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Career opportunities at cooperatives

Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 10:17 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - During cooperative month, we learned about the kinds of jobs that can be found at coops, and they are jobs that are anchored in rural Nebraska communities.

Taylor Collins is the human resources director with Farmers Cooperative in Dorchester. He says you might not immediately think of it, but cooperatives offer a bright future to those looking for a career. “Just from personal experience being from a small community, I grew up across the street from a grain elevator,” Collins said. “Growing up, I never quite looked at the elevator as a place where I could have a career. Then you start to learn more about cooperatives, the importance of them in small towns, and how large the operation really is. That’s when you start to realize the different avenues that are there.”

Farmers Cooperative is a company with about 600 employees, and the company is in 60 communities throughout southeast Nebraska and northeast Kansas. “With that comes plenty of different departments that we have, and a lot of different opportunities where you could find a career,” Collins said. “From grain marketing, to accounting, to the day-to-day operations that it takes to service our patrons, transportation logistics, you name it, there is a career opportunity at a local cooperative.”

Along with the career opportunities, cooperatives are known to offer good benefits to employees. “Each cooperative has a pretty comprehensive compensation package,” Collins said. “With that comes some unique benefits. There’s what’s called the coop retirement plan. You look at the longevity of some of our employees, and it shows that it’s a good benefit system that sets people up for life. We are always trying to do what we can to provide the most comprehensive benefits we can.”

Another advantage to the career opportunities at cooperatives is the jobs bring people to live in rural Nebraska. Those employees then give back to their towns. “Because we are in all of our rural communities, we see the employees live day in and day out in those communities,” Collins said. “As a company, it’s a core value of ours to give back, too. We’ve had several programs, including backpack programs and food drives. You have employees involved in local fire departments, school boards, and city village boards. Many of the employees are active in helping at county fairs, and we are involved with supporting FFA and 4-H programs in the community. Ultimately, if there is something going on locally, we try to be a part of it.”

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