March brings warmer weather, new life, and spring. What a relief! February was cold and I’m glad it’s over.
In Farm Bureau-land I have been focused on several different projects this past month. We have started work on a new plat book that will be released in November with a 2022 cover. Daryl Hodges has been busy recruiting advertisers for the new book. If you’d like to purchase an ad, please call our office and we will put you in touch with Daryl.
Our Prep Freeze Cook Meal orders were delivered and picked up on March 4. We had a total of 58 orders and raised over $1,000 for our scholarship program! Thank you to everyone who participated in the order and volunteered on pick-up day. Last but not least, our Household Hazardous Waste Collection event is scheduled for March 27 at the fairgrounds in Butler and we have been busy promoting and answering questions about the event. Acceptable wastes include: oil-based paint and paint thinner, aerosol paint and cleaning products, insecticides, herbicides, pesticides, mercury, gasoline, antifreeze, used motor oil, fluorescent light bulbs, expired medications, and household batteries. If you have a question about an item not listed, please email Donald.R.Buis@Illinois.gov.
For our member spotlight this month we’ll visit with new general manager for M&M Service Company, Dave Wright. Dave began working for Macoupin Service Company in 1995 and has weathered two business mergers among several other changes over the years. Dave’s job title changed from controller to general manager on Jan. 4. M&M Service Company serves customers in Macoupin, Madison, and Montgomery counties and Dave provided an update on the changes that have taken place for the business over the past year.
“Last September we had a couple of acquisitions; one of which was assets and employees of Miller Brothers Fertilizer. We relocated seven employees to our Litchfield facility and have been servicing those customers since last fall. That same week we actually entered into a lease for the Witt and Nokomis facilities of the former Route 16 Grain Cooperative. We leased those facilities through harvest and were able to close on the property and acquire those facilities in December. A couple of big changes for our operation and we’re really looking forward to working with the customers in those areas. I should also add that we will be doing some upgrades at our Nokomis facility this spring. We’ll be improving the receiving and putting a new leg up at the elevator as well as adding a truck loadout at that facility.”
Along with the acquisitions and Nokomis upgrade, Dave says a big change is coming for the Litchfield plant as well.
“We’re going to be building a brand new, state of the art, liquid chemical plant just north of our existing fertilizer plant in the old plot area. It will start from the ground up and be a 19,000 square foot facility. We’ll have four total bays in the facility, one of which will be dedicated to receiving product and we’ll run sprayers and tenders through the other three bays. That will triple our capacity there. We’ve outgrown the facility and don’t really have room to expand to the south, so we felt building a brand-new facility with all of the new technology and environmental and safety considerations was the best route to go.”
Dave said construction should start on the new facility in April, weather pending, and they are planning for a soft start in the fall and a full launch of the facility in the spring of 2022. Weather affects just about every piece of the operation at M&M Service Company and employees are hard at work prepping for the busy spring season.
“Every February and March time frame we are always preparing for spring. Getting equipment ready, getting people lined up and ready to go. This year is a little different, as we are focusing on giving our employees the chance to be vaccinated for COVID-19 since we have been deemed essential workers. Any employee that wants to be vaccinated has the opportunity to have that done and get ready to go for spring.”
The first day of spring is March 20. Let’s hope for nice weather and a successful planting season!