For Jeff Rocke, education – inside and in the field – sets Jenner Ag apart from the rest. “When I started, I knew nothing,” says Jeff Rocke Senior Account Manager. “There was always somebody at Jenner Ag who had the answer and was willing to help me – there still is. That’s what makes Jenner Ag such a successful company; they create an environment where their employees are a family by encouraging them to work together and meet goals as a team.”
Jeff says the culture is like no other, and keeping promises to customers is non-negotiable. “One of the things I have taken away from Jenner Ag culture is ‘Be your word,’” he says. “Our CEO has said that; my superiors have said that, time and time again. It’s what we strive for.”
And being able to keep your word to customers isn’t a one-person job, says Jeff. “When I’m the only person from Jenner Ag that customers see out in the field, they expect those promises I made them to be kept,” he says. “Having people around me that help me to be my word and other employees that are their word makes it easier to do a quality job and keep those promises.”
It’s not just a sale, he says, it’s the start of a relationship. “We do a good job of building relationships with customers. I can sell anybody a machine one time, but if everybody in the company doesn’t take care of that customer from Sales to Parts, Service, Accounting and Administration, and we don’t value their relationship with us, I won’t ever sell them another machine,” Jeff says. “It’s the customer satisfaction that allows us to know it’s not just selling this machine; it’s when 10 years down the road they need another machine, they look to us versus competitors because we valued their relationship.”
Maintaining relationships with customers is possible in large part because of the transparency Jenner Ag offers, Jeff explains. “We always know where the company is at financially; we always know the goals we are striving to hit,” he says. “The transparency is something I don’t think you find anywhere else. You don’t have a clue what the company is up to at a lot of places; previous employers that I had don’t set goals for what you need to hit at the end of each quarter or year. Once you understand the culture and why we do things the way we do, it’s the greatest learning experience. You’ll never find another company that matches what we do.”
Weston Stork, Field Service Technician, is a proud five-year member of Jenner Nation at our Jenner Precision location. “We have a great environment here at Jenner Ag; whenever a new employee starts, they talk about how their old bosses or fellow employees could be aggressive and hard to get along with. You just don’t hear of that happening here; all the managers encourage us to communicate with them and each other,” says Weston.
With Jenner Ag having three separate locations covering different aspects of the industry, it’s important to stay connected. “Just last week I worked with a fellow employee located out of our Harristown office. We were working on a sprayer that was running both application and precision equipment; without both of us there offering our specific expertise, it wouldn’t have gone as smoothly,” he says.
“Jenner Ag encourages all of us to meet our full potential, both individually and as a unit. Since my employment at Jenner Ag began, I have been encouraged to step outside of my shell. I have been told that just because I have a certain job title doesn’t mean that particular skillset is all I can offer the company,” Weston says.
He adds that one aspect of Jenner Ag that allows all three locations to run as a cohesive team is the fact that Jenner Ag plays the Great Game of Business (GGOB). “Other companies in the agriculture industry don’t play the GGOB; that is one of the things that sets us apart,” he says. “The Game brings a level of transparency that creates an open flow of information. We see the financials of the company; we know what upper management is doing with income. It creates an accountability, but it also creates a bond.” A bond that Weston says helps every member of that team work together as one.
When you work at a company that practices transparency the way Jenner Ag does, you need someone to help communicate one of the basic building blocks of any company: the financials. Melissa Koehler is one of the many members of Jenner Nation who share their knowledge with associates, so everyone can understand and be empowered to think and act as owners.
As Corporate Controller, Melissa works closely with the financials of the company. “Coming from an accounting firm, I had a hard time at first explaining to people how to look at tax codes or work with the numbers on their own, and working at Jenner Ag, I learned how to communicate and relay my knowledge in a way other people can understand,” says Melissa.
“Jenner Ag has helped me learn how to effectively teach and share my knowledge with the associates about what the numbers mean and how they can affect those numbers every day. Associates are always eager to learn about the financials and striving to gain that knowledge to better understand the numbers.”
Knowledge sharing just is one of the ways Jenner Ag brings its associates together, Melissa says. Having different departments’ team members interact and discuss ideas on what we can do to maintain and improve the numbers is always something a company should encourage.
“It’s a culture of growth and knowledge sharing. I believe it brings out leadership in everyone. Not just the managers; it gives everyone the tools it takes to be a leader, myself included,” says Melissa.
Parts Director Jessica Armentrout has not only worked for Jenner Ag for a decade, she’s become a key component of the culture. Jessica is a part of the Jenner Ag Team, who through hard work and determination has made her way from Application parts specialist to leading the Ag Group’s parts department and has continued to strive to make Jenner Ag one of those extraordinary places to work. “Not many people can say that they wake up and have a place that makes them want to go into to work,” says Jessica. “Everybody at Jenner Ag is like a family, all working towards a common goal.”
She says one of the practices that makes Jenner Ag the company it has become is playing The Great Game of Business, an employee empowerment program and business driver. “We are taught to think and act like an owner. You can choose to go work and just do your job and perform while constantly going to the boss and asking for specific answers, or you can allow this game to teach you to think on your own and be a person to make decisions and understand why that decision is important. You learn how you can affect that bottom dollar each day,” Jessica says.
This practice helps each member of the company understand what is happening and how they can make an impact going forward. The Great Game of Business keeps employees well informed on the ins and outs of the company. “We all know day to day what we need to be focusing on, and that keeps everyone aligned on the same page. Jenner Ag keeps you in the loop, and this helps the employees stay interested in the company’s goals,” says Jessica.
Jessica says that after her years spent with Jenner Ag, the best advice she could give a new team member would be get involved and make yourself a part of the family. It will help you in your day-to-day activities. She believes Jenner Ag striving for each member of the team to be able to participate in various aspects of the company is what makes them a top contender in the agriculture world. “Jenner Ag isn’t like most normal companies; they choose not to keep you in the dark about what is happening,” Jessica says . “They want you to be aware, so you can make a difference.”
Working for Jenner Ag means you aren’t just an employee; you are the face of a nation—Jenner Nation. A company that is constantly working to better its employees lives and careers. It’s one of the many reasons Jeff Reeter, Service Director, has worked at Jenner Ag for nine years. Jeff started as a shop tech and worked his way up to shop foreman. For the last seven years, he has been Service Director.
Jeff wants people to know that Jenner Nation is more than just words; it’s a way of business. “We work together as one to support customers across all product lines,” says Jeff. “It’s a great feeling to know that we don’t have to tell a customer we can only work on one piece of equipment – we can work on everything he has. We are the ag people you want to deal with,” says Jeff.
He says the open-book culture of transparency and consistent communication makes sure the whole team has their eye on the same goals and numbers. Helping not only the employees better themselves but allowing them to better serve their customers. “When I see people step outside their comfort zone and do the things they didn’t think they could, like talking about business numbers as a service tech, that makes me feel good,” says Reeter. “Jenner has given me the confidence and ability to accomplish things I didn’t think I was capable of. With the company’s consistent communication, I feel like I matter,” he says.
Do you want to be part of a company, or do you want to be part of a partnership?