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Elevator, Envision Show Growth

By Staff | Apr 2, 2015

Photo by Bryce Berginski/PCT Envision’s north store on the corner of Highway 3 and 1st Street W in Rugby

Envision and the Farmers Union Elevator are showing continued growth, as patrons learned last Thursday evening at an annual meeting at Rugby High School.

The elevator had, according to manager Tim McKay, “record volume, record profit and record payout with producers.” The elevator made an estimated $10 million.

“There was a good crop last year, that was probably the biggest factor,” McKay said. “We positioned ourselves well in the marketplace and it turned out to be a good year.”

McKay said that the biggest crop problem of the year was the presence of vomitoxin (also known as deoxnivalenol or DON) – a toxin produced by Fusarium fungi – in some area barley crops. Other concerns were the color of wheat crops the elevator received. McKay said that wheat is graded by color and the color they’ve seen is the lowest.

Envision made $76.01 million in sales, slightly edging last fiscal year’s $75.9 million. General Manager Steve Dockter said earnings are lower this year partially due to a $2 million expenditure for projects done in the last year. Projects included adding new fuel lanes at stations in Towner and on Highway 2 in Rugby, as well as work on bulk storage plants.

“We spent about a million dollars just on our energy side, and a lot of that was to service the needs of our customers,” Dockter said.

CONSOLIDATION DISCUSSED

At the meeting, Vice President Andy Fedje discussed the Director’s Report and acknowledged two letters being sent to Envision patrons. The letters were regarding a consolidation study between cooperatives in Rugby, Leeds, Fessenden and Bisbee.

Committees of employees of all four co-ops are expected to hold meetings soon to discuss what savings could be accrued through consolidating, as well as how each does business individually. A fifth committee made up of board members, called a governance committee, will look into how the company will be structured, should consolidation take place. Over a period of months, patron meetings will be planned once more information is received from the study.

“We know what we’ve got, and we think we know what they’ve got. One of the things we’ve been asking is what type of assets are being brought to the table, and what liabilities are being brought to the table,” Dockter said. “We said right up front, ‘This has to be a move that is beneficial and positive to everyone involved, otherwise we don’t want any part of it.'”

OTHER ITEMS

Envision also added a second propane truck to its vehicle pool.

Marjory Bullock was honored for 40 years of employment with the company. Bullock works in shipping/receiving in the Rugby north store.

Dockter said prepared food sales at Envision have increased this year. A recent addition to menu offerings has been Champ’s Chicken, which took over the spot at the Highway 2 convenience store previously held by Eddie Peppers and Smash Hit Subs. The c-store has also changed its flow pattern between isles inside.

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