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Cooperative struggles, but finds opportunities to increase business | KRVN Radio

Cooperative struggles, but finds opportunities to increase business

Cooperative struggles, but finds opportunities to increase business
Panhandle Coop Association Board Governance Committee Chairman, Mike Kaufman presents the Roy Chelf Award to Kim Pittman at Panhandle Coop’s Annual Meeting. Courtesy Photo

The Panhandle Cooperative Association held it’s annual meeting Jan. 16, at the Gering Civic Center.

The cooperative will not be paying out patronage this year, just like so many other cooperatives this year.

“Our fiscal year was maybe a little bit of a disappointment, with the ag economy, I think all our competitors were down and we followed suit,” said Charlie Wright, CEO, and president of the association.

The cooperative is looking to do some things differently and has already started in some areas, by optimizing their unit train capacity in Alliance.

“We have the only unit train capacity for fertilizer in the Panhandle and eastern Wyoming,” he said.

Which the company has never really utilized well, until now, making them more efficient and able to take out some early programs to customers locking in some business.

One of the areas in the cooperative that did have a good year was the energy division.

Wright says another positive in the company is the youth they have employed, who are from the area and making inroads for the association.

The Panhandle Coop Association Board of Directors also named Kim Pittman, scanning coordinator for Torrington Main Street Market, as the winner of the Roy Chelf Employee Award at the meeting.

“Pittman has been with Panhandle Coop at Torrington Main Street Market for 16 years and has been nominated several times for this award, she supports Panhandle Coop, works for two of the locations, is dedicated and hardworking, cares about delivering excellent quality work and is not afraid of a new challenge,” said Mike Kaufman, board governance committee chairman at the meeting when announcing Pittman as the winner.

Pittman received a check for $1,000 and will receive an additional $1,000 to be specifically used for expenses for a trip. She also received a clock and her picture will be displayed in the Administrative office.

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