Published Nov 5, 2014

Staff Appreciation

By Sally Worley

Practical Farmers’ staff work very hard. This past year PFI staff have:

  • Organized 150 farmer-to-farmer learning opportunities
  • Facilitated 90 on-farm research projects
  • Written 90 press releases
  • Published farmer- and staff-authored pieces in external media
  • Secured funding for approximately 30 grants
  • Fundraised through sponsorships and donations
  • Coordinated member services
  • And much, much more that keeps Practical Farmers running smoothly, from paying bills, to human resources, to many, many other details

While we spend most of our time celebrating and highlighting Iowa’s farmers, today I am going to share some appreciation for each other from a staff retreat we held last month. At the retreat we took time to reflect on our job effectiveness and satisfaction, appreciate each other, add strategies to our strategic plan goals, relax and have some fun. I appreciate working with such a great group of people, staff, farmers and farmer friends alike!

Here is a snapshot of what staff said they appreciate about each other:

About Tamsyn: “I appreciate your endless curiosity and your dedication to topics that most people know nothing about. That you are such an individual and you’re improving my vocab and usage almost daily!”

About Suzi:   I appreciate so much about you including your attention to detail, your ability to track items in our finances and keep it all straight, and your patience with my “last minute” timelines.  I truly appreciate your commitment to your faith and your family.  I also appreciate that we see some things differently which allows me to hear a different perspective.

About Liz: I appreciate how she shares her honest opinions/thoughts. It is not always easy but she often does it not for what she wants to get but for other people. She is very kind and compassionate without being an all-so-sweet/nice person who makes me uncomfortable.

About Tomoko: I love how polite you are while at the same time you have strong opinions and are not afraid to explain them. You are so reliable and so committed to food and farmers.

About Lauren: Lauren, Thank you for being a cool head during the storms. You never seem to be shaken or frazzled by things, even when it is crazy! I know that if I tell you about something, it will get handled well and efficiently.

About Drake: You’re smart but approachable because you are kind and generous. I also appreciate all the yummy creations and treats you often share.

About Teresa: Thank you so much for your patient leadership and encouragement.  I have learned so much from you, about just about everything.  Thank you for giving a young college student who didn’t know anything a chance.

About Julie (who had recently started): I can already see that you are a great addition to the PFI staff.  Hearing you on the phone the other day wanted me to tell you that you are doing a great job!  Not only did you dig into the details, but also were trouble-shooting ways to improve a SIP participants business.

About Meghan (who had JUST started—this was her third day!): Your passion for animals, livestock and especially dairy is contagious. It sounds like you have a lot of great experience that will really make you an asset to the team. I’m excited to get to know you better!

About Sarah: I appreciate Sarah’s no-nonsense, direct, honest attitude. She is confident in her beliefs and has formed those beliefs with much experience to back them up.

About Stefan: I appreciate most his honest, genuine and direct way to communicate with others while being considerate and kind.

About Erica: I appreciate your ‘sassy’ attitude in the office to make us shape up when we are slacking. Kudos to you for also being a great mom and role model to your kids.

About Sally: I appreciate your Zen attitude about life and how you magically keep the “cogs” running at home and in the office.


Staff walk

Staff walk

Judge Erica picking the coolest mushroom

Judge Erica picking the coolest mushroom

Teresa showing off her acorn

Teresa showing off her acorn