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Byron Anderson celebrated 30 years as part of Federated Co-ops
Byron Anderson will have been employed by Federated Co-ops for 30 years in March. He was originally hired by General Manager Bob Olson of Kanabec County Cooperative Oil Assn to work at the full-service pumps at the Mora Station. Byron remembers the “ding,ding” as cars drove over the driveway bell hose. Byron fondly remembers Bob Olson and how tight he was with raises but that he always made employees feel good about working there. The Co-op had sold Midland fuels and lube oils for many years. Price changes for petroleum were rare and usually not more than a penny per gallon. Byron says he spent 20 years of cold winter driving the bulk petroleum truck. One that stands out in his mind was an extremely cold January day in the 1980’s filling an underground tank when the temperature was -47 and windchill -80. Byron had on his snowmobile suit, mitts, parka and face mask. The customer, a bald guy with no hat and a light jacket with zipper and no gloves came out to “shoot the breeze”. He was talking and an suddenly his speech began to slur. Byron told him to get inside because his blood was freezing in his head!
He fondly remembers a little older lady who always insisted on shoveling a path through the snow to the tank. One delivery she told me that she had worked for 3 days through 3 feet of snow to get a path to the tank. People such as her were never forgotten.
He says his job was always enjoyable because of the good equipment the Co-op had. Whether the coldest days of winter or the hottest days of summer, there were always newer trucks we could count on.
Times changed of course. The Co-op went from Midland to Land O’Lakes to Cenex Farmland to CHS Cenex. Our Co-op names changed from Kanabec Co-op to Central Rivers to Federated. Byron worked with three General Manager; Bob Olson, Tim Faust and Tim Kavanaugh.
11 years ago when his back injury became too painful, Byron chose to accept a job in the C-Store and Station. It was a location manager and when h asked Tim Kavanaugh if I would get any training he said “no, sink or swim”. He said he feels fortunate to still be working for the Co-op. “I really like the people I work with. They care about the customers and are knowledgeable. My goal is to retire working at the Co-op if the economy allows”.