Letter to the editor – Landus Cooperative board of directors

April 5, 2018

Dear Editor,

The pace of change in agriculture is increasing. Technology for autonomous tractors and unmanned robots that can pluck weeds from field rows already exists. In coming decades, the grain stored in the cement silos in Churdan, Paton, Scranton, and Jefferson will undoubtedly be grown with the aid of more technology.

With all the change coming in agriculture, one thing remains the same: the need for a skilled workforce to serve our farmer-members. The approval of the bond referendum opens the door for the Iowa Central Community Career Academy, and in turn, another opportunity to recruit and retain qualified workers in, and around, Greene County.

In an environment where a large portion of our employees are already eligible for retirement and the unemployment rate is at historic lows, we must attract talented workers to remain in rural Iowa. For our farmer-members, there must be jobs and educational opportunities to allow the fifth or sixth generations to stay on the farm.

The career academy associated with this week’s positive bond vote offers us the opportunity to introduce our career opportunities to local youth early and often. From precision ag to hands-on operational skills and computer programming, the educational strands identified for the career academy support the needs of local businesses, like ours.

As Greene County’s largest property taxpayer (nearly $650,000 paid last year), we recognize the impact of this bond on our community, our farmer-members and our bottom line. Our board of directors supports the innovative approach for recruiting, education and retaining talent offered by the career academy and will be investing in the facility as a private donor with a five-year pledge to the career academy totaling $50,000.

Every day, when students leave the career academy, they can look to the east and see our giant Landus Cooperative cement silos. We hope those students are the ones serving our farmer-members at that location long into the future.

Sincerely, Landus Cooperative board of directors and Milan Kucerak, CEO

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