Why I Chose FBN: Mark Huffman, Driver
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 joined FBN in April 2022 as a Driver and I’m based out of Newton, IA. I drive a straight truck or semi-truck to deliver orders to the farmers. I really enjoy the one-on-one time I get with the farmers and I make an effort to visit with each of them; that’s just an extra special touch that you won't get from other companies. Plus, I get to try out their fresh milk or cheese from straight off the farm.
What was your previous work experience before joining FBN?
I have over 45 years of truck driving experience. I actually started driving a straight truck at 7 years old for my grandfather on the farm. I would drive 1 mile to the elevator and then hop out of the truck and I was given cookies and a soda pop.
Eventually, I joined the US Army and in my time drove and was a mechanic for the service. I started a truck driving company and then had various other driving and warehouse jobs. Through my time in those warehouse jobs, I learned about chemicals and about visiting with farmers which was great because that is more my nature.
I love to greet people with a, “good morning, how are you?” and if anyone is ever having a bad day, I take the time to listen. As such, I have a great following of farmers from the relationships I’ve built over the years.
What did you first find compelling about FBN that led you to want to learn more?
Kevin Feeney’s persistence saying “I’ve heard about what you do and how you treat people.” I put him off for a few months and then appreciated the persistence. I had heard so many good things about FBN. I’d never heard of unlimited time off. I’ve been a manager myself in the past, and I really appreciated how persistent Kevin was in building the right team.
Why did you ultimately decide to join FBN? What did this thought process look like for you?
Finally, after doing more research and talking to my wife, we both thought it was “too good to be true,” but I was ready for a change. I thought I was in my retirement job, working from 6 - 2, until finding FBN.
Now of course I work longer hours, but I enjoy being at FBN. The benefits were so great and Kevin’s persistence really intrigued me. I also took the time to stop FBN drivers and other employees as I came across them to ask them about the company.
They all spoke of the flexibility at FBN, and the willingness to accommodate you as a person, instead of you as just a number. Ultimately, that influenced my decision to join FBN.
Now that you’ve joined, how would you describe life at FBN?
I have turned to recruiting. I have told farmers and at least 10 different drivers about FBN. I have no reason to make this up - it is just the truth! I truly enjoy the people and the atmosphere at FBN.
What kind of impact are you and your team having on the company’s future?
We move the business forward because of the relationships between the drivers and the people we are delivering to.
How does FBN’s mission come to life in your day-to-day work? How does your work positively impact farmers?
Us being able to deliver within a few days of order. The farmers are shocked that they are getting products so quickly. We, as FBN, have our own trucks and equipment. We are standing up to what our word is by getting things to customers as quickly as possible.
We know you have a life outside of work - what kinds of things do you do for fun?
I’m an avid motorcyclist. I love camping. I love spending time with my family. I have 7 kids and 18 grand babies.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone considering FBN?
If you’re looking for a secure job and peace of mind at a family-oriented business, pick FBN hands down! I wish I would have found this job 20 years ago. I would tell people, “Make sure you are ready to work at your forever job.” It has just been a real pleasure.
What is one thing you are looking forward to in the future at FBN?
I’m looking forward to actually utilizing the benefits and not being nervous about taking time off. It’s hard to go from having “x” amount of days to use, to having the flexibility to take the time that you need, when you need it.
I’m glad that FBN encourages people to take advantage of the time off policy. FBN is really trying to make the best work environment for their people.
What made you want to join the "Veterans @ FBN" Employee Resource Group?
I'm interested in this group to show support for my fellow Veterans who might, with the help of others with shared experiences, make it through one more day; and give hope to a person who feels there's no hope left.
Why do you celebrate National Veterans and Military Families Month?
To express my thanks and honor to those who served before me. Giving their life and limbs for everyone they fought for both foreign and domestic. My father and his father, his brother and my brothers, my mom and sisters.
I am proud to call myself an American. Where freedom has never been free. We have fought and earned our place in history; however big or small our jobs were in the service. Thank you to all Veterans and the private workers. Thank you all for supporting them.
Want to work for FBN?
Outstanding companies are built by outstanding people. The FBN team goes to work everyday to ensure American farmers stay profitable while they feed the world.
Learn more about the open roles available at FBN.
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