September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.
During the last 12 months, the creamery has broken ground for an expansion and now has a new manager, Denise Waldvogel.
"I am still in shock this all has happened," Waldvogel said. "It feels great. I am excited to expand and make the creamery successful."
Waldvogel started working with the creamery as a bookkeeper in April of 2012.
In December of that year, the manager at the time decided to move on to a different route with his career, which left the creamery without a manager until March 2013.
Jim Eveslage stepped in as the interim manager for three months as they searched for a permanent replacement.
"He is an amazing person," Waldvogel said. "I learned so much from him."
By June, Waldvogel stepped in as interim manager and was officially named the general manager on Oct. 1.
"I felt really welcomed from the employees and patrons," Waldvogel said. "Everyone has been wonderful. The community and my family have been very supportive. If I didn't have their support, I wouldn't be where I am."
Waldvogel believes that teamwork is part of the reason the creamery is successful.
"I will never say it is just me. I don't put myself above the others," Waldvogel said. "It is not one person that makes this work. All of us work together and are a good team. I work beside everyone. If we keep that atmosphere going, hopefully we can keep growing as a company."
One thing Waldvogel feels is important for her to accomplish, as the manager, is being more visible to the creamery's 71 patrons.
"I want to be out in the field on a more regular basis," Waldvogel said. "I want to get out there and make sure the patrons know how important they are. We are committed to catering to our patrons."
Waldvogel already has visited a few farmers with the co-op's one milk field rep and three feed field reps.
"It's fun to go and visit the farmers," Waldvogel said. "They work hard. I get to see and learn about what they do everyday and what works for them since every farm is different."
As Waldvogel has started to settle into her job as the manager, she has also worked closely with the creamery's expansion project.
"The goal was always to move," Waldvogel said.
The fertilizer plant was up and running last year, and the hope was to move the rest of the plant out there.
"We were going to wait, but we were approached with an opportunity to make it happen," Waldvogel said. "It got the ball rolling."
The work has already begun at the new location next to the fertilizer plant and the creamery is anticipating the construction to start by spring.
"It is going to be all out there now. To have one location for everything is going to be awesome," Waldvogel said. "It will be so much more efficient. Our patrons will have one spot to be able to come for everything they need. We will also have enough man power to accommodate them."
One end of the building will be for the store and the offices.
"I want to increase the number of retail items for our new store," Waldvogel said.
The middle section is intended for cold storage for their bagged feed and chemicals. On the other end will be the shop. The building itself will be a c-shape building measuring 312 feet long with the two ends being 80 feet wide and the middle measuring 62 feet wide.
"The facility is going to look good and portray the sales we do every year," Waldvogel said. "It will be very classy and welcoming."
For Waldvogel, working with the numbers and finances for the expansion has been intimidating.
"It's a little scary, but I have to take a step back and look at the long term," Waldvogel said. "I can't look at it as an expense. Instead I have to look at it as an investment for the future of the creamery."
Through all of the changes the past year, Waldvogel is happy to work with the employees and dairy farmers every day.
"I really love it," Waldvogel said. "The feed and agronomy areas are important, but I always felt that the dairy part is the bread and butter of our working capital."