It seems like the “help wanted” sign is out everywhere these days – but that doesn’t always include opportunities in the rural communities. Monica Brantner is the Human Resource Manager at ALCIVIA, and she’s got plenty of unique job opportunities available across the state. Brantner reminds job seekers that aside from great benefits, there’s also an element of commitment to community involvement that can’t be overlooked. Whether it’s delivering fuel, handling invoices, or being the friendly face at one of their convenience store locations – take a look at all the opportunities available with ALCIVIA.

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Time again for our ALCIVIA co-op talk, an opportunity for you to learn more about this agribusiness that’s serving the state of Wisconsin and I’ll tell you what everybody’s been hearing it I know that you have for sure. There are all kinds of opportunities in agriculture today and that’s where we want to train our eye today visiting about the different opportunities within ALCIVIA.

No better person to try to give us the depth and scope of opportunities than Monica Brantner, she is the human resources manager for ALCIVIA co-op and our guest today for co-op talk. You know that’s the thing, Monica is trying to get people to pay attention to these great job opportunities that’s got to be one of your greatest challenges these days.

Yes, yes, it is, thank you for having me today, we have many great positions open right now, talking to a lot of great candidates and finding the right fit for them. There’s many opportunities anywhere from retail management to operations. We always have an opening for anyone with a cdl.

Right, yeah that’s one of the value areas for sure that’s so important to any Agri-business. Talk to us a little bit more about the benefits of working with a company the size and scope of ALCIVIA. We have to remember ALCIVIA literally has a statewide footprint so regardless of where you’re hearing our voice there’s opportunities. What are some of the benefits that really seem to perk up and catch people’s attention?

Yeah, we have a lot of great benefits that we offer to employees one of them that stands out that I’d like to just touch on is the volunteer time that we offer to our full-time employees. We offer 16 hours of volunteer time per year for them to take that time to you know reach out uh to something that is not for profit. We participate with Second Harvest we also participate with drive to feed kids and we love to give our employees the opportunity to take the time away from work and participate with those things so that’s just one of the great benefits that we offer.

You know the other thing I like about what ALCIVIA is thinking about is you focus on your employees not just today but down the road tuition training opportunities, certifications you’ve got their back when it comes to thinking forward on their career.

Yes, yes we do. We do like to help develop our employees and find the right fit for them, help them you know give them that opportunity by offering tuition reimbursement so yes many employees do take advantage of that.

You know the other thing that I’m curious to remind people about although ALCIVIA co-op is a big server to the agri-business community there’s a lot of consumer related jobs within ALCIVIA and if you’re one of those looking more for a nine to five as opposed to being out in the elements you have really like you said a job board that will address all that.

Yes, we do, we have many positions that you know someone could find the right fit for right in our corporate headquarters in cottage grove there’s also other unique positions. Right now we have a convenience store manager and training position that’s open that’s a great opportunity for someone that’s looking to get into retail. To come in and work alongside a store manager and gain that experience that they need to eventually put them in in a store on their own. So, it’s a great opportunity.

Boy that is that is now you know like I started our conversation off on Monica, everybody is short on employees uh what has it been like to try to go through all the interviews and try to get people involved in the process uh what’s it what’s it like I got to believe your stress factor as the human resources manager has been uh staying pretty persistent.

Yeah, I mean we’ve definitely been very busy trying to work with our managers and find candidates that are the right fit we do have some good quality candidates that are applying so it’s always great I encourage everyone to check out our website, www.ALCIVIA.com. Check out our careers page and you know if anybody’s got any questions reach out well and like you said these are good paying jobs in the rural community that’s not always necessarily a given.

You don’t have to go to the city center to be a part of ALCIVIA and have a good career right?

Correct, correct yes. Throughout our footprint there are many opportunities you know anywhere from feed manufacturing operators fuel delivery associates you know all the way down to our C stores. There’s part-time positions available if someone’s looking for part-time even in you know all the small communities that we that we are a part of never overlook the opportunities for you your family your career within ALCIVIA.

Monica Brantner along with us she is the gal that will be working with you to find those opportunities. She’s a human resources manager for ALCIVIA cooperative remember as she said ALCIVIA.com/careers can get you started.

And that my friends is our ALCIVIA co-op talk featuring Monica Brantner human resources manager. Check out their website again today for all the opportunities near you ALCIVIA.com.

Josh Grunnet discusses ALCIVIA’s approach of marketing the cooperative’s grain and doing our part to help our members manage their grain marketing opportunities.

If you can figure out these markets, you’re a better man than I, and that’s why on our ALCIVIA co-op talk today we are visiting with Josh Grunett. Josh is the senior grain merchandiser with ALCIVIA down at the main office in Cottage Grove. Josh will tell you the last year or so with everything going on in the world, from supply chain, to Covid, to wars, to weather, you got a tough job.

Yeah, that seems to be almost an understatement some days you hit on all the high points that’s for sure well high points or low points I don’t know what they are.

But Josh, you must look at these through the eye of a merchandiser working for a cooperative like ALCIVIA where farmers best interests have to come into play. How do you do that? What is your business model and your marketing model that you have at ALCIVIA?

Exactly that’s what we look at every day, I try to get the grain through the supply chain to where our destination customers want it and when they want it. To try to provide bids and markets for farmers so they can deliver to our elevators or to whatever market they see fit and deliver when they want it. They often also don’t want to sell it at the current price, and we try to smooth the waters out because as you alluded to with wars, and supply chain issues, and every year we have weather events, which last year was no different, it creates just a lot of choppiness in the marketplace. So, we’re trying to use the co-ops assets, rail, truck, and different supply chain lanes and matching up commodities back and forth to get the farmer the best price and get their grain to where it needs to go trying to think about that first and foremost every day and then navigate all the headwinds that you alluded to.

The challenge isn’t only to identify market trends but get that information down to the farmers so they can make marketing decisions. A good a system is how comfortable are you with a system, at ALCIVIA that you have that contact with the farmers on almost a daily basis with many of them that are active marketers.

You got it, and that’s one thing we pride ourselves on is trying to get that information to the producers through our grain origination team we have here at ALCIVIA.

We’re trying to do that every day with our other divisions, energy, agronomy, to try to understand the big picture for the farmer and try to come to them with answers for all the things they have. You’re spot on with kind of the changes that’s happened in the last couple years starting with some of the pig flu in China, supply chain issues, and then the war. We’re definitely in a high-priced environment and certainly understand these growers which were operating a business three years ago with a certain dollar amount they haven’t changed their acres or their production and all of a sudden, the business that they’re running is as three times the risk or three times the amount of dollars tied up into it just because the price of their commodities that they sell and their inputs have almost tripled.

So, these farmers are trying to manage a little bit riskier business today and we’re trying to help them through that certainly a new time for that but as markets go you look at a historical chart and we have high-price times and low-price times.

That’s one of the things on the horizon is how are we going to manage through a correction in price and how do we not get over our skis there. How do we help our farmers try to navigate that and just keep them up with marketing opportunities, continue to keep them sticking with, their marketing plan, and selling grain out in front, not get caught up in the day-to-day commentary of what’s happening on the news.

Just stick with a good profitable marketing plan and I think the key word there Josh is one of the key words “opportunity.” That’s what ALCIVIA’s grain merchandizing team will give you led by Josh Grunett. Again, Josh is a senior grain merchandiser, stay in contact to make the most of your marketing opportunities Josh granted with us on our ALCIVIA co-op talk program.

ALCIVIA Grain Provides Diverse Market Access to Members

By Dylan Beaver, Grain Merchandiser

It has been more than a year since ALCIVIA expanded our footprint. That growth has brought your cooperative opportunities including freight management and market development. ALCIVIA has been able to develop truck lanes with our logistics company that were not available prior to the merger. Keeping a truck loaded for all miles of the trip is key to being financially responsible for our producers and business, especially in the current energy market. The changes in the energy market over the last six months in the United States has helped define new markets and lanes. In the earlier parts of 2021, there was a shift in freight lanes for ocean vessels in addition to weather conditions in parts of the United States changing the market dynamic for Wisconsin’s crop. This allowed for ALCIVIA to use several assets to take on large volumes of the Wisconsin crop that would traditionally flow to the river system which then moved to the Pacific Northwest (PNW). It was one of the first times ALCIVIA was able to ship grain to that market.

ALCIVIA has 17 grain elevators that provide 35 million bushels of storage capacity plus a growing direct ship program. We look to service all our customers by bringing them multiple markets. ALCIVIA grain has many partners and diverse markets the merchandising team is working with to ensure we are providing the best opportunity for our farmers to get their grains to the right market. ALCIVIA elevators provide a home for many producers’ products where it is stored responsibly to ensure when it is sold to the end-user that it meets quality expectations. With the area that the ALCIVIA elevators span, we must make sure we maintain consistent quality of grain to meet all market expectations whether it is for export, feed, or human consumption. We want to make sure we provide the best quality product so we can return profits to our cooperative members.

The ALCIVIA grain business unit will continue to provide innovative and responsible solutions for all members to ensure the success of our producers and the cooperative as a whole. Finding ways to help our members maximize profits through grain marketing opportunities is our number one goal. Markets have many variables and are always moving faster than one can react. We provide resources for all members to take advantage of to help lock in profit and manage risk. When engaged in the current commodity market it is critical to be confident and comfortable in your decision making.

Reach out to your local Grain Marketing Specialist to discuss your grain marketing opportunities.

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