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Last week we were blessed to have some visitors come to the farm! They couldn’t have come at a more perfect time because it was “birth” day for Charlotte’s fourth litter! 

My friend, Lisa, works at NIVC Services, Inc. and had contacted me a few weeks ago to see if she could bring some clients for a tour! Lisa has the fabulous job of getting to do all sorts of fantastic activities with clients and is a top-notch chicken wrangler! NIVC Services, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization providing employment training and support to people with disabilities. 

From the NIVC Services website “Activities Group, our clients have opportunities to have rich experiences and active lives by meeting friends, building relationships, and participating in their communities. Rather than staying home watching TV on their days off work, Joblink Activities clients can choose opportunities to go out with a group of friends for a couple of hours or a full day. With plenty of suggestions from clients, each month is packed with fun and interesting things to do.”

Our guests from NIVC Services, Inc. had chosen one of their activities to be touring a farm so you can imagine my response when Lisa asked, I couldn’t have been more excited and knew just the week they needed to come based on when I knew we should be having baby pigs! 

Waiting to catch a piglet entering the world.

Although Charlotte didn’t actually deliver a piglet while we were impatiently waiting she delivered one while we were out of the barn looking at the calves so our guests did get to see a brand new piglet.

We wandered around the farm, talked about what pigs and cattle eat, looked at tractors, gave a few pats to Mouse the calf, looked at field corn and most got to pet Moose the chicken. We looked at straw and hay and discussed how straw and corn stalks become like a big bed for the animals. It was a blast!

Looking at straw

It absolutely made my morning to share what I love with this group that are all doing great things! I just know it based on their smiles and their fabulous questions. I can’t wait until Lisa calls for another visit! 

Our group picture, minus the chicken wrangler, she also served as the photographer. 😉

Have you been on a farm tour or given a farm tour?

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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