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EHSS CONTINUES MAKING STRIDES Introduces new logo and tagline WOW ANNOUNCES CORE TEAM Focuses on changes through Action Teams CBC ELEADERS CONFERENCE Connell Brothers leadership meets in Vietnam VIEWS FROM TOJI THOMAS OOMMEN WEpod corporate podcast series relaunches


In The Community



Pullet Barn Community Project for the Perdues


Greg Sohm


Local Basketball Tournament Named After WE Employee


ECDP Playground Rebuild


Oregon Wildlife Foundation Impact Fund Donation


EOTEC Impact Fund


Cyclone Debbie Impact Fund


Connell Brothers Impact Funds


Troy Historic Society Impact Fund

Your Stories

Feature 8

Page 4

Page 8

Page 18

EHSS Continues Making Strides

News & Views 10

Nutrio Product Award


WilCon Trader in 70 (Characters)


Longtime Employees Anniversary


Functional Ingredients: Connell Brothers


WoW Connect Female Ag Leaders


WoW Announces Core Team

WilCon Archive


CBC eLeaders Conference Highlights



Wilbur-Ellis’ Invests in AgCode


Petfood Forum 2017


Toji Thomas Oommen


2017 Farming and Trade Policies




New Website for Channel Partners


Welcome to Your New WEconnect


Wilbur Ellis’ Career Pathways


WE Leader Spotlight

Editorial WILCON TRADER Published by Wilbur-Ellis Company

Editor: Katherine Fordon

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

February, 1949 Issue

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR As summer nights become shorter and harvest crews hit the field, Wilbur-Ellis begins to close the books on another Agribusiness season, another educational CBC eLeaders conference and another important transitional quarter for Feed. Additionally, as our businesses continue to flourish and grow, so does the support from Corporate. On page 8, we highlight strides Wilbur-Ellis’ Environment, Health, Safety and Security (EHSS) team is making to protect our people, our property and our communities. EHSS’ new tagline, “Together WE Prevent,” highlights the idea that safety is everyone’s responsibility—that everyone wins when we work together towards a common goal of fostering a safe work environment. The Women of Wilbur-Ellis (WoW) resource group has new life under new leadership. The WoW Core Team was formed this winter to give some much-needed attention to an important issue that affects us all—male and female—gender equality in the workplace. On pages 16 and 17, you’ll meet the new WoW Core Team and be introduced to WoW’s new mission and strategic goals. Action Teams are currently forming to help realize WoW’s strategic goals, focusing on education, leadership/mentoring, creating a community of support and communications. If you’d like to be involved in WoW by being an Action Team member, simply reach out to a Core Team member to sign up for the Action Team of your choice. Cavallo Ventures, Wilbur-Ellis’ new venture capital division, has been busy both forming strategic partnerships and acquiring technology companies with product capabilities that will help our employees better serve our customers. Though the first three investments have been agriculture focused – AgCode, HydroBio, Inc and Ag Consulting Group (ACG) – Cavallo Ventures is interested in technology in the feed and specialty chemicals industries as well. In our feature article this issue, you’ll find a summary of this year’s CBC eLeaders conference held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in May. It was another enlightening, educational and inspiring week for CBC’s management team. The CBC event planning committee produced another fantastic event, leaving attendees refreshed, enthused and motivated to meet their goals as a team. I hope you enjoy this issue of the WilCon Trader and that these articles leave you feeling both inspired by the great work happening across the enterprise and proud to work for such an engaged company. Sincerely,

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

EveryONE Matters

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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.




Charting a Flight Path for Success

Helping 30 Suppliers 365 Days a Year

A Legacy of Compassionate Leadership

SERVICE. Aerial Manager Wade Schultz has set the South Dakota Huron branch on a course for long-term growth. His dual focus: improving core business functions on the ground while developing early-career talent that could lift the branch to new heights.

SERVICE. Some jobs call for more juggling than others—but some people make it look easy. That’s the case with Melina Porcic, business service specialist for Feed’s brewery by-product business in Vancouver, Washington.

INTEGRITY. Some people come to work every day and are known to their colleagues as simply a co-worker or boss. Others form connections and become a friends. Bob Turner from our Feed division in Vancouver, Washington, took it a step further: To most of those who had the pleasure of working with him, Bob became a family member.

Drawing on almost 12 years in the aerial application industry, Wade applies his considerable knowledge of flight planning to coordinate—and grow—the business at Huron Aerial. Wade works closely with the area sales reps to deliver what’s best for growers. And, his passion for the business shines through in all he does, ensuring stellar service to all customers.

“Melina manages the paper flow for about 30 breweries that move loads to our customers 365 days a year. Melina’s commitment, diligence and accountability help ensure that everything is done right and on time,” reports Feed’s Director of Operations Bob Turner. Melina’s natural leadership style means the people on her team—and her supplier roster—always get the support they need to succeed.

Bob, who is retiring after 12 years in different roles at Wilbur-Ellis, is a man of many talents. His versatility, adaptability and his ability to instill change among employees for the betterment of the company and its people will truly be missed.

EveryONE Matters

AUGUST 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 EveryONE Matters stories in every issue.

READ MORE STORIES on the EveryONE Matters page on WEconnect.




Turning “Little Fish” Into Big Fans

Being on Point for Customers & Colleagues

A Gift for Giving Positive Experiences

SERVICE. CBC Market Manager Camini Mootoosamy of the Queensland, Australia, branch has made a habit of treating every customer, no matter big or small, with the special care and attention that most companies reserve for their biggest accounts – and our customers can feel the difference.

ACCOUNTABILITY. You know that person everyone asks for help? The one who offers patient and thorough explanations with a smile? At Agribusiness’ Leona, Kansas, location, Administrative Assistant DeAnn Herring is that person.

SERVICE. Seed Sales Representative Greg Engel at the Minot, North Dakota, Agribusiness branch is famous for making people laugh and for making anyone he speaks to feel important. This gift for giving joy makes Greg a great representative for Wilbur-Ellis in every customer interaction—and in every donation he makes on the company’s behalf, through our Impact Funds.

One of Camini’s smaller customers sent a note of special praise: “We are often left feeling like ’small fish’ with some suppliers... [but with] Camini there was a completely professional service, without regard to the fact that we were only a new customer and perhaps ’small fish.’” Camini’s dedication to providing quality service is admirable.

Deep customer relationships may help explain why DeAnn is the point person for Wilbur-Ellis when it’s time to launch new policies and procedures. When the Leona branch converted customers to corporate billing two years ago, “a great deal of credit goes to DeAnn for listening, understanding and explaining the new statements to customers so they accepted and adopted the change, even when they didn’t like it.”

As a co-worker reports, “Greg is never more than a phone call away when someone needs help. Greg lightens the stress of the day for everyone he talks to—and that helps bring customers back through our doors.”

EveryONE Matters

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Service That Really Shines

Seeing the Big Picture in Every Person

Crafting the Right Tool for the Job

SERVICE. Everyone who works with truck driver Bob Slaba at the Blunt, South Dakota, Agribusiness location is impressed with his professionalism.

SERVICE. Agribusiness Sales Representative John Hoyle is a people person. “He befriends everyone he meets,” explains a Lone Star Distribution Center colleague. “John develops relationships with customers at a very personal level and shows sincere compassion for growers.”

SERVICE. That “deer-in-headlights” look. Every fall, Gabe Tower knew he’d see it in his customers’ faces the minute he handed them the three-ring binder of policies and procedures for the Wilbur-Ellis golf early ordering incentive program.

In part, Bob credits his excellent work ethic and passion for professionalism to his long career in military service. For more than 33 years, Bob served in the National Guard and the Marines, putting in two tours overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan. During his time in the National Guard, Bob even volunteered to do snow removal for the state of South Dakota. Just a few years ago, Bob volunteered again, this time to help with North Dakota’s flood clean-up.

It’s no surprise, then, that John’s relationships extend far beyond WilburEllis. He’s vice president of the Hill County Farm Bureau board, which “helps local food banks, supports local FFA and 4-H projects, awards scholarships for agriculture students and volunteers at Hill County Youth Ag Day. We’ve also visited our U.S. Congressman, to try to help guide policy in Washington, D.C.”

Gabe engineered a new customer tool—a cheat sheet—that allowed people to find quick answers to their common questions without having to read the whole binder: a simple Excel spreadsheet. “Response has been really positive. It makes it easy for customers to navigate the buying process,” explains Randy Akada, Auburn branch manager.

EveryONE Matters

BILLION ZHANG Going the Extra 220 Kilometers

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Why EveryONE Matters... It’s not uncommon for employees to feel that their best efforts are routinely ignored. At Wilbur-Ellis, we know our employees are our biggest asset and each one – across various businesses, functions and geographies – have one thing in common: they have made a real difference to the Company by living out our core values. Join us today in nominating someone who deserves to be acknowledged for their contribution.

Why Is Employee Recognition Important? Globoforce reported 41% of companies that use peer-to-peer recognition have seen positive increases in customer satisfaction. SERVICE. When a customer says “jump,” the follow-up question is “how high?” At least, that’s how Billion Zhang has approached some “challenging” requests as account manager of Plastic Additives and Industrial Specialties for CBC in Guangzhou, China. One morning, a call came in at 11:30 AM. His customer urgently needed to receive a product sample to conduct testing that afternoon. Billion, who aims to “get the job done better, every time,” drove more than 124.27 miles (200km) to get it there in time. Then he remained at the plant to help conduct a successful test, before returning home at 10 PM.

A recent study by Bersin & Associates showed that companies with recognition programs that are highly effective at improving employee engagement have 31% lower voluntary turnover. A 2016 Gallup poll found that employees who do not feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to look for a new job in the next year. According to a 2016 Westminster College Study, 69% of employees would work harder if they felt their efforts were better appreciated.

How Can I Participate? If you have an EveryONE Matters story you would like to share, or a colleague you would like to nominate, please use the submission form on WEconnect and provide as much information as possible, including a highresolution photo.


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EHSS CONTINUES MAKING STRIDES THROUGHOUT WILBUR-ELLIS Wilbur-Ellis’ Environment, Health, Safety and Security (EHSS) team continues to make great progress toward its goal of improving the safety and well-being of employees, the environment and our communities. Under the supervision of EHSS Director Eiman Badr, that should only continue. The recently announced new EHSS logo and tagline, “Together WE Prevent,” encompasses a vision of a diverse company with three unique divisions, focused on a culture of safety, process and collaboration. It is the latest in a series of steps that will build on Wilbur-Ellis’ strengths as an organization and dedication to EHSS.

The next phase was to move the needle from a culture standpoint, getting buy-in from all levels about the importance of safety while doing it effectively and efficiently. In that phase, empathy was very important in understanding the needs of the individual teams. To handle that, the EHSS team worked to simplify the tools in each division’s toolkit, making it easier to manage the process by focusing on the risks involved rather than individual tasks. Recently, EHSS launched a few new tools to help all WilburEllis employees be up-to-speed on current issues, accidents and how to avoid similar instances in the future. The EHSS Targeted Incident Prevention sheets, or TIPs as they are known, tackle issues like proper hazmat placarding, overexertion in the summer heat, proper shipping papers and a myriad of other issues our branch employees deal with daily.

The first goal was to take a holistic approach to safe business practices, and to weave those practices throughout the entire organization, not just among EHSS team members. While Wilbur-Ellis’ professionals dedicated to risk control are crucial, the only way EHSS will carry out its ultimate goal to serve and Another useful new offering from EHSS is a monthly webinar shield the entire company is through collaboration with others. series. Each webinar focuses on a single subject and offers employees the opportunity to ask questions directly to the “Building a strong management program from the ground up subject matter expert hosting the webinar. June’s webinar on and building a plan for the future, to meet the changing needs hazmat compliance was both well attended and had excellent in today’s environment, has been crucial,” Eiman says. audience participation, receiving dozens of questions from the field throughout the hour-long webinar. Any questions that One of the turning points, according to Eiman, was the team sitting down to develop its strategies for moving EHSS ahead, were not able to be answered during the hour-long session, were addressed in an FAQ sheet distributed to attendees and and then presenting it to key stakeholders at Wilbur-Ellis. It was during that time that he got to spend a lot of time with his posted to the EHSS WEconnect page after the webinar. new team, and earn their trust.

Developing a plan, one with clearly defined goals throughout Wilbur-Ellis’ next three to five years, is the current order of business for EHSS. While meeting customer expectations is always going to be a primary goal, having everyone at the company truly value the importance of safety and understanding how that ties into the rest of the organization’s success is a vital piece of what EHSS is doing. “Don’t take shortcuts and don’t compromise safety when performing a task,” is how Eiman puts it.

EHSS Regional Manager George Lundberg (left), with Devine Plant Manager Franklin Corey (right).

Eiman is confident the reshaped EHSS will tackle the remaining challenges, including working with the frontline supervisors who must balance running their business with integrating EHSS initiatives into their divisions as seamlessly as possible. So far, so good. (Right) Our screening process at our Kaufman County, Texas, Feed facility.

News & Views

NUTRIO PRODUCT AWARD Wilbur-Ellis’ NUTRIO® product line received the prestigious 2016 Readers’ Choice New Product of the Year Award from AgPro Magazine. This is the first time Wilbur-Ellis Agribusiness has taken top honors in this competition. NUTRIO® is the Company’s line of biochemistry products that aids in soil nutrition, aiming to improve plant health and yield potential. The selection process for this award was competitive, as AgPro readers have annually selected the top award winner from 10 of the newest, most innovative industry technologies as identified by the publication’s editors. Before selecting Wilbur-Ellis’ NUTRIO® as one of its top 10 products, the editors considered its market potential, uniqueness, publicity and the industry excitement it generated. “We’re proud and humbled by this honor,” said WilburEllis’ Vice President of Branded Products Mike Karasiewicz. “To have this recognition come from readers is incredibly important to us. We’ve enjoyed success with this new product line, but the real test is the affirmation from our customers and AgPro readers.”

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News & Views

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WILCON TRADER IN 70 (CHARACTERS) To celebrate this year’s 70th anniversary of the WilCon Trader, we asked readers to share what the publication means to them – using only 70 characters. Here’s a look at some of our favorite submissions:

WilCon Trader— Great companies have storied pasts and bright futures.

Achievements, Strength, Character, Growth, Stewardship, Leadership.

Kent Harrington Husband of Susan Harrington, Corporate Office Manager

Gerrie Gardner Administrative Assistant, Feed

A glimpse into the depth & diversity of our people, focus & facilities.

Success, diversity and advancements in our field.

Jim Glatzhofer Senior Formulation Chemist, Agribusiness

Tracy Genest Accounts Receivable Specialist, Feed

The WilCon Trader is “Positive Vibe Central.”

Anchors me in my role. Shows the need to be inclusive, participate and cooperate.

Becki Muhlbeier Pro Markets Supply Chain Manager, Agribusiness

Jerry Klug Marketer, Feed

To share your thoughts for possible inclusion about what the WilCon Trader has meant to you, please send to

News & Views

AUGUST 2017 P.12

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO THESE LONGTIME EMPLOYEES! Agnes Seah recently celebrated 45 years with Connell Brothers in Singapore. The CBC Singapore office opened in 1970 and Agnes joined the following year as a general clerk in its finance department. Over the years, she has worked with five CBC presidents, 11 general managers, four regional managers and in nine different offices. She’s now the finance director for CBC Singapore Regional and still loves the Company and what she does. CBC has given Agnes opportunities to learn and travel, so when offering advice to younger employees she always recommends they learn from everything given to them. Agnes Seah and colleagues celebrate her 45th anniversary.

Congratulations, Agnes. Kelly Dreyer recently celebrated 20 years with Wilbur-Ellis in Taft, Texas. Kelly, a sales representative for our Agribusiness division, began working as a part-time Wilbur-Ellis employee while still in college. Kelly rapidly moved into various positions within the Taft branch and excelled in each one. He’s since become a vital part of the successful team at the Taft branch, excelling as our top sales person for the branch. Customers rely on him to develop farm plans intended to help maximize their yields. When he’s not helping the Taft branch thrive, Kelly enjoys spending time with his family, fishing and hunting.

(L to R): Kelly Dreyer, sales representative receives 20-year watch from East Texas Area Manager, Walt Esser.

(L to R): CBC Vice President Jeff Streblow presents Kittie Chan with her 20-year watch.

Congratulations, Kelly.

Earlier this year a celebration was held to honor Kittie Chan’s 20 years with Connell Brothers in Hong Kong. Kittie began as a shipping clerk in the CBC Hong Kong office and was responsible for the Shanghai inbound shipping duties for chemical goods. By 2005, Kittie shifted duties to focus on Hong Kong consumer goods shipments. A year later, Kittie completed a course in logistics and supply chain management and was promoted to logistics supervisor. Currently, her role has expanded to include supervising CSR, as well as sales and purchase order processing duties, shipment duties, local delivery fleet logistics and management of re-packing tasks. Kittie feels very happy, satisfied and fortunate to have the opportunity to work and develop her career with CBC. Congratulations, Kittie.

News & Views

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This past winter, Wilbur-Ellis Plant Operator Jessie Reynaga celebrated 20 years of service with Wilbur-Ellis in Chelan, Washington, with co-workers and his family. Jessie began his career at the Wenatchee, Washington, facility in 1996 before moving to the Chelan branch. Jessie constantly promotes safety for all and uses his many skills to benefit those around him. Jessie is an appreciated, valued maintenance and operations asset to the Wilbur-Ellis team. Congratulations, Jessie.

Jessie Reynaga holds his 20-year watch presented by Tracy Williams (l) and Brian Hendricks (r).

David Helland holds his celebratory 20th anniversary cake.

David Helland, a wholesale chemical salesman based in Minot, North Dakota, recently celebrated his 20th anniversary with Wilbur-Ellis. Leading up to his career at Wilbur-Ellis, David worked in Iowa as an agronomist, branch manager and general manager. He later relocated to South Dakota and became a chemical manufacturing representative. Throughout his career with Wilbur-Ellis, he has managed the territory that runs northeast of Minot and the selling of chemical, seed, fertilizer and nutritional products. He’s also been involved in numerous Wilbur-Ellis committees, helping promote a number of research plots involving chemicals, branded products and nutritional products. David is very customer-focused and has spent many hours helping to expand their agronomic knowledge. Congratulations, David.

IN MEMORIAL On Thursday, June 29, 2017, we lost Wilbur-Ellis pilot John Goerger. The aerial applicator from our Lisbon, North Dakota, Agribusiness branch lost his life in a tragic accident. John was a veteran pilot who came to us from the Dakota Air acquisition and was with the Wilbur-Ellis family for 11 years. John was a hunter, rodeo star, known for his adventurous spirit and love of flight. John respected the rules and art of flying and is survived by his wife, Cathryn, and three children ages 14, 4 and 3.

News & Views

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Consumer fascination with natural and sustainable foods continues to grow, and as the largest marketer and distributor of specialty chemicals and ingredients in the Asia-Pacific region, Connell Brothers is right in the middle of the movement. As part of this movement, trends related to the emergence of functional ingredients, which result from the extraction of key nutrients from healthy foods, should continue this year and beyond. Nearly all the trends have one thing in common: They are driven by consumer demand. For instance, with customers so much more educated about what

they should be putting in their bodies, companies know they can’t just sneak in a few long words and hope buyers won’t notice. The same goes for claims of “natural” or “organic.” Slapping the word “organic” on a label without offering the why is not fooling consumers anymore. For these reasons, expect nutritional labels on products to become clearer. Another trend in functional ingredients, on which Connell Brothers is at the forefront, is the proliferation of plantbased ingredients and products based on consumer demand. Emerging

technologies make it easier and more efficient to extract nutrients from plants. While other methods for isolating these nutrients exist, some of the new technologies make the process more eco-friendly. Additionally, new rules will require stringent approval processes for certain nutritional supplements in China. This could have a significant impact on the functional ingredient industry, and Connell Brothers is monitoring the situation closely. Most experts expect consistent modifications of the rules throughout the year, as unforeseen circumstances arise.

News & Views

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WOMEN OF WILBUR-ELLIS CONNECT WITH FEMALE AG LEADERS The 26th Annual Farm Women’s Symposium (FWS) was held during extreme winter weather from March 8-10, 2017, in Port Huron, Michigan. More than 150 women representing diversified agriculture, including several from Wilbur-Ellis, attended this event. “I was excited to attend FWS,” said Wilbur-Ellis Agribusiness Branch Manager Annette Puvaloski, CCA. “Attendance has improved and the relationships between farm women have strengthened. It was wonderful to see past friends and gain new friendships. The topics are all very interesting and I gain knowledge from each presenter.” Speakers ranged from government officials to regional farmers, each sharing their personal stories about what challenges and opportunities they see (sometimes, literally) in the field. Former Michigan State Representative Paul Muxlow told of his family’s roots in the dairy business. Keynote speaker, Elaine Froese, CSP/CAFA from Manitoba, Canada, gave a presentation entitled “Discuss the Undiscussa-bull,” in which she gave tips on how to deescalate fears of fighting, rejection, loss of wealth, identity and control, with a specific focus on the challenges the farming community faces.

Members of Wilbur-Ellis’ WoW group put on a show of force, sporting branded T-shirts as they participated in group discussions and networking sessions. “It got our company name out there and represented Wilbur-Ellis in a very positive way,” said EHSS Regional Representative Jeannine Hemry. “So many people wanted to know more about WilburEllis and our WoW group. It was great to share with them how supportive our group is and how we help each other grow and learn.” The event served as a bonding experience for attendees. “Attending this event helps the WoW group, not only from a bonding perspective as females in the organization, but as ag professionals,” said Agribusiness HR Business Partner Taylor Redlinger. “I’ll definitely attend again next year.” Beth Myers, Agribusiness branded products specialist, added, “The gathering of these talented women is a great reminder of the strength and importance of women to this industry. It also makes you aware of how even more important we will be to the future of agriculture as it continues to evolve.” Farm Women’s Symposium is tentatively scheduling FWS 2018 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

(BACK ROW L to R) Jeannine Hemry, Molly Roup, Annette Puvaloski, Conni O’Keefe & Beth Myers (FRONT ROW L to R) Kara Schut, Taylor Redlinger, Amanda Petrowski, Dena Clark, Shilon Sangster & Hilaree Fraley

News & Views

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WOMEN OF WILBUR-ELLIS ANNOUNCES CORE TEAM Wilbur-Ellis is committed to diversity and inclusion in our workforce. Women of Wilbur-Ellis (WoW) is an employee resource group that leads company efforts in the professional development of women. We are excited to announce a WoW Core Team, which will be responsible for the strategic leadership and guidance of future programming across the company. Members include:

Anna Kempe Market Intelligence Manager Agribusiness, Ames, Iowa

Donna Smith Corporate HR Manager IT, Seattle, Washington

Leora Goble EHSS Central Services Lead Agribusiness, Seattle, Washington

Carrie Williams Director of Project Management Office Corporate, Home Office, California

Fayley Brosemer HR Coordinator Feed, Vancouver, Washington

Mirna Tin Accountant CBC, San Francisco, California

Christie Sutfin Business Process Lead Agribusiness, Home Office, California

Heidi Moore Location Manager Agribusiness, Sunray, Texas

Christine Hansberry Agribusiness Communications Manager Agribusiness, Denver, Colorado

Katherine Fordon Corporate Communications Manager Corporate, San Francisco, California

Pamela Jones Director of Employee Development and Communication CBC, Hong Kong Lisa Verne Business Process Manager Feed, Vancouver, Washington

The WoW Core Team worked diligently over the last few months to develop a new mission statement and goals to guide our women’s resource group. With this new mission and forward-thinking goals, WoW will help lead, educate and support the growth and development of women and improve the overall diversity of Wilbur-Ellis. After all, a more diverse business is a more successful one. WoW is now forming Action Teams to support these goals and help shape the future of both this women’s resource group and the organization. If you would like to participate on an Action Team, please contact one of the Core Team members or connect via our WoW Yammer page, where you can become a WoW member simply by joining the group.

WOW MISSION WoW is committed to creating and cultivating an environment that recognizes and utilizes the talents of women to achieve long-term success as individuals and improve our business by leveraging the value of an inclusive workplace. WoW encourages participation from all employees and thrives when we work together toward this common goal.

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WoW will provide educational resources and training to develop knowledge and understanding of topics that impact women. WoW will accomplish this by sharing resources on a quarterly basis that encourage and support leadership development for women in the workplace.

WoW will provide a community of support by giving members a safe environment where they can openly share ideas, concerns and personal experiences without judgment or discrimination.


WoW recognizes the value of communication to build awareness, pride and increase engagement in achieving the team’s mission. We will provide opportunities for an open dialogue and regularly share progress using diverse communication tools.

WoW will provide a leadership mentor program that will support women in their career growth goals. The program will increase the diversity of management in the workplace, provide opportunities for leadership development and mentoring, and enhance employee engagement.


News & Views

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Senior management and extended leadership team at the CBC eLeaders Conference in Vietnam.

In May, 165 Connell Brothers senior management and extended leadership team members from across 20 countries descended on Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, for the CBC eLeaders Conference. The event opened with a video recapping last year’s theme and tagline “Lift Off,” featuring a famous astronaut and rocket launch. This served as an introduction into our new video titled “Building Momentum,” which showed a rocket being warped into space. This video was intended to remind those in attendance of the journey started in 2016 that is leading to our 2020 strategic targets. A two-day meeting was held by each business segment to narrow focus on specific actions needed for execution to reach goals. “The content of the presentation was interesting because we recapped all that we have done in the past year. I am impressed by all that we have done together,” said Jaruwan Pattana-ariyangkun, food division manager. “We have known the direction of our strategy for a year, but now

we narrowed and deepened our focus. I’m looking forward to seeing the strategy for my business segment.” During the week-long meeting, CBC President Azita Owlia pointed out that we must focus on our customers and ensure we give them the best value proposition we can, becoming more customer centric. “The energy, creativity and depth of expertise and experience of this group of leaders surely sets us apart from our competitors,” said Wilbur-Ellis Vice President and CFO Michael Hunter. “More important is the collective talents of eLeaders and our broader platform are positioning Connell Brothers to deliver value to our customers and suppliers far into the future.” CBC Academy was introduced as part of the “Power of People” program, which has many leaders eager to support their staff in becoming engaged and fulfilling their skill set gaps via this learning platform.

News & Views

“I was impressed by the level of engagement from all participants, it was amazing to see the passion in the room around everything that was being said. And, it excites me to work with CBC to help them achieve their goals.” − Tabitha Prestler Director of Risk Finance and Insurance, Wilbur-Ellis

CBC Industry Group Manager Liza Pua from the Philippines commented, “As a manager, it is very important I know the strengths of my team to work more effectively. I am very happy to see so many topics on the agenda centered on people development.”

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“The content and discussions were tremendous,” said Corporate Counsel Tim Nestler. “They demonstrated a leadership group that is thinking deeply about how to position CBC to win in the future. Of even greater value to me was the opportunity to finally meet my CBC colleagues in person. Modern technology is great and is necessary to succeed in our global world, but none of those technologies - not even Yammer and Skype - can replace the dialogue and ideas that come from face-to-face meetings.” An Academy Awards-style afternoon and evening commemorated this with participants dressed in bowties or tiaras for our awards gala. Everyone had a fantastic afternoon together, which ran into the evening with dinner at The Deck, a Vietnamese restaurant by the riverside. The last day of eLeaders had an engagement activity called “CBC Fair,” which featured a series of work-related games that 30 teams competed in for the title of the CBC Fair Champions. The competition was fierce, loud and, at times,

News & Views

very competitive. It was truly fun to watch each of the groups cheering on their team members. The last afternoon closed with Wilbur-Ellis CEO and President John Thacher’s and Azita’s town hall meeting. During the town hall, they answered questions on a variety of topics, from John’s retirement plans to how the company needs to evolve accounting for changes in technology and political environment. John said the company is looking to invest an additional $100 million USD within the region to drive growth and expansion.

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“It’s clear to me, after attending a second year of eLeaders meetings, that Azita is doing exactly what great leaders do. She is getting her team united behind clear strategy and common goals.” − Anne Cleary Vice President of Human Resources, Wilbur-Ellis

“I think the eLeaders Conference is a good opportunity for us to understand what our leaders have to say and move ahead together,” said CBC Sales Manager JS Yang from Korea. Participants of eLeaders left feeling motivated and confident in their ability to communicate and motivate their own teams to deliver our strategy. They understood the need to work smarter and not harder to keep energized and passionate in all they do.

“It has given us further direction on how we are moving forward,” said CBC Human Resources Manager Yogita Parab from India. “Last year was focused on the history; this year has been focused on the future. eLeaders is a great engagement activity and it is something that we all look forward to each year.”

Tropical rainstorms could not dampen the fun.

“Power of People” presentation.

Breakout segments, developing the actions needed for execution.

Group workshop activity.

News & Views

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John Thacher (L) and Azita Owlia (R).

Azita Owlia presents at the CBC eLeaders Conference.

The Academy Awards of the CBC eLeaders Conference.

CBC eLeaders Red Carpet.

“The week in Ho Chi Minh with eLeaders left me more confident than ever that we have the right people and strategy to achieve continued success for many years to come,” said Michael Hunter. “Seeing this group of current and future leaders all together in Ho Cho Minh with common purpose was truly inspiring.”

See you again at the next CBC eLeaders in 2018!

“The energy, commitment and engagement of the entire CBC management team at the eLeaders meeting was very impressive,” said John Thacher. “The alignment on strategy, combined with the confidence to make this happen, is significant. This positions CBC very well, as well as accelerates the development of our platform capability.” − John Thacher CEO and President, Wilbur-Ellis

* Pam Jones, Regional Manager at Connell Brothers Co. (HK) Ltd, contributed to this article.

News & Views

AUGUST 2017 P.22

WILBUR-ELLIS’ CAVALLO VENTURES INVESTS IN AGCODE AND MORE In February, Cavallo Ventures, WilburEllis’ venture capital division, made its third strategic investment, this time in Glenwood, Minnesota-based AgCode. AgCode offers software-as-a-service (SAAS) solutions for vineyards.

recommendations by existing customers. “We never worried about fancy websites or extravagant media product launches,” said AgCode Founder Dion Harste. “I figured early on, as long as I solve my customers’ problems, everything else will take care of itself. This partnership with AgCode’s technology masters equipment Cavallo Ventures and Wilbur-Ellis will tracking, contractor tracking and harvest provide us the resources to address the and scale management for vineyards. ever-expanding data flow and turn data The Company’s proprietary Command into intelligence for the grower.” Code Technology efficiently tracks hand harvests while its Payrule Engine handles complex labor premiums, rest and recovery adjustments and overtime rules, allowing the user to link payroll with contractors and enabling field AgCode marks the third initiative for workers to enter their time from a Cavallo Ventures since it started 2016, as mobile device. it continues to search for investments

Like Wilbur-Ellis, AgCode fosters an entrepreneurial culture. In fact, more than 95 percent of AgCode’s business is word-of-mouth or from

to complement our three business divisions: Wilbur-Ellis Agribusiness, Connell Brothers Company and Wilbur-Ellis Feed.

In January, Cavallo announced its first deal, a strategic partnership with Denver, Colorado-based HydroBio, Inc. HydroBio is an imagery analytics software company targeting irrigated acres. The company analyzes imagery and weather data derived from multiple sources and provides users with easy-to-follow actionable items through a custom alert system. Wilbur-Ellis’ customers will benefit from HydroBio’s key features, including irrigation alerts, nitrogen recommendations, crop health alerts and grain moisture pre-harvest alerts. Also in January, Cavallo Ventures acquired substantially all the assets of Ag Consulting Group (ACG) and certain assets of Crop Tech Solutions. Based in Lincoln, Nebraska, both companies’ product capabilities will be welcome additions to our current agribusiness technology offerings.

News & Views

AUGUST 2017 P.23

FROM THE FLOOR AT PETFOOD FORUM 2017 On April 3, the 25th year of Petfood Forum kicked off in Kansas City, Missouri. Members from our Feed team had front row seats to the latest news and innovations in the industry. Keynote speakers included Randi Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Zuckerberg Media, who shared business insights focused on new marketing and social media tools to enhance pet food brands targeting today’s savvy consumers. Temple Grandin, PhD and author of “Animals in Translation,” shared her expertise on animal behavior and the importance of pet professionals knowing about that behavior and what responses to expect. Grandin noted that pet food professionals should take time to see the world from animals’ points of view to understand why dogs and cats react to food as they do. “The Petfood Forum tends to be a bit like the movie ’Groundhog Day,’” said Wilbur-Ellis Feed Marketer Mark Hipkins. “We see the same customers, vendors and exhibitors, year after year. However, I liken it to going to the mall. Instead of having to visit 10 different locations, you can meet customers and vendors and network all under one roof. Very convenient and productive.” The conference agenda also included dozens of technical sessions, and numerous networking opportunities to connect with thousands of pet food professionals and pet food industry leaders from around the world. Next year’s conference will take place from April 23 – 25, 2018, in Kansas City, Missouri.

(L to R): Eric Johansen, Karen Gaudette and Thad Follett at Wilbur-Ellis’ Petfood Forum Booth.

News & Views

AUGUST 2017 P.24

VIEWS FROM TOJI THOMAS OOMMEN As part of our recently relaunched corporate podcast series, WEpod, Corporate Communication Manager Katherine Fordon spoke with Toji Thomas Oommen, software development manager for AgVerdict, about his role and the Company’s partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS). Read below for a written excerpt from their conversation.

Q: Can you start by describing your role as software development manager at Wilbur-Ellis? A: Yeah, definitely. With AgVerdict, we do have three main goals. The first is product management, then the program management and then there is a development management role. These goals have a job responsibility. The product managers are the ones who will be working with the field or the business to prioritize different features. There might be different branches or different field technology people might have different priority for a certain feature. Now, we are discussing planning features. Product managers will work with the right people in field technology to understand which ones have to be built. We have limited resources, so we cannot build everything, so we have to prioritize. Once we have our priorities, it goes to the program management team. They will be the ones working with the people who give the requirements and others to understand what that feature means. Then, we develop a UI wire and couple of stories that describe what we are going to build. We run that by the stakeholders, and they’ll say, okay, this looks good, go build it.

That’s when my team comes in and we take over that UI mockup story and build a code. So, I am responsible for the development team, development and the operations team, which is basically making sure the application is running 24/7.

Then, I get to work with the developers here to do code reviews or an architecture review of coding or things like that. And then we’ll work with program management, testing team [and] operation team with different aspects about the project.

Q: What does a typical day look like for you?

At the end of the day, I may have interaction with the off-shore team, because they will be coming on.

A: We have two teams. One we call onshore here in Seattle, and an off-shore team based out of India and Bangalore. Typically, my day starts interacting with the offshore team basically before they go to bed. We do have almost a 12-hour difference, so my day starts interacting with them or discussion about certain blockers that they have. It might be through email or through phone call.

So, we do have almost 24/7 code churn happening. So, we might have to communicate back to them about some different decisions that we made here or have to ask them to do certain things. So, that’s kind of my typical day looks like. Be sure to visit the WEpod page on WEconnect to listen to the full episode.

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AUGUST 2017 P.25


The U.S. agricultural industry continues to face significant challenges, but thanks to emerging technological innovation, opportunities exist as well. With farm incomes suffering a third-straight annual decline in 2016, many in the industry see 2017 as a crucial year for the industry. Producers are confident in a turnaround. According to the closely watched Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer, sentiment among producers is improving. Some believe this is a result of the 2016 U.S. election, but it still remains to be seen whether farmers will see quick benefits from the new administration’s policies. A lot of what will happen, of course, relies on overall economic conditions. The Federal Reserve began raising interest rates again late last year, and while more small hikes may not have a major impact on farm expenses, a long-term high-interest-rate environment very well could. Meanwhile, a strong general economy related to the rest of the world could create a more expensive U.S. dollar, which can have a negative impact on agricultural exports. Canada, China and Mexico, the top three buyers of U.S. agricultural

products, make up 44 percent of ag exports. As the economy and the new administration’s policies take shape, we will find out whether those numbers change and which new players might emerge. Again, some of these overall economic concerns are out of the industry’s control, but important to watch. The proliferation of technology in farming, however, is very much in the industry’s control. Much like Wilbur-Ellis’ own AgVerdict, smart farming technologies can help producers create higher yields from their fields. Plus, predictive technologies combined with GPS data can help create maps that pinpoint how productive or unproductive an individual swath of land was. In short, technology is starting to change farming the way it has other industries. Perhaps more than any other year, the rest of 2017 is filled with many more questions than answers. To illustrate that fact, in February the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) released data that projected lower, higher or flat income for farmers in 2017, depending on how the statistics are interpreted.

News & Views

AUGUST 2017 P.26

EMPOWER2021 In January of 2021, our Company will reach a milestone few reach – being in business for 100 years. Wilbur-Ellis will join the ranks of an exclusive list of well-known companies such as IBM and Citigroup. As we look ahead, it’s important that we maintain a steady business strategy to maintain our momentum and propel our business into the next century.

Earlier this year, Wilbur-Ellis Feed President Andrew Loder introduced the division’s vision: “To be the innovative leader in the marketing and distribution of animal nutrients.” To achieve this, he outlined six longterm strategic goals: Achieve sustainable, superior results Business process excellence Focus on talent for a sustainable competitive advantage Provider of choice for customers and suppliers Deliver strategic growth Build positive brand image

Feed’s mission, vision and goals speak to the direction we want to go with our Feed business. This strategy started with the Feed senior leadership team and has trickled down throughout teams of Feed employees, from all levels, and across Wilbur-Ellis businesses, including both corporate and Agribusiness. This team approach is what makes up “Empower2021,” Feed’s guiding strategy. To drive this further into the Feed organization, make it a part of every employee’s day-to-day activities and bring it to life, all employees’ individual, annual goals will be linked back to the strategic goals. This will provide a connection, no matter what their position or where they are located, to the overall strategy. “The expected outcome for our strategy is that by executing and delivering our goals, we will achieve our vision – which is to be the innovative leader in the marketing and distribution of animal nutrients by 2021,” said Wilbur-Ellis Feed President Andrew Loder. “We are excited to start on this journey, feel accountable to deliver this vision and know we are well prepared with this roadmap of Empower2021.”

News & Views

AUGUST 2017 P.27

NEW WEBSITE FOR CHANNEL PARTNERS Wilbur-Ellis’ Channel Partners division recently launched a new website, which provides updated and detailed information about this important part of the Company. The new site is the latest exciting development for this division, which launched in 2004 and stems from the strong R&D capabilities here at the Company.

purchasing the San Joaquin manufacturing facility in 2006, the group gained six new pesticide labels and an exciting platform of nutrition products called RNA. That prompted the division’s name change to Channel Partners, to help build positive relationships and a strong brand with customers.

Originally called Third Party Sales, Channel Partners provides a conduit to our diverse product line for Wilbur-Ellis’ wholesale partners and offers valuable expertise, innovative solutions and the exceptional service customers and prospects have come to expect from Wilbur-Ellis.

The new site provides links to information about Channel Partners’ actives, adjuvants and nutrition products. The Channel Partners team of Case DeYoung, Todd Kuenzi, Jose Morales, Gina Mulliner and Norm Silveira focus on areas including plant protection, plant nutrition and seed technology.

The Channel Partners group started with a small lineup of products but quickly expanded in the ensuing years. After

Feel free to visit the site at www.channelpartners. to learn more.

WELCOME TO YOUR NEW WECONNECT Want to read the digital version of the WilCon Trader again? Interested to learn more about the EveryONE Matters program? Curious about the latest HR policies? Head on over to the newly designed WEconnect to read it and discover more of what’s new with Wilbur-Ellis.

WEconnect brings together a wealth of important information in one place. With the recent homepage redesign, you can access a new range of pages with just one click: News and Announcements: Information we think is important to you. Program Pages: Learn more about ongoing programs and initiatives, such as the WilCon Trader and EveryONE Matters. Corporate Travel Quicklink: One-click access to the Travel pages to help you plan your next business trip with ease.

We can’t wait to hear what you have to say about WEconnect and welcome any feedback or suggestions you have – after all, this intranet is for you. Check back regularly for new updates.

News & Views

AUGUST 2017 P.28


Wilbur-Ellis’ HR department is preparing to launch Career Pathways, with the goal of providing tools for employee development centered on the employee/manager partnership. Employees who want to develop a path for their career, with help from their manager, will soon have tips and tools for meeting that goal and have a more structured process for their career path and overall development. One key aspect of Career Pathways is the partnership between employees and their manager. Focusing on both employees’ aspirations and business needs, employees will start by creating individual talent profiles and will be able to use tools to self-assess their skills and interests. Development plan templates will also be available for employees to jump start their planning process. Managers will have tools so they can help their employees identify interests and skills, develop a plan for growth and help monitor their progress in reaching those goals. This relationship strengthens the already great culture at Wilbur-Ellis and allows employees to work toward their own personal achievements as part of the larger purpose of the organization. Career Pathways will focus on nurturing development at all levels, including identifying and developing future leaders. In an interview with the WilCon Trader, CBC Senior Vice

President of Operations Jeff Streblow called “leadership by example” and “a willingness to constructively give both negative and positive feedback” some of the most important aspects of good leadership. Jeff, who started at Wilbur-Ellis more than 35 years ago and has “worked at almost every department this company has ever had,” said one of the greatest things about Wilbur-Ellis is its entrepreneurial spirit. Career Pathways is designed to build on that. With employees driving the process, providing a framework for career decisions will help accomplish this goal naturally. “People need to think outside the box AND share their ideas,” Jeff said. He praised Yammer as a platform for people to share ideas, collaborate and continue building on the entrepreneurial culture. “It’s a great thing because it’s also fun,” he said. The launch of Career Pathways, which will be housed on a new WEconnect site, will take place in fourth quarter 2017. HR will look for ongoing feedback so that Career Pathways can continue to evolve to best support our employees, managers and the business. Look for more information soon.

News & Views

AUGUST 2017 P.29

A CAREER PATH 35-YEARS IN THE MAKING FROM MAILROOM TO SENIOR VP: JEFF STREBLOW AND WILBUR-ELLIS’ ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT Growing up, Jeff Streblow wanted to be a firefighter. In fact, for one summer when he was 17, he actually was one. Fast-forward 35 years, and after working at nearly every department at Wilbur-Ellis, Jeff would tell you he’s back to where he started. Sort of. “I put out a lot of fires,” says Jeff, who started in the mailroom and is now senior vice president of operations. “I am a firefighter after all!” Jeff started in the mailroom, and got his first big break when Brayton Wilbur Jr., son of Wilbur-Ellis co-founder Brayton Wilbur, asked him to drive him to a funeral. During the ride, Brayton asked Jeff why he was in the mailroom, his talent was being wasted. Soon after, Jeff had a new job, as a traffic coordinator in the traffic department. “I have worked at almost every department this Company has ever had,” says Jeff. From food department sales in Guam to general manager of the South Asia region in Bangkok and back to San Francisco with frequent stops in between, Jeff is truly a person who has seen it all. The business has grown just as Jeff’s role has. “With the size of our business and how we have to look at things today, for sure we still have that entrepreneurial spirit,” Jeff says. “Between the different jobs, the ability to travel and the entrepreneurial spirit, I’ve filled up a lot of passports.”

In his role now, Jeff touches anything associated with operations, including acquisitions, building and investing in warehouses and Wilbur-Ellis’ interests in Vietnam, Hong Kong, Thailand, Bangladesh, Cambodia and elsewhere.

“I’m not sure many people have had the path I’ve had. Things fell in place. You don’t start in the mail room and work for a company for 35 years anymore. It’s been a fun run.” − Jeff Streblow Senior Vice President, Wilbur-Ellis

Jeff has had his share of mentors, official and unofficial, along the way. His unconventional but successful road to his current role is a testament to the importance of Career Pathways, Wilbur-Ellis’ new HR tool for employee development (see page 28 for more details). Putting career decisions in the hands of employees themselves with the help of a manager, Career Pathways should help make more careers like Jeff’s possible. Says Jeff, “My days are spent putting out fires and helping the Company overcome adversity.” As he says, he is a firefighter, after all, but with the help of Wilbur-Ellis’ entrepreneurial culture, he carved a different path.

In The Communities

AUGUST 2017 P.30

PULLET BARN: A COMMUNITY PROJECT FOR THE PERDUES Wilbur-Ellis Branded Product Territory Manager Jason Perdue and his wife Karah have recently diversified their income by adding a pullet barn to their York County farm in Nebraska. “With the grain market and land prices the way they are, it’s tough to come back to the farm, but livestock provides one way to do that,” Jason said. “The timing was right. This specific opportunity looked like something that would cash-flow well, especially with current interest rates and the outlook for interest rates.” The new 35,000-square-foot barn has a 40,000-bird capacity and will be occupied by 2.5 flocks a year. The Perdues will raise the chicks from one-day-old to 16.5 weeks before they move on to egg-laying barns. Jason and Karah come from hog farming backgrounds, and initially looked into raising pigs wean-to-finish. With Jason working full-time at Wilbur-Ellis, and four children ages seven and under, raising pullets was a good fit. “We both grew up with hogs, but the cash flow and labor needed to raise pullets worked better for our growing family,” said Karah, who, along with their children, will be managing the day-today operations of the barn. “With pullets, we’re looking at between 1 to 1.5 hours of chores per day, which is doable for me and the kids.” When it comes to livestock production, the goal is always to keep animals comfortable. That means supplying food and water, and keeping them at the right temperature with the right lighting. The new barn is equipped with the latest in automation to operate the barn’s tunnel ventilation, water system, feed system and lighting. A unique design feature is the barn’s cement floor, which allows for easy cleaning.

Jason and Karah Perdue and their children – Bennett, Lane, Annah and Jase.

The barn will also bring benefits to the entire community. All of the feedstuffs required to feed the birds will be sourced through the local cooperative’s feed mill. This includes about 20,000 bushels of corn, 140 tons of soybean meal and 45 tons of dried distillers’ grain every year. It also provides their children a potential project for FFA and an extra income source later in life. “We really look at it as somewhat of a community project,” said Jason.

*A similar article appeared on on February 3, 2017.

In The Communities

AUGUST 2017 P.31


Meet Hugoton, Kansas, Sales Representative Greg Sohm. Not only is this longtime rural Kansas resident devoted to serving his Wilbur-Ellis customers, he owns an unwavering commitment as a volunteer firefighter, a member of the Kansas Incident Management Team (IMT) and trainer of future firefighters as a certified instructor.

helped respond to the Starbuck fire with hoses, nozzles and a 1,200-gallon trailer filled with water. “Having a big support system is essential. Fire affects the whole community,” he said. Since joining the Wilbur-Ellis team three years ago, he’s recruited other employees to help.

In early March 2017, as wildfires ravaged dry, windswept fields He’s seen family homes and farms destroyed and people and plains in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, Greg was called to killed by fire and smoke. His advice to everyone is “never get in front of a moving fire – even if you think you have action – multiple times. the time to do something like save personal belongings. “The initial two hours of a fire are the most critical,” the 30The fire moves quicker than you think it does and you can year volunteer firefighter explained. get trapped.” On March 6, Greg was first called to help extinguish a Stevens County fire that destroyed 160 acres. Later that day he was called to assist at a Seward County fire where three houses and 25,000 acres were destroyed. “With all that going on, I was not able to respond as an IMT at the Clark County fire.” That fire, later labeled the Starbuck fire, destroyed some 500,000 acres, several homes and livestock. “In rural areas like mine, the two limiting factors are manpower and water,” he said, adding that Wilbur-Ellis

High praise for Greg comes from Wilbur-Ellis EHSS Manager George Lundberg: “As a retired firefighter, I know how much dedication is needed to keep up your skills for firefighting, let alone being on an incident management team, certified trainer and have a full-time job. I’m very proud to have Greg and the many other volunteer firefighters working for WilburEllis. Having employees with emergency response experience in our time of need helps our people, property and the communities we serve stay safe. They are true heroes.” By Christine Hansberry, Agribusiness Communications Manager

In The Communities

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LOCAL BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT NAMED AFTER DECEASED WILBUR-ELLIS EMPLOYEE Jim Ernst, a former PCA for Wilbur-Ellis Agribusiness, passed away on March 14, 2016, at a home he built in Colusa, California. During his lifetime, Jim was very involved in the Colusa community. From helping anonymously finance kids’ attendance to camp to coaching various sports, Jim was a man with a giant heart when it came to kids. To honor Jim, Colusa High School recently changed the name of its annual girls’ basketball tournament to the Jim Ernst Memorial Basketball Tournament, with 2017 marking the 2nd annual tournament under this new name.

Jim and his wife, Pam, married for 48 years, received the Golden Apple Award at Colusa High School for supporting high school students in all endeavors. “Early in our marriage I made Jim promise me that he would retire when he turned 70. He kept that promise even though he loved his job, till we went to Montana,” said Pam Ernst. “He fell back in love with fly fishing, fly tying and meeting new friends. Agriculture was never far from his mind when we were in Montana. He would always check the fields of sugar beets, sunflowers and wheat.”


Connell Brothers happily supports the communities it serves and recently gave a $10,000 USD ($12,511 AUD) grant to the Geebung Special School in Australia to rebuild the outdoor space on its Early Childhood Development and Special Education (ECDP) playground. The poor condition of the playground left it out

of commission for the past year. Using the grant, the school has been able to rebuild the pergola structure and apply rubber flooring to the concrete area to make it a much safer and more comfortable learning and play area. The newly insulated roof provides a much welcome relief from the heat of

the day and a safe place for children to spend more time outside engaging in learning and play activities. Not stopping there, the school also used the grant to purchase new swings and play equipment. Connell Brothers is proud to make an impact in the community.

In The Communities

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OREGON WILDLIFE FOUNDATION IMPACT FUND DONATION In May 2017, Wilbur-Ellis Feed donated $10,000 USD through its Impact Funds program to the Oregon Wildlife Foundation, a charitable organization that receives and distributes funds to various organizations for preservation, restoration and improvement projects throughout the state of Oregon. The Oregon Wildlife Foundation is giving Wilbur-Ellis’ $10,000 USD donation to the Powder Basin Watershed Council to assist with the Lower Clear Creek Restoration Project. Because of Wilbur-Ellis’ generous donation, the Oregon Wildlife Foundation is contributing an additional $5,000 to the Project, as well. The Powder Basin Watershed Council’s mission is, “to promote, restore and enhance the health of our watershed through the cooperation of all stakeholders.” The organization has partnered with six landowners to restore the infrastructure and health of the riparian areas, the interface between land and a river or stream, affected by a flood event that occurred in 2010 in the Halfway, Oregon, area. The Project will focus on a 2-mile section of Clear Creek that is a vital bull trout habitat.

Tim Greseth, Oregon Wildlife Foundation executive director, says, “The exciting thing for the Oregon Wildlife Foundation is to see landowner partnerships emerge, and having WilburEllis’ support will further strengthen these partnerships.” Greseth was very thankful for Wilbur-Ellis’ donation, stating “This is exactly what we love to do—to work with companies who have an interest in a significant project.” Tom Donovan, Wilbur-Ellis Feed financial planning and analysis director, described his excitement for the Project, saying, “The funding provided by Wilbur-Ellis demonstrates what can be accomplished when you tap into resources from many groups to make a meaningful impact. In this case, the cooperation of landowners, Oregon Wildlife Foundation and Wilbur-Ellis will make a real difference restoring the health of Clear Creek.” The Lower Clear Creek Restoration Project is projected to begin summer 2018. Contributed by Lauren Wege, Feed Communications Specialist

Wilbur-Ellis’ $10,000 donation will go toward phase one of the restoration plan, which includes restoration of 0.6 miles of Clear Creek. The plans include revegetation, fencing, fish structures and stabilizing creek banks. Thus, there will be a significant improvement in livestock watering, water quality and critical fish habitats. Feed HR Coordinator Fayley Brosemer, OWF Executive Director Tim Greseth, Feed Director of Financial Planning and Analysis Tom Donovan, Feed President Andrew Loder.


EOTC OTC Chairman Byron Smith (L) receives a check from Irrigon, Oregon, Brand Manager Ray Baker(R).

Ahead of the Umatilla County Fair and Farm-City Rodeo this summer, the Eastern Oregon Trade & Event Center (EOTEC) in Hermiston, Oregon, wanted to ensure it will be able to provide a top-notch venue for visitors and help attract many other new events to the area throughout the year. To help make this possible, Wilbur-Ellis donated $5,000 USD to EOTEC to assist in upgrades to the facility. Once the upgrades are complete, the venue will help serve as a resource and venue for youth involved in 4-H and FFA, as well as being an agricultural focal point for the entire community.

In The Communities

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CYCLONE DEBBIE IMPACT FUND Following the destruction caused by Cyclone Debbie in March 2017 to North Queensland, South Brisbane, Gold Coast and Northern NSW, Connell Brothers immediately donated approximately $8,000 USD ($10,000 AUD) to the Australian Red Cross to assist those suffering personal and financial hardship. The donation was put to great use as Cyclone Debbie has become the most dangerous cyclone to impact Queensland since Cyclone Yasi in 2011 and the deadliest to hit Australia since Cyclone Tracy in 1974.

CONNELL BROTHERS IMPACT FUNDS In 2016, Connell Brothers donated nearly $65,000 to organizations and charities in the Asia-Pacific region. The following were recipients of these Impact Funds: CBC Australia donated $10,000 to the Geebung Special School in Geebung, Queensland. The school caters to primary age kids with special disabilities and the donation was used to make repairs. CBC China donated $6,688 to 1) Shanghai Huge Grace Disabled Children’s Welfare Home 2) New Day Foster Home 3) Stars Youth Development Center. All three advance literacy for students. Donations were used for books, toys and to help organize events. CBC Hong Kong donated $6,410 to the Salvation Army, which is dedicated to sending gifts to the elderly. CBC Indonesia donated $2,575 to the Panti Werdha Kasih Ayah Bunda, which provides medical consultation for those living at the nursing home. CBC Japan donated $3,200 for scholarships for students pursuing chemical-related degrees.

CBC Malaysia donated $6,000 to five separate causes using funds raised from its DOW-sponsored charity golf outing. CBC Philippines donated $5,000 to Power to Play, a U.S. children’s camp based in the Philippines. CBC Taiwan donated $1,840 to the Sunshine Welfare Foundation and members of CBC Taiwan volunteered at the Sunshine Carwash. CBC Taiwan also made a separate donation of $3,125 to a Taiwan-based social welfare foundation. CBC Thailand donated $10,000 to the Bann Thumhin Border Patrol School, to help improve the quality of the school and the education of the students. CBC Vietnam donated $10,000 to the Ho Chi Minh City Child Welfare Foundation, which helps victims of sexual abuse.

TROY HISTORIC SOCIETY IMPACT FUND Wilbur-Ellis Sales Representative Mitchell Renfrow, in Troy, Idaho, personally delivered a $5,000 check to Jack Nelson and the Troy Historic Society to be used for restoration of its new location. We look forward to sharing photos post-renovation.

In The Communities

AUGUST 2017 P.35

The next WilCon Trader will be full of archive articles in honor of the 70th Anniversary of the WilCon Trader.

WILCON ARCHIVE As we continue to celebrate the 70th anniversary of this publication, take a look back at one of our earlier articles from 1949. To access the full issue, please contact FEBRUARY 1949 ISSUE INTERNATIONAL TRADE ORGANIZATION Important measure for furtherance of world trade is ratification of the proposed International Trade Organization Charter by the 81st Congress. In a world where past patterns of trade have been disrupted and many national economies are at a desperately low ebb, the need for cooperative agreement to relax barriers, to avert economic warfare, and to foster an expansion of world trade is increasingly acute. Positive action on a wide scale was required to reverse this trend. However, no one nation could act alone. Roots of the idea were planted when the United Kingdom and the United States signed the Atlantic Charter of 1941, which set forth broad lines of postwar commercial policy. Discussion on the subject was continued with the United Kingdom, Canada, and domestically until the Bretton Woods Conference of 1944, when 44 countries agreed upon the objectives for an international economic policy. Outcome of this conference was the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Finance. To both of these the ITO is to be supplemental in that the Fund and the Bank cannot promote orderly exchange practices and improve financial conditions generally unless countries adopt trading practices that stimulate multilateral trade.

In 1945 the United States proposed the international adoption of certain rules for the conduct of trade and this proposal was taken up by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations in the appointment of a Preparatory Committee of 18 countries to draft a charter for an International Trade Organization. This Committee held three international conferences for this purpose at London, Lake Success, and Geneva in 1946-47. As an immediate measure for easing the problems of restricted trade, the representatives of 23 nations reached agreement at Geneva on a General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) which forwarded a general organization of world commerce. It reduced tariff rates on some items and held others firm against increase for products accounting for more than half the world’s trade. The Agreement brought to a conclusion negotiations of 23 nations belonging to 16 customs areas and representing three-fourths of the world’s trade before the war. Eleven other countries have also signified their intention of subscribing to this agreement.

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Profile for Wilbur-Ellis Company

WilCon Trader - August 2017  

WilCon Trader - August 2017