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Business Briefs for Oct. 8

October 8, 2012
Marshall Independent

Miller hired at SW/WC Service Cooperative

Karie Miller was recently hired as an Early Childhood Special Education coordinator at the SW/WC Service Cooperative.

Miller will provide ECSE coordinator services in the following 20 school districts: Ortonville, Benson, KMS, Montevideo, Canby, Hendricks, Ivanhoe, Minneota, Lynd, Marshall, Milroy, Wabasso, Red Rock Central, Springfield, Cedar Mountain, Redwood Falls, BOLD, Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart, Glencoe-Silver Lake and Lester Prairie.

She has nearly 15 years of experience in the ECSE field working with children ages birth to 7, in the Mankato, Chaska/Chanhassen and Willmar school districts.

She has both an undergraduate and graduate degree from Minnesota State University Mankato.

AGP to Expand AminoPlus production

The Board of Directors of Ag Processing Inc (AGP) a cooperative has approved a multimillion dollar capital project for construction of an AminoPlus production facility at its soybean processing plant in Dawson. AminoPlus( is a high performance soy by-pass product which is patented, produced and marketed by AGP to the dairy industry. The project is scheduled to begin this fall (subject to permitting approvals).

"The AGP Board of Directors is committed to supporting our local cooperative members and their farmer-owners by continuing to invest in value-added opportunities such as AminoPlus," said Brad Davis, AGP's Board Chairman.

"The continued growth and success of AminoPlus has led to demand-driven expansion of our patented product which is the number one volume soy by-pass in the U.S.," said Keith Spackler, CEO. "The additional production capacity at our Dawson location will serve our expanding customer base in the upper Midwest, Canada, and also overseas markets."

AminoPlus is a soybean-based all-natural product that improves milk production for dairy producers and adds value to soybeans, a win-win for agriculture. The addition of AminoPlus production to the Dawson facility represents the fourth major expansion of the product, which AGP currently manufactures at its soybean processing plants in Mason City, Iowa; Hastings, Nebraska; and Sgt. Bluff, Iowa.

The addition of AminoPlus production to AGP's soybean processing plant at Dawson comes on the heels of a major plant improvement project recently completed at the location. That project included new processing equipment, additional storage capacity and expanded handling capability. Operations at the plant will not be affected during construction of the new AminoPlus production line.

AGP is the largest farmer-owned soybean processor in the world, owned by 175 local and five regional cooperatives representing 250,000 farmers. More information can be found on the company's website at

Hartman joins Avera

The Avera Medical Group in Marshall announces the addition of Jane Hartman, DO, to Family Medicine. She is a graduate of Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, PA. She has also completed a fellowship in sports medicine.

Dr. Hartman grew up in Walnut Grove and has chosen to return to the area as a family practice physician. She enjoys being close to family and she likes living in a city that is small enough to feel a sense of community yet big enough to offer many family activities. Her husband, Dr. Justin Hartman, is a hospitalist for Avera Marshall.

She is certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians. Family medicine is the medical specialty which provides continuing, comprehensive health care for both the individual and family, across all ages, genders, diseases and part of the body. Her sports medicine training gives her specialized knowledge in treating athletic injuries and helping athletes of all ages to prevent sports injuries.

Dr. Hartman joined the Avera Medical Group in October. Her office will be located on the Avera Marshall campus.

Popowski wins highest U.S. Bank employee honor

Abigail Popowski, branch manager who works at U.S. Bank's office at Marshall, has won U.S. Bank's Pinnacle Award, the company's highest employee achievement honor.

Popowski was among a select number of top performing employees nationwide to win U.S. Bank's award for outstanding achievement and superior performance and was recently recognized at a company dinner.

Richard Davis, chairman, president and chief executive officer of U.S. Bancorp, the parent company of U.S. Bank, said, "Abigail deserves tremendous congratulations for this achievement as she does an outstanding job to make sure our customer's expectations are not only met, but exceeded."

He noted that it is because of employees like Popowski that U.S. Bank has received several accolades this past year, including being recognized in Fortune magazine as one of the world's most admired super regional banks.

This is Popowski's first pinnacle award. She has worked at U.S. Bank for the past seven years and lives in Ivanhoe.

Schuneman adds staff

Schuneman Equipment Co. has added to its pool of employees.

John Lupkes joined the organization in October. He will oversee Service Department operations for the Marshall location and will be responsible for ensuring internal and external customer satisfaction. Lupkes comes to Schuneman Equipment Co. with an extensive management background, most recently as service manager for K&S Motors, a Ford dealer in Worthington. Prior to that, he worked for Don Stevens, a commercial restaurant equipment company. John served as Branch Manager of the Des Moines office for the majority of his tenure focusing on employee supervision and technical support for customers. "I am excited to come to work for Schuneman Equipment. I feel great about the experience we have in the shop and I feel that we can take it to the next level. I would invite any customer that has not done Service business with us recently to give us a try" says Lupkes.

Mike Downing was welcomed to Schuneman Equipment Co. in September. He has over 25 years experience as a service technician in the Minneota area. Mike brings a great deal of experience repairing and troubleshooting all types of agricultural equipment. He grew up on a farm in Taunton, MN. His primary responsibility will be servicing a/turf equipment for new and existing customers.

Schuneman Equipment Co. is an authorized John Deere Dealer and has been in business since 1979. They currently own and operate five locations in Western Minnesota and Eastern South Dakota with more than 150 employees. Schuneman Equipment Co. is committed to providing the very highest level of parts, service and equipment to their customers.

SW/WC SC staff to present at national conference

Three staff from the SW/WC Service Cooperative have been selected to present at the 27th annual Association of Educational Service Agencies Conference Nov. 28-Dec. 1 in Tampa, Fla. The theme for this year's conference is "Inform, Innovate, Implement" and is geared toward board members and staff from educational service agencies across the country.

Tammy Stahl (director of special education), Jackie Budden (assistant director of special education), and Mary Margaret Mathers (coordinator of special education) will conduct a session focusing on how to develop special education assessment teams, which they have done in 12 local school districts. They will outline the process for developing a district-wide assessment team, provide insights into the benefits of assessment team implementation, and share practical experiences and lessons learned related to managing the assessment team process.



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