Why I Chose FBN: Erika Nagorske, Associate Veterinarian
Our ‘Why I Chose FBN®’ series features stories from employees across different roles, teams, and geographies on how they got to FBN, what it’s like to work here, and how their teams help fulfill our mission of putting Farmers First®.
When did you join FBN, what is your current role at FBN, where are you based, and what are your responsibilities?
I started at FBN 2 years ago this last March when they acquired Prairie Livestock Supply. I’m a veterinarian based just northeast of the home clinic and FBN Warehouse in Worthington, MN. At the time, I was working at a vet clinic that was the sister company of Prairie Livestock Supply and those of us who were working with large animals when the acquisition happened were brought on to partner and consult on the pharmaceutical side with FBN and their farmers.
What was your previous work experience before joining FBN?
Originally I’m from Wisconsin, but I went for my undergrad and vet school in Minnesota where I met my husband. He wants to farm someday so that’s what brought them to Southwest MN. I had interned at a vet clinic down here and fell in love with the practice and the producers and luckily landed a job here right out of school, 7 years ago. The way our vet clinic viewed the world really aligned with FBN. Our culture was always to chase the next best solution for producers and that is so much what FBN embodies by being Farmers First and always trying new ideas and new technology, increasing ROI, reducing inputs, etc. We were doing that so much on the animal health side already so it feels like my life hasn’t changed that much as far as that vision goes.
I understand you joined FBN as part of an acquisition, but what has kept you here since?
As a veterinarian, there are so many career choices. I feel super lucky that I get to do what I do every day. I still have some general practice that I do every day, but then the next day I am chatting with our nutrition team on creating a trial, or diving in with our territory managers on protocol setup or diagnostics - my role is so diverse. I get to do so much. Typically as a veterinarian, you’re either in practice or academia but I feel like I am in everything at the same time.
Now that you’ve joined, how would you describe FBN’s culture and what it’s like to work here?
It’s been interesting to transition to a culture that still has the same vision of Farmers First and solution-based, “Farmer’s First” mentality, but the fun and scary part of FBN is the attitude of ‘fail hard and fail fast’ so we can get back to the drawing board and keep working towards a solution. That’s also why I’ve stayed. FBN is here to stay and it's exciting how they go about finding solutions. The culture is always tied into taking care of our producers.
What kind of impact are you and your team having on the company’s future?
I love the feed aspect that we have brought into the livestock space, mostly because I’ve found on-farm as a veterinarian that I can help treat an animal through feed-management and environment-management, often better than some antibiotics or vaccines can. For our
nutritionists to have a vet supporting them, and our vets to have a nutritionist supporting them - it really makes us unstoppable in the livestock space.
How does FBN’s mission come to life in your day-to-day work? How does your work positively impact farmers?
This is what has grounded me in my career and makes me stay: Anything I can do on-farm to help a producer means that I get to watch the next generation come in. Now that I’ve been here 7 years, I’ve seen some of the young producers graduate high school and go to school and then come home to the family farm and help elevate the operation. It stays in the family and you can see that lifestyle transition because you’ve helped them make it a viable career choice and business.
We know you have a life outside of work - what kinds of things do you do for fun?
I have 2 kiddos - a toddler boy and a baby girl - which is wild but amazing! My husband and I enjoy helping out at my in-laws' farm. We love gardening and fishing and any time spent outside.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone considering FBN?
This may be bold but: Don’t listen to anyone who has had a bad experience with FBN! Everyone can meet someone who has a differing opinion than you based on their own experiences. For example, I love my iPhone, but some people hate iPhones. That doesn’t change how I feel about my phone! People can say, “Oh FBN is a start up - how do you know they won't fail?” Listen. FBN is not going anywhere. We are disruptive and that’s what makes it fun. We are just going to continue to attract people who want to put farmers first and be disruptive.
Want to work for FBN?
Outstanding companies are built by outstanding people. The FBN team goes to work everyday to ensure farmers stay profitable while they feed the world.
Learn more about the open roles available at FBN.
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