Tell us about where you grew up
I was born in Faribault, MN, and my family moved around southern MN during my youth. Eventually, we settled in Saint Peter, MN, when I was 11 and that is where I consider my hometown to be.
Tell us about where you went to school and what for:
Minnesota State University- Mankato, Minnesota
Major: Business Management
Minor: Business Administration
Tell us about your internships, how they came about and what it was in.
Being that I was both working and attending school full time, my opportunity for internships was piggybacked with my growing roles at Agropur. Moving from a Shift Lead to Production Supervisor allowed me to intern at Agropur and gave me a platform to actively utilize the things I was currently learning in school. Additionally, special projects were given to me so that I could apply my growing knowledge and bring innovative ideas to the plant. In reviewing my internship with my advisor, it was met with high praise as it was quite literally the on the job experience, they hoped students could glean from internships.
How has Agropur supported your growth within the company?
I started in operations at our Le Sueur Food Ingredients plant, where I packaged powders coming off the Spray Dryers. I moved through the plant operations as a Mixer, Dryer Operator, and then a Shift Lead over the course of a couple of years before gaining an opportunity to work as the Production Supervisor. I stayed as the Production Supervisor until I finished school, which was instrumental in balancing work and school life as it gave me the flexible work schedule I needed to attend all my classes. After graduating, I took on the Production Manager role for a short period before moving into the Plant Manager position at the Le Sueur Food Ingredients plant. My firsthand knowledge and experience within the facility have allowed for a strong connection with the personnel and operations still to this day. Being in a position where I can apply everything I’ve learned professionally and academically, coupled with a great work environment and positive culture, has made for the most rewarding of my days of career. I stayed in my Plant Manager role for almost five years before a brief stint in Technical Sales and have recently accepted a position as Director of Contract Processing.
What does your current role entail and what kind of things do you work on?
Currently, I have a broad scope of responsibilities ranging in sales and operations. Some of the sales items I’m involved with routinely are customer communication, and price negotiations or attending food trade shows to meet new customers for future business development. Interacting with our customers is always exciting as things never become mundane, and there is always a new ask or challenge. Operationally I am involved with the scheduling and sequencing of production runs on our spray dryer lines to best meet customer needs and to optimize our operational efficiency. In collaboration with many experienced individuals at our production plants, I help facilitate other areas of operations such as production trials, troubleshooting opportunities, employee safety, capital investment projects, and continuous improvements.
Why do you love Agropur?
Agropur was an amazing career opportunity that I walked into unknowingly. For every stop along the way there was guidance and assistance offered to make my path a pleasant one but not one that was ever handed to me, it required the effort necessary to yield the positive results that many individuals seek. I love Agropur because of what it has offered so many of my peers and me . Also, because of the trajectory that aims to provide that same opportunity to many hard-working individuals in the future.
The life sciences group, which is developing compounds to tackle obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes and skincare, said the license is contingent on an annual minimum order quantity and the first order within thirty days of signing the agreement