenner to ensure that the unification is a success. Initially, the board will consist of 10 directors, composed of six directors from the Landmark region and four directors from the Countryside region. Eventually, the board will evolve to have a total of eight seats, with five directors from Landmark and three from Countryside.

“Landmark and Countryside are committed to helping our members, employees, and communities thrive,” said Lange. “We owe it to our stakeholders to pursue opportunities that will strengthen their local coops, and we believe this merger will accomplish that and more.”

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, northern Illinois and eastern Iowa. Employing more than 400 people (includes full-time, part-time and seasonal) and with 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.

Countryside Cooperative is a member-owned cooperative committed to delivering positive customer service and exceptional value to its members in a financially responsible manner. Since 1907, Countryside has evolved into a full-service supply cooperative by way of partnerships and mergers. Serving more than 15,000 members in west-central Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota, Countryside employs over 400 people (includes full-time, part-time and seasonal) and generates sales in excess of $234 million. For more information, visit countrysidecoop.com, or call 715-672-8947.

Landscapes Monthly Newsletter – August 2020

The monthly Landscapes Newsletter is sent to Landmark Services Cooperative members with each monthly statement.  View the Landscapes Newsletter for news and important information from Landmark Services Cooperative.

Landmark Services Cooperative and Countryside Cooperative Announce Intent to Merge

Landmark Services Cooperative and Countryside Cooperative have agreed to move forward with a merger. Contingent upon a successful vote by the members of Countryside Cooperative, the merger is expected to take effect on March 1, 2021.

Members of both boards have determined that joining the resources of two long-standing, successful cooperatives will increase their competitive advantage in ever-changing local and global agriculture markets and drive increased value to members and employees.

Over the last year, Landmark and Countryside have been engaged in detailed and focused discussions around the possibility and advantages of such a merger for members and employees. “As we focus on the benefits a merger could bring, we look forward to the potential of growing stronger together,” said Landmark Chairman Jim Lange.

The new cooperative’s headquarters will be located in Cottage Grove, WI. There will be an ongoing evaluation of positions that will likely result in new jobs as well as some consolidations.

Key impact areas of the merger:

–Identification of up to $5 million in savings through combined efficiency and procurement opportunities, while safeguarding membership equities through capital asset management and rationalization, increased sales, and lower operational costs.

–Organizational stability and strength through financial improvements, gained efficiencies, increased sales, and investments in strategic growth initiatives.

–Increased investment in employee development, training and growth to attract and retain talented employees.

–Ongoing technology leadership to streamline operations, enhance efficiencies, increase productivity, offer members new ways to do business with the coop, and drive increased value back to members and their own operations.

“Our aim in this merger is to safeguard equities and drive value for our members, while continuing the tradition of service that has been a hallmark of Countryside since its formation,” said Countryside Chairman John Creaser.

The boards have unanimously selected Landmark CEO Jim Dell as the CEO of the new cooperative, and are confident in his ability to lead the new organization to success. Dell’s appointment will also help ensure continuity and stability in leadership throughout ongoing challenges in the agriculture markets and the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Dell and Countryside CEO Frank Brenner will continue to work together after the vote to ensure that the unification of both cooperatives is a success.

For both cooperatives, this is another chapter in the long and storied histories of mergers and growth—one that is focused on making both cooperatives better for their membership. “Landmark and Countryside are committed to proactively facing the challenges in the marketplace and helping our members and employees thrive,” said Dell.

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, northern Illinois and eastern Iowa. Employing more than 275 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.

Countryside Cooperative is a member-owned cooperative committed to deliver positive customer service and exceptional value to its members in a financially responsible manner. Since 1907, Countryside has evolved into the full-service supply cooperative they are today – by way of partnerships and mergers – serving more than 15,000 members in west-central Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota. Countryside employs nearly 500 employees to deliver products and services to their members/customers helping Countryside achieve sales in excess of $234 million dollars. For more information, visit countrysidecoop.com, or call 715-672-8947.

 

###

 

 

2020 Member Appreciation Events

As a result of the ongoing health crisis, and with the safety of our members and employees in mind, we have made the very difficult decision to cancel the annual member appreciation events that were scheduled to be held in August 2020.

Our members and employees look forward to these annual events of food, fun, and socializing, and we are disappointed that we need to cancel them. Even though we’re disappointed, it’s of upmost importance that we do our part to protect the health of the community and keep our employees and members safe.

We’ll continue to actively monitor the situation around COVID-19 and look for a potential opportunity to meet with our members during this fall season.

Thank you for your understanding.

Landmark Member Appreciation Event Committee

Landmark Continues Commitment to Local Summer Lunch Programs

As a part of Landmark’s commitment to be engaged in the communities where we live and work, we’re excited to keep working with three summer lunch programs that help feed kids.

With over 800 eligible students in the DeForest School District, there is a strong need to provide nutritious meals for children. The Norski Nibbles summer lunch program is a collaborative effort among local businesses, service groups, and churches, and Landmark is providing a $3,000 donation for the purchase of fresh produce and other products from the DeForest Area Farmers Market. We are also contributing beef sticks. The food is distributed at several sheltered parks from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., on June 11 through August 29.

The Lunch in the Park summer food program, from Edgerton Community Outreach, understands that many of the children who receive free and reduced lunch at school suffer from a lack of food options at home in the summer. Landmark is sponsoring for a fourth year. Program staff and volunteers are packaging and delivering meals to 158 kids in Edgerton on Mondays and Wednesdays, and each child receives two lunches, totaling four lunches per week.

United Methodist Church in Milton and One Apple Lunch Bunch are providing free, nutritious meals each weekday for all students 18 and under who face food insecurity at home. This is our third year sponsoring the program. One Apple Lunch Bunch runs 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays at Harmony Elementary School, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays at United Methodist Church, from June 8 through August 30. Landmark is proud to continue supporting the humanitarian efforts of these outstanding summer lunch programs throughout Wisconsin.

 

 

Landscapes Monthly Newsletter – July 2020

The monthly Landscapes Newsletter is sent to Landmark Services Cooperative members with each monthly statement.  View the Landscapes Newsletter for news and important information from Landmark Services Cooperative.

Landmark Sponsors Local Summer Lunch Program

Landmark Services Cooperative is excited to once again sponsor the Edgerton Community Outreach (ECO) Lunch in the Park summer food program for children.

ECO understands that many of the children who receive free and reduced lunch at school during the school year suffer greatly during the summer months, due to lack of food options and availability at home. “Landmark’s partnership has enabled Lunch in the Park to provide children and families an opportunity to enjoy a meal together for another summer season,” said Alyssa Meyers, food pantry coordinator of ECO.

Lunch in the Park is looking a bit different this year as they navigate social distancing. This summer, ECO is partnering with the Edgerton School District to provide the meals. “ECO staff and volunteers are packaging and delivering meals to 158 kids in Edgerton on Mondays and Wednesdays,” said Meyers. “Each kid receives two lunches, so volunteers package 300-plus meals each time.”

“In summer 2017, we served 195 people; in summer 2018, we served 270; and in summer 2019, we served 340,” said Meyers. “It’s great to see the yearly expansion as Lunch in the Park serves more kids in need. Landmark’s continued support helps us make sure that kids have access to food during what could be a difficult time for them and their families.”

Finding a way to help children in local communities combat hunger with programs like these is a natural fit for an agricultural cooperative like Landmark. “We are excited to participate in the Lunch in the Park program for a third year by partnering with ECO to help serve food to children in need,” said Shannon Horstmeyer, executive assistant of Landmark. “ECO puts on a great program that helps fill the nutritional need for students in the summer while Alyssa makes everyone feel welcomed. We are proud to be a part of their efforts.”

Cutline:  Landmark Services Cooperative donated $1,200 to ECO on June 8 to go toward the Lunch in the Park initiative. Pictured from left to right: Alyssa Meyers, food pantry coordinator of ECO; Emily Pope, director of programs of ECO; Shannon Horstmeyer, executive assistant of Landmark