By Darcie Floyd
My understanding of the agriculture community and industry started from the very beginning. I grew up on a five-acre ranch in Sanger, CA, and participated in non-profit organizations like Girl Scouts and 4-H, which provide hands-on learning and education programs that teach children about responsibility, resiliency, hard work, and other life skills. Being the oldest, I was required to help take care of the various needs of the family ranch. Most of my time was spent dealing with many different animals and my (not so) favorite, walnuts!
There were a few years of walnuts for our family, but I was the most excited when my Dad decided to get rid of all the walnut trees. After years of helping him harvest, I did not want to pick up or de-hull another walnut. As I mentioned, I took care of the many different animals our family had. When I say animals, these were not pets. There were many different animals during those years: Lynx cats, exotic birds, rabbits, and goats, to name a few. In fact, I won best meat pen for my rabbits at the fair one year.
The type of work you have to do on a ranch definitely teaches you the value of a day’s work. Animals are depending on you for food and clean water and the walnuts, well, they don’t de-hull themselves! All in all, living and working on a ranch taught me so many life lessons, and it was always a family affair.
Being a woman who grew up in agriculture, and now works to provide employee benefits to those who work in agriculture, really gives me an interesting perspective on the community and industry as a whole. Employee benefits are such an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to making sure your hard-working employees are healthy and protected. They are continuously changing, but also staying the same. There are so many different products and services to choose from and yet, the end goal is always the same—to provide a quality employee benefits package. Employers are spending a great deal of time and resources to provide a package to their employees, so it is my job to make sure our clients get nothing but the very best and most current options.
I have always believed in order to bring value to a client, you first must listen and learn what the client needs. Even though agriculture is one industry, the human resource and employee needs of those companies within the industry vary. As I’ve serviced clients at Western Growers Insurance Services (WGIS), I’ve come to realize that their varying needs come with the same goal—wanting to offer a benefits package that is competitive and viewed as a benefit by the employee. To bring that right solution, one must learn about the company and its employees. In those moments, I believe my upbringing and background experience really come into play.
If there is one thing that WGIS offers in their products and services that people typically don’t know, it’s our incredible people. I think they are our greatest asset. Everyone genuinely cares about our members and are always looking to bring innovative solutions to our clients.
After discussing my background and view on the ever-evolving world of employee benefits, I would like to leave you with one last reminder—treat others how you want to be treated. Now I’m sure we’ve all heard this before but this mantra is something I take with me everywhere. From first meetings with clients to helping find their ideal business solution. It is so important to connect on a personal level, and to show that we are in this together.