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(Records hit, not just Tons Per Acre)

One of my favorite times of the year is when harvest is underway. The crispness in the air and the smell of what farmers harvest is as pleasing as a warm apple pie out of the oven. When harvest wraps up, I like to go to the local café and listen to the farmers talk about yield and the little kid discussion of what brand of equipment or seed is better.

A new joy for me during this time of year is seeing all of the Cooperative team members working together with a purpose. That purpose is Zero Lost Time Injuries, 100% Environmental Compliance, and Uncompromised Quality. It is a purpose worth working for. We all provide for something, ourselves, our families, our employees, our communities, and our Cooperative.

To our knowledge since the safety records have been kept, this 2017 beet harvest saw the lowest incident rate ever. With the help of everyone working together, we are accomplishing greater things. We thank you for all of your efforts. This would not be accomplished without your commitment and diligence in the process.

Even though we saw our lowest internal incident rate, we experienced a higher amount of shareholder incidents on site. Most of these incidents were in the form of equipment damage
from driving onto the piler. However, there were a few from truck drivers that were getting cut, pinched, or tripping on a pile site. To help out with the recognition of hazards on the pile site, we have developed the Truckers Safety Rules and Truckers Safety video. If you have not viewed them or heard of them before, click on the hyperlink with the name and you will be directed to them.

On a positive note, we are thankful when a shareholder reports an incident. Whether it is minor or severe, it makes us aware of an issue and helps us work to figure out a solution to eliminate the hazard. This can be done by contacting the Agriculturalist or the Harvest Supervisor. Once you have talked with them, they will ask you to complete an incident investigation. This helps us to determine the extent of the incident, what caused it, and what to
do to eliminate the incident in the future.

Your input is also valuable before an incident occurs. If you observe a hazardous situation, please let us know. We all have different things we look at every day. Sometimes it is the difference in our perspective that allows one person to see a potential hazard while another does not. We will work together on a method to minimize or eliminate the situation.

Once again as we put this harvest in the books, Thank You for your efforts on many levels, Safety, Environmental, and Quality. Without your help, the Cooperative would not be what it is today.