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Creating value through people, possibility

The first week of March provided another opportunity to meet with our member-owners at MFA’s district delegate meetings.Ernie1 Meeting and interacting with the customer base is always one of the most rewarding parts of my job.

These meetings are one of the two annual face-to-face platforms company leadership uses to communicate with members. It is important that the elected delegates have an opportunity to learn about the status of operations, understand the company’s financial health, and gain an understanding of the outlook for the near future.

One of the key responsibilities of delegates is their role in the governance of the cooperative. They are the group entrusted with electing your board of directors. We held three non-contested elections for incumbents. In District 6, Tim Brand of Glasgow was re-elected to the board; in District 9, Davin Althoff of California; and in District 11, Gerald Eggerman of South Greenfield.

Contested elections were held in two districts. In District 7, Thad Becker of Mexico was elected to his first term. He fills the seat vacated by Jimmie Reading, who had reached his term limit. In District 12, Steve Stone of Galena was re-elected and is entering his third term on the board of directors.

“Forget all the technology we use today. It’s still the people who provide value to your operations.”

We also used these meetings to cover a couple of timely topics. Beef prices are at or near record levels right now. The livestock team shared practices and technologies that could lead to additional profitability. MFA’s new online account portal, MFA Connect, was also highlighted during the meetings. MFA Connect will provide convenient access to the information you need when you need it. It is accessible through both the website and mobile app.

During the delegate meetings, I spent time discussing change and the need to stay relevant in the marketplace. I have shared similar messages here in this column. MFA will continue to adapt. However, we won’t change our commitment to delivering value to our member-owners.

The foundation for delivering that value lies with the team we have assembled throughout the organization. Team MFA is truly the lifeblood of your cooperative. They are the face of the business. Forget all the technology we use today. It’s still the people who provide value to your operations.

Team MFA is our link to each of you as customers. They understand your goals and needs. Their insight will drive product and service solutions for each of you. But they can only deliver if they are equipped with the tools they need. I believe they are.

We continue to improve our facilities, update our equipment and rolling stock, and adopt technologies that drive efficiencies. From there, our team is empowered to take care of business. Sales and service volumes indicate they have delivered.

I am extremely proud of our team. Their passion and dedication are unmatched in our trade area. I trust you appreciate their efforts as much as I do. We can never take them for granted.

Biz Stone was co-founder of Twitter. A comment he made several years ago sums up my feelings on Team MFA: “When you give good people possibility, they do great things.”

Have a safe spring.

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