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MARCH 2017



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EveryONE Matters

In The Community



Where Are They Now


El Campo Donation



Horses Help Kids at Dakota Boys Ranch



Toy Drive


Wilbur-Ellis Gives Gift to Youth Center

Your Stories

Our Time Capsule

News & Views 8

20-Year Watch Ceremonies


Welcome, Andrew Loder


ARA Rising Stars


Texas Ag Industries Association Award


New Office Space in Manila


Food Safety Modernization Act


Defying Ag Gender Roles


WilCon Trader in 70


Restore Regulatory Balance


Master Farmer Award


Job Shadow


Connell Brothers Adds LORD Chemical Products


Ag National Meeting


An Open Culture Means More than Just Words


Path to 100


Online Customer Account Portal

Editorial WILCON TRADER Published by Wilbur-Ellis Company

Editor: Katherine Fordon

345 California Street, 27th Floor San Francisco, CA 94104 © 2017 Wilbur-Ellis Company

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Seventy years – that’s how long the WilCon Trader has been keeping Wilbur-Ellis and CBC employees informed of what’s happening throughout the company and around the world. In 1947, we published Volume I, Number 1 with the stated intent “to acquaint all members of the far-flung Wilbur-Ellis and Connell Bros. organizations with news of our global activities and pertinent information concerning products and areas in which we are interested.” Seventy years later, the WilCon Trader still delivers on this mission, though in an extended and more colorful manner than the original black and white broadsheet. Throughout 2017, the WilCon Trader will illustrate and embody a quote used often throughout the Company: “We’re proud of our history, but never stop looking ahead.” We will take you back in time by publishing old articles from the last 70 years. We will highlight the storytelling that continues to influence our culture today through programs such as EveryONE Matters. We will celebrate the idea that we have been “growing together” since 1921, a mantra reinforced at this year’s Agribusiness national meeting. At the same time, we will report on what’s happening now in our industries, and in the communities where we live and which we support through our work, time spent volunteering and contributions from our Impact Fund. There’s no doubt we have many means for communicating today – email, WEconnect, Yammer, WhatsApp, social media, podcasts, phone, text, snail mail, town hall meetings – the list goes on and on. News is being delivered across the enterprise and across the world faster than ever before. My hope is that when each issue of the WilCon Trader arrives at your home or office, it not only informs and educates you, but inspires you as well. I hope the outstanding work by all of our employees, both in business and in our communities, motivates you to take risks, meet new people, set new goals and be the best employee and community member you can be. Sincerely,

Katherine Fordon Editor-in-chief, WilCon Trader Corporate Communications Manager

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Wilbur-Ellis is committed to every one of its employees... Our EveryONE Matters program highlights the great things – big and small – employees from all of our businesses are doing. Beyond these highlights, EveryONE Matters is intended to promote storytelling across the company, to share our very real experiences and to bring them to life.

Why? Because while we’re a diverse, multicultural company and part of a global community, every relationship with customers, suppliers, communities and one another happens at an individual level.

DONNIE GEARY Creating Change from the Ground Up

When Wilbur-Ellis acquired the Gaffney, South Carolina, plant from Allied Premium Protein in 2014, Donnie Geary led upgrading the facility to meet company standards. First, by installing new electronic tools in the plant control rooms, Donnie implemented the Feed business’ standard PO Receiver, Work Order and Pick List processes. This ensured timely and accurate inventory information would be visible to all through the plant’s ERP system, which enhanced efficiency,

quality and service at the plant. He also “built a cohesive, eight-person team willing and ready to create change.” Under Donnie’s leadership, the team has produced an increasingly accurate standardized transactional system, a strong quality management process and a continuously improving safety program. Each of these, in turn, proves the plant’s commitment to integrity, demonstrating a “we do what we say we do” philosophy that builds strong customer loyalty.

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MARCH 2017 P.5 all of us have unique success stories. To promote all Wilbur-Ellis employees and bring our family closer together through these stories, the WilCon Trader will continue to highlight some of the best EveryONE Matters stories in every issue.

READ MORE STORIES on the EveryONE Matters page on WEconnect.



Operations Improvements That Deliver

Bringing Out the Best in Every Person

In 2013, Tim noticed outdated processes compromised the Helm branch’s deliveries and inventory integrity. In response, he collaborated with his operations team and sales personnel. They found a way to use GPS and dispatch technology to enable order entry, order picking and order staging improvements. As a result, the Helm branch has significantly improved inventory efficiency, order fulfillment and delivery visibility. The branch now is known for on-time deliveries throughout the area, with the ability to estimate deliveries down to minutes.

As business manager of Industrial Specialties for CBC’s Tokyo office, Go has built a strong and cohesive team. He describes his philosophy this way: “The foundation of all relationships is trust and esteem. This strengthens our partnerships with customers, suppliers and colleagues.” Go fosters conversation among team members from diverse backgrounds, roles and departments. He sits down with people one-on-one to help “bring out their full potential and develop their ideas.” When challenges arise, he finds ways to turn negatives into positives. Thanks to coordinated efforts, the Tokyo warehouse has improved its inventory turnover six-fold in a little over a year.


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Wilbur-Ellis has thrived through decades of economic volatility and notable world events. We’ve expanded to three businesses unified as one company. We’ve introduced new product lines, from soybean meal and oil to meat by-products and personal care products. We’ve made a difference in the communities where we live and operate through our Impact Fund contributions and employee volunteer efforts. And, we have positive momentum to carry us through our 100th anniversary celebration in 2021.

Over the decades, we have captured many of these milestones and more in the WilCon Trader. This year, we celebrate the 70th anniversary of this important publication. It serves as a time capsule, preserving the information and ideas most relevant to our employees year after year. Here’s a sampling of what we’ve been able to capture...















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20-YEAR WATCH CEREMONIES Where has the time gone? Congratulations to Amy Powell, Office Administrator in Salinas, California, Glenn Ridgeway, Sales Agronomist in Madras, Oregon, Jose Lopez, Administrative Assistant in King City, California, and Larry Maddox, Sales Agronomist in El Nido, California, who all celebrated 20 years with Wilbur-Ellis this year. Twenty years of continued service with Wilbur-Ellis earned Amy Powell her anniversary watch in December 2016. Amy began her career in the Salinas, California, branch in 1996. Her loyalty, hard work and dedication make her a valued asset to our organization.

Glenn Ridgway has been a Sales Agronomist with the Madras, Oregon, Agribusiness branch for 20 years. Glenn is seen here receiving his 20-year watch from his sales manager, John MacKenzie, at a WECO meeting last fall. Glenn takes a lot of pride in making recommendations that best benefit his growers’ cropping needs. Glenn enjoys introducing new “We are proud to have Amy on our team,” said Salinas Branch products and helping to launch new branded products that Manager Blaine Wilson. “We hope to have her around for help his growers maximize their yields and is always looking many more years to come.” Amy was presented her watch by for new cropping solutions. Salinas Branch Manager Blaine Wilson. Congratulations, Glenn. Congratulations, Amy.

(Left to right): Amy Powell, Office Administrator, receives her 20-year watch from her Branch Manager, Blaine Wilson.

(Left to right): Glenn Ridgway, Sales Agronomist, receives his 20-year watch from his Sales Manager, John MacKenzie.

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STORY SUBMISSIONS If you have an anniversary story that you’d like to submit, please send a brief story description to Katherine Fordon at Stay tuned for tips on taking good photos to accompany your submission in an upcoming issue.

Jose Lopez has been with the King City, California, Agribusiness branch for 20 years. He works as an Administrative Assistant entering recommendations from our Pest Control Advisors (PCAs), completing application events and entering all information into our JDE system for proper shipping and billing processes. Fun Fact: When Jose started at the branch 20 years ago, the branch had only one computer, which was shared by all three admin staff. Congratulations, Jose.

Larry Maddox of the El Nido, California, branch received his 20-year watch from Agribusiness Area Manager Chris Daugherty during the South San Joaquin Valley strategy meeting. Larry has always been a trusted sales advisor who will answer his phone, no matter what time of day or night, for his customers. He enjoys any unique challenge his customers give him and has always been known for going the extra mile. Larry has a competitive spirit that drives his values and has lead the El Nido team to success. Congratulations, Larry.

(Left to right): Blaine Wilson, Branch Manager, presents Jose Lopez, Administrative Assistant, with his 20-year watch.

(Left to right): Larry Maddox of the El Nido, California, branch receiving his 20-year watch from Chris Daugherty, Area Manager, during the South San Joaquin Valley Strategy Meeting.

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Andrew Loder stepped into the role of Senior Vice President of Wilbur-Ellis’ Feed business on Oct. 1, 2016, and since has spent extensive amounts of time with customers, suppliers and employees learning more about our business, strategy and organizational capabilities. On Jan. 1, 2017, Andrew succeeded Ron Salter as Wilbur-Ellis Feed President. Andrew currently splits his time between his home office in

Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Wilbur-Ellis Feed’s headquarters in Vancouver, Washington. His new position as President is far from Andrew’s first leadership role. He spent more than 32 years working in Cargill’s various food and animal nutrition businesses, most recently as vice president of Cargill Animal Nutrition (CAN). During those three decades of service at Cargill,



Andrew’s responsibilities included building CAN’s Risk Management and sourcing function, as well as leading an enterprise transformation that led to enhanced productivity and effectiveness through various projects. We’re looking forward to seeing Andrew bring a new set of experiences and perspective to the highly talented and creative Feed team.

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ARA RISING STARS Three of Wilbur-Ellis Agribusiness’ very own – Andy Platte, Lance Koester and Cody Johnson – were selected as Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) Rising Stars for the Class of 2016. The purpose of this ARA program is to provide a vehicle for member organizations to introduce a young or emerging leader to the ARA, its activities and programs, including the ARA Conference and Expo. Only 10 qualified applicants are accepted each year, so Wilbur-Ellis couldn’t be more proud to have all three represent the company. Congratulations, Andy, Lance and Cody.

(Left to right): Lance Koester, Melissa Koester, Rachel Platte, Andy Platte, Cody Johnson, Brittany Johnson.

TEXAS AG INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION AWARD At the 2017 Texas Ag Industries Association (TAIA) Annual Conference in Addison, Texas, Wilbur-Ellis received the Environmental Leadership Award. The award recognized the outstanding service to the association and Texas agriculture Wilbur-Ellis contributes through its continued focus on the environment, health, safety and security of the community. This was a great start to the year and we look forward to maintaining this momentum.

Wilbur-Ellis’ Environmental Leadership Awards plaque.

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CONNELL BROTHERS CELEBRATES NEW OFFICE SPACE IN MANILA Our colleagues at Connell Brothers in Singapore are eager to share details about their new office in Manila. Recently, John Thacher, Azita Owlia and Alex Grantz joined employees for a grand opening event and a special ceremony to bless the new space. Connell Brothers has occupied the penthouse floor of the building for five years. Now, the team will extend into half of the 24th floor, adding 500 square meters (nearly 5,400 square feet) of lab and office space.

In addition to the existing Food and Personal Care labs, the added space will feature: Specific labs for Personal and Home Care (PHC), Meat and Food/Beverage A sensory room for tasting A training room that seats 24 Four executive offices Two conference rooms

John Thacher and Azita Owlia join the CBC Manila team at their office grand opening.

The Food, HPC, Pharma, Water Treatment, Paper, Agriculture and Feed teams now will occupy the 24th floor offices, while the Coatings, Inks, Construction, Polyurethane, Plastics & Rubber, Glass, Metals & Electronics, Lubricants and Refrigerants, and Protective Refinish business units will continue in the penthouse along with Finance and Supply Chain. The new space greatly expands CBC’s lab capabilities as it further improves service to additional market segments beyond beverage and basic food concept selling.

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FOOD SAFETY MODERNIZATION ACT: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW The U.S. FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has fundamentally changed the way food is regulated in the U.S. and around the globe. The provisions already in effect have significantly impacted the food industry across the entire supply chain, from farm to fork. Here are some fast facts about the FSMA that everyone should know. Signed into law by President Obama in January 2011

Certain provisions are already in effect, including:

Considered the most sweeping food safety law in 70 years

• Preventive controls for human food: August 2016

Aims to prevent food contamination rather than respond to it

• Preventive Controls for animal feed: August 2016 Other provisions, including those related to produce safety and foreign suppliers, have yet to take effect.

WHAT’S NEXT? Over the next year, other changes will go into effect, meaning both large and small agriculture companies will need to comply. In the meantime, the industry and government officials continue to work together to seek solutions to problems that may arise as the new law is implemented.

FDA inspectors already are being trained on a standardized curriculum that will help make the transition more seamless. Recent U.S. election results also create some uncertainty. WilCon Trader will continue to monitor developments, as this law has enormous impact on Wilbur-Ellis, our customers and our partners.

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MARLETTE’S ANNETTE PUVALOSKI HELPS DEFY TRADITIONAL AG GENDER ROLES Syngenta’s THRIVE magazine highlighted Wilbur-Ellis’ Annette Puvaloski in its fourth quarter issue, calling the Marlette, Michigan, branch manager one of several women who continue to “flourish” as the number of women in the industry grows. The article highlighted the fact that nearly 1 million female growers now hold principal or secondary operator roles, and more women than ever fill up the off-farm agricultural roles, including in sales and agronomy. This alone shows just how far women have come in the industry’s evolution, which continues today. For Annette, life at Wilbur-Ellis started with a response to a newspaper ad for a part-time secretarial position at the local co-op back in 1989. “That seems like a long time ago now,” says Annette. “Over the years, I’ve learned so many different facets of the business and have had supportive managers encouraging me to progress,” Annette told THRIVE. The article goes on to describe what can be a difficult balancing act for women dedicated to both work and family.

This remains a challenge even amid the advancements women have made in the agriculture business, according to the article, and Annette has experienced the challenge first hand. “If a man is committed to his career and puts in long hours of work, he usually earns the respect of his peers,” Annette told THRIVE. “By contrast, if a woman with a family were to work the same hours, she may be perceived as a bad mom.” Annette emphasizes the importance of prioritizing both her family and her work, and doing it “without feeling guilty.” Getting involved with helping the community is one of the ways Annette has done that. Back in March, the Marlette branch donated $2,000 to the Sigel Township Fire Department’s Technical Rescue Team. Annette herself presented the check. The donation, highlighted in the prior issue of the WilCon Trader, helped the rescue team purchase one cofferdam and one rescue auger to help with incidents involving grain silos. These replaced the outdated wooden models the rescue team used prior to the donation.

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To submit, email

What does the WilCon Trader mean to you? Is there a story that stood out in your mind? Which sections do you look forward to the most? In honor of its 70th anniversary, we want to hear your thoughts on what you enjoy most in the WilCon Trader…but there’s a catch. Tell us your thoughts in just 70 characters or less. We’ll feature winning entries in the upcoming issues throughout 2017. To submit, email

AFIA LOOKS TO ‘RESTORE REGULATORY BALANCE’ POST-ELECTION The recent U.S. presidential election results could cause some major changes for the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), but it is still too early to tell what those changes might be. On Nov. 10, AFIA President and Chief Executive Joel G. Newman said the election results meant “much more

As the law stands now, the AFIA in 2016 updated the certification requirements for Safe Feed/Safe Food in accordance with the Food and Drug Administration’s Newman added, “AFIA looks forward to (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act, working with the new administration and or FSMA. Wilbur-Ellis’ Gaffney, South the 115th Congress to restore regulatory Carolina, Feed facility has already balance, which will maintain animal received this certification, as highlighted food safety at the forefront and also be in the last issue of the WilCon Trader. practical for industry compliance.” than Republican or Democrat taking occupancy in the White House for the next four years.”

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Here are some other recent and upcoming important happenings at the AFIA: During November’s AFIA annual Equipment Manufacturers Conference in Tucson, Arizona, the Department of Commerce presented $260,112 to the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) and AFIA, as part of the International Trade Administration’s Market Development Cooperative Program (MDCP). ASABE, AFIA and industry partners will match the award and then some, contributing $744,035 of their own funding, as each award winner pledges two-thirds of the project costs as well as making the commitment to sustain the project moving forward.

“AFIA looks forward to working with the new administration and the 115th Congress to restore regulatory balance, which will maintain animal food safety at the forefront and also be practical for industry compliance.”

Also in November, the AFIA announced the addition of three new staff members: Codi Coulter as communications coordinator, Kori Chung as a legislative and regulatory assistant and Erica Burson as a membership assistant. The AFIA added two training and education programs to its spring lineup: • A hazard analysis and critical control points training April 11-12, 2017, in Des Moines, Iowa. • A FAMI-QS Awareness in Feed Safety course immediately following, April 13–14, also in Des Moines.

TIM RILEY WINS MASTER FARMER AWARD Tim Riley, a Michigan-based technical sales representative for Wilbur-Ellis Agribusiness, won the Michigan Vegetable Council’s 2016 Master Farmer Associate Award. In his nearly 22 years working for Wilbur-Ellis, Tim has seen it all. Growing up on his family’s onion farm near Michigan’s Gun Lake, weeds became the bane of Tim’s existence, but ultimately they were also responsible for his career choice. Today, Tim operates like a detective, touring the fields across Michigan and working with growers from Decatur to Fremont to Lansing to spot problems and pursue solutions. Recently, he identified a pathogen called anthracnose leaf blight. It had never been seen before in Michigan or anywhere else on a U.S. onion farm. “It’s a calling. It’s more than just a job,” Tim told Michigan Farm News. “I really feel connected to the land and connected to the growers, and making a big effort to help them succeed in growing a high-quality and high-yielding crop.” Tim won the award for his commitment to growers, commodities (Left to right): David Schwallier, Retired Wilbur-Ellis Branded Product Specialist, with Tim Riley, Technician Sales Rep. and research, according to the Michigan Farm News video.

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Chance Messer, Student, tours the facility with Marty Bergman, Willamette Valley Operations Manager.

(Left to right) Marty Bergman, Willamette Valley Operations Manager, with student Chance Messer.

Wilbur-Ellis values the next generation of agribusiness leaders, so when Business Process Lead Heather Messer’s son, Chance, wanted to learn more about mechanical engineering, Wilbur-Ellis hosted a job shadow opportunity for him in December 2016. Willamette Valley Operations Manager Marty Bergman spoke with the Odessa High School senior about opportunities in engineering and walked him through the facility.

During the job shadow, Chance learned about the role mechanical engineers played in building the plant and their continued contributions to the various manufacturing, packaging and fertilizer blending lines. Thank you to all who participated and helped Chance get on the right path to a rewarding career.

CONNELL BROTHERS ADDS LORD CHEMICAL PRODUCTS TO TARGET NICHE MARKETS In November, Connell Brothers Co. Australasia announced the transition of LORD Chemical Products into the CBC family. With LORD Chemical Products’ Australia and New Zealand businesses now a part of the company, CBC is in a strong position to serve the growing niche adhesives and coatings finished product markets. LORD Chemical Products is a subsidiary of Cary, North Carolina-based LORD Corp. As part of the agreement, LORD Australia General Manager Greg Bain will join CBC as business manager – LORD Industrial Specialties. Bain’s experience bolsters CBC as the company develops solutions for automotive, adhesive and coatings customers. The synergy also will bring revenue enhancement, cost savings, improved market reach and industry visibility.

Graham Brown, the general manager of CBC Australasia, is a strong supporter of the partnership and said, “The LORD/CBC partnership takes CBC into new markets with new customers. LORD has a first-class, strategic adhesives portfolio that we are pleased to represent. This is certainly a very exciting development for CBC in ANZ.” LORD Corp. is a diversified technical and manufacturing company, developing innovative oil and gas, aerospace, defense automotive, and industrial products. The company and CBC already have successful partnerships in several Asia Pacific countries.

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The AG National Meeting brought together nearly 900 members of the business to talk about the future of agribusiness and what it means for Wilbur-Ellis. Developing a solid strategy and roadmap for the years ahead is critical to our agility and fitness as a business.

the family’s commitment to the business and its growth. There was no doubt about the audience’s reaction to this important plan – Dan received a standing ovation for his speech and attendees left the presentation feeling both inspired and motivated.

On the first evening, Wilbur-Ellis Agribusiness President Dan Vradenburg delivered an energizing speech, highlighting the great work in the last decade and presenting the strategic plan for the next four years, Agribusiness’ “Path to 100.” The Path to 100 sets the framework for Agribusiness’ strategic plan as we look forward to Wilbur-Ellis’ 100-year anniversary in 2021. Dan also took the time to reassure the group about

Also on the first evening, the audience had the chance to hear from the presidents of our other two businesses, CBC President Azita Owlia and new Feed President Andrew Loder. Both delivered brief presentations discussing the industries and regions in which they operate and how Wilbur-Ellis’ three businesses are tied together.

News & Views

Throughout the week, attendees learned vital industry and Wilbur-Ellis Agribusiness information at various presentation sessions from across the business, including Branded Products, Soil Health, Customer Experience, Technology and Central or Western Geography breakout sessions. And, each day when the learning was over, the fun began. Whether it was an NCAA National Football Championship game, an Officer’s Club themed party or the final evening’s awards banquet, attendees had plenty of time to bond with their co-workers away from the important work being done in San Diego.

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On the final evening, the group first heard from keynote speaker Carey Lohrenz. As the first female F-14 Tomcat pilot, she was a pioneer in military aviation. Carey shared the hurdles she had to overcome, and the determination and fearless attitude she had to embody to even be considered to pilot the F-14 Tomcat. And, though none of us will probably be flying an F-14 anytime soon, her message of taking risks, even when it scares you, is universal. In fact, Carey finished her speech with a challenge for the audience: “Do one thing a day for 30 days straight that scares you.” Maybe you tried a new food or exercise class? Maybe you took on a new responsibility in your role at work or at home? We’d love to hear about the challenges that have taken you outside of your comfort zone lately. Please feel free to share these with us on Yammer using the hashtag #WEchallenge.

News & Views

After Carey, John Thacher spoke to the group about a number of factors influencing our strategy, including regulatory constraints, technology investments and succession planning. He also asked the group to think about the concept of “pervasive trust.” He believes trust is at the heart of what we do and who we are; it is core to our company and will continue to serve as a pillar for our culture and customer relationships. John also discussed our company values and the benefits of being a family-run business. By their very nature, family-run businesses value passion, not just for the company and its profits, but for its people. Being a family business is a differentiator for Wilbur-Ellis in all three industries in which we operate, especially the agribusiness industry.

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One of the week’s highlights for many attendees was a service project the group participated in on Tuesday evening for an organization called Soldiers’ Angels. Soldiers’ Angels is a national organization that aids and comforts the men, women and veterans of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard and their families. WilburEllis’ contribution to Soldiers’ Angels was the creation of 900 care packages that will be mailed to our deployed service members, a project that would have taken the organization two weeks to complete on their own. Many items that we take for granted, simple pleasures such as a pair of new socks, a pad of paper to write letters home, or sweet and salty American snacks, will be gratefully received by our

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men and women overseas. Also included in each box was a handwritten note from a Wilbur-Ellis employee to the recipient. This was the first time an activity like this has taken place at the Agribusiness national meeting, but, based on the overwhelming amount of positive feedback, it certainly will not be the last.

WEconnect. Most materials are available now at Agribusiness’ WEconnect page, so take a moment to visit their page and learn about what inspired 900 of your co-workers this January in San Diego. If you’re having trouble accessing any of the national meeting information, please contact Christine Hansberry or Katherine Fordon for assistance.

Dan Vradenburg’s final message to attendees was simple, “Take the good vibes home with you. Share the experience and share your enthusiasm with those not able to attend.” To help keep those good vibes growing, and in response to an outpouring of requests for information from the national meeting, most Wilbur-Ellis employees will be able to view the presentations, discussions and slide summaries delivered at the meeting via

If you were in attendance at the event, we encourage you to share your experience, photos and any follow-up questions via Yammer on the “All Company” page, the “AG” page or the “WEcelebrate” page using the hashtag #WEgrowingtogether. We look forward to sharing in your enthusiasm and learning from your experience.

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Keeping an open and tolerant culture here at Wilbur-Ellis is innovative ideas, sharing best practices and offering paramount, not only to our success and sustainability now, technical solutions all proving successful. but also in the future. Connell Brothers President Azita Owlia emphasized this in a recent presentation to senior management. Azita also pointed to the importance of recognition, which gives employees a sense of belonging, pride and loyalty. It isn’t enough to say you have an open culture. Wilbur-Ellis Internal posts highlighting employee achievements, and has an actionable plan to get all employees involved in the giving colleagues the ability to comment and “like” this conversation, with Yammer and other tools at the center. content, help foster a collaborative and open culture in That conversation must be “borderless,” allowing discussions immeasurable ways. When colleagues challenge one another between multiple Wilbur-Ellis and CBC locations. Through online, whether on sales or other goals, they find that healthy this open line of communication and engagement, employees competition, in which colleagues are respectful but also can gain insight on what’s happening at Wilbur-Ellis and doing their best to be the best, benefits not only Wilbur-Ellis CBC. Plus, the ability to engage with management about but our people. important issues in an open Q&A forum keeps everyone on While the business world is benefiting from these online the same page. forums, nothing fosters culture like in-person events One of the key aspects of an open culture is having the (broadcasted on Yammer, of course). The importance of these right people to connect the dots. These “influencers,” from events, which help colleagues connect with each other on a a product innovator in Indonesia to a content marketing more personal level, is reflected in the social postings that professional in India to a general manager in Japan who is usually follow. building a local community, help to not only keep the open In the end, everyone in the Wilbur-Ellis family wants to culture going but also growing. have an open culture in which communication is seamless Online communities help build our cultural footprint, with and, most importantly, easy. That takes the right tools to forums dedicated to solving common problems, exchanging communicate and for everyone at all levels to buy in.

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STEPPING ONTO THE “PATH TO 100” In 2021, Wilbur-Ellis will mark a significant milestone: turning 100. Wilbur-Ellis will join the ranks of resilient and iconic companies, including IBM, General Electric, Nikon and CocaCola. It has been our employees – who have continuously embodied our IDEAS core values of Integrity, Diversity, Effort, Accountability and Service – who have enabled Wilbur-Ellis to sustain and thrive for nearly a century. While it’s important to look back at our accomplishments, we also want to look toward this milestone with an intent to do

more. We want to continue to challenge our business to be a better employer to our people, a better service provider to our customers and a better leader for our industry. That’s why we’re introducing the “Path to 100.” From now until the celebration in 2021, we’ll introduce goals established across the company to challenge ourselves for the next century of business at Wilbur-Ellis. John Thacher and the senior leadership team are excited to share the Path to 100 with you as it is adopted and adapted by each business. Check WEconnect for more details soon.

ONLINE CUSTOMER ACCOUNT PORTAL View. Print. Pay. It’s now easier than ever for Wilbur-Ellis Agribusiness’ customers to access their invoices and statements through our new online customer account portal. Our customers now have the convenience of the following features: 24/7 access to billing information

Search for invoices based on invoice number or PO#

Receive automated email notifications as soon as their billing document is available on the portal

Download the invoice details into their accounting package

View an exact replica of their paper billing document Research invoices by key criteria such as date, amount, open balance, PO#

Print their invoice and statement documents Link their related accounts so they can view all of their Wilbur-Ellis billing information in one place Pay account balances online using their checking account

“This is a great customer service offering as it provides our customers with immediate access to their account details and creates better customer service efficiencies for our branches as well,” said Director of Customer Financial Services Tom Scrupps. “We love the efficiency and quick speed of payment and our customers love the 24/7 access to their information. It’s a ‘win-win’ for everyone.” Remind your customers they can register and log in to our Online Customer Account Portal at

In Our Communities

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WHERE ARE THEY NOW – VALLEY CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL IMPACT FUND This past fall, Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera, California, received a donation of $3,000 from the WilburEllis Impact Fund to give valley kids unprecedented access to care. Valley Children’s Hospital is committed to providing exceptional pediatric care to Central California families within 30 minutes of their homes. Our very own South San Joaquin Valley/Central Coast Area Manager Chris Daugherty submitted the Impact Fund application request. Chris knew receiving the donation would have a positive impact on its recipients and

he’s proud to report all of the funds from the donation went to support the rural communities the hospital serves, impacting many of our customers’ families directly. Chris, along with his wife, Ginelle, have a long history of giving back and raising money for the organization by hosting charity benefits at their home. Thanks to Chris and his dedication to serving the community, Wilbur-Ellis has directly impacted Valley Children’s Hospital since 2014, helping our customers and their families have access to healthcare closer to home.

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El Campo Branch Manager, Heath Bush, presents the El Campo FFA with a check for $4,500.

Walking through the still-empty El Campo barn Thursday, FFA members said they saw potential in a location that soon would be full of goats, lambs, pigs and cattle.

Right now, there’s room but no funding to almost double the number of pens. Wilbur-Ellis’ El Campo location recently stepped up to provide assistance with that, donating $4,500.

“It’s awesome,” high school freshman Griffin Croix declared, looking over the galvanized steel pens. “It’s giving people who don’t live in the country a chance (to be part of an animal-raising project).”

“We have Impact Funds that are used wherever a difference can be made in a community,” Branch Manager Heath Bush said.

Forty pens are now in place inside with others in an outdoor area. “Most are already spoken for,” agriculture teacher Shawn Peters said, adding the interest is still growing. “It gives people the opportunity to show animals and experience new things,” freshman Abigail Weinheimer said.

A 1992 El Campo High School graduate, Heath participated in FFA during his school years. However, like so many children living inside the city limits, was unable to raise a farm animal. “I always wanted to, but we lived in town. My mom wouldn’t have let me raise a pig in the backyard,” Heath said. Each of the animal pens costs about $750, with each linking to the next.

“We’re very fortunate for the community to get behind us,” Peters said. “Demand keeps increasing.” Students will be moving animal projects into the $1.5 million facility before the end of the semester. “It’s a highly anticipated thing for this chapter,” high school senior and FFA Chapter President Michelle Sutton told the newspaper. So far, Wilbur Ellis is the only local company to make a donation, Peters said, adding, “I would love to have more.” *This article originally appeared in the El Campo Leader-News on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016, and was written by Shannon Crabtree.

In Our Communities

MARCH 2017 P.26

HIPPOTHERAPY: HORSES HELP KIDS AT DAKOTA BOYS RANCH Wilbur-Ellis takes pride in giving back to the communities it serves. A prime example of this took place in Minot, North Dakota, with Seed Sales Representative Greg Engel. Greg pledged funds from the Wilbur-Ellis Impact Fund to the Dakota Boys Ranch, where kids receive “hippotherapy,” a physical, occupational and/or speech therapy treatment that utilizes equine movement. Hippotherapy literally means “treatment with the help of the horse” from the Greek word, “hippos” meaning horse.

The donation covered insurance gaps so kids could continue riding horses all season long. The Impact Fund donation helped take the financial stress off parents, who now can focus on supporting their children. Greg’s kindness, in this case on behalf of the whole organization, doesn’t go unnoticed around the office, either. His co-workers agree his personality and generous spirit brighten a room and make each day much more enjoyable. Greg goes above and beyond with his work, both inside and outside the workplace.

SALVATION ARMY TOY DRIVE This past holiday season, our Wilbur-Ellis teams in Salinas, Soledad and King City, California, came together to put smiles on the faces of children. The three branches collected six overflowing boxes of toys for a local Salvation Army charity called Operation Give Back.

Israel Aguirre, Field Service Supervisor, Soledad Branch.

Salina’s team members (left to right): Amanda Albright, Amy Powell, Andrew Otero, Yolanda Barron, Bertha Ortiz and Toni Osuna.

In Our Communities

MARCH 2017 P.27


(Left to right): Don Robinson, Executive Director of Father Bernard Youth Center, with Michael Damann and Ben Piper, Wilsonville, Oregon, Sales Rep and Branch Manager, respectively.

MOUNT ANGEL, Oregon — The Father Bernard Youth Center here has received a $5,000 grant from Wilbur-Ellis, a local agriculture supply wholesaler. Don Robison, executive director of the Catholic retreat center, says the money will go toward maintenance, repairs and upgrading outdoor spaces.

Wilbur-Ellis has long supported the center with fertilizers for sports fields and lawns, and products to help manage a wooded bluff and a water feature.

The center opened a decade ago and has hosted about 20,000 retreatants since then.

“Providing youth a chance to blow off energy is key to obtaining their attention for the next set of instructions,” says Emma Seiler, programs coordinator for the center. “We try to build up the entire person: body, soul and spirit, whether we are putting on the program or simply playing host for a group’s own program.”

“We are on pace to more than double that number in the current decade,” Robison says. The center receives no direct funding from the Archdiocese of Portland or any other entity. After collecting about a third of its annual $350,000 budget from program fees, it relies on donors.

Outdoor spaces are important to the retreat process.

A portion of the recent donation will go toward adding drainage in the main back lawn, which gets soft in rain. This article originally ran in The Catholic Sentinel.

Profile for Wilbur-Ellis Company

WilCon Trader – March 2017  

WilCon Trader – March 2017