Landus Coop donates site for Freedom Rock

Veterans group, fair board, county supervisors and Landus Cooperative announce property donation to kick-off fundraising for the Freedom Rock project to honor local military, agricultural history

The start of the 2016 Greene County Fair also marked the official kick-off for fundraising for the Greene County Freedom Rock project, organizers announced this week.

Landus Cooperative is donating its cement silo, known as the Milligan Elevator*, and property adjacent to the bike trail to the Greene County fair’s 501c(3) foundation. The Fair Association will utilize the property as the first major donation to assist the Freedom Rock project.

Pictured at the elevator are (from left) Glen Christensen and Sue Tronchetti (Landus Cooperative board), Connor Juergensen (fair board), Gary Schiltz (fair board), Bob Allen (fair board), Dawn Rudolph (supervisors), Don Ihnken (VFW/veterans group) and Rick Humpal (fair board and Landus Cooperative employee).
Pictured at the elevator are (from left) Glen Christensen and Sue Tronchetti (Landus Cooperative board), Connor Juergensen (fair board), Gary Schiltz (fair board), Bob Allen (fair board), Dawn Rudolph (supervisors), Don Ihnken (VFW/veterans group) and Rick Humpal (fair board and Landus Cooperative employee).

The Freedom Rock was originally slated for the northeast corner of the Greene County fairgrounds, near the softball complex, said veterans group member and county supervisor, Dawn Rudolph. With the donation, it will now be located in what is now the gravel parking lot for the bike trail.

“The new location is double win,” she said. “First, it will be more closely located to the bike trail to allow visitors and community easier access. Second, it is slated to reduce the overall cost for the Freedom Rock project as parking, easy access to the Lincoln Highway and electrical access are already available at the new site.”

Even with reduced costs, the Freedom Rock committee will need to raise $15,000-$20,000 for the project. That figure includes $7,000 for artist Bubba Sorenson’s time plus his travel expenses for the time he’ll spend in Jefferson in April 2017 to paint the rock, which has been identified and is slated to be moved to the property by the county’s secondary roads team within in the next few weeks.

Greene County Fair board president Bob Allen noted that his group is expecting to retain the elevator in its current condition. “We will keep the elevator up, as it is,” he said. “It’s an important part of agricultural history in Jefferson and we don’t have plans to change that.”

Landus Cooperative is actively using the elevator for specialty soybean storage today but is in the process of emptying the silo and preparing property transfer documents.

“As a cooperative with nearly a century-long timeline, we are pleased the Greene County Fair Association has requested the structure to retain it in its historic condition,” said Landus Cooperative CEO and Jefferson resident Milan Kucerak. “With our recent merger, there are other local storage assets that could serve our members more efficiently than the elevator near the fairgrounds and we expect no change in service for our members with this donation.”

“Our hats go off to the many volunteers in Greene County that are working to bring positive attention to the community with projects like the Freedom Rock which will help tell the story of our local veterans, many of whom are farmers, to those visiting via the bike trail and from our own community,” Kucerak added.

*The elevator, with a fading “Milligan Bros” label on the south side, dates back to the 1930s. For a history of the structure, written by Chuck Offenburger, visit GreeneCountyNewsOnline’s Features and More tab.

About Landus Cooperative in Greene County:

  • Closely behind Carroll County, Greene County is home to more Landus Cooperative employees than any other county in Iowa.
  • Approx. 800 full-time employees; approx. 85 live in Greene County.
  • According to Greene County, in order of county property tax payments, Landus Cooperative ranks second.
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