RETHINKING WHAT A COOPERATIVE IS
Apr 06, 2023
I’ve always had a passion for agriculture. But I had never imagined my career path would bring me to a cooperative.
I grew up on a dairy farm and milked cows and fed calves every morning before school. I became familiar with UFC at a young age because it was our family’s co-op. We had UFC feed trucks, fuel trucks and agronomy products delivered to our farm on a regular basis.
When I thought of co-ops, I pictured truck drivers, applicators, and elevator operators. I didn’t initially put two and two together that a cooperative was a business with a full office staff behind the scenes with opportunities for a wide range of careers.
I graduated from Winona State University with a double major in business administration and human resources management. Throughout college, my plan was to move anywhere my career would take me. But I quickly realized I wanted to get back to my roots and my family.
UFC was my first place of employment after graduation. There was a customer service position open at the Winthrop office and I started in March 2010. It’s hard to remember a time where job openings at respectable
companies were scarce, but that was the case when I graduated. I felt very fortunate to get a job at our local cooperative.
A co-op career allows me to have the best of both worlds – human resources and agriculture. I worked in customer service for a couple of years and transitioned into a human resources role.
UFC values their employees and gives the employees resources to learn and grow within their career paths. We offer excellent benefits and competitive pay. In addition, there’s flexibility during non-peak seasons. And for those who do not have an opportunity to work on a farm full time, UFC allows you to be part of agriculture in a similar capacity.
More than anything, I get to do what I love each day and still be a part of agriculture. I’ve met so many people through the cooperative system that have served as role models and mentors and have contributed to the progression of my career.
If you’re thinking of a career in agriculture, consider rethinking what a cooperative is. You may just find the best of both worlds.
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With our extended weather forecast showing below normal temperatures across much of UFC’s territory we know growers may not be waiting for “ideal” planting conditions. We suggest utilizing 6-24-6 starter fertilizer to help corn and soybeans deal with cooler planting temperatures.