Creating Connection & Advancing Agriculture with Co-op’s Equip Team
For Gary Goodridge, Equip Team member at Twin Valley Co-op in Manitoba, driving down the rural roads of his small-town community of Birtle gives him a sense of price in knowing that he has helped farm operations in his community make advancements on their operations.
“It is gratifying because you can see the results of your efforts as you drive down the road. I can truly see how I have really helped to make a difference in someone’s operation, and move ahead with equipment,” said Goodridge.
Goodridge is part of the network of over 150 Co-op Equip Team members across Western Canada who are dedicated, on-farm equipment experts, providing proven solutions, emerging technologies and industry-leading support to local growers in their community. Like Goodridge, each member brings years of experience and in-the-field training, helping address the unique challenges and opportunities on farms across the Prairies. With their diverse backgrounds they have one thing in common, which is a passion for ag equipment.
A farm boy at heart, Goodridge grew up on a mixed farm in Virden, Manitoba. He further pursued his passion for agriculture after high school, earning his Degree in Agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan. Prior to joining the Equip Team, Goodridge was part of the Valleyview Co-op Fuel Team delivering fuel in the Valleyview area of the Manitoba territory for four years.
Like many who work in agriculture, Goodridge says every day is different, but he primarily spends his days fielding phone calls, making farm calls, and coordinating the tools, solutions and expertise to best support the unique and diverse needs of their farm customers.
Providing these services and solutions and staying ahead of the latest advancements and solutions for his farm customers in the fast pace of new technology is made possible through Co-op’s extensive resources and support, including Equip 101, a training and development course developed by Co-op, which brings the entire equip Team together to provide training and insights into the latest on-farm technologies and equipment, training and connections that Gary said are integral to the success of his role.
“We had a great story of success last year of which I am really proud. We had the pleasure of working with a new farm customer and were able to upgrade his farming operation by decades with new bin equipment and moisture cable technology. From planning, straight through to the organization and delivery of bins and equipment, it was a seamless solution that our team worked diligently to provide to this grower. Once we were finished with final delivery and set up, all the customer had to do was plug in the cable to the technology and equipment and in an instant, he immediately advanced his operation. It was a big project and a crowning achievement of teamwork and execution that made a profound impact,” said Goodridge.
“I love what I do because I like the people. I like creating connections. I like knowing the latest technologies and equipment solutions available and being able to connect our customers with something they need that will make their operation function more smoothly. To know I am making a genuine difference for them and advancing agriculture in my community is what truly motivates me,” said Goodridge.
When he isn’t helping his customers, in his spare time Goodridge contributes to helping his community, as a past volunteer for Virden ambulance services, and more recently with the Virden 5 and 10K Run – a program designed to help build infrastructure like a new skateboard park.
“Creating connection and community is really important to me,” said Goodridge. “I am lucky to have a career that lets me do that.”