Have you ever wondered what a career in agriculture might look like? Cooperatives offer many career opportunities, maybe even ones you might not think of. Take a deeper dive into a career that is offered by an agricultural cooperative and grow more.
HEATH | KANSAS
Heath works at a cooperative in Kansas and shares what his experience working in operations at the co-op is like.
WHAT IS OPERATIONS?
Our focus is that all the work gets done in the safest and most efficient way possible. From dumping trucks, to maintaining equipment or operating application equipment like sprayers and dry spreaders, it our job to get the work done and done correctly. Oh, and can’t forget cleaning! We must maintain a clean workspace.
Describe what your day looks like:
My days depend on the season. During spray season, I’m up before the sun to get my machine ready. Harvest is about the same, up early and ready to roll. Just yesterday, I began my day by fixing the overhead door at the shop and then moved onto working on a conveyor that needed two hydraulic hoses replaced. While waiting for parts, I got called to go spray a field for some bugs from 12:30-3:00 pm. Then, I went back to finish on the conveyor, replaced the two hoses and topped off the hydraulic oil. Once it was ready, we moved it into position over the bunker so that it was ready to receive corn. It was a little busier day, but not uncommon. I finished the day around 6:00 pm after tidying up so I was ready for the next day.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT YOUR JOB?
Diversity. Sometimes it can be overwhelming, but it’s nice not doing the same thing constantly. Harvest is my favorite time of the year because I get the opportunity to talk to producers when they bring their grain in.
What IS A PIECE OF ADVICE FOR SOMEONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN AG, BUT DOESN’T HAVE AN AG BACKGROUND?
Just start somewhere – at an elevator (that’s where I started) or helping a producer. I grew up in a farming community, but realized I knew nothing about farming, equipment, or machinery. I learned everything I know today on the job. Also, never be afraid to ask questions if you don’t know how to do something. There is always someone willing to help.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE INDUSTRY NOW, THAT YOU DIDN’T WHEN YOU STARTED?
Literally everything. I didn’t know much when I started, but I have been able to learn so much from on-hands training. I am continuously learning and being challenged in new ways.
Take a look at actual job openings at one of the largest agricultural cooperatives in the Midwest, Central Valley Ag, to see if there are any jobs that interest you.