From ‘Farm Kid’ to Loader: David Enjoys Helping Feed America

As a “farm kid,” David takes an immense amount of pride in his role in helping to feed the country, and the world.

“My mom and dad still farm to this day. And just to think that my small piece can help put food on the table for America, that’s kind of a cool thought, you know?” said David, a loader at Tessenderlo Kerley’s plant in Coffeyville, Kansas.

David is the last in a long line of quality control checkers in Coffeyville. He loads Tessenderlo Kerley’s liquid fertilizers onto rail cars and ensures the safety and security of those products on their journey to distributors and growers.

“All the work that goes into it, from maintenance to operations – our rail car loaders are the last line of seeing what we send out before it goes to a customer,” David said. “There are a lot of little steps that go into it, and they’re all important.

During his eight-plus years in Coffeyville, David has gotten to know his coworkers outside of the Coffeyville plant. It’s one of his favorite things about working for Tessenderlo Kerley.

“I really do enjoy working around a good group of guys,” he said. “We’re friends. We’re going hunting together, going fishing together. The main thing is we just really work together, and work as a team really well.”

The loader position isn’t always an 8-to-5 job, but David said his management team in Coffeyville has worked with him to establish a healthy work-life balance, which allows him to be a fantastic husband, and an awesome dad to his three young children.

“Management has really worked with me,” he said. “This job’s just been really great. Being able to provide for my family, and the schedule works out well for me – that’s a good thing.”

David loves what he does, and he says there’s something new to learn every day. And if he decides he wants to take on new challenges at Tessenderlo Kerley, he knows he’ll have the opportunity to do so.

“Almost everybody at this plant has started by loading,” he said. “If you want to move up, just apply yourself. You really have a lot of opportunity here. It’s kind of wherever you want to go with it.”