Happy New Year!

Danni here! I will be the first to express my excitement for the year 2016 being here already, as Bryan and I will be welcoming our second baby girl into the world in May!
As the snow continues to fall, and the temperatures continue to drop, I can’t help but not mind it too much and be thankful it held out as long as it did allowing for a great 2015 harvest season. Although winter brings unfavorable weather, the work on the farm still has to get done. This is prime time to complete projects and maintenance to help prepare for a successful planting season this spring. The guys get to enjoy spending a little more time with their families during the off season as they are now on four day work weeks, with well-deserved Fridays off. Having been raised a city girl, and witnessing my second harvest season here with the team, my appreciation only continues to grow for the hard work and long hours they put in. With that being said, it is nice to see them enjoy Fridays off with the ones who matter most!
During the winter, delivering grain is on the top of our priority list. There are usually three trucks hauling and we aim for about 15 loads per day. Another large focus right now is maintenance on our hog sites. Snow removal is kept up as needed to ensure safe driving conditions. This time of year plays host to the maintenance and rebuilding of machinery and equipment to allow for effective utilization come planting time. The team is busy cleaning and storing our pieces of equipment and machinery that were used during the harvest season. Time is spent performing updates on our vehicles and semi-trucks to keep them up to par and in good condition. We have been on the lookout for white Honda CRVs as we are replacing some of the old fleet with more updated ones. In the meantime, I will be leading the team keeping them up to date with our latest safety training on the farm.
Here in the office, a few of my biggest HR projects are happening at this time. This includes organizing annual employee reviews, completing my annual HR compliance checklists, and final preparation for my HR certification exam next month. For those who aren’t familiar, this exam is the “board,” exam for my profession. After 8 months of studying and an optimistic attitude, I am hoping to pass with flying colors. Cortney keeps busy as the phones are ringing steadily and the data entry doesn’t stop in the winter months, although she probably wouldn’t mind it if it did.
To wrap the 2015 holidays up and start the New Year off right, we just celebrated our Pinicon holiday party. This years’ party had a great momento added to it as we recognized our top tenured employees. The tenured employees who were recognized were: Mike Main-10 years of service, Calvin Niess-13 years of service, and Bert Brumm-18 years of service. We also held a surprise celebration for Linda’s retirement. Although Linda’s retirement has been in the plan since I was hired, I sure am going to miss working with her every day. It isn’t too often the whole team can get together and enjoy each other’s company. When we can, we make the most of it.
Hope you all had a Happy New Year as well!