Saturday, January 24, 2015

Second Edition: Meet our Support Team!

By Farmer Andrea

In our last newsletter we featured some of the people we work with regularly to keep our farm running smoothly.  As we made the list of all these people, we quickly ran out of room! This week we want to share more of these people with you and give you a little insight into who they are and why they are important to our farm.  While I won’t be able to mention every individual, I do want to say we are very thankful to have such a wide network of people to help us take care of things.

Larry and Jack saying 'Hello' before working!
Let’s start off with two of Jack’s favorite repairmen.   We have a lot of refrigeration units to maintain and they need to work well or we risk losing valuable product.  Larry is responsible for teaching me everything I never wanted to learn about refrigeration!  I do appreciate his patience and thorough explanations that have helped me do a better job of managing our coolers so things run well.  Larry also understands that when I call him I usually have a problem that needs his professional attention and he responds quickly so we can fix the problem without creating more!  Plus, Larry and Capt Jack are great friends and love to squeeze in a game of stick when Larry comes to do work.  Larry breaks all the rules and lets Jack do things he usually isn't allowed to do….like eat an entire package of bologna as a treat!  Thanks, Larry, for being Jack’s big brother.  And then there is Randy, our copy machine repairman.  When Randy comes to fix the copy machine, Jack likes to corner him in the office and ‘invite’ him to play a little ball.  While Randy’s trying to figure out what’s wrong with the copy machine, Jack quietly passes the ball to him and patiently waits for the return.  Randy is kind to Jack and takes a little time to play.  He is always quick to come when we call him and usually can diagnose the problem and fix it quickly….so as not to delay newsletter printing!

Pandora & Clint our Farm Insurance Agents
Adam and Jody our
Health Insurance Agents

Aaron and Greg our CPA's
We feel lucky to have some very knowledgeable folks to help us maneuver the worlds of insurance, banking and taxes.  Pandora & Clint help us with the majority of our farm insurance needs while Adam & Jody take care of health insurance.  These four people attend to all the small details to make sure our policies are up-to-date and are quick to respond if we
have a question.  Sandy & Kathy are the bank gals who make sure our bank accounts are in order and payroll goes through without a hitch.  We also appreciate working with Terry, our banker from State Bank.  In this day and age, it’s unique to be able to work with a community bank where the business stays local and the bankers still will do business at our kitchen table.  And then there’s the dynamic duo of Greg & Aaron, our CPA's.  They deal with all things tax-related and keep us up-to-date on changes to tax laws that impact our business.  We really enjoy working with all of these individuals and are grateful to have them as a resource.


Robert (above), Peter & Troy

We can’t forget Charlie, our neighbor, friend, landlord and plumber.  He’s done many a quick repair for us when we have a broken pipe or a leaky valve and he always has a story to go along with the job.  Greg is the guy we call when we have computer repair needs that go beyond what we can diagnose and fix ourselves.  We rely on the use of computers a lot on a daily basis, so when the systems aren't working properly it can really affect our work.  DJ & Mike are our trusty UPS delivery guys who have learned quickly that the most appropriate place to put a box of seeds is NOT in the puddle of water.  Peter, Troy and Robert are some of our longtime truck drivers that work for some of the delivery companies that deliver orders for us to other parts of the region.  They are conscientious, reliable and very skillful drivers.  I appreciate their excellent communication and the care they take in transporting our vegetables.  Since my vegetables are like my children, I appreciate knowing that they are in good hands as they leave our dock and travel out into the big world.

Mary Beth                        Carl & Mary Pat
While we spend a lot of time taking care of machines, equipment, vegetables, banking, insurance, etc., we can’t forget about our own health and maintenance!  We've developed relationships with several providers in our community who help us maneuver our own healthcare needs.  Mary Beth, RN & Julie, PA-C work at the Hirsch health clinic in Viroqua.  They are both bilingual and help us triage minor health questions or concerns we or our crew members might have.  They even came to the farm last spring to train us about Lyme’s disease and what to do if you get a tick bite.   Mary Pat & Carl are CSA members who pick up at our farm, but are also chiropractors.  They help keep Kelly, our bookkeeper, in alignment and have helped us find a supplement for Captain Jack to help him treat his achy joints, a result of his own battle with Lyme’s disease.


We should also mention Grace, the gal who comes every week to keep our offices neat and tidy.  Grace doesn’t have an easy job.  There is a lot of traffic in and out of our office space and you have to remember….we work with a lot of dirt.  Grace tackles the job each week and attends to all the small details which leaves us with a clean space. She’s a very talented individual and has helped us with other missions over the years.  She has even repaired my work boots!

Dane, Andrea & Sonny                     Greg (aka Eggit)
I’d like to mention our friends, Sonny, John and Greg (aka Eggit) who keep our propane tanks filled and help us troubleshoot problems with furnaces.  Two of our three greenhouses are heated by propane furnaces, so during transplant season we watch them pretty closely.  If one of the furnaces goes down on a cold night, we could lose our precious little seedlings.  These guys understand how important their services can be to our success and are quick to respond when we have an issue.  They've gone above and beyond several times to make sure that our equipment is fixed quickly so we can get back up and running. While they take their jobs seriously and know what they are talking about, they can also joke around and are enjoyable to work with.
Once again, I’m out of room.  There are many other individuals who help us out in a variety of ways. While we may not have mentioned them by name, we do appreciate their skills, expertise and contributions to our farm.  We've never done anything like this before, but I’m glad we did.  It was really meaningful for us to take pause and reflect on the many relationships we’ve built over the years.  We really do have quite a network of friends in the business who are important to our farm.  If you haven’t been following us on Facebook, I’d encourage you to take a look.  For the past two weeks we've featured some of these folks in our posts so you can see yourself who they are!

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