Building a Structure of Service
As a company committed to service, we continue to invest in resources that will help us and the producers we serve operate more efficiently. During this past fiscal year, which drew to a close on July 31, those investments totaled $4.75 million. Let me provide some detail on what we’ve done in the past 12 months, as well as outline our plans for the coming year.
In White Heath, we invested $500,000 in a new office and shop. In Pierson, we built a new chemical mix facility and loading bay to increase speed and efficiency for our farmers. We also upgraded our anhydrous bulk plant and put in a new 500,000-gallon UAN tank to increase capacity—a total investment of $2.2 million. A similar 500,000-gallon UAN tank was also built at Dewey at a cost of $550,000.
Company-wide, we purchased $2 million of new rolling stock—floaters, sprayers, anhydrous tanks and running gear, and toolbars. All of this enables us to meet application needs in a timely manner, as our customers’ ability to cover acres steadily increases.
Looking ahead, we’re investing $2 million in the brand new facility in Emery, which will consist of a chemical warehouse and mixing plant, an anhydrous facility, and an initial fleet of rolling stock. We plan to be running anhydrous from that location yet this fall, with the chemical operation ready by spring.
We are also in the process of upgrading our software systems, which include Data On Touch. In the coming months we will be upgrading all our locations to fiber optic Internet that will allow our software systems to operate at full efficiency. Our new mixing facilities also rely on data transmission, so the higher speed lines will help us move growers in and out of those facilities at the speed for which they were designed.
Finally, the most valuable resource we can invest in is our people. We’ve increased sales and service staff at the new Emery location, as well as at Dewey, Pierson, and Jamaica.
If I could summarize all of this in one sentence, United Prairie is investing in the physical, human, and technical resources necessary to enable us to provide our growers with the knowledge, efficiency, and inputs to maximize their profits.