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First Cooperative Association

Join the FCA Team!

Do you have a passion for agriculture and the rural lifestyle?

First Cooperative Association (FCA) is looking for people who enjoy working with farmers, are motivated to excel, demonstrate a commitment to get the job done, and are willing to learn new skills.

The fact that we have many long-time employees says a lot about the advantages of working for FCA, which is known for being a progressive company that’s focused on the future.

If you enjoy rural, small-town living with big-city employment benefits, we can offer that.  For more information on employment opportunities at FCA, contact Laura Sangwin:


                       
Human Resources Manager
Phone: 888-216-1647
Email: lsangwin@firstcoop.com


Click here to see Current Job Openings

Click here to complete an application online.
Click here to download an employment application.

Benefits
  • Excellent Pre-Tax Health Insurance Program
  • Life Insurance
  • Dental, Vision, AFLAC Supplemental Available
  • Pre-Tax Cafeteria Plan
  • 401K Plan (Roth or Tax Deferred)
  • Defined Benefit Retirement Plan
  • Employee Profit Sharing Bonus Plan
  • Sick Leave, Vacation, Paid Holidays, Personal Day
  • Company Provided Short-Term & Long-Term Disability
  • Employee Discounts
  • Apparel Program
  • Employee Assistance Program 

 

Employees thoughts on working for FCA 

 

Kara Cowlham - Holstein Grain and Agronomy Administration 

 

What is your ag background?  The passion for agriculture was passed down through both sides of my family.  I attended Kirkwood Community College where I got my Associate’s degree in Agricultural Geospatial Technology.  I found a job right out of college working for a local John Deere dealership as an Integrated Solutions Specialist and then joined the FCA team. I’m currently taking classes online at Colorado State University to finish up my Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Business.  


What do you like about the cooperative system? 
I like that it truly is a “system” or a network of people all working together.  I get to work with some great people that help the work and day to day business go a lot smoother.  Everyone is willing to help out and teach the next person the skills needed so we are more knowledgeable and to better benefit our customers.  The day wouldn’t be as enjoyable though if it wasn’t for the customers I get to work with.  Many of the customers are much more than someone that comes in to do business, they are also friends. They might be coming in to discuss the grain markets, order feed, get agronomy maps printed off but they will also sit down and talk with you about life and what has been going on in the world.  

What attracted you to First Cooperative Association? 
FCA has a very impressive list of benefits that they offer to their employees.  They have many different options that accommodate any employee no matter what stage of life they are in.  It says a lot about a company that offers that many great benefits.  You can tell FCA takes a lot of pride in their employees and values them.   
 
What can customers expect from you? 
A friendly smile.  A couple of the customers even have started calling me Smiley.  I’m very much a people person and a problem solver.  I enjoy helping people in any way I can.  If there’s anything I can help out with, just ask!  If I don’t know the answer I can help find you the answer or direct you to the person that might.  

What is your role at FCA? 
My main job roles include buying grain and making contracts for grain that comes into the Holstein location. I also take care of the “indoor” work for the agronomy department.  I bill out any agronomy business that happens out of Holstein and help keep inventory on track.  I also assist with making maps, formulations and prescriptions recommended by our agronomist and seed salesmen we have in Holstein. My favorite part of my job is being in charge of Feeder Finance customers for FCA.  I make sure all the correct paperwork and payments are where they need to be for this program.

Editor's note:  With the busy times in agriculture being spring and fall Kara’s hobbies are in the off seasons.  The summers are filled with attending local county fairs tractor pulls with their family’s Red, White and Pink 1066 International tractor but once there is snow on the ground, snowmobiling season starts.  They always hope there is enough snow to ride locally but if not trips to South Dakota, Wyoming, and hopefully someday Colorado, Wisconsin and Michigan get planned. 
 

 

 Intern Questionnaire

Name: Chad Steven Pratt Hometown: Remsen, Iowa

College: Iowa State University Year of College: Senior this fall in Agronomy

Hobbies: Farmin’, hanging with friends, basketball
 


Ag Background thru parents or other relative. Tell a little bit of how you became interested and your experience in agriculture. What are your career goals?
I grew up helping my dad on our family farm that is located between Remsen and Kingsley. I got my love with agriculture through working on the farm and at ISU. After my first semester of being at ISU, I realized I liked plants a little more than animals which is why I pursued Agronomy. Since I grew up in agriculture, I decided to stay in that field of work. 

What have been some of your experiences and responsibilities with this internship?
I have had some amazing experiences working in the agronomy department at First Co-op in Kingsley, Iowa this summer. I have done a number a of different jobs during my time here which include scouting fields for weeds and insects, communicating and making recommendations for farmers, and preparing chemicals for the sprayers.

How would you describe your internship experience to another student? Why would you recommend this internship to another student?
It’s fast paced in the spring and everyday can pose a different challenge. It’s exciting to see how the crops grow and change every day. I recommend this internship because you stay busy doing a number of different jobs and you get to network with so many different people.  

What qualities does this internship require?
Work ethic and communication is key. If you don’t like to work, this job/internship isn’t for you; this line of work is fast paced and keeping up with it can be stressful. Communicating is also very important not only with your farmers but also your co-workers. Since I grew up around here it was very easy for me to relate to a lot of the farmers that we (First Co-op) work with every day.

Describe how your mentors or supervisor influenced your internship experience.
I grew up around the people that I work with now so that transition to me working here was very easy. All the people have influenced me in their own way to make me the intern/worker I am today. 

What is your favorite memory from your internship?
I have had a lot of fun memories from this internship this summer. The best one however is driving to Huxley in what seemed to be a small hurricane, I also got a great opportunity to meet the other interns. We all get along very well and have some funny moments together.

What have you learned during this internship and how will this benefit you in your future?
This internship has taught me a variety of skills. I have strengthened my communication skills while meeting different people. Networking will always benefit you. I have taken what I have learned in the classroom and applied it to the hands-on tasks I do every day. Even though this can be a very fast paced line of work, I have learned a lot of patience dealing with different kinds of people. This internship has made me a better person and the person I am today.
 

 

 


  

 

 

 

A Minute with Laurie Stone, Marathon Location

February 2014

When Laurie Stone joined First Cooperative Association (FCA) in 1987, Marathon was the corporate headquarters for the co-op, which included locations in Laurens, Webb, Linn Grove, and Peterson.

Today, the Marathon team has 13 employees.  The one thing, over all these years, that has not changed is the way Laurie and her co-workers put customers' needs first.

​​Q: What's a typical work day for you?

A: When I started 27 years ago, I was a secretary, now I am a bookkeeper.  I also take customers' fuel and propane orders and handle various jobs around the office.

Q: What do you like about FCA?

​A: I love the people.  I know most of our customers by name, and I appreciate their honesty, integrity, and friendliness.  We have a great team here at Marathon, too.  We're like a big family, which makes it fun.

Q: How do you spend your time outside of work?

A: I enjoy spend time with my husband, Bruce, who farms in the area. We travel a lot to visit our two children and seven grandchildren. Our daughter, Heather Jo, and her family live in Virginia. Our son, Brian, and his family live in Colorado Springs. When I'm at home, I enjoy entertaining and working on puzzles to relax. Bruce and I also serve as treasurers the local Marathon to Marathon race.

A Minute with Laurie Stone, Marathon Location

February 2014

When Laurie Stone joined First Cooperative Association (FCA) in 1987, Marathon was the corporate headquarters for the co-op, which included locations in Laurens, Webb, Linn Grove, and Peterson.

Today, the Marathon team has 13 employees.  The one thing, over all these years, that has not changed is the way Laurie and her co-workers put customers' needs first.

​​Q: What's a typical work day for you?

A: When I started 27 years ago, I was a secretary, now I am a bookkeeper.  I also take customers' fuel and propane orders and handle various jobs around the office.

Q: What do you like about FCA?

​A: I love the people.  I know most of our customers by name, and I appreciate their honesty, integrity, and friendliness.  We have a great team here at Marathon, too.  We're like a big family, which makes it fun.

Q: How do you spend your time outside of work?

A: I enjoy spend time with my husband, Bruce, who farms in the area. We travel a lot to visit our two children and seven grandchildren. Our daughter, Heather Jo, and her family live in Virginia. Our son, Brian, and his family live in Colorado Springs. When I'm at home, I enjoy entertaining and working on puzzles to relax. Bruce and I also serve as treasurers the local Marathon to Marathon race.