History in a cornfield Steamboat Arabia

Written by Nancy Jorgensen on .

Stewart Morris farms along the Missouri River near Levasey, Mo., just east of Kansas City. When David Hawley contacted him in the 1980s about a steamboat called Mars lying under his cornfield, “I thought it was a bunch of bull,” Morris says. He figured Hawley was searching for oil.

But Stewart’s respect grew in 1987 when David discovered the steamboat Arabia under another farmer’s cornfield nearby. Since 1856, when the Arabia launched from St. Louis, the Missouri River had shifted, eventually burying the 171-foot side paddle wheeler a half-mile from the river’s current course and 45 feet beneath the earth.  

It took the Hawley crew more than a year and a million dollars to excavate the Arabia, but she eventually yielded over 200 tons of cargo. You can see more than 100,000 of those treasures, including hatpins, silk and perfume, and Indian trade guns and beads, in the Arabia Steamboat Museum near the river in Kansas City, Mo.

“I take all of my out of town guests to the museum, and they’re flabbergasted,” Stewart said. “It’s just unbelievable that all that stuff was underground.” The venue attracts about 100,000 visitors a year.

It’s not your grandpa’s diesel engine

Written by James D. Ritchie on .

Manufacturers gear up for EPA’s Tier 4 emission rules

Late in 1972, Bob George (then a University of Missouri ag engineer) bought two brand-new 1973 model Plymouth sedans. George put one vehicle up on blocks and drove the wheels off the other one. Then, he took the first car out of mothballs and drove it several thousand miles.

George wasn’t collecting Plymouth automobiles. But, beginning with 1974 models, all U.S. car makers were mandated to add of emission-control technology, and he wanted a stockpile of cars without this gadgetry.
In the next two or three years, several farmers may be borrowing pages from Bob George’s book. Before 2015, all non-road diesel engines (including those in farm and construction equipment) are subject to rigid emission-control standards—the so-called Tier 4 standards ordered by the Environmental Protection Agency—and some producers likely will be trading up to new machines before these standards take effect.

“Many farm equipment buyers probably will be purchasing machines ahead of the Tier 4 emission-control standards,”
said Darrin Drollinger, of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. “Over-the-road diesel buyers did that a year or two before the requirement for emission reductions in highway equipment took effect.”

“I look for 2011 to be a big sales year for new machinery, as farmers buy ahead of Deere’s planned start with Tier 4 engines in 2012,” agreed Ron Andresen, sales manager for Sydenstricker Implement Company, a John Deere dealership at Palmyra, Mo. “By contrast, 2012 may be a bust where new equipment is concerned, but we could see a boom in late-model, low-hours used equipment.”

To start closer to the beginning, in the 1990s EPA outlined a “four-tier” program to gradually reduce exhaust emissions from non-road diesel engines. Tier 1 standards for new non-road diesels were to be phased in from 1996 to 2000. In 1998, EPA signed the final rule, introducing Tier 1 emission standards for diesel equipment under 50 hp. and increasingly more stringent Tier 2 and Tier 3 standards for all non-road equipment, with phase-in scheduled from 2000 to 2008.

Tier 1 through Tier 3 standards are met by advanced engine design, with few or no exhaust gas after-treatment devices (i.e., oxidation catalysts). In May, 2004, EPA issued the final rule introducing Tier 4 standards, which are to be phased in between now and 2015. Tier 4 standards require that emissions of particulate matter (PM) and nitrous oxide and nitrous dioxide (NOx) be further reduced by about 90 percent. Such emission reductions can only be achieved with the use of control technologies—including exhaust gas after-treatments similar to those required by the 2007-2010 standards for over-the-road diesel engines.

Incidentally, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled two years ago that EPA must regulate greenhouse gases (even without Congressional action) under the federal Clean Air Act, if the agency finds that these regulations are necessary to environmental and human health. EPA estimated that by 2010, NOx emissions would be reduced by a million tons per year (the equivalent of taking 35 million passenger cars off the road), and that by 2030, some 12,000 premature deaths would be prevented annually.

At this point, the EPA rules only apply to new equipment. Existing diesel-powered machinery is “grandfathered” in, with no requirement to retrofit emission-control technology onto older machines.

“However, it’s still unclear whether retrofit will be required in some areas, such as California,” said AEM’s Drollinger.
And, the jury is still out on how much, if any, fuel efficiency and power output may be affected by the EPA-mandated emission-control technology.

“When you add components to existing technology, there are always some changes,” continued Drollinger. “But engine manufacturers are working to make sure there isn’t a fuel efficiency or power penalty with these emission-control changes.”

“Tractor engine manufacturers have been able to learn a lot from the experience of over-the-road engine makers,” added Andresen.

Whether fuel efficiency and power output take a hit with the ordered modifications, there’s no doubt that machines that meet Tier 4 standards will cost more.

“Depending on the type of machine and its use, these standards will add to the cost of building engines,” said Drollinger.

At the time rules were published, EPA estimated a 1 to 3 per¬cent boost in the purchase price of typical new non-road diesel equipment. But as Drollinger said, much of the increase in cost will depend on the type of machine. For example, a 175-hp bulldozer that now costs about $230,000 might cost an additional $6,500 to add the emission-control equipment and to re-design the bulldozer to accommodate it.

And, there are other consequences that EPA might not have fully anticipated. It’s a bit like the doctor who prescribes a pill to counter the effects of the last pill he prescribed. For example, at the Tier 1 through 3 stages, sulfur content in non-road diesel fuel was not regulated. However, the 3,000 parts-per-million of sulfur in an average gallon of No. 2 diesel fuel plays havoc with Tier 4 emission-control features, such as catalytic converters and NOx absorbers. So, as part of the Tier 4 mandate, EPA ordered that sulfur content be reduced to 15 ppm for non-road fuel, effective next June.

Producing ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel adds 7 to 8 cents to a gallon of No. 2 diesel. But there’s another shoe to drop. The sulfur content in average fuel acts as a lubricant for an engine’s upper cylinders. By itself, ultra-low sulfur fuel does not provide the lubricity an engine requires.

As MFA Oil director of product development and lubricant sales Don North explained it, “The steps refineries take to comply with EPA emission requirements increase the cost of production, thereby raising the price of gasoline and diesel fuel. The retail price on low sulfur diesel and ultra low sulfur diesel has been the same, although most market areas have not offered low sulfur off-road diesel since 2006.

“When ultra low sulfur diesel fuel was first introduced, its lubricity was questioned. To address the issue, the federal government mandated that all ultra low sulfur diesel fuel be injected with an additive at the terminal, ensuring it has the same lubricity value as low sulfur diesel. ASTM specifications were also revised to include a maximum High Frequency Reciprocating Rig score of 520. The HFRR test measures the lubricity property of a fuel, which is vitally important to fuel injection systems. The higher the score, the more severe a fuel is on the system.”
Some engine manufacturers have recommended an even lower HFRR number of 460 or less, meaning additional lubricity additives are necessary.

According to Leon Schumacher, University of Missouri agricultural engineer, commercial lubricants are available on the market and most fuel distributors will add them at the request of the fuel buyer. Biodiesel provides the necessary lubricity, too; No. 2 diesel blended with just 2 percent biodiesel provides ample lubrication.
So, whether you hold onto the equipment you now own, trade up to a later-model rig, or opt to buy a new one with all the emission-control bells and whistles, at some point, you will be driving a Tier 4 machine. No equipment lasts forever and EPA’s rules appear to be here to stay.

Even Bob George’s second Plymouth finally bit the dust.

In defense of chewers of cud

Written by Blake Hurst on .

Make mine medium-rare

The car in front of us at the coffee shop drive-through window had a bumper sticker that said “Meat is not green.” Well, thank goodness. I’m no cook, but I’m sure the main cook at our house balks at serving green meat. Now, I’m not totally blind to the metaphorical play of the bumper sticker set: From worries about cholesterol to energy use to global warming, the cow is on the front lines in the battle about what we should eat. Yet, beef is a main ingredient to my definition of the good life, and it’s time to speak up for cud-chewers.

A 2006 Food and Agriculture Organization report said that cows cause more greenhouse warming than cars. Methane, when it comes to global warming, is 23 times as powerful as carbon dioxide. Cows emit methane when they ruminate. Which means almost all my textbooks in high school history were wrong. They seemed to think that it was generally a bad thing that Buffalo Bill Cody and his buddies shot millions of buffaloes for the hides, wasting the meat and driving buffalo close to extinction. Come to find out, Buffalo Bill was last century’s Al Gore, and probably the only reason the climate has lasted as long as it has.

Who knew that brown cow was such an environmental villain? We once had a steer bloat in our feedlot. The vet stuck a scalpel in the calf’s side causing an odoriferous eruption of what I now know were dangerous greenhouse gases. And, somewhere on a low-lying Polynesian island, a French tourist was swept away by the sudden sea rise caused by our veterinarian’s scalpel. Not to worry, I’ve got a solution. Like essayist Matt Labash, I eat as much beef as I can, thereby stemming global warming at the source.

There is an environmental solution. Just feed cows nothing but grass, and the problem goes away. At least that’s what dozens of “foodie” Web sites say. According to a study done by Dennis Avery of the Hudson Institute, and work done by Nathan Pelletier of Dallhousie University in Canada, cows fattened on corn actually emit less methane than do their more environmentally correct bovine brethren. Feedlot-finished cattle are easier on the climate because they reach slaughter weight more quickly, the higher feed value of corn decreases the emission of methane, and less land is used in the production of each pound of beef.

Replacing the meat in my diet with the next best source of protein, beans, doesn’t solve the problem. I mean, methane is methane is methane. I will then be causing more environmental damage than a Hummer. Not to mention the marital problems sure to follow. We are doomed, simply doomed.

How exactly do we know how much methane a cow produces? A quick Internet search answered that question. There it was, a picture of a confused looking Holstein with about a hundred-pound L.P. bottle on her back and an apparatus to capture afflatus installed—the answer to my marital problems and heating bill. Just recapture the methane, and recycle it in my furnace.

The recent release of the Climate Research Unit’s emails has added a certain spice to this whole debate about our addiction to SUVs and sirloins. It seems that science is not always a non-political search for truth and some of our leading experts on this most important subject are humorless twits. Separate stories revealed that much of the basis for historical reconstruction of temperatures depends on tree rings from only 12 trees in Siberia. The authors of the emails claim they are mistreated, misunderstood, plagued by the misinformed, and taken out of context. “Hide the decline” hardly seems to need much context, however.

If you are 30, there has been no global warming in your adult life. More importantly, at least in the short term, even the most alarmist global warming models show little benefit from the Cap and Trade Bill in front of Congress, or by extension, the rules that the EPA is ready to write limiting our use of carbon. We’re going to raise the price of almost everything for no benefit that those God-like computer models can find.

The goal of the kind of people recently partying down in Copenhagen is to reduce the emission of carbon by 80 percent by the year 2050. That would demand a carbon use roughly the same as our grandparents used in 1910. One thing is certain: people in China, India, and Westboro, Mo., are not going to accept a future that cold and that dark. Not to mention a future without prime rib.

Much of the world is unsuitable for the raising of grains, vegetables or arugula. Without the cow, we wouldn’t have T-bone steaks, John Wayne or rodeos. She placidly uses what we cannot, turning vast stretches of the world into valuable protein and energy. From the savannas of Africa to the plains of Australia to the American West, from the hills of Virginia to the hollows of Southern Missouri, the cow takes indigestible cellulose and turns it into what’s for dinner. The cow is the perfect example of sustainability, providing nutrition and enjoyment from those most renewable of resources, grass and corn. Not only that, but beef is a necessity, not unlike medical care or clothing. You can celebrate your anniversary with a nice pasta, your birthday with vegetarian lasagna, your graduation with tofu on a stick, but for me special occasions have always demanded a steak, and always will.

Make your operation a CLEAN one

Written by Nancy Jorgensen on .

If you’re a livestock confinement operator, sign up for a free manure management assessment.

A 1,400-pound dairy cow produces about 18 gallons of manure a day. A 150-pound hog, one gallon. A 20-pound turkey, a tenth of that. Use it right, and it is an asset. Get it wrong and you’re in the cross hairs of regulators.
Now, a federal grant program can help you manage manure efficiently while minimizing environmental risk. Participation is confidential, and it’s free for most U.S. confinement operators.

“The beauty of the program is you don’t have to be large to participate,” said Patrick Splichal, technical director of the program. He works for SES Corp. out of Merriam, Kan.

Comprehensive Livestock Environmental Assessments and Nutrient management plan (CLEAN mp), has been available for about two years, and 29 Missouri growers have taken part. Hog producers in northern Missouri make up most participants. Others include poultry, sale barn and dairy operators across the state. Their sizes range from 10,000 hogs to 100 milk cows.

“No matter what your size, the plan helps you make good use of manure,” Splichal said. “It saves on the cost of fertilizer, it’s good for the environment, and it makes you a good neighbor.”
In the past, farmers sometimes considered manure a waste to be hauled away. With today’s high fertilizer prices, manure has turned to gold. It holds the three nutrients most needed to boost crop production—nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. If you raise crops as well as livestock, you can spread it as fertilizer. If you don’t grow crops, you can sell it to a neighbor.

Missouri leads the pack

A Jefferson City, Mo.-based organization, the Environmental Resources Coalition , received $3.8 million to administer the four-year CLEAN project west of the Mississippi. (Another organization administers CLEAN in eastern states.) Missouri Corn Growers Association created ERC a few years ago. ERC, in turn, contracts with SES Corp. to provide technical services for CLEAN.

Missouri producers account for one-third of applicants in the western U.S. Splichal estimates that Missouri farmers have reaped about $150,000 in benefits. Kansas applicant numbers take a close second place.

In each state, the Department of Natural Resources or a comparable regulator requires larger producers to develop a nutrient management plan as part of a permitting process. In Missouri, this includes operations with more than 1,000 animal units, which roughly translates into 2,500 hogs, 700 dairy cows, 1,000 feedlot cattle or 100,000 broilers. The Missouri DNR has issued National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits to approximately 550 livestock operations.

Small operations vastly outnumber permitted facilities, so many more livestock producers are eligible for CLEAN.
Competent and confidential

“Missouri is a big livestock state, and we’d like to get more applications,” Splichal said. He speculates that some haven’t taken part because it’s free to farmers. “They think, ‘What’s the catch?’” Splichal said. “’If it’s free, is there a value?’” The value varies according to the size and type of operation. It might cost the program $10,000 to assess a California mega-dairy, compared to $4,500 for the average Missouri hog facility, he explained.
Missouri by the Numbers

Source: 2007 USDA Census of Agriculture
Steve Cromley, a certified agronomist at MFA Incorporated in Columbia, Mo., manages MFA’s Technical Service Provider program and has handled nine nutrient management plans and four environmental assessments. He suspects that some producers resist applying because “they tend to be private about their enterprises.” He and Splichal stress that assessments are confidential. Regulators see only group data; producer names aren’t disclosed.
CLEAN covers nutrient management and environmental assessments, but does not pay for construction, manure handling equipment or other expenses that may be needed to implement recommendations. Grants are available to cover those costs through the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program.
Growers don’t receive CLEAN funds directly. If CLEAN accepts your application, it goes out for bid to technical service providers (TSPs) in your area. All TSPs must be certified through NRCS and experienced in manure management. The TSP winning the low bid receives the funds.
“A farmer can’t select the TSP, but he is guaranteed that the TSP is certified in manure management and meets our guidelines,” said Mark White, executive director of ERC. “Who better knows your state regulations than your local TSP?”

How the process works
While a nutrient management plan comes at no charge to growers, it will cost you a little time to fill out an application form, which can be completed online or as a hard copy. You need to gather soil tests and records to facilitate the plan. Once you’re accepted, a TSP is assigned to visit you and assess your facility.
In addition to the nutrient management plan, you can also request an environmental assessment. Nutrient management plans account for 60 to 65 percent of CLEAN applicants; environmental assessments, 15 percent; the remaining percentage has applied for both, Splichal reported. “It’s not a surprise that nutrient management assessments have been more popular since large operators are required to have them,” he said. Nutrient assessments also cost more to conduct, he added.
In a nutrient assessment, the TSP considers whether you capture and contain manure responsibly. Most confined livestock operations store manure in a lagoon or in under-floor pits and remove it in the spring or fall to apply to fields. The plan assesses whether you adequately pump out manure frequently enough to allow enough storage capacity for wet weather.

Soil tests help you avoid too much build-up of nutrients, particularly phosphorus, on individual fields. “We usually work with a farmer to keep records for five years so he knows how much to apply,” Splichal said. “Many producers spread manure in the same fields closest to the barn year after year. The assessment helps you understand where you need it.”

Assessments can help crop growers save on fertilizer purchases. “We determine the amount and nutrient value of the manure produced on the farm, and balance its application with fertilizer application,” Cromley said. “We determine where nutrients should be applied in order to maximize crop production and minimize environmental risk.”
Splichal admits that farmers don’t like paperwork. “But at the end of the day, keeping records benefits you,” he said. “It also proves due diligence—if someone accuses you of a spill, records showing where, when and how much you applied or removed can protect you. Our surveys show that most participants like the program.”

In an environmental assessment, the TSP uses a checklist of best management practices including size of operation, type of animals or crops, land use, erosion control, how dead animals are handled and record-keeping. The TSP boils this down to a two- to three-page report that lists strengths, challenges and recommendations. Generally, environmental assessments require TSPs to spend less time on site than with a nutrient plan.
Prepares you for future rules

Beyond preparing you for a permit, a CLEAN assessment might also ready you for new environmental regulations coming down the road.

“Looking ahead, the big issues in agriculture look to be nutrient in nature,” said ERC’s White. Translation: farm chemical standards are already in place, and more nutrient standards are on the way. He said the Missouri DNR will release new clean water standards for nutrients next year. “By setting standards, states could place limits on the amount of nutrients allowed, and place lakes and streams on a list if they exceed those limits,” he concluded.
CLEAN funds are available through Oct. 2011. For more information, call 1 (800) 897-1163 or visit www.cleanmp-west.org. *Source: Midwest Plan Service’s Manure Characteristics

EPA to study atrazine again
Keith Witt, a corn and soybean grower from Warrenton, Mo., was disappointed recently when the Environmental Protection Agency announced a new evaluation of atrazine, a herbicide sold under various brand names and used by corn growers to control broadleaf and grassy weeds. After EPA completes the evaluation of atrazine’s effect on humans, the agency will decide whether new restrictions are needed.  
“I use atrazine because it works, and it’s the most economical herbicide you can find,” said Witt, president of the Missouri Corn Growers Association (MCGA). MCGA estimates that atrazine saves Missouri farmers an average of $20 an acre on corn compared to switching to other herbicides, he added. “Scientists have already researched atrazine in 6,000 studies. Do we need to start from scratch?”
Witt has been using atrazine for more than 30 years. “We’re using a lot less than what Dad used per acre,” he said. Farmers today use less as they find atrazine more effective when combined with other, newer herbicides. New application methods also improve efficiency.
Until EPA’s recent announcement, the federal agency was scheduled to re-register atrazine, meaning that after years of study, atrazine’s continued use would be cleared for the future. Steve Owens, assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, explained EPA’s action in an October 2009 news release.
“One of Administrator [Lisa] Jackson’s top priorities is to improve the way EPA manages and assesses the risk of chemicals, including pesticides, and as part of that effort, we are taking a hard look at the decision made by the previous administration on atrazine,” Owens said.
Activist groups are moving to slow down or reverse atrazine’s re-registration. For example, a recent Natural Resources Defense Council news release “urged the phase-out of atrazine, more effective atrazine monitoring, and the adoption of farming techniques to prevent it from running in waterways.”
Missouri became ground zero for farm-based atrazine research in the late 90s, when MCGA formed the Environmental Resources Coalition. The ERC’s Watershed Research, Assessment and Stewardship Project (WRASP) aimed to improve water quality while increasing farm profitability.
“We took the information gleaned in WRASP and designed best management practices which ensure atrazine and other products applied by farmers stay on the land and are utilized by the crop,” said Gary Marshall, chief executive officer of MCGA.
Mark White, executive director of ERC, added that if atrazine’s use were eliminated, it might cost Missouri farmers $60 million a year. “Atrazine is one of the most important herbicides in the region and the most widely used in the world,” he said. “It’s inexpensive, safe and effective.”
Before the ERC project, White said, ideas suggested to limit atrazine runoff weren’t based on sound science. The five-year WRASP project tested run-off levels from fields within two Missouri drinking supply reservoir watersheds that DNR had placed on its 303(d) list for exceeding the maximum contaminant level for atrazine. Then, ERC tested different farming practices to learn what would control run-off most effectively. Here’s what the research found.
• The most effective way to keep atrazine in the field was to incorporate it with a tillage tool.
• Timing of application was the next best practice. One example: using atrazine later in the season as a post-emergent application.
• Also effective: Using reduced rates and splitting application between pre-emergence and post-emergence.
The least effective management practice: Using atrazine as a pre-emergent application in a no-tillage system. Adjusting application rates and timing are better management practices with no-till.
Best management practices promoted by the ERC study helped reduce atrazine levels in two lakes, and eventually the DNR removed the lakes from its 303(d) list, White said. He added that farmers have adopted split- and post-application practices most widely, since incorporation with tillage tools is at odds with no- and minimum tillage practices. He pointed out that atrazine helps make no- and minimum-till practices more practical, and less tillage prevents soil erosion that contributes to some chemicals and nutrients running off into rivers and streams.
A study released by the U.S. Geological Survey reveals that these best practices may be working. It showed declines in pesticide levels, including atrazine, in Corn Belt rivers and streams from 1996 to 2006. Atrazine concentrations declined more rapidly than its estimated use, according to Skip Vecchia, senior author of the report.
“The steeper decline in these instances may be caused by agricultural management practices that have reduced pesticide transport, but data on management practices are not adequate to definitively answer the question,” Vecchia said. The EPA uses USGS findings on pesticide trends to track the effectiveness of changes in pesticide regulations and use.
Paul Tracy, director of agronomy for MFA Incorporated, said atrazine stands as a proven key to a total weed control program. “With the new seed products out, Liberty Link, Roundup Ready and others, and a move toward multiple applications, farmers have greatly reduced dependency on atrazine and are using it much more judiciously,” he said.
Find Environmental Resources Coalition on the Web at www.erc-env.org.

Annual Report

on .

MFA Incorporated Annual Report for August 31, 2009

President's / Chairman's Letter

MFA’s fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2009, is by far the most difficult year in the company’s history. Largely as a result of the global economic crisis and volatility in commodity markets, energy and plant foods, MFA Incorporated reported a substantial loss for the fiscal year, following the previous year’s record company profit. MFA’s balance sheet strength is such that at no point during this period was member equity impaired.

Four areas represented the negative results: devaluation of generic crop protection products, deteriorating values of feed ingredients, negative effects of the H1N1 flu panic on the swine industry and, most specifically, precipitous decline in fertilizer prices. Considering MFA’s inventory positions in these affected sectors of agriculture, the cooperative’s losses were understandable. Still, we consider those losses to be unacceptable.

MFA management has established risk-management policies and controls to prevent recurrence of these losses. MFA’s balance sheet and loan structures continue to allow the cooperative to capitalize on opportunity in the marketplace. We have a high degree of confidence in the company’s ability to generate healthy profits. In fact, for fiscal year 2009-2010, management has conservatively budgeted good profitability. MFA also enjoys the full support of its lending institutions.

MFA continues to enjoy a capital-structure competitive advantage. Our balance sheet remains solid. MFA’s seed division had outstanding results of $6.3 million in earnings. The crop protection division had record earnings of $5.9 million. MFA’s retail division had its second best year ever with earnings of $8.5 million. The cooperative has continued to open new locations, to construct state-of-the-art fertilizer plants, to grow MFA branded seed, to strategically acquire facilities, and to implement new products and programs to benefit member/owners.

Despite this past year’s dramatic market fluctuations, MFA remains a strong company. MFA is unique, a farmer-owned enterprise, developed to serve the specific needs of farmer/members in our sales territory. Products and practices have changed over the nearly 100 years of MFA’s existence, but the basic characteristics of our market, members and company remain the same. MFA has a proud history and an excellent reputation. We have a strong customer base. Our employees are well respected by customers, suppliers and other agribusinesses. MFA is large enough to compete favorably and small enough to understand and appreciate our customers’ needs.

MFA’s physical presence and heavy concentration in the territory provide competitive advantages. Adding to those advantages are the cooperative’s offerings of application equipment, precision farming services, product and performance testing, specialized customer contact, intricate customer databases, regional storage opportunities, customer education opportunities, and information services.

Above all, MFA has experienced tough times before and has continued to prosper. MFA has an outstanding workforce. MFA charts the course, and MFA employees pull together to assure continued success. Together, MFA members and MFA employees will make this a better company than ever before.


Bill Streeter
President and CEO

Joe Dent
Chairman of the Board


DOWNLOAD 2009 Annual Report Here


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