Who Grows Our Forage?
We had the opportunity to chat with Jason Stanger, our Vice President of Standlee Ag Resources, who shared his favorite experience of this time of year, along with the biggest challenge.
Getting back into the fields and out the office is something he really looks forward to. Jason mentioned, “the best thing you can put on the field or crops is your shadow.” Being present and constantly aware of plant growth, moisture availability, equipment servicing and more, is the all-encompassing purpose of quality and what it means to provide the best to animals across the country and world-wide.
Farming is never without its challenges. Weather is a beast that can rarely be predicted and never tamed. Putting our “shadow” on the fields grants us the ability to control all that is within our means to help ease that pressure felt from volatile weather.
A common question these days is where our food comes from, but what about where your animal’s food comes from? Derek is our Farm Manager of one of four Standlee Farms that we wanted to introduce you to. Day in and day out, as the extending sunlight offers more hours (and then there are tractor lights when daylight runs out), he is one of our many Standlee farm employees that puts in long hours, often long nights, waiting for the conditions to be right to grow and harvest high quality forage. We’re feeding pets, loyal companions and family members with our products, so we’re committed and determined to always be our best, and better than we were yesterday.
Get to Know One of Our Farm Managers
Derek Bates is our Blue Gulch Farm Manager who has farmed his entire life. He was born and raised on a farm, and it’s evident in value he holds for the lifestyle and importance of what it provides.
Q: What is your favorite part of your workday?
A: It is the morning at sunrise. I feel like you can watch the farm “wake up” with all the new energy sunlight brings. Also, it is awesome to meet with the team in the morning, everyone is ready to jump all over the new daily tasks.
Q: What do you feel most proud of?
A: The daily grind we all commit to for Standlee Ag. I love that we all dive in together and do whatever it takes daily to provide a quality product at harvest. That is what it’s all about.
Q: Why do you farm? What does it mean to you?
A: There are daily challenges to face that some people may never experience. Some may call me crazy, but I love facing something new. No two days are ever the same. I genuinely love all the ups and downs farming brings. There is a satisfaction I get out of farming that I have never gotten anywhere else.
Q: What does quality mean to you?
A: Quality is the drive for perfection. I wouldn’t want to bring anything less than the best home for my family or animals. So, the mindset we have on the farm is “How can we provide the highest quality product to our consumers?”
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
A: I’m a big farm geek, and I haven’t made it to the Midwest. I would love to travel the corn belt to see the massive, open fields. Just to be able to take in a part of agriculture I love.
There is a reason we choose the lifestyle that we do. Whether we have a heart for the horse we started riding at the ripe age of 2 years old, to the rescue we saved who is 29 with very few teeth left, to the Ameraucana chicks we just picked up during Chick Days, or we’re on the other side of committing long hours on a tractor, providing the nourishment and comfort to these animals – giving ourselves and our skills to support and care for others is what we live for.
What’s your story? Why do you live the lifestyle that you do?