Janice Irwin began her career at the St. Francis Equity when the St. Francis Equity bought out the Haigler CO-OP in 1982. Prior to the buyout, Janice worked for the Haigler CO-OP part time for 3-4 years. After St. Francis Mercantile Equity Exchange took control of what is now our Haigler Branch, Janice moved to a full time employee where she remains today as the Farm Store Manager.
Janice runs the hardware store, the scale, and takes fuel orders, as well as schedules tire repairs and oil changes. Over the years Janice, like Bob and Shirley, has seen many changes within this company; not only with the economy and farming practices but also with staff. In the store at Haigler, Janice carries a wide range of animal health products from calving supplies to medications. She also carries a complete line of feed, mineral, protein tubs, automotive chemicals, garden supplies, tires, general farm supply items (i.e. tank floats, gloves, etc.) and any fencing supplies you might need. Also the Haigler Branch can make any hydraulic hose to fit your needs.
Janice would like to thank the St. Francis Equity Board of Directors for the new grain probe system; she has had to manually probe grain trucks for years. This new system allows Janice to move trucks across the scale in a more efficient timely manner, while also keeping her safe.
When Janice is not at work, she enjoys spending her free time with her family, and she greatly misses her late parents Clyde and Lela Smith. Janice and her husband, Aaron, have two daughters, Janelle Myett of Yuma, CO and Michelle Jones of Haigler, NE. When Janice can get away she loves spending time with her three grandchildren; Clay 14, Darrian 16, and Jolissa 16. All three of her grandchildren are very active in sports, and while Clay and Darrian compete in Jr. Rodeo’s, Jolissa likes showing goats.
Contact Janice at the St. Francis Equity Haigler Branch at (308) 297-3223 for all your Farm Supply Needs.
Bob Ochsner started his career with St. Francis Mercantile Equity Exchange in April of 1973, working at the feed store. Back then it was all manual labor he says, no fork lifts and mostly bagged feed. Hog producers were abundant in this area, and the CO-OP ground tons of hog feed, unlike today where this part of the country now is mostly cattle based. Up until 1985 Feed & Fertilizer used only dry rig fertilizer, however during the next 2-3 years No-Till became more and more popular, and as a result of the cultivation change the application of fertilizer changed from the use of the dry rig application to spray rig application of liquid fertilizer. In 1987 Bob moved into the Manager Position overseeing Feed & Fertilizer and the Farm Store, where he still remains today.
Over the years Bob has seen many changes throughout the feed and fertilizer industry as the size of farms, farming practices, farmer’s needs, acres and technology are in a constant change. Today versus 40 years ago, there are less and less farms and the farms that remain have grown in size and more time is spent in the fields. This requires the farmers to demand top notch fast service, as well as depending on the Feed & Fertilizer department to do more and more custom work. The numbers of small farms has drastically declined while large farms have acquired more acreage. Throughout the 80’s and even in the early 2000’s things were tough Bob states. However, the last 3 to 4 years things have been good, really good. Bob states that here at the CO-OP, we are directly tied to the farmers and so is this community; as farmers have good years so does the community, but it’s the lean years that make or break farmers and the companies within this community.
What does the next 20 years have in store? Bob says he does not know however, he does know that as input costs continue to rise there will be less and less small farms in existence and what will remain is the big farms that can keep up with technology trends, input costs and the advanced farming practices, and with these changes the St. Francis Equity is adapting and changing side-by-side with the farmers that make up the backbone of the company.
With customers being St. Francis Equities number one priority, Bob has made changes within his department to cater to the changing needs of the farmers. The changes over the years include deliveries, crop nutrients (NH3, dry and liquid fertilizers), crop production, and custom applications with the AirMax Dry Floater and Row Crop Sprayers along with soil testing. Feed & Fertilizer also offers strip till and liquid applicators, a portable corral and 12 bale hay trailer for rent. The Feed Department offers bulk feed, custom grinding, custom rations, bagged feed, salt, and mineral, along with all your farm supply needs.
For more information or custom orders please feel free to contact Bob Ochsner in the Feed & Fertilizer department at (785) 332-2129.
Shirley Zweygardt began her career at St. Francis Mercantile Equity Exchange on August 6th, 1979 as an Office Professional/Secretary. In 1983, Shirley transferred within the company with the expansion of the Implement Branch, where the Equity sold Allis-Chalmers and Ford. In 1986 Shirley resumed her role as an Office Professional/Secretary in the Main Office.
Throughout the years Shirley had always assisted in grain services, and in 2007 her role expanded to the position of Grain Merchandiser. Today, Shirley’s hard work and dedication to St. Francis Equity is displayed every day. It is not uncommon during harvest to find Shirley in the scale house after hours receiving grain.
Contact Shirley at the Main Office for all your Wheat and Corn Storage, and Contracting needs. Office Phone: (785) 332-2113, toll free: (800) 295-2113, or email: email@example.com.