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The Ortonville Independent
Ortonville, Minnesota
April 9, 2002     The Ortonville Independent
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April 9, 2002

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Hoffman steps down as manager 31 years at Farmers Mutual ,00:00Phone00 Company, Bellingham &apos;-41::,;: ! : " .'tt 5' Ethel Shelstad .... 2oo2 ! i E," UUard. i e an, the genera manag- yerseen the Farmers ,,n :Phone Corn an s p* v since n,e.larty lines to DSI'. /High 'net) Will be steppi il 1.. ng  fl)ct.he accountant/o ffice -' ! 7. 1970 "We were a rn# ratin then and titles ,'!i '*hole lot.'" Hoffman 'a:nht.hrugh business col- :,,, us ov, n income a;{ruUsiness and x, orked" COunting v, ith his s 1,2_, '- ad no expe- al f 'ccnnologv side of tele- t ,as ." : zct ]llhna n nlred at Farmers jvjit t ? became the eeneral ar  t Ober of 1983. e technology improve- ig IIan has experienced ol .ing: "In September. ImL-'ua exchange was '- rg e to be cut our over to I 'l.tlunpan)' service, mak- o  lal one of the first in rrfi utomatic Number t s , !e. A 100 percent private a t,] (/It was deployed t0 fing the need for an ae It'. to get your number :o  Calls. Buried copper 't{t Ltr COre to jell,, filled cou, lt r  optic. We deployed itbl tc cable at the same .'u the mechanical Oi igital switches in il hing was probably mVement of all. (t s With wrong num- tl d. .-, no dial tone and lalino T  ' I1,,.,. e. ne, rarel Jr 11 i"%" He ffman sai'd'. l!i lle'" services added Years at Farmers lgtlal switching made ps- tO.ediate deployment of "I]i'"fg,,,i ..features, such as. call 'iJ-"'Wardin speed dial- #i: Callim, et" ass Featu're. Then the r,"Umber such as, delivery, ][IF Ulking auto reca(l, ,itllt," We began offering 00ii00i'i'00t in January 1996  1999. blost ecntl) ;'o}ili' O ur local exchanges lines activated in 1 - ., hess customers who . nternet. il};'el of the technology "*iffi ::armers Mutual ce Uildin located m /t ha also undergone UCtion u! l u< w - " he new %.,)th a garage, was c- ,,e needed addition- e I, nd the old fiat roof 10 '-:ed, so if we were trite oil, now was the :ate, 3)ect was complet- er 1' 9 th an open house tzr: - We are proud of Uilding ,- Hoffman I1 the - area the tele- IY ervices, "Farmers 'aUlle f.. , ,-umnany is a ,n the , .'- " r,t orllzlnat Cer tY e t2ompany, the ' COmpany and the d,.w,, tone Company. The ei-l  were either'nego- y% Ormg telepho?e ti drew up maps, p - , , Y:)ur service area, '2 er filed wth t -,, h e '.Oh. t Pubhc Utflmes I' :se days the agen- 12 s the Railroad and Ire "ission). These - act and we must i llltl]JlS we receive eh2 UC to comoete "g: as allowed under ........ :! ROB HOFFMAN, who has been employed at Farmers Mutual Telephone Company for 31 years is pictured at his desk in the office which was part of the construction project in 1998-99. recent competitive legislation." Since 1968 rates have been increased 54.00 for residence lines and $2.00 for business lines. The increases were put into effect in 1998 and 1999. Both residence and busi- ness razes are now a! $10.00 per month. When asked what xas the greatest achievement during his hme as gen- eral manager. Ihfffman replied, "'I don't know that you can narrow it down to an;' one thing in an industry as complex as ours. It really has been the continuous deployment of new technologies, as soon as possible, in order to stay on the proverbial "'Cutting Edge" and keep up Farmers Mutual's reputation as a state of the art company. Presently. we have apprxmazelv t50 miles I fiber optic cable providing us with auto- matic alternate routing if a cable is cut and also the ability to provide DSL (High Speed Internet) to 80 to 90 percent of our customers if and ',',hen needed "" "'It has been rewarding to see the company expand and the revenues grow. So. as a company, Farmers Mutual is thankful for having been able to pay capital credits back to it's patrons for the past 25 years in suc- cession," Hoffman said. When asked what technology changes he foresees, Hoffman answered, "In the land-line industry, as we refer to ourselves, I feel that fiber optic cable is king. It has tremendous potential and capacity. The buzz word in the industry is BROADBAND. This technology will provide voice, video (TV) and data (high speed internet} all over the same phone line, but it is very costly to deploy. Cellular and PCS service will become more and more competi- tive as the quality of service improves, costs come down and they provide wireless internet." When asked about retirement plans, ttoffman said, "We live on our ov, n farm -- it has a large farmyard which can use some touch up work ahich I ha,,e not had time for the past years. "e may even move ott the EVERYDAY LOW PRICE Norman Giese of Appleton was honored by Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., for placing second in the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association Yield Contest, South Central Zone Irrigated Division. Steve Fitz [left], Area Sales Manager for Pioneer, presented the award to Giese during Pioneer Champions Day held recently in Chanhassen. Giese achieved a winning soybean yield of 57.62 bushels per acre with Pioneer brand variety 91B52 which contains the Roundup Ready gene. S FOR SPRING FLING include, left to right, seventh grade attendants Jessica eighth graders Kelsey Watkins and Josh Larson, Julia Nelson and Bill Voeck from res Amanda Krogsrud and Michael Schuelke, and junior attendants Amanda Nelson BUSINESS AND CIVIC LEADERS FROM ORTONVILLE met with representatives of the Department of Trade and Economic Development Friday at Water Monitor, Inc. DTED Commissioner Rebecca Yanisch, second from right, spoke with WMI officials, members of Big Stone Area Growth, Ortonville Development Corporation, Southwest Minnesota Foundation and Ortonville civic leaders regarding the future of WMI, finan- cial opportunities available for the firm, as well as for other area businesses. farm depending on how things devel- op. Next winter we will probably head south for a month or two and if it feels gxxt we may do some scout- ing -- nothing definite." Rob and wife Arlene, have four children: Kevin and Mary Hoffman and their four children of Waconia; Gary and Deb Hoffman and their two children of Odessa; Karen and hus- band, Greg Roiland, and their three children of Maple Plain; and David and Keely Hoffman and one child of Ann Arbor, Mich. The Farmers Mutual Telephone Company board has taken action to place ttoffman on the board of direc- tors of their wholly owned subsidiary Farmers Mutual Technologies, Inc. This company owns the cellular inter- est in Midwest Wireless Holdings and also has the authority to offer services in Madison and Dawson. On April 1, Kevin Beyer, who is presently the manager at Federated Telephone Cooperative in Chokio will become the manager for both Farmers and Federated. Hoffman said, "We are brother-sister compa- nies, with nearly identical operations, and have worked hand in hand for many years. We belong to the same trade and business organizations, LLC's, attend the same meetings and answer to the same regulatory agen- cies. Both companies have added some additional staff to help accom- plish this step and are hopeful it will benefit both cooperatives." Thirty plus years is a long time to work at one place and Hoffman said this about what he would miss when leaving Farmers Mutual. "I will miss taking on the day to day challenges in the legislative and regulatory arenas and making the right technology choices. I will defi- nitely miss all the people I communi- cate with across the industry on a daily basis and cutting off the work- ing relationship with the board of directors and especially the employ- ees who have been so gracious to pitch in and help. I will also miss serving all of our customers who have given us such great support the past 31 years," Hoffman concluded. INDEPENDENT WANT ADS PAY NOTICE Boats& Campers that have been stored at the Big Stone County Fairgrounds, Clinton, MN can be removed beginning at 11:00 AM Sunday, April 14, 2002 Phone 325-5963 for information; 60,000 Mile Limited Treadwear Warranty S-Speed Rated Steel Belted Construction All Season Performance SUPREME Si 6 P205nOR15 WHITEWALL BLACK WALL PRICE P185/70R 14 ........ $59.95 P195/70R14 ....... 61.95 P185/65R14 ..... 66.95 P 95/65 R  4 .......... 68.95 0205/65R  5 ....... 73.95 P215/60R 16 ........... 81.95 WHITE STRIPE PRICE P 165/80R 13 ........ $51.95 P 175/80R 13 ........... 52.95 P185/80R13 .......... 53.95 P 185/75lR 14 .......... 61.95 0185/70R 14 .......... 61.95 P 195/75R 14 ........... 62.95 WHITE STRIPE PRICE P205/70R14 ........ $63.95 P205/75R 14 ........... 63.95 P2Q5/75R  5 ........... 66.95 P215/75R 15 ........... 68.95 P225/75R15 ........... 70.95 P235/75R15 ........... 73.95 4-WHEEL COMPUTERIZED ALIGNMENT Computer.optimized tread pitch sequencing for quiet ride. Two steel belts and polyester cord body for strength and smooth, comfortable ride. Full depth sipes for wet traction and less hydroDtaning. 45,000 mile limited  Black Wall treadwear warranty. P 175/70R 13 White stripe sidewall and P185F/0Rt4 black wall styling. P195f70R14 Price $48.95 53.95 54.95 Price White Stripe Price P  55/80R 13 $ 42.95 P 165/80R 13 46.95 P175/80R 13 48.95 P 185/80R t 3 49.95 P185/75R14 51.95 P195/75R14 52.95 White Stre P2OS/"/OR 14 $ 58.95 P205/75 R 14 54.95 P205/TSR 15 57.95 P215/75 R 15 59.95 P225/75R15 61.95 P235/75R15 64.95 Le a Waant amst Tire Wea Ou! RtestonelF=testone wdl repine your hte$ On a WOqaIKI basil, if ihey OO t,O( .hN/ll the goltlatlleed rn,leaQo Ac!,lt Ifea hte rely vary Cerlatn e=ept't$ an( resttchons may apply See us tot a ccpy of Ihl* war'artly. Spee Ilmr, g ar hte $alely fflOmalO 2oo2 INDEPENDENT Page 9