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Reaching for Excellence

By Chuck Schafer, General Manager

The cooperative structure is unique and stands apart from other business structures. North Iowa Cooperative, in the same vain, is also different, in a way that has not only become our standard, but also the recognized culture of our team.

As a cooperative, our first priority is helping our members succeed. This isn’t fulfilled solely by providing the right combination of seed and fertilizer, or delivering quality feed regularly. We know that growers and producers today rely on a cooperative business that places value on service and accessibility. At North Iowa Cooperative, this is what we refer to as “Reaching for Excellence.”

This culture and image-building phrase is part of actionable training and development at North Iowa Cooperative across all of our employee team. We’ve embraced this outlook for two reasons – to add value for members and to secure a strong future for the cooperative.

From my general manager role, I’m reminded that the importance of “Reaching for Excellence” is especially worth noting during the month of October as we celebrate Co-op Month. While the value of cooperatives is seen and felt 365 days of the year, this month reminds us to actively promote how we, at North Iowa Cooperative, are striving for that additional excellence.

Communication to our members, with transparency in mind, allows us to be a trusted resource. As a member-owned business, it is a priority to keep members informed of decisions, strategic focuses and financials. We also place an emphasis on distributing knowledge that gives customers the edge in achieving their own business’ success.

Staying connected, whether to our members’ needs or that of the greater agriculture industry, means we can remain prepared now and in the future. At our size of cooperative, we are able to remain engaged with customers to better understand what our services need to fulfill. And with our employees involved in communities and alongside our members, the connectedness grows stronger.

This also leads to what I find most unique about our cooperative; the genuine care that is shown by each employee for the greater good of North Iowa Cooperative and the members. We are proud to provide and fulfill services as competitively as a larger cooperative, but with the personalization of a small cooperative feel.

This Co-op Month, let us recognize the strength and benefits of cooperatives. Even more, let’s celebrate the strong success of your North Iowa Cooperative and that of its future through continually Reaching for Excellence.