Published on Friday, December 1, 2017
Beck’s follows the hiring philosophy of “get the right people on the bus,” and then “get people into the right seat on the bus”. It isn’t unusual for employees to enter new roles in various departments as they grow and change throughout their career. Employee development is one of the six defining objectives for 2017 set forth by leadership at the State of the Company address last spring. Bill Freitag’s recent move closer to his family in Minnesota, and transition from production to sales, is a great example of an employee finding the right seat on the bus with Beck’s.
In February of 2008, Bill Freitag was looking for a new job in central Indiana and happened to come across information about Beck’s Hybrids. He did some research and realized that Beck’s would suit his professional goals and be a good fit for his family’s values. It wasn’t long before Bill was full-time employee number 120-something and reporting to work with Erich Hassler (chemical and fertilizer manager) in the chemical shed.
“I did not know anything about seed corn production when I started, but I had a lot of great teachers,” Bill said. “Everyone was 100 percent devoted to the process, so it was easy to be a part of that team and to learn quickly.”
One lesson Bill learned was from Glendia Beck when she and Bill were riding with Sonny scouting production fields. Turns out, she knew that when Sonny is focused on scouting, the passengers would do well to avail themselves of the safety handles inside the truck, lest they be jostled during a cross-field gallivant. It is a lesson Bill has not forgotten!
Bill spent three years operating sprayers and other production equipment before moving into the Production team as Assistant Production Manager. That role evolved into Atlanta Farm Manager. A major differentiator for the Beck’s business model is that we are a land-based seed company. The Beck family farm raises about 70 percent of the corn that we sell. Bill Freitag has played a big part in keeping production efficiency high so that Beck’s can continue to deliver high quality seed at competitive prices.
Bill’s loyalty to Beck’s developed as his roles continued to evolve and the company grew. Sustainable work-life balance also played a major part. “Beck’s becomes a family and almost like a home. At the same time, Beck’s supports the family system and getting home as often as we can to spend time with our families,” Bill added.
When Beck’s announced an expanded marketing area to include southern Minnesota, Bill felt the draw of going home. Bill said this of the move “…there was just a huge pull for me to get up here and share the story, and spread the culture, and spread the success to farmers in the area that I grew up around.” Beck’s doesn’t produce seed corn in Minnesota, so moving home meant a major career move for Bill. He decided to take on the new challenge and accepted a sales role that started in early November. He is already learning, “that there are a lot of great salespeople in this area that people are buying from already, but I’m not too worried because we’ve got great products, a great program and a great company backing us.”
Bill is looking forward to mastering his new role and watching Beck’s continue to grow. He has this advice for those looking to join the Beck’s team, “Beck’s has a pretty grueling interview process to make sure we get the right people on the team. Be ready for some tough questions, but also be sure you ask us tough questions. We really need to get to know each other so we’ve got nothing but the best people aboard.” He attributes Beck’s historical success to a simple formula, “we work really hard, we make great decisions, we work as a team, and I think we hire great people.”
It is clear that Bill will be an integral part of building on Beck’s success in the upper Midwest. From everyone here at Beck’s, we wish you all the best for a successful new chapter in your career. Enjoy being closer to your family, time at church with your wife Christine and, of course, catching a few walleyes when you have a chance.
Author: Samantha Miller
Categories: We Are Beck's
Tags: Beck's Blog, Beck's Hybrids, Samantha Miller, We Are Beck's, Employee Spotlight, Bill Freitag