Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Pam Burke 

Scale association discusses upgrades, new manager


At its 2017 annual meeting Feb. 1 the Hill County Scale Association board members discussed maintenance at the facility and the need to start a search for a scale manager.

The holding pens at the scale association three miles east of Havre received a full face lift this year after board members made a deal with one of a handful of businesses in town last summer offering to replace weathered boards in corrals and windbreaks for free.

The weathered boards are sold as recycled to create the rustic look in home décor, siding and more. Board member Jack Nystrom had suggested during the group’s June 9 work day at the scale to look into this service.

Monica Goldhahn, the secretary/treasurer, said it cost the group more money than they expected because some of the older boards were unsalvageable for resale and the scale association was responsible for paying the replacement cost on unusable boards.

Lavonne Herman, scale manager, said that the company had pulled all the boards off the pens and rebuilt them with new lumber over the course of the summer. She said she had been worried for a while that the pens would not be done in time for shipping season.

However, she added, after a few adjustments, especially to gates, the pens have worked well.

Nystrom asked about adding gravel to the edge of the approach off U.S. Highway 2 because longer semi-trailer combinations have trouble making the tight turn and the rear wheels drop off the road, causing a rough ride.

Herman said that, after seeing how slow she was recovering from an injury in late fall, she was thinking about retirement and asked the board to start looking into finding another scale manager. She added that when one is found she would be able to work with that person to show him or her the details of the job.

After the meeting, Herman said she has been the manager and a brand inspector since 2003, and from 1981 to 1997 she helped her husband, Fred Herman, who was then the manager and a brand inspector.

She said that the scale manager needs to be available on-call to meet sellers and shippers to weigh the cattle before shipping and occasionally during nonshipping times for weighing

“People don’t like their cattle standing and waiting to be weighed because they’re losing weight all the time they’re standing there,” she said. “They want them gates or doors open when they unload so they can get them sorted and get them weighed.”

She said the manager also keeps track of maintenance issues with the facility that need to be repaired at the annual work day, or sooner.

It’s helpful, she said, for the manager to be a licensed brand inspector, but that’s not required. If the manager is not a brand inspector, then the seller has to arrange for one to come, so the manager-inspector combination is a benefit to the customer.

Members discussed during the meeting a few possible people to approach about the position.

During the annual election of officers, member voted to retain the people whose terms had ended. The full roster of board members is Dennis Kleinjan, president; Dale Williams, vice president; Monica Goldhahn, secretary/treasurer; Jack Nystrom and Kevin Velk, members; and Lavonne Herman, scale manager.

For more information about the Hill County Scale Association, including becoming a member or using the scale, contact Herman at 265-8182.


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