Like many people who work at Seaboard Foods, Cristian R., pictured left, is a second-generation employee. When the Guymon, Okla., born and raised team member was young, his dad and two uncles, all had worked at Seaboard Foods and had been happy here for more than 53 years collectively.
"The life my dad built by working here, allowing him to own his house and cars, made his life stable. I thought if he's been here so long, it's got to be a great company," says the farm operations market selector.
It was then that Cristian, a high school sophomore who needed a summer job, began working as an animal caretaker on a sow farm in Cell 4 near Guymon, Okla. He liked the job and his co-workers, but he saw another path for his future and tried one year in college. When that didn't work out, he sought to build a career at Seaboard Foods as his family members did, permanently entering the "family business."
Why do so many families and family members work at Seaboard Foods? It is the largest employer in nearly all the areas where they operate making the company the best job opportunity for people who want to make a good wage with benefits and stay close to family.
"Many people I interact with tell me they see the opportunity Seaboard Foods has provided for their parents or family member, so they want to be a part of that and have the same opportunities. People are thankful for the opportunities here," said Alaina S., talent acquisition and recruiting manager.
While the company doesn't track the number of families and family members employed here, Alaina explains Seaboard Foods actively recruits new employees from employees' personal networks rewarding them with the employee referral bonus. The company pays $1,000 to employees who refer others after their referral has been with the company for six months. Cristian, who believes the referral bonus is a good incentive to attract new, reliable employees, referred his friend who has worked here for two years.
"There are so many family members working here because people hear family talking about the good pay and benefits, but mostly because the management treats them with respect and tries to help employees with their careers," adds Cristian.
Geraldine S., pictured right on the far left, was also in high school when she became a "PT kid," a part-time employee, at Seaboard Foods. Her motivation was to work to save enough money to buy a car.
Her mother, Elizabeth M., pictured above right on the right, a 26-year veteran animal caretaker utility in Perryton, Texas, told her if she wanted a car she would need to get a job, and advised her to work at the farms to earn extra money. The job was good, and the company was stable, and she could choose from many positions here.
"Mom and I love animals – pigs, dogs, cats and horses. She knew I would enjoy working with the animals here. She also knew I wanted to be a teacher or a vet. I've been able to do both -- work with animals and teach people as a trainer," said Geraldine.
But Geraldine wanted more. She wanted to finish college and left to work for another company gaining experience in farrowing, breeding, and in farm management. Geraldine, animal operations trainer supervisor in Guymon, Okla., was able to combine her love of animals and passion for educating people when her supervisor from the other company got a job at Seaboard Foods, and recruited her back to the company she now calls home.
"The company has watched me grow up. I've learned so much outside of a textbook. As a manager, I was trained by my supervisors while I was on the job. They were invested in me doing well and developing a career. They have helped me critique myself to become a better supervisor," credits Geraldine.
Elizabeth, the mother of three and a grandmother of six children, is grateful to have supported her family by working with the animals she loves so much. She influenced her daughter's career choice because the company could provide her with many diverse career opportunities. Seaboard Foods has allowed her daughter to reach her potential in a wide variety of positions, advance her career and education, and has given her the chance to use her bilingual skills on the job.
The company has provided Elizabeth the opportunity to reach the potential she saw for herself. She also believes the company has done the same for her daughter as well as other young employees starting with the company.
"We are the boss of our lives, and good things happen when we set goals for ourselves. You have to be motivated to want more. You have to push yourself and others around you to want more. Let people know they can advance at Seaboard Foods," said Elizabeth.