Congratulations to Logan Clark on being our very first SelectCare Excellence Award recipient!
“I remember we needed to get more caretakers and feed into our Isopork farm, and there was over a foot of snow on the ground and it was still falling,” recalled Jeremiah Hall.
“Our first and only call was to Logan Clark. He had been out pushing snow all evening but he said he would be there to help us as soon as he could. At daylight, he came breaking through the drifts. He got us into the farm, and everyone was so relieved and thankful he was there.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Iowa set a record for rain and snow over the past 12 months—51 inches of precipitation from June 2018 to May 2019. The wettest year the state has seen since 1895, according to the state climatologist. Farmers across the state certainly felt the pain, and Logan Clark was no exception.
Logan was recognized as the very first recipient of Iowa Select Farms’ SelectCare Excellence Award. Nominated by Noel Williams for all of his effort in rescuing farms, trucks, tractors and people from the snow, he was recognized yesterday for a much bigger contribution—his above-and-beyond effort, his positive attitude and quite simply, how much he cares.
Logan joined the Iowa Select Farms’ maintenance team three years ago. He worked for Tracy Borkowski, who has just moved from a sow supervisor to director of maintenance. Logan’s timing was perfect, according to Tracy, who was gearing up to oversee the monumental effort of remodeling the company’s original sow farms to positive filtration and pen gestation.
He needed a right hand man to pull out of day-to-day maintenance and oversee larger, more extensive remodel projects. He saw something in Logan.
Tracy’s gut instinct was right. Dan Dean, director of sow production, said Logan charged ahead and jumped into the remodels without looking back. “This was unchartered territory to say the least,” said Dan. “Our farms went down to the stud walls, then were rebuilt, re-engineered and reconfigured. And we weren’t taking the farms out of production.”
Tracy and Logan jumped right in, divvying up the job sites and responsibilities. Tracy overseeing the north central farms, Logan taking on the northernmost ones—Erikson, Thorsen and Gieger Sow Farms.
“The cool thing about Logan is that he does anything you ask of him, and he gets the work done,” said Dan. “He made sure things were as smooth as they could be for the managers up there, and kept the projects on schedule. He’s someone you really enjoyed working with.”
Last year, Logan again switched gears to help the construction team build new finisher farms. It was a different type of farm, a brand new team and a completely new set of challenges. But Logan took it all in stride. “He coordinated multiple projects, stayed organized and worked really well with our sub-contractors,” said Brian Blumhagen, general manager of New Modern Concepts. “We were grateful for him.”
In December, Logan took on his fourth new role in three years. He was promoted maintenance supervisor working again for Tracy, this time overseeing a team of six.
“What is special about Logan is that we can switch out his job responsibilities, but he never sees it as black and white—he keeps helping people out,” said Tracy.
Brian says he still helps out the NMC construction team a lot. “Logan has a new opportunity and has a team of his own now, but he won’t hesitate to swing into a construction site for us and refill the gas in a pump if he’s closer than we are. That’s the kind of guy he is.”
Logan’s tech team is made up of Ed Read, Jack Clemens, Robert Vera, Brian Nevenhoven, Herb Mittelstadt and Don Stahl. They are responsible for snow removal, mowing, spraying, weed control, environmental operations maintenance and they apply manure out of the high health farms.
You could also say they are the “jack of all trades” team and the first line of defense when something gets stuck in the mud, when farms need dug out and pretty much when anything breaks or doesn’t go according to plan.
Logan says his team gets all of the credit for any recognition he’s getting. “Honestly, these guys have done everything, and I can’t thank them enough for stepping up to the plate when everyone was calling during the blizzard,” said Logan. “They put in long hours and covered all the work while some of us were out plowing. They put in long hours and helped clears roads and driveways, too, and kept everything in this shop going.”
Jack, who has been with the company for 17 years and serves as the team’s historian, said that this past winter without a doubt landed in the top five craziest times for the environmental tech team—begging the question of just how bad Iowa winters can get. “I like having Logan around, he’s good to work with, and easy going.”
Herb, another member of the team, said Logan jumps right in to help people. “That’s a lot of what we do here, the role we play.”
Kerry Sweeney, director of human resources, said people enjoy working with Logan as he brings a positive energy with him wherever he goes. “He lifts people up with his ‘can do’ attitude.”
“I think if you ask anyone what makes Logan good at what he does it’s the fact that he’s a great problem solver,” said Keith Kratchmer, director of nutrient management. There’s never a text book plan for some of the things we run into, but Logan can always figure it out and wants to get the job done right.”
Keith says he’s appreciative of what Logan’s team does for his. “Logan’s our call when we need help cleaning manure and composting structures, and they help with some extra hands during manure application season. “If we need extra labor, Tracy and Logan get it done for us.”
Noel said that even though their shop is tucked away behind New Modern Concepts, this team is central to—and critical to—all of the farms. “There were days when it would have been a heck of a lot easier to give up, to not show up and deal with the snow,” said Noel. “Logan and his team keep us all going. We’re grateful for everything they do.”
Logan and his wife, Lindsi, live outside of Holland, Iowa. His mom, Shelia, was able to attend the celebration. She was accompanied by two very special guests. All three also had things to say about Logan, and they felt right at home amongst his Iowa Select Farms family.
Paislee—the littlest member of the Clark family at age 4—said she appreciates her dad for dancing with her around the kitchen, and making her feel like a princess. She beamed as she watched her dad receive his award.
Stanton—age 8—said his dad works hard at home, too. Stanton says he bales hay, feeds the cows, sheep and horses and helps him with his 4-H exhibits.
Shelia said she’s always been proud of her son. “He’s amazing,” she said through some tears.
Shelia, we couldn’t agree more. Congratulations, Logan, on being our very first SelectCare Excellence Award recipient!