We are saddened to hear that former MaxYield team member Don Haverman passed away suddenly at the age of 69. Don spent his entire career working for MaxYield, a career that spanned 44 years. He retired from MaxYield as Plant, Property and Equipment Coordinator in February 2015.

We extend our deepest thoughts, prayers and sympathy to Don’s family. Don’s funeral arrangements are available, here.

Remembering Don Haverman

A trip to the local co-op as a kid offered a world of adventure in Halbur, IA for Don when he tagged along with his father to pick up some swine ration balancers.

“I sneaked off to the feed mill and was fascinated by everything, from the aroma of molasses to all the equipment,” he said in an interview for MaxYield’s My Solutions magazine in 2012. “I thought that the guys who worked there were so lucky, and I decided I wanted to work in a place like this someday.”

After completing his degree in elevator/farm supply management from Iowa Central Community College in 1972, Don joined West Bend Elevator Company (WBEC), which had approximately 20 full-time employees. He worked at the Rodman location for a few years and then became operations manager in West Bend.  

Growing a career with the company

This was an era of growth at WBEC, starting with new steel bins at the Mallard location in 1976. Other projects quickly followed, including a new 3,000-ton fertilizer plant and the installation of 1,200 feet of railroad tracks that allowed the first 75-car train to be shipped out of Mallard in 1983. 

“My wife would bring my three children to work so I could see them once in a while,” said the hard-working Haverman, who was known to deliver livestock feed on Christmas Eve.

After the formation of MaxYield Cooperative, Don guided a number of major building projects, including grain storage construction projects at Dickens (1.3 million bushels), Belmond (1.5 million bushels) and West Bend (750,000 bushels) within a two-year period.

Building for the future has involved more than elevators and grain bins, however, he said. “This company has had its share of ups and downs through the years. The tough times cut like a knife, because it hurt to answer your friends’ and neighbors’ questions about why the co-op was struggling. I always said I was never going to leave the company when it was down, and it has been great to see MaxYield come back from those challenges.”

Haverman Named Solutions Provider of the Year

When asked why he wanted to work for the same company for 40 years, he pointed out that nothing stayed the same during those four decades. “MaxYield continues to evolve and that’s the key.”

Don earned our Solutions Provider of the Year award in 2012, an award that recognizes MaxYield team member’s that dedicate themselves to finding solutions for our clients and team.

MaxYield CEO Keith Heim stated in the 2012 story in My Solutions, that “Don is an amazing leader, and his desire to help the co-op succeed is truly inspiring. It’s a lot of fun to have Don on the team, because he truly cares about the company and our clients. He’s motivated to give his best every day, and he makes us all look better because of what he does.” 

Don thank you for your incredible dedication to MaxYield Cooperative and may you rest in peace.