Dean and Sandy Runde Presented With Q4 Select Care Excellence Award!
“When you need help or a hand with something, you call the Rundes.” We would tell you who said that, except that is was at least ten different people, and we’re sure if we asked others about Dean and Sandy Runde, they would say the same.
Last week, more than 75 Iowa Select Farms employees gathered at the Riceville Community Center to honor (and surprise!) the Rundes, who have been contract growers with Iowa Select Farms for more than 20 years, with the Q4 Select Care Excellence Award.
“Recognition of our people, and the efforts they make day in and day out, is important,” said Noel Williams, Iowa Select Farms COO. “The Select Care Excellence Award was started to recognize individuals who embody and promote our SelectCare™ pillars—people care, animal care, environmental care and community care.”
Natives of Riceville, Dean and Sandy have been married for 32 years and are active members of the community. They are third generation farmers and their children, Alan (Abby) and Tami are also very involved in the family’s farming operation.
According to Allen Whiley, Director of Grow-Finish, the Rundes are a vital part of the Iowa Select Farms family.
“Whether we’re having issues due to snow storms or need a truck pulled out, the Rundes are the first ones we call when there's a problem,” he said. “They care about their pigs, our people and the community. They’re always willing to help whenever and wherever needed.”
Chawn McGrath recalls moving to Riceville and needing a place to live. “The first bit of advice I received was to call Dean Runde,” he recalled. “I didn’t know him at the time, but he picked me up that same day, took me around town, made some phone calls and by the end of the day, I had a place to live. I was a stranger to him at the time, but he didn’t hesitate to help me out.”
Sow Farm Manager, Mary Kraft, is grateful for all the Rundes do for her farm team, family and entire community. “Riceville is a close-knit community and that’s because of people like the Rundes,” she said. “They are genuinely some of the nicest, most generous people I’ve ever met. It doesn’t matter the time of day or weather outside. If you call them needing help, they act like they were expecting your call all along.”
But it’s not just Iowa Select Farms’ employees that the Rundes are always helping out. In 2015 they started a food truck that benefits local organizations like the Riceville Fire Department, Kiwanis and Riceville First, an organization that supports the school.
“They just give and give and when you think they couldn’t possible give anymore, they surprise you with their generosity,” said Betsy Morse, Riceville Public Library Director. “They let us use their food truck for an event. The surprise came when they covered all costs and donated proceeds to the library. They never ask for recognition, anything, they just give. They’re amazing.”
Jen Sorenson, Iowa Select Farms Communicators Director, recalls the first time she heard about the Rundes, “I got wind of a local farmer in Riceville who did us a big favor and our team asked if I could take their photo,” she said. “The farmer had heard that the manufacturer we had for dead carts, of all things, couldn’t get them fabricated. So, he donated the metal to the Riceville shop class and they cranked them out for us. I remember thinking, ‘who would do that for us?’ Of course, it was the Runde family.”
Since then, the Rundes have helped Iowa Select Farms establish the CommunityCare grant program that has donated $200,000 to nonprofits and community groups around Riceville, find housing for employees, connected us to organizations and people throughout the community and volunteered for Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation events in the area.
They’ve always been great advocates for the area’s farmers and work hard to have positive and productive conversations about agriculture.
“Dean and Sandy teach us how to be compassionate, thoughtful and offer kindness to people who need help,” Jen continued. “And I think we all know they aren’t going to like being in the limelight and will try to shift the recognition to anyone but themselves, but I can’t think of any family more deserving.”
The Select Care Excellence was put in place to recognize outstanding individuals like Dean, Sandy, Alan, Abby and Tami Runde. We couldn’t be more grateful for their family and the impact they’ve made, and will continue to make, on Iowa Select Farms.