This fall, farmers pulling their rigs into the grain facility in Bruno won’t be waiting as long as they did during the harvest of 2016.
Farmers Union Coop Association of Cedar Bluffs, which purchased the facility from the Bruno Co-op Grain Association last year, has installed grain handling equipment that will dramatically speed up the unloading and loading of grain. Central Ag Builders of Schuyler is expected to wrap up construction at the site next week.
Coop manager Randall Schwartz said before the grain handling equipment was added, the facility could unload two semis in an hour.
“We should be able to unload 12 in an hour this harvest,” Schwartz said.
Area residents might remember that the site had an old wooden elevator that was demolished in 2014. A new 45,000 bushel grain bin also was added to the site, bringing the total storage capacity to 400,000 bushels.
A year ago, the Cedar Bluffs Coop purchased the assets of Bruno Farmers Cooperative, and more changes followed. Six grain bins, three other grain storage buildings and another old wooden elevator were razed. Workers are wrapping up the construction of a leg that will handle 7,500 bushels per hour, a pit and two overhead bins, and piping to existing bins on the site.
The site also will have a belt conveyor system on top of an another storage building. The low profile unloading system will unload 7,000 bushels per hour.
Schwartz described the business at the site as average for the first year, and he expects it to triple for 2017-18.
The company’s annual sales are $30 million. There are 400 owner-members in the cooperative. The company provides grain handling, agronomy, feed and fuel for its customers. In addition to Bruno, the cooperative has sites in Cedar Bluffs, Prague and Wahoo.
The Butler County Area Chamber of Commerce has introduced a new executive director.
Karla Wall has been getting oriented with the job since starting in mid-August. She succeeds Demi Bartunek, who moved on to other opportunities earlier this summer.
Karla is married to Nathan Wall, a teacher at Bellwood Elementary and coach of the David City girls basketball team. The Walls have two children. Laney is 2 and Paxton 5, attends preschool in David City.
Karla, a 2003 graduate of East Butler, grew up on a farm south east of Brainard. She went on to Wayne State College where she received a degree in Family Consumer Science with a Concentration in Interior Design in 2007. Nathan also is an East Butler grad. Karla’s parents are Steve and Jane Rezac.
“We moved back to Butler County in 2014 and since that time, especially as my kids have gotten older, I have noticed my growing passion for doing things to be more involved in our community,” Karla said.
She is very active in the DCPS Parent/Teacher Organization, and she was one of the organizers of the David City 4th of July Kiddie Parade.
“I love any opportunity to give my kids and all kids, for that matter, the chance to have fun memories. Who knows, maybe memories like that will bring them back to the area to raise their families like I did mine,” she said.
Although many might view the chamber director role as the first person that is contacted by those outside the community, such as prospective businesses and residents, it is much broader than that.
“I also do the administrative work, answer phones and reach out to Chamber businesses to see how I can be of service to them,” she said. “They have also encouraged me to take this job and make it my own. I really appreciate that and look forward to seeing how I can contribute to the Chamber. I like to be creative and I look forward to using my creativity in the future with events and promoting businesses.”
She serves as the office assistant for Butler County Development Inc., which is funded by the city and county.
“The Butler County Development part of the job, is to attend their meetings and be a resource when needed. Our groups complement each other,” she said.
There are few “routine” days at the chamber office.
“The interactions I get with the public vary from day to day. Some people stop in to purchase Chamber Bucks or Event tickets. Others have stopped to drop off flyers to promote their events,” she said. “And my favorite interaction I have is when my grandma stops by after her Tuesday morning Tai Chi work out at the Senior Center.
She acknowledged that there is much she needs to learn about how the chamber works, and her roll in the chamber’s mission.
“I am learning that there are many aspects of this job and I am still trying to find the best ways to do all of the necessary office work and still have the maximum amount of time to reach out and visit our local businesses,” she said. “Once I find that balance, I feel like I will have a better idea of what business owners would like to see from me and the Chamber.”
Chamber members and visitors will find that she can’t be at the office during all of her hours, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, but they can still set up a time to meet.
If someone stops by the office and I'm not here, its most likely that I am visiting a business or at a related event or meeting,” she said. “I do not like that I miss people here and there, but being the sole employee, that may happen. I would just encourage people to maybe call ahead. I'd love to help them out with whatever they need!”
Karla has hit the ground running for the chamber.
Among her first tasks was lining up the Dueling Pianos event for Nov. 3 at the Butler County Event Center.
“We are all looking forward to bringing this event to David City,” she said.
The chamber has scheduled a meet and greet event for Karla from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7, at Winfield’s. The public is invited.
Reach the chamber at 402-367-4238 or by email at