Essential Work

We’re swimming in uncharted waters, and that statement has absolutely nothing to do with the water standing in the basement of many farmhouses in the area due to the incessant rain.

COVID-19The COVID-19 pandemic has shut down schools, national tournaments, universities,
restaurants, businesses, airlines, libraries and so much more. The financial loss that will
affect nearly every American due to this outbreak could linger for years. And to think, two weeks ago, it seemed to be something only taking place on the other side of the world.

On Tuesday of this week, the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed at the local hospital and immediately level two travel watch was enforced. Level two means that conditions are threatening to the safety of the public. During a “watch” local travel advisory, only essential travel, such as to and from work or in emergency situations, is recommended, and emergency action plans should be implemented by businesses, schools, government agencies, and other organizations.

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Our leadership team had a long and impassioned conversation regarding our business operations during this extremely fluid time.

The safety of our employees.

How symptoms look or feel.

Long-term planning.

Addressing customer needs during a time of social distancing, a phrase that we’d never heard of seven days ago.

How we take care of business, by taking care of people.

We realized with great certainty: Our work is essential.

Eldorado Plant

When a fuel driver shows up in the morning and loads his truck, he’ll spend the day delivering to tanks that will fill fire trucks, law enforcement vehicles, and semis that will deliver fresh produce or boxed pasta to Kroger.

Barfield Fuel Up

Our work is essential.

When a propane driver comes to work and maps his route for the day, he delivers propane to nursing homes, rural churches, houses on 700 W. that are full of e-learning children and tired parents, and he also fills the tank at the hospital so the generator is operational. Then he goes north and supplies propane to the temperature-controlled hog finishing barns with 1,000 head inside.

Tank fill

Our work is essential.

When a truck driver loads his semi full of corn and departs the ag center, he is delivering corn to pet food factories so beloved dogs can have food available in a few months. He also delivers feed to turkey farmers who will supply Thanksgiving birds, pork producers who are currently feeding out hogs that will be become the next great plate of bacon and also beef producers who will put hamburgers on the grill over Labor Day weekend.

Handful of grain angus cattle

Our work is essential.

When a YieldPro Specialist drives down the lane of a 100-year-old farmstead and sits at the kitchen table with a grower, he is working with her to map out plans for fertilizer, field work, seed, seed treatment, starter fertilizer, pre-emergence, dormant spray and beyond so that her farm family can supply the food chain and feed the world.

Agronomy_Looking at plant-2

Our work is essential.

When our IT team shows up to Richmond and enters a room full of wires, technology and computers, they serve as internal problem solvers that ensure farmer-members can pay their bills online during a quarantine, problem solvers that keep phone lines operational to take calls at one of our 40 locations or problem solvers that fix a dispatch glitch in an applicator machine trying to get fungicide on several fields.

MAP

Our work is essential.

When our support staff team shows up to the ag center or office and situates themselves in front of the computer, they’re about to take on a day of processing payments so a family can get propane again in April, paying our bills so the lights stay on here for our continued work and even ensuring our 300 employees get paid at the end of the month.

Our work is essential.

We are not entertainment (though employees’ laughter could argue otherwise on certain days with co-workers at the co-op).

Cowart Myers Hansen

We are essential.

And we’ll remain operational, working for your family and ours, as long as we’re able.

We are a business that supports the consumer at every angle, and it is a privilege to carry such heavy weight on our shoulders that so many depend on us. We thank you for that opportunity.

Together, we have experienced adversity as an industry, as a nation, and as a world. More importantly, we have always navigated through it –  and we will, again.
Thank you for making our daily work essential.

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You can read more about our commitment to safety here.

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