Alex here. I’ve been charged with the task of handling the July blog for our new website. For those of you who don’t know, I’m Jim’s oldest son, and the accounting specialist here at Pinicon Farm. I started full time with the farm back in January of this year, but I’ve been involved in the going-ons of the operation for (literally) as long as I can remember. After having “the will to farm” extinguished by daily character building exercises in my youth, I kept finding myself drawn back to the operation throughout my college years, coming home every summer to work. I even took my first job out of school close enough to McIntire so that I could contribute more frequently. This culminated with my joining the operation on a full time basis in January.
My chief duties here at Pinicon involve making sure all financial obligations (bills, payroll, etc) are met in a timely and accurate fashion, the receiving and accounting of all incoming payments, grain shipments, invoices for manure pumping and custom work, and performing the internal expense analysis. When I’m really lucky, I find a few hours each week to get out of the office and get my hands dirty by delivering fuel or anhydrous during planting season and mowing hog barns and bin sites during the summer months.
June was quite a whirlwind of activity here at Pinicon. Moving grain to market was our number one priority, and it’s a large task. Calvin works with the various grain buyers to find our best basis in the area, and arrange the contracts with our buyers. Bert coordinates our corps of truckers who spent the month running corn and beans all over North Iowa, primarily to Homeland ethanol plant in Lawler and Flint Hills’ terminal in Shell Rock. Dan Bowen, Jason McKenna, and Kyle Hjelmeland spent the majority of June hauling grain while Donovan Kempe, Dan Drees, and Jon Stevens spent time hauling as well. Each day, I receive the tickets for each load of grain and track the bushels hauled to each location, as well as monitor the payments and ensure that we’ve been paid for the bushels hauled.
June has also seen the (near) close to a year-long project designed to increase our readiness and productivity: the expansion of the shop facility here in McIntire. Having the new wash bay and work bay in use since this spring, we completed the final phase of the project which consisted of the construction of a new concrete apron in front of the building, and grading the approaches. Thanks to L&S Masonry from Cresco, we now have a consistent apron running the length of the entire working area.
Farm beautification, a process that never stops at Pinicon, has also been in full swing. Dan Drees, Theo Ingram, and John Baldock all spent a large part of June mowing ditches and waterways and helping to keep our farms looking as good as they can.
Speaking of keeping farms looking good, Nick Hirota spent most of the month in the cab of a sprayer while Ben supplied water and chemicals as they knocked out the noxious weeds that would seek to overtake our farms and reduce yields (and simultaneously create a serious eyesore).
As we roll into July, we look for more of the same. The grain will keep moving, we’ll keep maintaining our farms and facilities, and before you can blink we will be preparing the machinery for harvest, which is only 77 days away! Until then, take care and we’ll see you next month!