Avoid Building Collapse, Consider Insurance

LeeAnne Bulman, AgriView

GILMANTON, Wis. – Excessive snow and blowing wind create a nasty combination – a danger that caused a record number of farm buildings to collapse this past winter. Weather events can’t be controlled so farmers need to do what they can to prevent damage.

That starts with building design, says Aaron Halberg, resident professional engineer at Halberg Engineering.

“We should avoid all possible loss,” he said at a presentation sponsored by University of Wisconsin-Extension in Buffalo County

Carl Duley, UW-extension agent, said collapsed buildings aren’t a new issue but buildings are becoming bigger, which puts more stress on construction materials. This past winter collapsed buildings in west-central Wisconsin had more than $12 million in damage. That included poultry sheds, machine sheds, livestock barns and grain bins that ranged from one to 50 years old. Damaged buildings continued to drop throughout the spring.

Once snow piles up, wind can change the depth and density of snow on a roof. Rain on the snow can increase the weight by 5 pounds per square foot for every inch. Ice dams can form along the edge, holding snow back from sliding off the roof. Something as small as screw heads showing through a roof is enough to hold snow on a roof.

Wisconsin has no binding building code for post-frame buildings, although standards do exist. Halberg referred to ASCE 7, a minimum-design load, as a source for building design – with the caveat that codes are a minimum. A project may need greater design loads. Factors such as building use, the presence of animals or humans, and siting need to be considered

Halberg recommends dealing with people who have been in the business for a while – those with a good design reputation and warranty on the work. He warns that the cheapest building might be just that – cheap.

“When I see a collapse, it’s usually one or two details that were missed,” he said.

Duley gave an example.

”Steel isn’t steel isn’t steel,” he said.

If a builder downgrades the steel, connectors can rust. That results in less building integrity.

Design should start with load considerations, Halberg said, and then trusses, trusses to posts, overall connection and bracing. Every link in the chain is important. Designers should consider what happens when doors are open or closed as well as extra dead weight such as solar panels or insulation.


Spring 2019 Edition – Countryside Compass

The Spring 2019 issue of the Countryside Compass is now available online!

Check out the stories covered in this edition:

  • Learning how to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable
  • AgSolver – analyzing profitability on your acres
  • How economic times are driving credit policy enforcement
  • Important tax benefits
  • Changes in the Grain Division
  • Lengthening your usefulness of feed bins
  • Spotlight on the Heck Dairy in Mondovi
  • What sets Countryside apart from others
  • What to look for with LP tank tilt this spring
  • Countryside’s commitment to Drive to Feed Kids
  • HVAC spring tune up
  • Countryside’s Internship Program and partnership with Chippewa Valley Technical College

Countryside Cooperative Spring 2019 Compass

Countryside C-Store Rewards Program: All Your Questions Answered

If you’ve stopped at any of our C-Stores, chances are you’ve probably heard of our rewards program. Maybe you even have the card, but you’re unsure how to use your points or check your balance. This post breaks down everything from balances to redemption to signing up for a card.


So what is a rewards card? There are two options for Rewards cards- the first and most basic, the Country Rewards Card. You can sign up at any C-Store by providing basic information and get a card on the spot. This is for points only- you swipe when you purchase (and pay with cash or a personal credit or debit card) and the points are tracked on your Country Rewards card. If you want to check how many points you have, one of our cashiers can scan the barcode on this card and tell you. The second card is the Fast Card, which is a combination points and charge card. This is the one that you can charge purchases to and then pay with your mailed statement  at the end of the month. This one you need to sign up for (you can find the application on our website by clicking this link. ) A credit check will need to be done as well. Just a reminder, in order to charge to your Fast Card you have to have the physical card with you. We are unable to charge by looking up your name or number.


For every dollar you spend with your rewards card, you’ll get one rewards point added to your card (apart from diesel fuel which is 3 gallons for 1 point-gas is 1 point per gallon). Your points accumulate automatically. Once you start accumulating points, you can check your balance at the bottom of your receipt after your transaction. If you do not take a receipt one of our cashiers can tell you when they scan your card (as mentioned above). If you  frequently purchase items that are part of our buyers’ clubs (see below) you can also see these balances at the bottom of your receipt.


You can redeem points at any time. Most stores run similar specials that offer cardholders additional perks, and these change every few months . It’s important to know these redemptions are not applied automatically (buyers clubs are, but regular redemptions are not) so you should watch how many points you have and keep track of the specials. Just bring up the items you want to use points on and tell the cashier you want to use your points at check out. Here are a few examples of current cardholder specials: (for a full list of location-specific specials, talk to someone at your nearest c-store)


As a rewards member you get 3 cents off per gallon of fuel every day, and on Tuesdays you get 5 cents off.  You can also redeem points for money off purchases, or an additional fuel discount- 200 points is $1 off an in-store purchase, or 5 cents off gas. 500 points gets you $2.50 off in-store or 15 cents off per gallon of gas, and 2000 points will get you $10 off an in-store purchase or 50 cents off per gallon of gas.


There are also certain items you can earn bonus points on. For example, a Monster energy drink or a Powerade will earn you 5 bonus points, a large bag of ice gets you 10 bonus points, and a gallon of washer fluid or a 12 pack Pepsi/Coke product is also 10 points extra. If you see something on a rewards list somewhere and find out the store you’re at doesn’t carry that product, ask the manager. We may be able to get it for you by asking our distributor.


We hope this blog has helped clear up some of your questions about our rewards program- and if not, ask us! Our c-store teams  are friendly and knowledgeable about the program and store-specific perks. We are proud to repay our loyal customers with this rewards program and want this to be a tool you can use every day.


Security Updates to Protect You

Emily Ellingboe, C-Store Price Book and Training Manager

Technology is always changing. Thieves are constantly trying to outsmart us and take our hard-earned money. We need to stay one step ahead of them.

That’s why Countryside Cooperative is making security updates at all 15 of our local convenience stores. These updates will help protect you from fraud.

We’re currently installing chip technology at our checkouts to make it harder for thieves to hack your credit card account. We’ve already installed chip readers and software at our Ellsworth, Durand, Glenwood City and Spring Valley Stores. Over the next two months, we’ll install advanced chip technology at all our C-stores.

If you use a credit card with chip technology, you will be asked to insert your card instead of swiping it. That’s it. Just one change in the way you pay for your C-store purchases should give you a higher level of security and peace of mind.

You may also wonder, “What are those blue stickers on the pumps at my Countryside C-Store?” That is for your protection, too. These unbroken blue seals offer the assurance that no one has tampered with the pump in the middle of the night by installing a skimmer to steal your credit card information.

If you see a blue label that looks like it has been torn or tampered with, let a store employee know so they can check it out. Then, move to another pump do your fueling. Skimming devices have been spotted in our area, and we intend to offer you the highest level of protection when purchasing gas or fuel at our convenience stores.

It costs money to make these upgrades, but your security is worth the investment.

So where can you find us and fuel up worry-free? Countryside C-Stores are located at Amery, Baldwin, Burkhardt, Durand, Ellsworth, Elmwood, Foster, Glenwood City, Luck, Mondovi, Pepin, Pigeon Falls, Spring Valley, Strum and Whitehall. We also own and operate pay-at-the-pump fueling stations at Gilmanton and Rock Falls.

Stop by your nearest Countryside Convenience Store today—and feel secure.

Country Rewards Offers Best Value

Emily Ellingboe, C-Store Price Book and Training Manager


Every day of the year, our 15 Countryside Cooperative convenience stores offer customers promotions and specials.

But the best promotions and the greatest benefit to doing business at your local Countryside C-store comes through joining our Country Rewards program. This program honors loyal customers—exclusive to Rewards members—who earn points for their purchases and can redeem those points for specials like drinks for 99¢, $1 off Jack Links beef jerky, or a 3¢-per-gallon discount on gas or diesel.

It’s easy to sign up. Just ask the cashier at your local Countryside C-Store. They’ll give you two cards—one for your wallet and another for your key chain. You’ll earn points with that first day’s purchases and add to your point total whenever you buy fuel or goodies at the c-store and present your Rewards Card.

If there are several people in your family who buy gas and goodies at the C-Store, consider becoming a member of the co-op and setting up an account. If you do, we’ll give you several cards to hand out to family members. Each C-store transaction will accumulate Country Rewards points. Plus, you’ll begin to earn cash patronage whenever you do business at Countryside Cooperative’s feed mills, bulk fuel plants, agronomy plants and grain facilities.

So, you see, membership does have its privileges.

Why shop at our C-Stores?

Of course, there are other reasons to patronize Countryside C-Stores. For one thing, we’re local and employ local people who like their jobs. They enjoy chatting with, getting to know and serving our customers. We also support local initiatives, like Breast Cancer Awareness, the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s shamrock sales, and Polar Plunge.

And we’re everywhere you go. Our Countryside C-Stores are located at Amery, Baldwin, Burkhardt, Durand, Ellsworth, Elmwood, Foster, Glenwood City, Luck, Mondovi, Pepin, Pigeon Falls, Spring Valley, Strum and Whitehall. We also own and operate pay-at-the-pump fueling stations at Gilmanton and Rock Falls. Find a complete listing of our locations and their addresses here.

Stop by your nearest Countryside Convenience Store and join our Country Rewards program—today!

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