Hancock County Ag Safety Day

Our story of Cultivating Communities across our trade territory continues, as we attended the Hancock County Ag Safety Day on April 14, which was hosted by Hancock County 4-H.

The children rotated through several stations hosted by various community groups, such at Nine Star Connect, Canine Castaways Rescue, Greenfield Fire Territory and more. Harvest Land employee Vickie Ramsey was instrumental in organizing the day.
The Harvest Land station educated sixty 4-H members about grain safety. Specific topics included grain entrapment as well as auger and PTO hazards.

Today’s Photo Friday includes a few shots from our work with the youth of Hancock County.

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Thank you, Julie Lamberson, Risk Manager, for spending the day with these students.

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These two young men belong to Tarra Youngclaus from our Junction location.

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Many thanks to The Photography Barn for snapping these photos of our work.

 

 

 

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$10,000 Investment in Henry County

US 40, Interstate 70, State Roads 38 and 234 and US 36 are each main roads, east to west, in rural Henry County, Indiana. The county is then divided right down the middle by State Road 3. But once you’re off the beaten, paved paths of these main routes, you’ll find narrow roads where our trucks and equipment travel to and from our Mt. Summit, Millville and Dunreith locations to meet the needs of area farmers and home heat customers.

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Harvest Land and Henry County have a strong, long-standing relationship. We made a move this week to ensure that well-working relationship continues.

Harvest Land partnered with CHS to contribute $10,000 towards the Grain Bin Safety and Rescue Training Area at the Henry County Emergency Services Training Center. 

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L – R: Scott Logue, Harvest Land President/CEO; Ron Huffman, Chairman, Henry County Local Emergency Planning Committee; Julie Lamberson, Harvest Land Risk Manager; and Brian Becker, Harvest Land Director and Henry County resident.

According to Purdue University research, in the last fifty years more than 900 cases of grain engulfment have been reported, with a fatality rate of 62 percent. In 2010, at least 26 U.S. workers were killed in grain engulfments − the highest number on record. The overall trend of increased on-farm grain storage only allows for more grain entrapments to happen around the family farm.

Every year accidents occur and responders are dispatched to assist, but most local responders arrive on scene with little to no training in the tactics or tools needed. The
intent of the grain entrapment addition to the Henry County Emergency Training Center is soybeanto add an option that addresses this issue. The completed grain portion of the center will provide responders and the ag community – including FFA members – a place to experience firsthand the dangers associated with entering into corn and soybeans. This training tool allows them to get a feel for both within minutes of each other, re-enforcing the differences in both commodities.

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A top down view of the proposed Grain Safety Training Area

At this time we know of no other facility that provides a place to practice real-world tactics
needed to rescue someone in trouble in both environments side by side. The layout of this
grain entrapment addition will also allow many viewers to see exactly what is taking place without need to share a viewport. It will truly be the first of its kind.

Perhaps most important: The Henry County Emergency Services Training Center is available to all those that wish to schedule its use for career, volunteer and agricultural trainings. Harvest Land is also going to use this facility to train employees and farmer-members, including students.

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We’re excited about this contribution to the Grain Bin Safety and Rescue Training Area at the Henry County Emergency Services Training Center and truly look forward to bringing dozens of employees, customers and students to this incredibly valuable site.

Together, we’re Cultivating Communities.

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A Pre-Plant Poem

A Pre-Plant Poem
by Harvest Land

Spring days are getting longer as we start to break the soil

Traffic slows behind equipment driven by local men of toil.

With a warm snap moving through you can almost cut the anticipation

Every move we’re about to make is a result deliberate conversation.

From plant to harvest, and plant again, we’re in a series of decisions

Analyzing data, selecting hybrids and programs and considering provisions.

Sometimes we forget how much promise can be in one tiny seed

Part of our job at Harvest Land is ensuring they get what they need.

We’ve been thinking about this crop since walking through the last

When time passes in seasons of work you come to realize just how fast.

Going forward our days will be designed around the warm sunshine or the rain

When you live your hours according to weather you come to terms with gain or pain.

And so we move into another planting season with anticipation far and wide

In high hopes that good help, weather, supply and parts all live in a time that coincide.

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Photo Friday: Investment in Eldorado Area

The small (some might say tiny) towns that dot the country side within our trade territory are special to us. Their small-scale grid of streets that travel out past the town limits eventually become the rural routes where our homes sit.

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The diners, post offices and parts stores that keep the commerce going are staffed with folks invested in these Midwestern burgs. The volunteers that give up their nights and weekends to answer the call of duty when an emergency erupts are our family, friends and former classmates. These are a few of the reasons why Harvest Land works to cultivate communities when we see an area of need.

Ohio has been a focus point for us to cultivate as of late.

Harvest Land recently donated a grain rescue tube to the Eldorado, Ohio fire department. The department needed the equipment to perform grain rescue should the emergency arise. Central Ohio manager, Adam Culy, organized the donation and also recognized a need for rescue training with multiple Ohio fire departments.

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Pictured from the right: Carlos Ramos, Adam Culy of Harvest Land, Atley Landes, Travis Simmons, Tom Evans, Stephen Evans, Bentley Evans, Wayne Rogers

So, in mid-March 35 firemen from the Eldorado, New Madison, West Manchester and New Paris fire departments performed a joint grain entrapment training at our Eldorado Ag Center. This Photo Friday includes some shots from that event.

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Seven Harvest Land employees were present for the training: Bob Brunk of Pitsburg, Gary Davis of Harvest Land Transportation, Adam Culy of Central Ohio Ag, Luke Dull of Eldorado, John Ott of Eldorado and Julie Lamberson and Nikki Pyott of Risk Management.

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We are thankful that our rural communities have so many volunteer firemen with courage to serve. Harvest Land is committed to providing resources to help our local departments.

 

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Hidden Gem: Greenfield Store

If you travel down US 40,

to Greenfield, the heart of Hancock County, Indiana,

just south west of the town square where the courthouse sits,

you’ll find one of Harvest Land’s best kept secrets:

Our Greenfield Store.

Located at 230 W. Osage Street, the Greenfield Store has a boundless selection of home, garden and farm supplies, livestock must-haves and even unique gifts for anyone on your list. This week we want to give you a glimpse into everything (well, not everything…we didn’t have time to photograph the impressive feed selection, or the variety of mulches available for all your spring needs) available at our Greenfield Store.

See something you like? Harvest Land will get it to your local ag center for fast and convenient pick up!

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Premium grass seed, Handy (and tacky!) straw to keep the seed in place, lawn starter fertilizer, weed killers to rid your yard and garden of even the toughest ones and a large variety of garden fertilizers.

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And my personal favorite: Wilt Stop. This stuff basically brings your plants back to health when your thumb ins’t so green.

Calling all stock show parents and 4-Hers! The Greenfield Store has nylon halters and neck ropes, show sticks, pipes, adhesive, paint, curry combs, brushes, soaps and washes, sheep blankets, tags, and a huge selection of Sullivan Supplies and Weaver Leather Livestock products.

Of course, we wouldn’t leave out the family favorite. We have pet supplies, toys, dishes, feeders, medication, treatments, hygiene products and more.

Plus pigs’ ears and cow hooves – if they’re into that sort of thing.

 

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We thought about highlighting the horse supplies with the rest of the livestock stuff, but there are certain rules against grouping the two together.

Fence supplies, grooming supplies and washes, fly spray, nutrition, salt and mineral: The Greenfield Store is your one-stop shop for all things equine.

We’re proud to carry a full portfolio of CountryMark oils, greases and lubricants. Stop outside and fill up your tank at our fuel station while you’re here and treat your vehicle to premium CountryMark fuels.

The store carries Lindner United, VitaFerm, Tribute, Purina, Kalmbach and more products to ensure your livestock have what they need to get started, reproduce, grow and perform. Can’t find what you need? Tell Cathy and she’ll get it ordered for you.

(MADE IN THE USA) Corinthian Bells wind chimes, absolutely unique bird houses and feeders, shatterproof gazing balls and enough bird feed to fill a smorgasbord: We have it. Also, see the little red barn bird feeder, above? It is squirrel proof. You could make an afternoon of watching squirrels fail at robbing the roost.

Let’s talk about how awesome these Surreal birch planters are. They’re not real wood! You don’t have to cut down a tree to get this kind of style around your yard! These creative planters are a favorite and we hope you come check them out as you prepare for spring sprucing.

Further details, pricing and more supplies are available by calling the store at 317.462.5551. Again, you don’t have to step foot in the door to take advantage of all the Greenfield Store has to offer – we’ll get it to you!

Oh, and before you leave, it might be a good idea to run any upcoming birthdays through your head. You’re welcome.

230 W. Osage St. Greenfield, IN 46160
317.462.5551
M-F 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday 7:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Closed Sunday

 

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Finding Balance in the 2%

On Tuesday night Harvest Land was a sponsor of the 2018 Wayne County Rural Urban Banquet. This is a treasured tradition in the area, where people who dwell within the city limits share a meal and fellowship with those who make a living out on a country mile. For decades this event has brought farmers, business owners, elected officials and rural route residents to the table. It is a very popular event in east central Indiana.

This year was special in that the keynote speaker was Zippy Duvall, President of HPraerNi_400x400the National Farm Bureau Federation. Zippy is a third-generation farmer from Georgia. In addition to a 400-head beef cow herd for which he grows his own hay, Duvall and his wife, Bonnie, also grow more than 750,000 broilers per year. Have you ever eaten at Chick-fil-A? Chances are you enjoyed one of his birds.
Zippy delivered a fantastic address regarding the current state of government affairs in Washington and the issues on the table that will matter in agriculture, and in turn affect the food on tables in homes and restaurants. Though a large majority of the evening crowd may feel a disconnection to agriculture, the truth is that it affects nearly every aspect of their life, including food, clothing, energy and more.

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Many are familiar with the fact that only 2% of Americans farm today. Decades ago nearly every American family tended a garden because they had to; they depended on it year-around for fresh and canned produce. Today, most who have a garden do so because they enjoy the work and art of growing food for their family to enjoy. Gardens are no longer mandatory for feeding a family (much like 20 hens, a dairy cow, a beef steer, a hog, etc. also were) because the two-percent grow enough for food the rest of us.

The 2% of Americans farm, which gives 98% of Americans the freedom to do other things.

Other things, such as a chef who prepares a meal for new, exhausted parents who haven’t left the house in more than three weeks.

Other things, such as the 911 dispatcher who calmly answers the phone and talks to a terrified stranger on the other end of the line.

Other things, such as the child protective services employee who removes a child from an unimaginable home situation.

librarian with kids in libraryOther things, such as the librarian who encourages a child to put down an iPad and pick up a book, opening up a whole new world.

Other things, such as the generator installer who worked all night so a doctor’s office had restored power by the time the doors opened at 7:30 AM.

Other things, such as the fraud prevention officer at the bank who watches account information so that money within savings accounts stay there.

Other things, such as the fire fighter who runs into a burning building when everyone else is running out.

Other things, such as the loan officer who finds the way to loan a few bucks to a newlywed couple trying to buy their first home.

Other things, such as the tow truck driver who doesn’t sleep when snow falls, roads freeze or potholes get the best of another highway traveler.

2% of Americans farm, which gives 98% of Americans the freedom to do so many other, important things.

While 2% and 98% seem awfully off balance, if you consider the many admirable things others do outside of agriculture, you’ll realize that the work tends to balance. Harvest Land is grateful to be a part of events, such as the Rural Urban Banquet, that allow us to come together for an evening and remember that.

 

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Growth for Advocacy

Last week a group of Harvest Land farmer-members and employees attended the Land O’Lakes Annual meeting in Minneapolis. During this meeting our representative group was part of the launch of Growth for Advocacy.

Growth for Advocacy is a program based around Land O’ Lakes’ vision of an increasing dialogue with consumers in regards to modern agriculture practices and how those of us within agriculture can become better storytellers.

 

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Growth for Advocacy Attendees Included:
Front row: Jessica Naylor, Beth Vansickle, Melanie Caldwell, Kevin Antrim, Brandi Doan, Jeremy Myers, Chris Myers, Amy Circle, Scott Logue (CEO, in attendance for annual meeting only)
Back row: Gene Tapalman (Director, in attendance for annual meeting only), Bob Newhouse (Director, in attendance for annual meeting only), Curt Naylor, Dave Vansickle, Tom Caldwell, Kyle Brooks, Eric Doan, Sean Younclaus, Case Circle

David Vansickle, YieldPro Specialist from our Lapel Ag Center, and his wife, Beth, participated in this program.

“I am very thankful for the opportunity presented to me by the Harvest Land Board and senior leadership to attend the Land O’ Lakes Annual Meeting and Growth for Advocacy,” said Vansickle. “I was able to come away from these three days in Minneapolis with a deeper understanding and appreciation for all of the components of Land O’ Lakes and how they work to help both farmer profitability, but also those at the local co-op.  Growth for Advocacy inspired and taught me to, not only be more proactive in helping to tell the story of modern agriculture across different platforms, but also how to be strategic in my approach.”

 

The purpose of the program is to ensure that our voices, as those directly involved in agriculture, are heard.  That includes anything from social media, to setting up farm visits in our area for schools or communities to visit and learn.  It is also a way to become more involved at a national level by working with Land O’Lakes and doing advocacy in Washington DC by meeting with elected officials.

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With a constant, cyclical list of things to do through out the year in order to plant, grow and harvest a successful crop, it is very easy for farmers to worry about their own operation and believe that someone else takes care of thinking through rules and regulations.

But in reality, the most powerful voices in agriculture at all levels are the farmers, themselves.

Companies like Land O’Lakes can tell the story, but it is far more powerful hearing the stories from the farmers because the decisions made by legislatures will affect their livelihood.

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Additionally, the group was reminded that it is very easy to consider those that are anti-GMO, or supportive of antibiotic-free meat and just tell them they are flat out wrong.  However,  there is so much power in having the ability to listen to their reasoning, and then educate them on the facts. Perhaps not to necessarily to change their mind on the spot, but to encourage them to do more research than just what they may hear or see on Facebook.

Harvest Land President and CEO, Scott Logue, was attending the Annual Meeting and able to visit with Growth for Advocacy participants.

“Harvest Land had the greatest showing of advocates from any other cooperative in the United States,” he reported. “This proves our commitment to being a positive and educational voice for the agriculture industry far past our own farm gates. I’m grateful for the group of Harvest Land farmer-members and employees who made this trip to represent our cooperative. Now, we’ll work to apply the principles learned and become better advocates for an industry that offers so much to our communities and the world.”

 

 

 

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Board of Directors Election Results

At our Annual Meeting in January the results of our Board of Directors election were announced. Bios and ballots for each district were in the annual report packets so each farmer-member could vote in their respective district.

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Here are the farmer-members who were elected to the Harvest Land board in 2018:

Rendell Miller_DirectorDistrict 1: Rendell Miller

Rendell, who is new to our Board, is 49 years old and has lived at his current Decatur, Indiana address for 24 years.  He and his wife, Monica, have two children, Michaela and Cole. Rendell grew up in a farm family and started his own agricultural career at age 18. He’s currently farming 700 acres. While farming, for twelve years Rendell owned and operated an independent auto repair shop. He has retired from Miller Automotive to transition to full-time farming. Rendell is graduate of Adams Central High School, as well as Northwestern Ohio Auto Diesel school where he obtained his Associates degree.

 


District 2: Bob NewhouseNewhouse_Dir

Bob is 61 years old and has lived at his Rushville, Indiana homestead for 40 years. He and his wife, Lisa, have raised three children, Natalie, Benjamin and Ross. Bob farms 1,050 acres and has been farming for 43 years. Bob attended Rushville High School and Purdue University, studying Agriculture.  Bob is a returning Board member.

 

 

 


District 3: Scott Sease

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Scott is 62 years old and has lived at his current Laura, Ohio address for 37 years.  He and his wife, Julie, have two children, Emily and Ned, and four grandchildren. Scott has been farming for forty-four years and farms with his son and brother-in-law. Scott attended Franklin Monroe High School. Scott has served on our Board since 2015.

 

 

 

Harvest Land is very fortunate to have such outstanding farmer-members serve on our Board, representing all areas of our trade territory. Their sound leadership will continue to guide our cooperative successfully in the year ahead.  

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Who is Harvest Land: Michele Robinson

Harvest Land has a lot of quality people working behind the scenes to ensure we’re meeting our customers’ needs every single day. Every so often we will highlight an employee that works diligently to serve our members.who is harvest land_Robinson

Michele is the Tax Accountant in our Richmond Administrative office and has worked at Harvest Land for five and a half years. Her main responsibilities include management of fuel margins, fixed assets, inventory, seed product entry and census reporting.

While he role doesn’t plant her at an ag center or in a fuel truck working face-to-face with our customers, Michele helps keep prices down for our members by watching the bottom line. Think spreadsheets. Lots and lots of spreadsheets.

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Michele’s favorite part of her job with the co-op is resolving problems and assisting others.

What three words would she use to describe Harvest Land?

  1. Forward thinking
  2. Altruistic
  3. Community

Michele is an active participant of our Cultivating Communities program, and the organization she volunteers for is Amigos, The Richmond Latino Center, Inc.. In her time outside work, Michele enjoys golf in the summer and swimming in the winter months.

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Here, Michele is pictured with her daughters, Myra, left, and Bridget on the right. Any Twilight fans out there? An interesting note about this photo, told by Michele:
They filmed the “Police Station” scenes from the Twilight movies at this Wauna Federal Credit Union building in Vernonia, Oregon. I grew up, Jr High and High School, in Vernonia and worked in this building when it was first built after graduating from high school in 1980.  At the time it was Farmers & Merchants Bank.  I recognized the inside of the building when watching the movie and from the scenery I could tell it was filmed in the Pacific Northwest. My daughters didn’t believe me at first but I had saved the newspaper article from the 1980’s when the bank opened, they agreed after seeing the pictures. I eventually confirmed with my sister, who still lives outside of Vernonia, that they had basically closed down the whole town, population 2500, when filming there for a week or so. 

Michele was voted second place in our 2017 Salute to Service program, where she was nominated by Sam Andrews of Dot Transportation for her outstanding work. Check out what Sam had to say about her:

I have been with Dot Transportation in Cambridge City, IN since the day we started construction of our building and have had countless experiences I could share about the great employees at Harvest Land. From the days when Mike Munchel came out twice per week to fill 10 reefer trailers in the freezing cold to today where we purchase over $3 million worth of diesel annually. I do have one extra special story about an exceptional employee you have that I want to share. Her name is Michele Robinson. Michele called me one day a while back and shared that she thought we are paying a fuel tax from which we were exempt. I shared that information with our Dot Accounting group and they were positive she was wrong … but Michele was persistent and insistent. She and I exchanged several emails and finally she said “would it be OK if I talked to someone in your account department?” She worked with our accounting group to help them understand the exemption. She didn’t have to. There was nothing in it for her or for Harvest Land. She could have let it go when we said “we think you’re wrong”, but she didn’t. Her persistence saved Dot Transportation over $400,000 in current year and past year taxes and continues to save us money today. Michele had also shared with us that she thought we could go back to previous years and get a tax rebate. She was right…again. She worked with Dot’s accounting group and helped us get through the red tape. This was the largest money saving project in the company that year …. And it would never have happened without Michele giving me a call that day. What I have always found amazing is that there was no benefit to her. No benefit to Harvest Land. She did it out of her outstanding commitment to doing the right thing for the customer. Its because of folks like Michele that I wouldn’t even consider buying our diesel from any other supplier. Thanks Michele and thanks Harvest Land for being a great business partner.

Submitted by Sam Andrews, Dot Transportation

We very much enjoy having Michele as part of our team because of her compassion for others, her outstanding work ethic and persistence to do her job quite well.

 

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Who is Harvest Land?: Tammie Fox

Harvest Land has a lot of quality people working behind the scenes to ensure we’re meeting our customers’ needs every single day. Every so often we will highlight an employee that works diligently to serve our members.

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Tammie is the Receptionist/Credit Assistant in our Richmond Administrative office and has worked at Harvest Land for eight years. If you’ve ever called this office and hung up thinking, “That was the nicest person I’ve ever talked to in customer service,” you probably talked to Tammie……more on that, below.

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Her main responsibilities include answering phones,  entering in customer payments and  addressing commercial delinquents. Tammie assists with any questions members may have on billing, payment or new accounts. She then directs them to the appropriate place if she cannot answer their question.

Tammie’s favorite part of her job with the co-op is “getting to work with all the amazing people at Harvest Land and all of our members”.

What three words would she use to describe Harvest Land?

  1.  Knowledgeable
  2. Courteous
  3. Helpful

Tammie is an active participant of our Cultivating Communities program, and the organization she volunteers for is the American Legion Auxiliary where she runs the concession stand at the Richmond Fireworks. In her time outside work, Tammie enjoys bowling,  throwing darts and spending time with family and friends whenever she can.

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Tammie (left) and her family

Earlier this month Tammie was honored through our Salute to Service program where she was nominated by three individuals for her outstanding customer service. Check out what Harvest Land customers had to say about her:

“Tammie at your front desk is just about the nicest and most helpful person I think I’ve ever dealt with. Always happy, nice, jubilant and willing to help with any questions I’ve ever had about my account with Harvest Land. She is also very knowledgeable about her job and I think she deserves the nomination.” – Mike Adkins, Road ReadyTammie Fox3

“I am an oil customer of Harvest Land’s and had trouble with my bill. Tammie at the front desk was so pleasant to work with as we got the issue straightened out. She helped me understand how the invoicing works and made me feel much better about the situation. She sure helped me a lot and was very curtious. ” – Rita Gabbard

“In today’s world of automated phones, it is such a pleasure to talk with Tammie Fox each time I call.  I have never met Tammie in person, but always recognize her friendly voice and wonderful laugh.  I always hang up with not only all my questions answered, but also with a smile on my face. If Tammie has ever had a “bad” day at work, no customer would ever know because of the pleasant and professional way she answers the phone.  In addition to all her required job skills, her phone skills are outstanding.  I am sure that any highly stressed customer who calls also has a smile on their face when they hang up the phone. As it often does, one question may lead to more questions.  Tammie has always been able not only to answer them all, but has never made me feel like my question were ever “dumb” (but I am sure many were).  Being raised in the city is so different from the country. Tammie needs to be recognized for a job ALWAYS well done and her excellent communication and people skills.  Tammie is truly an outstanding asset to Harvest Land.  If anyone deserves a cash prize and 2 vacation days, Tammie Fox is the one!!!” – Rita Mitchell, Ossian, IN

Tammie is a fantastic asset on our team and the nominations she received from customers are a testament to that. Her work ethic and positive attitude make her an outstanding  coworker in our Richmond office. Next time you call our Richmond office, be sure to say hello to Tammie!

 

 

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