Grain rescue training grant

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The MFA Incorporated Charitable Foundation recently donated $15,000 to the University of Missouri Extension on behalf of the University of Missouri Fire & Rescue Training Institute. The money will be used for the institute’s Grain Engulfment Rescue Training Program to provide specialized training for Missouri emergency responders to grain entrapment and engulfment emergencies.

Through this training, the first responder will learn about the hazards and issues associated with grain entrapment/engulfment emergencies, and the basic techniques to safely conduct initial rescue operations. Students will apply selected rescue techniques to safely retrieve patients from grain entrapments utilizing a mobile grain bin simulator that is part of the course. Local fire departments are the first on the scene to deal with these emergencies and need the appropriate training to safely deal with the incident.

A 2010 Purdue University study revealed that the rate of grain entrapments in 2009 increased by 22.5 percent over the previous five-year average. Other data show that 61 percent of grain bin incidents occur at rural farm facilities.

“MFA has been a significant program partner since the start by providing grain for use in the mobile simulator. This funding provided by the MFA Incorporated Charitable Foundation will further enable the program to be more accessible by reducing the course costs to deliver the programs throughout the state,” said David Hedrick, director of the institute.

Grandin recognized for insight

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Temple Grandin’s worldwide reputation as a leader in the field of humane animal handling and autism advocacy has propelled her into one of the nation’s most distinguished groups—the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Colorado State University professor of animal sciences is an internationally recognized leader in animal handling innovations. Her expertise has been employed by major corporations such as Wendy’s International, Burger King, Whole Foods, McDonald’s Corp. as well as the USDA, where she has trained auditors in animal care at livestock processing plants. Grandin’s approach to animal welfare is informed by her experiences with autism and through her perspective as a “visual thinker.”

She is a tireless advocate for autism awareness, a role model for individuals across the autism spectrum, and inspiration for families who have loved ones diagnosed with autism. Despite labels that were put on her at an early age, Grandin has accomplished much throughout her career, including earning her doctoral degree, authoring a New York Times best-seller, Animals in Translation, and having the story of her life depicted in HBO’s Temple Grandin.

“Temple Grandin is a one-in-a-billion mind, and to include her as an autistic person in this group of esteemed scholars is an honor to her and human potential,” said Colorado State University President Tony Frank. “We’re proud to include her unique and insightful mind among our faculty ranks.”

Grandin is the third member of the CSU faculty to be elected to the American Academy. Biologist Diana Wall was inducted as a member of the Class of 2014; the late Marshall Fixman was the first inducted, in 1970. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa, an alumnus of the CSU College of Liberal Arts, is also part of the American Academy Class of 2016.

Since its founding in 1780, the American Academy has served the nation as a champion of scholarship, civil dialogue and useful knowledge. Its ranks include winners of the Nobel Prize and the Pulitzer Prize as well as Grammy, Oscar, Emmy and Tony Award winners, and other lauded intellectuals such as George Washington, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Margaret Mead. In addition to delivering a multitude of public talks and presentations, Grandin has also appeared in popular media outlets such as 20/20, 48 Hours, Larry King Live, 60 Minutes, The New York Times, Forbes and U.S. News and World Report. In 2010, Time named her one of the “100 Most Influential People” and her namesake film debuted that same year. She also delivered a TED Talk in 2010 on “The World Needs all Kinds of Minds.”

Grandin’s visibility on the world stage has increased autism awareness and understanding in ways that are truly without precedent. “To see Temple Grandin included among such a distinguished group of scientists, writers, artists and civic leaders speaks to the power of her scholarship and the transformative nature of her autism advocacy,” said Ajay Menon, dean of the CSU College of Agricultural Sciences.

5th Annual Golf Tournament Scholarship Fundraiser

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The Missouri Cooper County Cattlemen's will hold the 5th Annual Golf Tournament Scholarship fundraiser this Friday, July 1, 2016. Starts at 1:30 pm.

Awards include $520 for First, $400 for Second and $300 for Third Place based on a full field of 36 teams. Other contest include a $10,000 hole in one contest. Contact David Wolfe at 660-621-0850 for more information.

The tournament will be at the Hail Ridge Golf Course, 11511 Hwy 87 Boonville, MO. (MAP LINK HERE)

Download PDF of Flyer HERE.

MFA Incorporated announces construction of rail facility near Hamilton, Mo

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MFA Incorporated, a grain marketing and farm supply cooperative based in Columbia, Mo., recently announced a joint venture with MFA Oil Company, a farmer-owned energy supply cooperative, to build a shuttle-loader facility on the Union Pacific Railroad approximately 5 miles east of Hamilton, Mo. The grain-handling facility will consist of 2 million bushels of permanent storage and 1.5 million bushels of temporary storage along with a loop rail siding to accommodate a 110-railroad-car “shuttle” unit. Once completed, the structure will allow farmers in north central Missouri and southern Iowa to deliver crops to a modern, high-speed grain facility. Its rail siding capacity will provide new efficiencies to MFA Incorporated’s grain division as well as access to new markets.

“Logistics are a key issue in the grain business,” said MFA Incorporated Director of Grain Operations Mitch Dawson. “For MFA, this is the culmination of a multi-year process during which we evaluated the needs of our grain system. We identified this facility as a strategic improvement that will help us provide needed service to our owners and customers in a large part of our northern trade territory.”

Situated on Highway 36 in Caldwell County, Mo., the shuttle-loader facility will take advantage of an improved four-lane highway, close proximity to north-south traffic on Interstate 35 and direct access to the Union Pacific Railroad.

Adam McIntyre, regional manager for MFA locations in the area, sees the shuttle loader as a year-round asset for producers. “There is a lot of grain produced in north central and northwest Missouri, and harvest is a critical time for farmers. MFA’s investment in the shuttle loader will directly benefit farmers by providing them a place to unload quickly during peak harvest season. It also helps relieve harvest-time pressure on existing MFA grain receiving facilities throughout the region. During the high volume of harvest, we can move grain from smaller elevators to the shuttle loader to keep local storage capacity available. It will also be a great asset in the sense that the shuttle loader adds value to farms throughout the year as an additional marketing option for their grain.”

“Farmers favor facilities like this one because of the efficiency of large-capacity grain pits and high-speed conveyors to move the grain into storage,” said Dawson. “The facility is capable of moving 60,000 bushels per hour as farmers deliver grain. That means farmers will be able to unload as quickly as their trucks allow.”

A 110-car shuttle will hold approximately 420,000 bushels of corn or 380,000 bushels of soybeans. “Much of the grain will be sold to poultry markets in northwest Arkansas, eastern Oklahoma and eastern Texas,” said Dawson. “Some new markets we can reach include terminal markets in Arizona, California and Mexico. The facility will also provide MFA an efficient means to deliver northwest Missouri and southwest Iowa grain to terminal markets in U.S. Gulf region.”

The joint venture between MFA Incorporated and MFA Oil Company brings resources and expertise from both cooperatives and a significant investment in local communities. The facility will be operated by MFA Incorporated and is expected to bring five full-time jobs as well as seasonal part-time jobs to the region.

“This is a unique opportunity to aid local farmers by improving the transportation infrastructure in northwest Missouri,” said Mark Fenner, President and CEO of MFA Oil. “We’re always looking for ways to support our existing customers and attract new ones and this joint venture with MFA Incorporated will help us do both.”

“The shuttle loader helps fulfill our mission,” said Ernie Verslues, President and CEO of MFA Incorporated. “MFA was formed more than 100 years ago to address a lack of buying power and market access for farmers. We still take that mission seriously. This facility fits MFA’s vision to grow in strategic, profitable ways that enhance the economic well-being of our member/owners,” he said.

About MFA Incorporated: MFA Incorporated, founded in 1914, is a farmer-owned cooperative serving more than 45,000 farmers and ranchers. Directed by its board of farmer/owners, MFA seeks to make the cooperative responsive to the changing needs of the business of farming. The company provides grain marketing, agronomic inputs and services, feed, animal health products, farm supplies, precision agriculture solutions and financing services to farmers in Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Iowa. These products and services are offered through 145 MFA Agri Services Centers, as well as some 24 local affiliates with 20 branches and a wide network of local, independent cooperatives and dealers. For more information, visit

About MFA Oil Company: MFA Oil Company, formed in 1929, is a farmer-owned cooperative with more than 40,000 members. MFA Oil is the seventh largest propane retailer in the United States. The company supplies fuels, lubricants and propane to customers in Missouri, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming. Through a subsidiary, MFA Oil operates Break Time convenience stores in Missouri and Arkansas, Jiffy Lube franchises in central Missouri and Big O Tires franchises in Missouri and Arkansas.

Partnerships: Access new ideas through your most trusted advisor

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Chances are, you didn’t get into farming for the opportunity to lead a team.

In fact, you probably never envisioned a future in which your job would require you to access a small club of confidants just to be able to grow a crop.

Yet here you are, inundated with the latest data and technologies, engulfed by new ideas.

Dr. Matt Clover, manager of Research and Alliances at The Mosaic Company and an industry veteran, has several tips that can help farmers manage their teams.

“The age of simple trial and error is certainly over,” says Dr. Clover. “Technology on the farm has changed so dramatically, from the equipment used to the hybrids planted, the chemicals purchased, the fertilizer being used, and the way any of these are being put on the soil.

“That has created a need to involve more people in your operation,” he continues. “All of a sudden, it’s not just talking to the university extension office, it’s reaching out to other people, maybe even the companies producing the products, or the salespeople within those companies, to really try and get the information that’s needed to make an informed decision.”

According to Clover, the advancement of agricultural innovation has resulted in a greater need for farmers to have sound, credible relationships with their retailers. Having assistance in weeding through the amount of information and new products available to institute new or adapted strategies can pay tangible dividends. And working with your retailer in this manner can also help create systematic efficiency in your decision-making process.

“Many retailers have become a one-stop shop,” Clover explains. “And growers should remember that while you can buy your seed and all your inputs through them, you can also depend on them for the latest information and research. They’ve got certified crop advisors [CCAs] on board. If you have questions, you can go in there and ask.

“If you’ve got all of your data from your yield monitor, your seed and rainfall, you can send it back to them, and they can crunch all those numbers for you. They’ve really become that one-stop shop for the grower.”

The cornerstone of any successful partnership is an open line of communication. That’s equally true in farming, where goals and opportunities change like the weather. And often because of it.

This situation emphasizes the importance of consistent conversations—the type that builds trust and improves efficiency.

“It’s very important that growers are in regular contact with their retailer, to keep them informed of their operational goals and any changes that might affect their strategies,” Clover says. “Because in the end, the grower sets what they truly want to achieve. The retailer or the CCA should understand that grower. Not just what his operational goals are, but really know his preferences and what drives him.

“Think about when you call most customer service lines,” he advises. “They’re trained to tell you what you need to know, or at least what they think you need to know. But in the end, how often do we feel like that company doesn’t care about us? They have absolutely nothing invested in us. I don’t feel like there’s any help there. A partnership shouldn’t feel like calling the customer service line.”

Consistency of those conversations with partners, paired with history, can create an effective long-term business relationship that proves profitable for both parties.

“I think that local relationship shows you that this person knows me, they know what I want to achieve,” Clover adds. “So, as a farmer, I’m going to look at the information that they’re giving me. And, number one, I’m going to believe what they’re telling me, because I know they want me to be successful. And also, they want my business again next year. If they’re telling me the wrong thing and it doesn’t work out, that might change that relationship. So I think in the end, you have that personal relationship. The grower feels like the retailer or the CCA is really looking out for their best interest—the grower’s best interest. And you’re going to have that relationship to go forward in years to come. “

A recent survey of more than 400 North American farmers, conducted by The Mosaic Company, revealed that they place the highest level of trust in independent crop consultants when gathering information that affects soil fertility decisions. When asked to rank the trustworthiness of the sources they use to gather info on soil fertility, farmers ranked independent crop consultants (92 percent) just ahead of their own farming experience (89 percent), then local university extension specialists (85 percent).

Clover indicates one of the ways a local retailer or CCA adds value is by weeding through the wealth of information available on new products and practices, and then providing a list they would actually recommend, along with a third-party point of view.

“When we look at all of the options that we have available to us as growers, in the end, we want to be picking the right combinations of hybrids, traits, genetics and fertilizer,” Clover says. “We don’t want to be planting the wrong hybrid for a specific location, using the wrong herbicide or insecticide or failing to alter our fertilizer plan based on sound data. Number one, it might just be a waste of money in the end. Number two, maybe it’s going to cause irreversible injury that’s going to hurt our yields.”

“So having somebody who is really vetting that information for you is huge. Knowing each of the products and what differentiates them and what makes them right or wrong for a certain acre is imperative. Having that person who has gone through the products, vetted them all, and can provide the two or three best options for you on that farm, couldn’t be more important than it is today.”

Jeff Meyer, the general manager at MFA Northwest, considers it a top priority to keep up on trends and new products—not to mention products that have yet to make it to market.

“That helps me since I deal with farmers on a day-to-day basis as far as making fertility recommendations, crop plans, chemical recommendations and helping them devise a plan for the whole year,” Meyer explains. “To do that, I try to stay relevant by reading magazines, such as CropLife, or going to extended trainings that MFA puts on,” Meyer explains. “I also attend University of Missouri Extension meetings. Anything I can do to try to keep current on new and exciting products coming down the pipeline that can assist farmers is an important part of my job.”

This article originally appeared in Unfenced, a publication from the Mosaic Company


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