Haggard Pride Ag Resources Elevator

Busy and efficient during harvest

By Lynne Hewes

The Montezuma Press

 

As it is every year, this summer’s wheat harvest is a busy time for farmers.  It’s also a busy time for the crew who man grain elevators when those farmers bring their trucks in. 

At the Haggard Grain Elevator, owned by Pride Ag Resources of Dodge City and situated between Montezuma and Ensign, that crew consists of three hard-working women. Valerie Schneider from Ingalls works in the office part-time during harvest, Taylor Bleumer, who grew up in Ingalls, is management trainee, and Matty Scheck, from Dodge City, helps with the elevator.

Schneider, who held several management jobs before coming to this one, is impressed with her younger co-workers.

“These two are really outstanding to work with,” she says, “and they don’t even realize how good they are. I’ve worked with a lot of other people, and Taylor and Matty seem never to be complaining. I don’t care how hard a truck is to open and close, they just cowboy up and get it going.”

Elevator work is a hard job, but these women enjoy it.

Schneider says, “When I stayed home during Covid, I got busy on our acreage, painting all the panels, making them match, painting the house, but I’m not a homebody. I’m too motivated to stay home for very long. Enough was enough.”

Scheck is younger, just having graduated from Dodge City High School. Although she has aspirations of going into the medical field someday, she grew up on a farm and likes the activity of this summer job.

“On Matty’s first day, we shoveled grain for five hours,” Bleumer says.  “I kept hoping we wouldn’t chase her off on the first day.”

Scheck stayed, in spite of the exhausting work that day in the hot elevator.

“It was in the basement so everything felt so close, and the ceiling was low, so things felt pretty tight,” she says, “but I pretty much enjoy everything about this job so far. The only thing I don’t like is being itchy.”

Bleumer came to the Haggard job with a BA degree in Athletic Training from Southwestern College and an MBA degree from Kansas Wesleyan. She had attended Southwestern on a basketball scholarship, thinking she’d like to become a sports trainer, then continued her education in order to give herself more career options. She worked for a few years in Salina in an orthopedic clinic before deciding that she missed Western Kansas.

“I grew up on a farm in Ingalls,” Bleumer says. “I liked helping my dad, and I realized I missed all that. I wanted to work in Southwest Kansas and be close enough to have an involvement with our family farm.”

When an opportunity to take part in Pride Ag’s management trainee program came up, Bleumer jumped at the chance.

“The good thing about this Pride Ag training program is that it gives you the opportunity to be in management without just being thrown into it,” she says. “With Mike Schmidt, who’s my boss, I know I have backup right now, and I am able to bounce ideas and questions off other branch managers and upper management as I adjust to the position. Pride Ag put the training together to give people the opportunity to be in a management position without having to take on all the responsibility right away. It lets you get your feet underneath you before you actually start out on your own.”

A typical day begins at 8:00 a.m. for the team.

“When I get to the office, I get everything set up, then try to keep everything running smoothly,” Schneider says.  “If it runs smooth in here, it’ll run smooth out there. I just make sure we have the exact business units, owners of the wheat, all drivers are running smoothly through the scales, the printer is working properly. I have to multi-task. I can visit with a farmer, take notes, weigh a truck, probe, all at the same time. You really need to multi-task in here.”

Farmers call Schneider with information before they arrive at the elevator.

“They call me or Taylor when they change fields or change ownerships,” she says. “I weigh them when they come in. They tell me how long they’re going to be running or when they change their fields. They call in when they break down, just so we have a heads-up. Most the time communications take place through the office here because a lot of times Taylor is at the top of the elevator or in the bottom of the elevator and she won’t have reception.”

Scheck deals with elevator work.

“My job is pretty smooth going,” she says. “In the morning, we start in the office, then we go out and open everything up and check bins to see if we have to move anything. By the time the trucks come, we’re turning everything back on, making sure everything drains right and goes to the right bins.”

Bleumer finds her role in the technical side of elevator work challenging.

“I have Jerry Pegelow, our manager at Ensign, on speed dial because I still have a ton of questions,” she says. “The mechanics part of this job is hardest for me right now. I grew up on a farm and have a lot of basic farm mechanics in my background but figuring out and understanding the mechanics of the elevator has been my biggest challenge. I enjoy that part, though, because it’s kind of a puzzle that I have to figure out.”

Harvest time accelerates those mechanical challenges because of the long days and fast pace, but Schneider looks forward to it.

“I like the fast pace of harvest,” she says. “Our days are longer, but they feel shorter once we get to rolling. I enjoy the fast pace of everything even though we put in long hours.”

Harvest hours at the elevator are usually from 8:00 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. It’s a tough and dirty job.

“One of the first truckers I ever went out and filled, they looked at me and said, ‘It’s dirty out here,’” Bleumer says. “I just said, ‘It’s okay. I can get dirty.’”

Schneider enjoys her indoor job — although she does leave her office to hand tickets to grain truck drivers.

“They don’t have to get out of their trucks to pick up their tickets,” she says. “I walk out and hand it to them in their cabs. If they want to get out of their trucks, they’re welcome to, of course. In fact, when young people come with their parents, we try to keep freeze pops in the freezer as a treat. We’ve done that for years. The idea is that we want to make things as smooth as possible for our farmers so they can get back out to their fields.”

The team has received praise for their hard work and helpful attitude.

“We’ve had quite a few compliments,” Schneider says. “We really appreciate it when a truck driver tells us that Haggard is a very efficient elevator.”


Brugler Commentary
Wheat Mostly Lower on Friday
Wheat was weaker on Friday. CBT led the way for the winter wheat, down 3 to 6 ¼ cents per bushel in the active contracts. KC HRW contracts were fractionally mixed. MPLS spring wheat futures were down 2 to 4 ¼ cents on the day. Monthly Crop Production data showed...
Cotton Closes Up the Limit
Cotton futures posted limit gains out through July ’23 on Friday. A dramatic cut to the US production number by NASS helped to push things higher. They will have expanded limits of 5 cents on Monday. USDA’s Crop Production report showed an increase to US abandonment, with harvested acres at...
Hogs Mostly Lower on Friday
Lean hog futures closed the Friday session with front months mostly 5 cents to $1.05 lower. The USDA’s National Average Base Hog price was $123.69 on Friday afternoon, up $2.32 from the previous day’s report. The August 10th CME Lean Hog Index was down 23 cents to $121.86. Front month...
Cattle Weaker on Friday
Live cattle futures ended the Friday session with front months 12 to 60 cents lower. Deferred contracts were steady to a nickel higher. So far this week cattle have changed hands at $144-148 in the north, up $4-5 on the week, with some $229-235.50 in the beef. Cash trade also...
Corn Settles With Double Digit Gains
Corn futures were skeptical coming out of the USDA reports but rallied into the close to post 10 ½ to 14 ½ cent gains in the front months on Friday. The NASS Crop Production report showed the initial corn yield at 175.4 bpa. That was down 1.6 bpa compared to...
Soybeans Close Higher Following Brief Midday Push Lower
Soybean futures had a bit of a fake out post USDA report, with contracts plunging 40+ cents intraday but closing 2 to 5 ¾ cents higher. The nearby contracts were the exception with August expiring and September up 14 ¾ cents. Meal was up $8.20/ton on the day, with bean...


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Locations

Grain Elevators

Beeler Branch
101 S Main
Beeler, KS 67518
Phone: (785) 848-2224
Cimarron Branch
122 S Main
Cimarron, KS 67835
Phone: (620) 855-3421
Dodge City
708 W.Trail
Dodge City, KS 67801
Phone: (620) 227-8671

 

Ensign Branch
706 Bent
Ensign, KS 67841
Phone: (620) 865-4121

 

Ford Branch
1001 Prarie Street
Ford, KS 67842
Phone: (620) 369-2212

 

Grey Branch
26870 SE 232 Road
Hanston, KS 67518
Phone: (620) 525-6327

 

Haggard Branch
19502 US Hwy. 56
Cimarron, KS 67835
Phone: (620) 865-2200

 

Hanston Branch
106 N. Broadway
Hanston, KS 67849
Phone: (620) 623-2115

 

Howell Branch
10884 102 Road
Dodge City, KS 67801
Phone: (620) 227-2683

 

Ingalls Branch
102 N. Main
Ingalls, KS 67853
Phone: (620) 335-5101

 

Jetmore Branch
1220 S. Main
Jetmore, KS 67854
Phone: (620) 357-8314

 

Kalvesta Branch
33760 E. US Hwy 156
Kalvesta, KS 67856
Phone: (620) 855-3591

 

Kingsdown Branch
Main & Coop Street
Kingsdown, KS 67858
Phone: (620) 369-2320

 

Montezuma Branch
103 Texcoco
Montezuma, KS 67867
Phone: (620) 846-2231

 

Saddle Road Branch
11740 Saddle Road
Dodge City, KS 67801
Phone: (620) 225-2500

 

 

Agronomy Facilities  

 ACE Hardware Retail Stores 

 
Beeler - Agronomy
101 S Main
Beeler, KS 67518
Phone: (785) 848-2224
Dodge City Feedmill
708 W Trail
Dodge City, KS 67801
Phone: (620) 227-8671
Ensign
706 Bent Street
Ensign, KS 67801
Phone: (620) 865-2221
Ace Dodge City
401 W. Trail
Dodge City, KS 67801
Phone: (620) 225-0067
 Ace Lyon's
1121 W. Main
Lyon's, KS 67554
Phone: (620) 257-5000
 

 

Ingalls Fertilizer
15102 11 Road
Ingalls, KS 67853
Phone: (620) 335-5133

 

Montezuma Fertilizer
400 W Texcoco
Montezuma, KS 67867
Phone: (620) 846-2235

 

Richland Valley
10996 Saddle Road
Dodge City, KS 67801
Phone: (620) 227-8773

 

Ace Meade
923 W Carthage
Meade, KS 67864
Phone: (620) 873-2234 

 

Ace Maize
5204 N Maize
Maize, KS 67101
Phone: (316) 722-0181 

  


Car Care Centers

Jetmore Car Care
1220 S Main
Jetmore, KS 67854
Phone: (620) 357-5414

 

Locations

Grain Elevators

Beeler Branch
101 S Main
Beeler, KS 67518
Phone: (785) 848-2224
Cimarron Branch
122 S Main
Cimarron, KS 67835
Phone: (620) 855-3421
Dodge City
708 W.Trail
Dodge City, KS 67801
Phone: (620) 227-8671
 

 

Ensign Branch
706 Bent
Ensign, KS 67841
Phone: (620) 865-4121

 

Ford Branch
1001 Prarie Street
Ford, KS 67842
Phone: (620) 369-2212

 

Grey Branch
26870 SE 232 Road
Hanston, KS 67518
Phone: (620) 525-6327

 

Haggard Branch
19502 US Hwy. 56
Cimarron, KS 67835
Phone: (620) 865-2200

 

Hanston Branch
106 N. Broadway
Hanston, KS 67849
Phone: (620) 623-2115

 

Howell Branch
10884 102 Road
Dodge City, KS 67801
Phone: (620) 227-2683

 

Ingalls Branch
102 N. Main
Ingalls, KS 67853
Phone: (620) 335-5101

 

Jetmore Branch
1220 S. Main
Jetmore, KS 67854
Phone: (620) 357-8314

 

Kalvesta Branch
33760 E. US Hwy 156
Kalvesta, KS 67856
Phone: (620) 855-3591

 

Kingstown Branch
Main & Coop Street
Kingsdown, KS 67858
Phone: (620) 369-2320

 

Montezuma Branch
103 Texcoco
Montezuma, KS 67867
Phone: (620) 846-2231

 

Saddle Road Branch
11740 Saddle Road
Dodge City, KS 67801
Phone: (620) 225-2500

 

 

Agronomy Facilities  

Beeler - Agronomy
101 S Main
Beeler, KS 67518
Phone: (785) 848-2224
Dodge City Feedmill
708 W Trail
Dodge City, KS 67801
Phone: (620) 227-8671

 

Ingalls Fertilizer
15102 11 Road
Ingalls, KS 67853
Phone: (620) 335-5133

 

Montezuma Fertilizer
400 W Texcoco
Montezuma, KS 67867
Phone: (620) 846-2235

 

ACE Hardware Retail Stores 

Ace Dodge City
401 W. Trail
Dodge City, KS 67801
Phone: (620) 225-0067
Ace Lyon's
1121 W. Main
Lyon's, KS 67554
Phone: (620) 257-5000
Ace Meade
923 W Carthage
Meade, KS 67864
Phone: (620) 873-2234 
Ace Maize
5204 N Maize
Maize, KS 67101
Phone: (316) 722-0181 


Car Care Centers

Jetmore Car Care
1220 S Main
Jetmore, KS 67854
Phone: (620) 357-5414

 


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