At Cargill, we traditionally begin staff meetings with what’s known as a “Values Contact.” It’s an opportunity for team members to share something they’ve observed or learned over the past week or so. Or a chance to pat a coworker on the back.
Lately, values contacts seem to focus on the rough conditions our farm customers are facing out there.
It’s been a challenging harvest for many of you, to understate it by a long shot. While some farms are just stuck, looking out the shop window at wheat and canola crops bent and lodged under several inches of snow, we are beginning to see more crop come off where the snow has melted.
We know you’re going as fast and as hard as you can to beat the weather. Your mind is likely focused completely on the state of your crop. But we’d like to encourage you to slow down long enough to operate safely and pay attention to your own health.
We’re seeing this play out in our own extended family. Agronomist Lynette Steuber related the story of her brother on Thanksgiving. She had helped prepare a lavish feast at home, and knowing her brother was working against the clock in the combine, she delivered his dinner right to him.
When he pushed the container away and told her he didn’t have time to stop to eat, she insisted that he feed his body and his brain and refused to leave until he took a break to nourish himself.
Sacrificing yourself for the crop isn’t worth it. Please take the time to be safe out there.
Cargill can’t change the weather. And we can’t promise you top grades.
Regardless of how tough and dry or how good or bad your sample looks, we appreciate that you spent roughly the past six months growing it, and our country teams want you to know they will treat you fairly and with the respect you deserve. We’ll look for a solution together.
In the meantime, there are resources and people who can help you:
Alberta Mental Health Help Line - 1-877-303-2642
Saskatchewan Farm Stress Line - 1-800-667-4442
Mantioba Farm and Rural Stress Line - 1-866-367-3276