My Way of Thinking: The President’s review
Barry: Wait a minute…. That’s not my fault. It’s Dubya’s fault. He left me with a mess.
Madison: Yes, Dubya made some mistakes, but we hired you to fix it. Not only did you fail to fix it, you made it worse. You failed to lead. You’ve been operating this Co-op without a budget for three years now! And when your operating team failed to produce a budget, you built your own budget. Your investment priorities, your direction, your financial plan. And your budgets were a joke… you called for an additional $9 million in debt over the next 10 years! And the board, controlled by your Hawkeyes, voted unanimously to reject both of your budgets. What happened to your pledge to go “line by line” through the budget to eliminate waste and balance the budget?
Regarding reigning in custom application costs – your solution was requiring all pesticide purchases to be custom applied or pay a fee. Some growers don’t want custom application, and they can’t believe this Co-op would mandate this tax to cover the costs for those using custom app. Now with more custom app acres than we can handle, our growers won’t get to keep their favorite operator, plus you didn’t budget to hire more drivers and buy more sprayers. Brilliant.
And this custom app. situation was a perfect example of your disregard for transparency and unwillingness or inability to bring people together. The Cyclone fans had some great ideas, but you rammed your Hawkeye ideology down the throats of our farmers. Your plan has some good elements, but the process, the loss of individual freedom and the ultimate financial cost to Liberty Co-op will be your legacy.
Ultimately, you’ve failed to lead. I’ve never seen our farmers, and this Co-op so divided. You and David Axlegrease have intentionally taken this approach to secure another four years as the GM. You’ve divided this Co-op based on race, gender, financial success, and faith trying to sway Cyclones and independent farmers to vote Hawkeye.
I guess we should have done a better background check. We knew it was a risk hiring a new GM that had never even run a retail location, but we hired you to restore this Co-op believing you would build upon the foundation of Hawkeyes Clinton and JFK. But it’s now clear your foundation lies with Frank Marshall Davis and Saul Alinsky.
Should Liberty Co-op hire a new General Manager? Or does Barry deserve four more years to make his policies work? Cast your vote and comment.