Landscapes Monthly Newsletter – November 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 Announces Scholarship Opportunities for Area Students

To encourage academic, professional, and leadership development among post-secondary students, Landmark Services Cooperative is offering $1,000 Landmark Scholarships to 15 area students.

Eligibility for the scholarships is limited to Landmark members, employees, and directors, as well as their children. The scholarships are awarded in two categories:

  • College students attending an accredited four-year university, an accredited two-year technical school or an accredited agricultural short course
  • High school seniors who will be attending one of the above education programs following graduation

Since 1989, Landmark has awarded 380 scholarships totaling $245,850. Building a strong future for agriculture helps ensure a strong future for Landmark’s members and communities.

Scholarship applicants will be evaluated based on leadership, scholastic achievement, extracurricular activities, personal motivation, and academic and life goals. Preference will be given to students majoring in agriculture, and the minimum cumulative grade point average (measured as of the last completed academic year) is 2.75 on a 4.0 scale.

The scholarship application form, including detailed instructions, is available at https://www.landmark.coop/landmark-gives-back/. Applications are due by December 1, 2020.

2020 Scholarship Application Now Available

Landmark is pleased to announce that we will be offering $1,000 Landmark Scholarships to a total of 15 area students. The scholarships will be awarded in two categories:

1. College Students: This is open to students attending an accredited four-year university or college, an accredited two-year technical school program or an accredited agricultural short course.

2. High School Seniors: This is open to high school seniors who will be attending one of the above listed higher education programs following high school graduation.

All applications are due at the Landmark Services Cooperative office (1401 Landmark Dr, Cottage Grove) no later than December 1, 2020.

Link:  2020 Landmark Scholarship Application

“Feel The Love” program provides a new furnace to a deserving family

Landmark Heating and Cooling team members in Cottage Grove know that frigid winter temperatures will be here soon. That’s exactly why they spent October 3 installing a new furnace to help a deserving family. This year’s recipient was forced into early retirement for health reasons, and their furnace was on its last legs. Without major repairs, the furnace would most likely not have made it through the winter months. In cases like these, the Feel the Love program can really make a difference for people in need of a helping hand.

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

For 11 years, the Landmark Heating and Cooling team has donated all labor and installation materials to install a brand-new, high-efficiency furnace for a family whose existing unit is severely inefficient or unrepairable, at no cost to the recipient. The furnace is generously donated by Lennox Industries, which has provided more than 1,000 furnaces to families in need as part of the Feel the Love program.

“I’m proud of our dedicated Landmark team for volunteering and donating their time and talent on a Saturday,” says Tom Krausse, manager at Landmark Heating and Cooling. “This year held special meaning as we helped a former team member who truly needed a new HVAC system. We knew we had to do something and our team did what they do best.”

Landscapes Monthly Newsletter – October 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 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.

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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.