Many conversations start today with asking how we are doing hiring team members due to the national labor shortage. I am thankful that we have added and filled over 20 positions in the last year. These are 20 people that are dedicated to good local food and the hard work needed to put it on our dinner tables. One key position I had posted for some time was Front End Manager. After sorting through 150 applicants that did not quite have what I was looking for, I looked across the room and I saw Kendra Rairdon.
Kendra has been with me for our entire processing history of 11 years. During that 11 years, she has worn many hats. Most recently she was our Director of Processing Operations. There is no one in this building that knows our business, our culture, and our customer service standards better than Kendra. It was with great joy that she took the position on at the beginning of this week so that I could better focus on work life balance as well as enjoying some of our growth projects once again.
Under Kendra, we have hired two other Front End team members in the last month. Caitlin Lambert joined our team the week after she had us process her first TOFI processed freezer beef. Caitlin graduated from Purdue University with a degree in communications which she has used to help her grow in several other positions. Her and her husband have a small herd of cattle so coming on board and working with farmers will be natural for her.
Jason Schimke was also a customer prior to joining our distribution team led by Ian Lee. Jason homesteads with his wife and children and raises everything from dairy animals to Dexter cattle to pastured hogs. In his “spare time” he also leads a church utilizing his first calling to be a minister.
I am proud to have an excellent front end team. Give them a pat on the back for all the hard work they do when you see them next.