Doing Our Part

Jun 25, 2020

I hope this newsletter finds you and your family safe and healthy. We usually use the Spring newsletter to re-cap the annual meeting, discuss the cooperative’s performance in the prior year, and release our earnings and patronage rates that will be paid out. Most of these items are covered in detail elsewhere in the newsletter, and many of you have also viewed the information on our website. To be brief, yes, 2019 was a solid year for United Cooperative, and yes, we did pay out significant patronage again this year; however, the things affecting most of us now have been the turmoil surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic here in Wisconsin and around the world.

COVID-19 forced all of us to make changes in our daily lives and how we conduct business. Safer-at-Home orders like the one Wisconsin implemented, then extended, then had struck down by the Supreme Court, have forced all of us to re-engineer our processes and routines. While most of United Cooperative’s business units were deemed “essential” businesses, that did not mean things were business as usual. Our staff spent countless hours putting together and implementing contingency plans to make sure that we could protect our employees and customers, and still take care of our customer’s needs. 

As you can imagine, although many people were staying home, agriculture did not shut down, and neither did United Cooperative. Cows and livestock are being fed daily, crops are being planted, weeds will need to be sprayed, grain is moving to market, and energy products are being used for tillage, heating, cooking, and transportation. As we now see more of the state and country opening slowly, we all hope for a return to normal, although it will undoubtedly take longer than we would like. Unfortunately, as we have already seen with the bankruptcies of some of the most familiar names in retail, many things will not be the same when this is over. Will this be one of the most challenging years United Cooperative has ever seen? Absolutely. Will we figure out a way to “Git ‘R Done” despite the challenges? Yes, we will. Will we learn from the whole experience, and become better prepared and more efficient because of it? I think we will, and we will work hard every day to make sure you can Rely On Us.

Have a safe and healthy summer. Take Care.

Karl Beth

Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Karl Beth

Filed Under: Corporate News