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Someone asked me today why I get so excited about the babies being born on our farm when we have experienced it so many times before...

I have to admit I was dumbfounded.

Me: Huh? What do you mean? Do you get excited when humans that you know give birth?

Adult: Well, sure, but those are people. You are freaking out about animals.

Me: Well, have a seat, let me explain... 🙂

New baby that we are calling Twister

Spring on the farm means new life, new beginnings, new challenges, and a new chapter. As I have said, it's not always sunshine and roses but it's why most farmers and ranchers do what they do! We love to see a new baby calf hit the ground and then hop up within minutes looking for it's momma for a drink. Why? Because it means that we chose the right bull for that heifer or cow, that we kept that heifer or cow healthy during pregnancy, and that we (with our planning and care) helped bring a new life into the world.

It ALWAYS stays exciting, with each nearing day of piglets being born, with each day on the calendar being checked off as a due date approaches, it is ALWAYS exciting. With it, we teach our children (and social media following) about the life cycle and where their food comes from. We teach our children responsibility, about reproduction and giving the animals the proper care that they need after giving birth.

On our farm spring isn't all about livestock giving birth, the greening of the alfalfa and it's growth mean that we cared for our product and it has come back another year to provide our cows with nutrition and income for our family. Spring means that corn and soybeans can go in the ground, which will, in turn, provide nutrition for our animals.

Farmers and ranchers care deeply about their livestock and crops and want only the best for them and the consumers that will benefit from the product that is raised.

These are just a few of the reasons why I will never tire of spring on the farm and never tire of telling people about it!

What do you love about spring where you live?

From the Gravel Road-

Jen

I am so excited to introduce you to another guest for What Inspires You Wednesday tonight! Meet Alicia...

I’m sitting at gate 21 at the Minneapolis airport waiting for people to deplane so I can get to my next destination. It’s mid-morning on a Thursday in February and the airport is bustling with spring breakers. There’s only standing room left and I was lucky to find a seat. The man to the left of me has a suit on and ear buds in, the other man to the left of me is traveling with his wife. He asks me about Hoover’s Hatchery. I’m wearing a branded pullover because 1. I only purchase simultaneously the most comfortable and business casual apparel and 2. I hate packing more clothes than I will ever wear causing me to drag and extra heavy bag across all the gates and terminals, and 3. My Hoover’s apparel currently outnumbers my “street” apparel. I work in marketing, whatever.

I give him my typical elevator speech, “We’re a small hatchery in northern Iowa that supplies and ships baby chicks to farm stores and customers nationwide.”

I get the typical response, “Really!? You ship chicks nationwide? Wow! How does that work? I mean, they make it??” I look at him and know that he’s seeing the familiar small grin that forms on my face each time people ask me this very question.

The joy and amazement that people get when they learn about baby chicks, the hatching and shipping process, and how we support farm stores in their mission to supply customers with backyard poultry keeps me going every day. My job isn’t a job, it’s an opportunity to support and educate others that they too can raise their own animals that give them breakfast. They too can learn the ups and downs about animal agriculture, and hopefully someday have a greater appreciation for those that raise animals on a larger scale.

The hardest question for me to answer by far is, “So what do you do at Hoover’s?” A job title to me is just a title. I don’t like job titles, it seems like no matter what position you’re in, you always feel like your title never justifies all the other work you’re helping with. That expectation should just come with working at a growing company.

So, what do I do? I’m the marketing manager, and here at Hoover’s part of that means managing our fantastic customer service team and arming them with tools and the ability to serve our customers in the best way possible. We have tough days, and difficult customers, but I couldn’t ask for a better team to help solve their problems. We’re in the business of putting smiles on people’s faces when they get a happy peeping box of baby chicks, and its our job to turn their day around on the rare occasion that things go wrong.

I work day-in-and and day out promoting our brand and defending it. Every day I wake up at 6 and check my email on my phone sitting on my nightstand. I glance at my calendar and start mentally making lists. Sometimes, if I see I have a flurry of notifications I’ll check social to make sure everything is right in that world. I get ready, get my two girls out the door/dropped off, and head to work.  I get to work and dump my mental list into my planner. I live by lists. It’s the only way I can prioritize and make sure I haven’t missed anything. I open my email and take care of the “quick kills” to make me feel like I’m accomplishing things. Usually by 8:30 other items have come up that our team is looking for help with, and my day has officially started. This is why I write things down, usually by 8:30 my day is completely full of distraction, and that’s just life, its ok, we’re keeping customers happy, remember? It is our number one priority.

The other things I do that aren’t so day-to-day include creating email campaigns every other week. I’m the editor of our blog and I communicate regularly with our team of writers. They truly are chicken crusaders that give our customers information about troubleshooting and raising chickens. I check and schedule social posts out, and make sure that we are following our content calendar.  I come up with new and different ways to interact and reach our customers and many, many more things wherever our brand is represented. When you look at my job under a microscope, each task seems so trivial, but when its all put together into a big puzzle throughout the year the real magic happens, all those little projects  and day-to-day tasks come together into one big canvas that becomes our brand voice and story.

Our spirit of ingenuity here at Hoover’s drives my hunger for more each day. No two days are alike for me, and the promise of each of those days being different keeps me going. What inspires me is my love for the Hoover’s brand, the promise of a better tomorrow through our ingenuity, and the hustle it takes to meet our customers needs.

Thank you, Alicia, for sharing what inspires you!

Be sure to follow Hoover's Hatchery on Facebook and check out their website! It's where we get our chicks and they never disappoint!

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