He started working as manager of the Edna elevator in 1971. For 10 years he operated the business himself. Now, after helping to facilitate the sale of the elevator to Lester Feed and Grain in September 2016, Myron Krull is ready to retire from his managerial position at the Edna elevator, a position he’s held for more than 45 years.
Krull started his career as a truck driver for Cargill in Rock Rapids, and he said his uncle used to run the Edna elevator a long time ago. “I’ve always had this little warm spot for Edna since I grew up only two miles from here, so when Cargill bought this elevator and the George elevator, I kind of pushed them to open this one, too,” explained Krull.
The George elevator was opened first, but then in 1971 the Edna elevator reopened after being closed for a period of about five years. “I did a terrific grain business for being here all by myself. It only held 60,000 bushels and I think I was full the first year. We shipped train cars and I loaded them all by myself,” said Krull.
After about 10 years, the Edna elevator added its own mill, and Krull hired his brother to work alongside him. “Then it was just the two of us for a while. Eventually we were up to about five employees, but then back down to four over the last five to 10 years or so.”
While the elevator and its staff were both small in size, they were well known for customer retention. “I seldom lost a customer unless they died,” said Krull. “My philosophy has always been to treat my customers the way I would want to be treated as a farmer. If something isn’t right, I’ll try to make it right. We’ve never been one to turn someone away if they call just before closing time. We strive to give good service.”
In his last week on the job, Krull reflected on the years just before he took over as manager. Even though the elevator was closed for a handful of years, he said that farmers would still go there anyway. “There used to be a little window in the back and somebody had knocked a little hole in it so you could reach in and unlock the window, and all the farmers around here would come in and weigh their own stuff and then lock up and leave again. Nobody did any damage or anything like that, but we all knew you could crawl through the back window and weigh your stuff,” he said with a laugh.
One of Krull’s favorite things about working as elevator manager the last 45 years was working with different generations of farmers. “I sold feed to John Schulte and to his dad, I’ve sold feed to Nate, and now Nate’s kids are in 4-H, so I’ve had families that I’ve worked with for four generations, and several others for three generations, so I watched the little kids come in here and got to see them grow up a little bit, and that’s really something.”
Krull also enjoyed going on several trips hosted by various feed companies. He was able to travel to Hawaii, Florida and Mexico a couple times each, with the cost of each trip covered by the feed companies. “I really enjoyed those trips because they were the only vacations I ever took. For the first 10 years I was the only one here so we took no family vacations and the only time we’d have off is if it was a holiday with a three-day weekend.”
He’s planning on more family vacation time in the near future. “I’m going to spend time fishing with my kids and my grandsons too,” said Krull.
Krull said he’d stick around for a while after Lester Feed and Grain bought the elevator in September. In January he suggested they name Reed Krull the new manager and he planned on working through the end of May to get through the transition period, but eventually he settled on April 15 as his last day on the job. He said he’s always enjoyed his work but over the last couple weeks he’s been counting down the days because he’s got a lot of work he wants to do.
“I’m just really going to miss talking to the people. But you know, I’ll still see a lot of the same people in church or other places. It’s not like I’m moving away.”