Turning the Page

Dec 08, 2020

I think all of us would agree that it is time to lay 2020 to rest and focus on a brighter future both personally and professionally in 2021. 

Your cooperative had a challenging financial year in 2020 due to 45% of our trade territory being preventive plant.  The coronavirus has caused loss of family members, our kids test scores fall in school, regression in community engagement, businesses to go out of business, our health care teams be pushed to the max, and some levels of depression to set in on the elderly. One thing I think all of us have learned during this pandemic is not to take the health of those we love for granted.  It is truly time for a “Happy” New Year.

It is now time to look to turn the page for a brighter 2021.  It appears that 100 percent of the U.S. population will be able to have a vaccine for Covid-19 by June.  Farm income in the United States is at a 7-year high and the U.S. dollar is at a 31-month low.  Grain prices continue to be strong with good export demand and the energy market seems to be stable.  We have seen record levels of fall fertilization and tillage done over the past three months.  I was amazed this past weekend to have the opportunity to disc up some low wet areas on my fathers-in-law’s farm near Kimball, SD.  I have never seen ground fit for tillage in the second week of December in South Dakota.  We have truly set the stage for great opportunities in 2021 in our trade territory. 

Your team at Full Circle Ag is focused on the opportunities we have to service you our member owners at a high level in 2021 and beyond.  We continue to strive to align our business strategies to long-term member needs.  Some key focus areas for Full Circle Ag in 2021 will be growth, operational efficiency, business analytics/execution, and continuing to access, develop, and retain top talent.  We must grow beyond gaining back the preventive plant acres via a cross-sell initiative that we have developed.  Our entire management team has been actively involved in building and executing a plan around operational efficiency.  One core strategy for this initiative is utilizing our workforce and rolling stock across divisions. 

We have been working hard to analyze our businesses performance and develop long-term execution plans to serve your current and future needs at a profitable level.  This process has led to some tough decisions for your board of directors and management team.  Unfortunately, the low grain volumes over the past 5 years at our Amherst, Claremont, and Gwinner locations have led to us working to dissolve those locations.  The toughest part of those decisions are the effects on employees and members who have been loyal to those locations.  We appreciate your understanding of these changes but feel they are in the best interest of long-term success for your cooperative.

Talent is our most important asset at Full Circle Ag.  I would put our team up against any retailer in the industry in serving you our member owner.  We have worked hard over the past 6 months to elevate our team’s performance and align individuals to roles where they can elevate their and your success.  I am proud of this entire team’s willingness to be adaptable, taking on additional leadership responsibilities, and bringing a get it done attitude towards serving you our member owner. 

As you can see, we at Full Circle are focused on turning the page and driving the success of the cooperative that your ancestors built and you own.  We will continue to strive to be your first choice for industry-leading knowledge and resources.  On behalf of Full Circle Ag, I would like to wish you and your family and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Jeff Thaler

Our mission is to be our customer's first choice for industry-leading resources and knowledge. 

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