Key Cooperative welcomes Jim Hawkins as Feed Manager
July 31, 2017
By Sara Clausen, Director of Communications
Next time you’re out on the road, pay attention to the semi-trucks passing by. There’s no doubt, you will see a Key Cooperative feed truck. Nearly 40 Key Cooperative feed trucks pull in and out of the Grinnell Feed Mill and an additional 5 from the Gilbert Mill every day. The challenges of managing a feed mill operation may be great but for decades, animal feed production has been a strong, successful core business unit at Key.
This July, Jim Hawkins was invited to take on a new leadership role at Key. Assuming the role of Feed Manager, Jim took over the reins from long time manager, Rick Weigel as he moved into a field marketing position with Key. “I accepted this challenge because I want to continue to grow the profitable volume at the feed mill,” said Jim, “I’ve been in this role before but this is an excellent opportunity to advance within our company and specialize even more in the feed area.”
Born in Craig, IA, Jim grew up and worked on the farm alongside his grandfather and father. Following graduation from Iowa State University with a degree in Ag Business, Jim started his career as a livestock production specialist for Land O’Lakes in Rock Rapids, IA. “The local coop was always an impressive business and Land O’Lakes was a business partner our farm worked with so the position was a good fit,” said Jim. He later went on to learn more about operations working for a coop in Nebraska. Jim spent a great career at Farmers Coop in Dike, IA where he served as the feed department manager/location manager for an impressive 18 years.
In 2008, Jim joined the Key Cooperative team purchasing all the feed ingredients and retail products for the company. “I’ve been a coop guy my entire life,” said Jim, “Employees and customers working together towards common goals is what the coop model is all about and I like that.”