Well, with the snow almost melted I think it is safe to say we got through another Minnesota winter! I think everyone would agree that it was a tough one! We do snow removal for other people, it’s suppose to be “fun money”…..it wasn’t so fun anymore! We spent many full days, all three of us, moving snow while not being very productive in the shop. With that behind us, we look forward to spring and getting back in the field soon. As like most winters, our guys did a fabulous job going through our equipment and getting it ready for another season. We try to do as much preventative maintenance on our equipment as possible to keep things moving during the season. After tractors are cleaned up, they go through an inspection program at our local John Deere dealer to prevent failures. We also had a few fabrication projects (as shown). We turned a semi into a tanker truck to haul fertilizer for planting while pulling a seed tender. This “skid” with tank attached can then be jacked up in the air with corner jacks, the truck drives out from underneath it, and can be used again as a normal semi. We are looking forward to this unit to be more efficient with one of the planters this spring.
As spring is nearing, we have been moving some grain. We hauled some beans to CHS in Mankato earlier and now have been hauling corn to Poet Ethanol Plant in Lake Crystal, MN. With semis and drivers, we are willing to haul our products any distance if the net gain is a better price after expenses. It is nice to get some inventory moved out of here before we get busier. We will continue to haul out of our site for the next few months. We have contracts to fill in Buffalo Lake, Winthrop Ethanol Plant, Cargill-Savage, and more to CHS in Mankato. Our trucks stay busy! When not hauling grain, our drivers will help tend to the planters this spring and move fertilizer and seed from farm to farm. If we can keep planters moving, Chris and Jason can plant over 500 acres per day! This will be especially important this year with a later than desired start. We are hoping to get in fields the first week of May if the weather cooperates. Our operation is expanding! We were very fortunate to add some additional acres to our farm for 2019. We will have a sizeable increase in our footprint. Our tillable acreage has grown by over 50% this past winter, having the opportunity to acquire rented land near Olivia for more sugarbeets and acreage from south of Brownton to Winthrop. We will also have a second bin site to help manage those acres this fall. It has been very enjoyable to meet new land owners that have placed their farms in our care. We are excited to add these folks to our farm family in hopes of continuing our tradition of long term relationships. Welcome to those new partners in Ryberg Farms Inc!
This expansion comes at a vital time in the ag economy. We will be able to lower our machinery costs of production by spreading our capital over more acres. Our equipment lineup has been ready for this opportunity and we are up for the challenge. We will make some small changes to our harvest equipment and hope to add some key personnel by fall to help with the added acreage. Grain markets are stuck in a narrow trading range and we are all waiting for a positive announcement from Trump on China trade talks. Time will tell but expense control has been vital in our business until better times
Our family has been busy, as always! Ethan and his wife Vanessa will be graduating May 10 th from NDSU in Fargo with their Doctorate of Pharmacy degrees. We are so proud of them for a long, intense 6 years of courses. They are super excited to get jobs and be done with classes. This past year they have been doing rotations (internships) at eight different locations to get different exposure to pharmacy experiences. They hope to live in Northern Minnesota between Brainerd/Bemidji area. McKaia graduated in December from NDSU in Fargo with a degree in Political Science/City Administration. She began her new job for the City of Minnetonka as an assistant to the city administrator in February. She loves her position and is getting settled into a new apartment and living in the metro area. With taking online classes and going post secondary in high school, she made quick work of college in 1 ½ years to complete her degree! What a fantastic way to get started in life! Malli, high school junior, is taking online courses and plans to go post next year as well. Her high school dance team made it to the State tournament again this year. This is always an exciting experience. She is focused on track this spring and runs sprints and hurdles and does the triple jump. She plans to lifeguard this summer at the local town pool. She is preparing to attend the high school Prom next weekend with a male friend! Maleia, high school sophomore, continues to excel in the school as well. Both she and Malli will be visiting NDSU to tour the campus and talk with advisors for their respective interests. Maleia is very interested in Architecture. She is also on the track team and likes the distance running and high jump. She will also be life guarding at the local pool this summer. Mari, 8 th grade, has been a busy girl. She had a great basketball season. She was moved up to the Varsity team and participated in the State Girls basketball tournament this year. They faced some tough competition but the experience is invaluable! She is also playing on an Elite volleyball team out of Willmar area with older girls. This team travels to weekend tournaments in the Twin Cities, Rochester, Sioux Falls, Des Moines and will finish the season with a National Tournament in Orlando, FL in late June. Mari also runs short/middle distance and high jumps in track on the varsity team. She will graduate from St. Mary’s Catholic School in May and attend BOLD high school next year. Miraya, 6th grade, has a passion for dancing as well. She has been dancing with a club out of Hutchinson and will finish the year with a recital in May. Her team recently competed at the Minneapolis Convention Center. She will be excited to try out for the JV BOLD dance team for next year. As you can see, no one sits still in our house! We keep gas in the car at all times! We thoroughly enjoy watching all our kids activities and couldn’t be prouder! Sandy will be chaperoning Mari’s class trip in May to Boston/New York. She will also be taking the girls to Mari’s volleyball tournament in Orlando, FL. I had the chance to attend a conference in St. Louis and sugarbeet meetings in Anaheim, CA this winter. I also had the opportunity to meet with the MN Department of Ag on several occasions to highlight our soil health ways of farming. We enjoy the chance to share our story with regulators that need to be educated about the real world of agriculture. My involvement on the sugarbeet board has also kept me busy but I enjoy this as well. Thank God for awesome help to keep the farm operation in order! Although, Chris and Jason have stayed busy with kids, but did manage to take some time off with their families as well!
We look forward to spring work coming soon and the chance to start a new cropping season. We pray for better weather in 2019! Feel free to stop and chat or jump in with our crew if you see us on your farms. We hope you can all enjoy Easter with your families! Jesus is Risen! Alleluia!