Monte Vista Coop

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

From the Desk of Mike Boothe - General Manager

As I sit here, winter is winding down and we are about to put an end to this fiscal year. Everyone is getting ready to gear up for the new crop year, including our agronomy, grain, equipment, farm store, fuel and tire departments. This past winter has brought some challenges with the cold and propane prices, but we have managed to get through it. Recently we’ve gotten some much needed moisture and hopefully that will continue. When you are planning for this upcoming year, don’t forget your Monte Vista Coop. When you do business with your Coop, you are doing business with a company you own. Profits stay here in the San Luis Valley. We do not have headquarters outside of the area where we send money. We are not making someone else rich. Our profits are returned to our member-owners based on the amount of business each does with the Coop. So remember, doing business with the Monte Vista Coop is good for the Coop, good for the San Luis Valley, and good for you. I look forward to doing business with you this coming year, and seeing you at our annual meeting on June 12, 2014.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Greetings to all of our Monte Vista Coop members, customers, and all those individuals who just enjoy reading our blog! We would like to take this opportunity to discuss the Craft Bazaar which we host around this time every year. The very first MVC craft bazaar was held in 2008, making this our 5th annual MVC Education Fund Bazaar. Those who have already signed up at this time are several individuals who are selling homemade items, and also include vendors such as Pampered Chef, Scentsy, Velata, Grace Adele and Adobe Village Press. We still have spaces available and the cost for renting a space is $25.00 for both days of $10.00 for one day. Deadline for reserving a space is October 14th, so call 852-5181 and reserve your booth today. The dates for the bazaar are November 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:oo p.m. and November 23rd from 9:00 a.m. until noon. As always the bazaar will be held in the MVC Community Room. With Christmas one short month away, this would be the perfect opportunity to do a little shopping and cross some of those names off your list. The money collected from booth rent will go into the MVC Education Fund and be awarded as Dennis Kay and Mike Kelley Memorial Scholarships . If you have any questions regarding the bazaar please contact Judi Neufeld or Denise Temple at 852-5181. They will be happy to help you!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Board President's Report

     First and foremost, I would like to thank you, the patrons of the Monte Vista Coop.  The Coop had one of the best years it has had financially.  All of that was possible by you doing business with your company, the Coop.  The great benefit of this is that the Coop will pay back to the members over $650,000.00 in patronage and equity retirement.
     Along the same lines, my hat goes off to the administration and the staff for all of their hard work and dedication.  They did a great job of keeping expenses down and really watching the bottom line.  Also, I would like to thank all of the employees for their hard work.  This company can't work without you.
     Mike Boothe has done a great job stepping into his new role as General Manager.  I would like to commend him for a job well done.  I look forward to the years to come with Mike and the things that he will bring to the table. 
     As this drought continues, the board has been looking down the road for the past year at how we can be of better service to our members.  This has been an interesting time that we are facing, to say the least.  The Coop is facing challenges because of the drought just like every farmer.  Last year with the loss of planted acres, our fertilizer tonnage was down.  Our grain department took a big hit with very few grain bushels available for purchase and sale.  We are constantly trying to figure out ways to help you.  If there are ways that we can better serve you, please let us know.  We are always bringing in new products and services to better suit your needs.  Please talk to the employees of the Monte Vista Coop about what might be available.  I would challenge you to always look to and come to the Coop first when you need products and services.
     Again, thank you for your dedication and patronage to your company, the Monte Vista Coop.

Nate Burkhart, Board President

Thursday, June 6, 2013

MVC Annual Audit Report

The MVC's annual audit has just been completed and I am pleased to report that this was one of the best years we have had.  I would like to take this time to thank all of the employees and staff of the Monte Vista Coop, for they are the ones that work hard at serving you, the customer, as well as helping to keep expenses down.  I would also like to thank the board of directors for their support.  This has been a great year for the Monte Vista Coop.  I would also like to thank the members for your support this past year and hope to continue to earn that support in the future. 

Total sales this year were actually down some compared to last year but our total income was up.

The employee expense was down by $114,000.00; with fixed expenses being up by $20,000.00 (this includes the property taxes, insurance and bonds.)  Interest expense was down by $58,000.00 but depreciation was up some.  All other expenses were about the same as last year.

Net savings after income taxes were $2,508,404.00 compared to last year's $1,791,666.00  We are planning to return over $650,000.00 in cash to our members this year in patronage and equity retirements.

The Monte Vista Coop can continue to prosper when you, as members, continue to support your company.  The ANNUAL MEETING will be June 13, 2013 at Ski Hi Park in Monte Vista.  Please plan on attending.  You will be voting on two positions for board of directors.  Incumbents Nate Berkhart and Sherry Haugen have chosen to run for the board for another 3 year term.  Also running are Segundo Diaz and Kent Palmgren. 

Thank you for supporting and believing in your Monte Vista Coop.

Community Committed, Agriculturally Driven.

Mike Boothe, General Manager

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


This past year was not kind to the employees of the Monte Vista Cooperative.  Many suffered tragic losses in their personal lives as well as the loss of General Manager, Mike Kelley.  Mike was a friend and co-worker before he became manager, and his passing has been tough for many of the employees.  At this point little is left unsaid about Mike, but I would like to note that one thing I admired about him was his ability to prevent past mistakes from discouraging him.  He learned what he could from a situation, and moved forward.

We, as a Coop, are moving forward.  We have named Mike Boothe General Manager.  Mike has been with the Coop for 16 years, with experience as both Grain Merchandiser and Director of Finance.  Mike is a solid, dependable leader, and he has been the glue holding the Coop together during these past tough months.

Financially, this past year was very successful.  Sales increased over 11 million dollars, and net savings rose to 2.1 million for the year.  The balance sheet has improved with working capital increasing over 1 million.  We have also been able to retire more equity, fulfilling our obligation to our loyal members.  We take equity retirement seriously, and I would like to point out that we are one of the few Coops left in Colorado who do.

I would like to also thank the Coop members who have taken the time to call me and the other board members with their concerns the past few months.  It seems the biggest issue we need to address is still customer service.  We think the world of the Coop employee group, but we also know that improvement is always possible.  We are honored you choose to do business at the Coop, and we hope every interaction with an employee shows that.

Matt Seger, Board President

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

On the Edge of Common Sense by Baxter Black


“Most people just don’t get it,” said Ron, bemoaning the urban politicians that continue to whittle away at funding for county fairs and the ag extension service.  “It’s all about the kids learning real life.”

To their misfortune, urban children have much less opportunity to connect with real life.  They look at some farm kid working on his show steer every day for months.  It is beyond their comprehension. “Why”, they think, ‘Would anyone want to waste their time in such a mindless pursuit?’ and then they whip out their Game Boy and fall into a trance.

Thank goodness there are some politicians, corporations and influential associations that DO get it.  As farmers and livestock raisers continue to decline in numbers, it is even more critical that parents, county agents, ag teachers, 4H leaders, scientists and teachers instill in the next generations the realities of life that farming depends on.  Does America want to become a net importer of food in fifty years?

I appreciate Mrs. Obama’s garden, Whole Foods specialty markets, organic and natural producers.  They have a niche market.  But who is going to feed the other 99% of our burgeoning population, much less a hungry third world?

Those kids, our kids who are fitting steers, doing chores, picking apples, showing hogs, driving the grain truck, learning to weld, riding pens, irrigating strawberries, managing a pasture, hosing the milk room, stacking hay and learning to read the sky are assimilating the mountain of knowledge that it takes to make dirt and rain into food.

Farm kids start learning the land and the livestock when they are old enough to carry a bucket.  When they help with the daily chores they are practicing.  It’s like taking piano lessons or tennis lessons except what farm kids learn has a much more profound objective; feeding us all.

Our culture expends a great deal of effort on future NBA stars, astronauts, environmental lawyers, doctors, and political science majors.  But for every 100 rock stars, Rhoads scholars and Heisman trophy winners our country produces, we better make sure we spend enough to train at least two future farmers, so the rest of them can eat.  That is the essence of the county fair.

Beneath all the fun, auctions, and show ribbons, the serious business of learning how to make a living off the land continues like an underground river.

The list of ‘essential professions’ is a short one.  That’s the reality of real life.  Farm kids hold our future in their hands.  They are in training to feed the world.  And fair board members and county agents get it.

Used with the Author's Permission.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Water for future generations...

Look what the wind blew in – On October 30, 2011 the world population hit a projected 7 billion people. Wow!  For most of us 7 billion is unimaginable. So let’s put it into some context that seems a bit closer to home. There are about 5 million people here in the state of Colorado. Colorado’s population is projected to double to between 8.6 and 10 million people by 2050.

I am not trying to be a fatalist, but this is a resource demand I am not sure we really understand. We here in the San Luis Valley are currently feeling this resource demand due to the decline in our aquifers and the restrictions that this will place on our farming lifestyles. Rightfully so. We are all injured in one respect or another by what has happened or will happen here.  We need to fix the situation and I do not think there is anyone who feels that a million acre feet decline in our aquifer is an acceptable, let alone sustainable situation. To that end there is a bigger lion on the horizon.

Statewide Water Supply Initiative (SWSI) is a report from the Colorado Water Conservation Board that been analyzing the difference between our supply and our “demands” (notice I don’t say needs).  The report  looks out over this time period between now and the 2050 and has fondly called the difference between the supply and the demand the GAP. For most of us in rural place because of our farming areas it is a gap, but looking closely at the demand being asked by the urban centers of the Front Range it is much more of a canyon and I assure you it makes the future of Colorado’s open space and agriculture look dim.

There are a couple of things you need to keep in mind about these numbers they are based on medium demands in all areas at a 100% success rate of all proposed water projects and programs. 

The bottom line is that the population growth will cause municipal water demands to double. We have no new supply; unfortunately we can’t make more water. We can only use the tools we have available that is conservation – That means  every one not just us farmers and ranchers, but golf courses, lawn sizes, medians, water efficient plants in our urbanscapes, along with water efficient appliances and utilities. It means investment in Water Projects and Processes that last and are true investments in infrastructure. It also means defining supply, so that uses can be studied and “new” water supply plans can be defined. Finally, it is the recognition that Ag Water doesn’t become the main GAP supplier, but the GAP survivor and remains the vital part of the infrastructure that it is today; meeting both consumptive and non-consumptive needs well beyond 2050.

Let’s all work together to meet Colorado’s future water needs in a sustainable way. We face a challenge: providing future generations with enough water.