WHAT WE DO BEHIND THE SCENES AND WHY IT MATTERS
by: Jake Oldenburg, VP of Operations
In this story, I hope to give you some insight as to what we’re doing in the operations division of NuWay-K&H Cooperative during the off-season—in addition to preparing our equipment and facilities to serve you this spring.
Safety and training are two things we try to focus on, during the winter. Safety has always been a part of our company’s culture and will be going forward. Our goal is to make sure our employees are safe at work and that they return home in the same shape they came.
You may not be aware that NuWay-K&H Cooperative has a safety committee made up of 12 employees. This committee meets every month to review any accidents and injuries that may have happened the previous 30 days. They also review safety programs like lock out-tag out, confined space and emergency action plans. At each meeting, committee members study one section of our safety manual, making changes if needed and getting those changes out to our employees and partners.
Along with that, our safety committee decides on safety instruction to be done. The cooperative’s employees instruction of at least one subject per month. Recently, employees working in agronomy received training on personal protective equipment–where to find it and how to use it. This is something we do behind the scenes. As a customer, you may not see this emphasis on safety, but as an owner of this company, neglecting our responsibilities to keep our employees safe may impact your equity. If we have injuries in the spring, it may also hurt our ability to provide timely service to you.
We also spend a fair amount of time helping our employees improve themselves and their worth to you through training. As a farmer-owned cooperative, we offer seed, fertilizer, fuel and a variety of services to you. To become an expert at all of these areas takes time. During the off season, we offer each employee the ability to focus on different aspects of our business that they can put into practice in your fields.
But it isn’t just seasoned employees we train. Many new employees don’t have CDLs, so we spend time and money sending them for training on the basics they need to obtain their commercial driver’s licenses. We want as many of our employees trained and qualified to operate as many pieces of equipment as we can. This also applies to new hires in agronomy, who often require a custom applicators license or in energy who require training and certification for propane deliveries—training which covers such topics as the basic properties of propane, fittings on a tank and how to perform a leak check.
Agronomy operations employees recently received training on decoding seed labels to make sure they bring the right seed to our customers. Our agronomy operations employees recently received product specific training on premium diesel fuel. They learned why premium diesel is superior to regular diesel, given the tight tolerance of current diesel technology.
So, as you look toward the next cropping season, you can be sure that the cooperative you own is paying attention, not only to the equipment and facilities that will be serving you this season, but to your employees as well.
Learn more about the NuWay-K&H Cooperative, check out our about page!