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Mayfield new grain operations manager

Since August 25, Don Abby's responsibilities at the CHS-Midwest Cooperatives in Philip have moved over to feed sales. The new grain operations manager is Lucas Mayfield.

Mayfield moves up being an operational employee for Midwest Co-op in Kadoka for the last two years. He graduated from Kadoka High School in 2003, and in 2005 from Mitchell Technical School with a cooling and heating degree. After working on a ranch for about a year, Mayfield joined Midwest.

"The transition for both Abby and Mayfield should be pretty much done by spring," said Location Manager Jay Baxter. "I've had a good chance to work with Lucas one-on-one. He shines as an employee, is not shy with the customer base, knows the grain industry and the current challenges facing agriculture today."

Mayfield said, "I took the position because I wanted to expand my options, to get out and see more than Kadoka. You get over here and there is technology everywhere. You push a couple of buttons and away you go. Still, the easiest part is associating with the people. The hardest parts are learning everyone's names, learning the facility and how to blend for quality factors." Mayfield does know some of the area customers, since his mother, Marcia Mayfield, lives and works in Philip.

Baxter said, "Lucas is catching on to the general knowledge pretty quick. Learning the quirks about which elevator is faster for specific blends will take time. Getting to know the producers and their needs will probably take the longest."

Mayfield leaves a crew of three in Kadoka to join a crew of 14 in Philip. "He seems to enjoy the very physical aspects of the job," said Baxter, "from being on top of the grain cars to under conveyer belts and everywhere in between."

"In Kadoka, it took better than a year learning about everything," said Mayfield. "Now, with things like getting the trains loaded, I already have that down. The funniest part of the job is how everyone gives each other a hard time, but they still work so well together."

Baxter said, "Abby has 27 years at the Philip location. He knows customers from the area and region. We can really grow our feed business through his knowledge. And, it's nice to be able to introduce a new employee like Lucas to the community and our customers. It's a neat event; both men are in charge to better themselves."