Form-A-Feed from the Outside Looking In
“Looking from the outside in, you can never understand it. Standing on the inside looking out, you can never explain it.”
This quote has stuck with me throughout the summer. Before joining the Form-A-Feed team this summer as the Marketing Intern, I was just an average customer. As a customer you only see or hear one side of the story. I have always heard of all the great things Form-A-Feed was doing and how the family feel radiates everywhere. How could this company that is known nationwide feel like such a family? Do people even remember each other’s names? I could never understand how any of this was possible. So, I wanted to see the other side of things for myself.
Just like any family, there are all sorts of different personalities gathered around the table. You have the relatives who are loud and outgoing and invite strangers over for dinner. You have those who are so quiet and like to sit and observe everything while working on next week’s homework, and everyone in between. So how could a family like this operate in a company together? Getting to work with a lot of employees this summer, I got to see how everyone worked together and how everyone’s different personalities mesh together perfectly. And when someone was gone or needed a hand, everyone would chip in to get the job done even if you have no experience in what needs to be done.
Respect is the key to maintaining a strong relationship. I have witnessed my dad and our nutritionist, Dan Rolf, both respect each other’s wishes. My dad’s part is to talk to Dan about what is going well on the farm, and what could improve. It is then Dan’s job to uncover what the problem is and find a solution. And together they help improve our farm. Dan has been excellent with finding a common ground with my dad yet doing what is best for our cattle. Seeing this relationship and trust is true within the company as well. Everyone in the company has their own jobs and skills. You have your nutritionists, marketing team, sales team, quality assurance team, and many others who help make this business possible.
While everyone has their moments of fun and laughter, how the team carries themselves in the work field is unbelievable. I spent a lot of time with the swine team this summer. And whether it was at World Pork Expo or our annual Swine Days on the Green event, they carried themselves with such class yet connected with each producer there. And that goes for everyone in the company. Whether it was one of our Tend-R-Leen 55th celebrations or when we traveled to North Dakota to do a video shoot on a dairy farm, every Form-A-Feed member handled themselves with such poise, but still conversed as a friend.
Dependable, honest, trustworthy, genuine and consistent. These are words that describe a business who really cares about what is best for their customers. One of my big projects this summer was to collect customer testimonials on video. While asking these producers what they like most about working with Form-A-Feed, every single one brought up at least one of these words. Even not giving them the questions ahead of time, they managed to say these words about the company with confidence. I would have said the same thing as a customer before I started my summer here. No matter what species area or job in the company, these traits radiate all around.
This word is an understatement for the amount of drive and talent there is on the team. In a perfect world, everything would go as planned and perfect. Since this rarely ever happens, we need to learn to adapt and be flexible. Between attending events and having something not turn out, going the extra mile to capture the perfect
shot, and everything in between, the team has helped me to become innovative with my projects. I worked with many different people this summer to come up with new and creative social media posts. Without that innovative drive of my team mates, I would have never been able to come up with all the posts I have created this summer.
This isn’t just true about the products we make, but the quality people and work that goes on as well. While the product could be the best in the market, if you don’t have the right people making or selling the product, it won’t go very far. Working with a lot of the Form-A-Feed team members, I got to meet and talk with them and see how they got to where they are. While each person is different, everyone is so talented at what they do. Whether it is in the plant making sure the correct labels are put in place or the customer service providing the best answers and solutions they can for customers, the time and effort put in is indescribable.
When people ask me, “What is it like working with Form-A-Feed?”, the quote above stands true; you can never explain it. All the lessons I have learned and the people I met have been so incredible. I have had a summer I will never forget. Thank you to the whole Form-A-Feed family for making this possible and making me feel welcomed into the family.