In this case, I don’t mean, “using what you’ve got,” or “starting from scratch.” I actually mean a farmer’s crop has to start somewhere — generally a seed — and that’s exactly where Heather Spray comes in.
Heather, who hails from Edwards County, is a Quality Management System Manager for AgReliant Genetics in West Salem, Ill. As the third largest seed company in the U.S., AgReliant Genetics relies on Heather to do, well, a whole lot.
Not only does she ensure that quality processes are in place throughout the entire seed chain, beginning with research and development of genetic lines and ending when the seed arrives on customers’ farms, she oversees training and auditing of quality processes.
“There are a lot of processes that take place to ensure our customers receive a high quality product,” Heather said. “I also oversee our Customer Call Database, which means I work with our brands to ensure that when a customer has an issue with one of our products, all of our departments are working together, behind the scenes, to ensure the issue has been corrected.”
And how does all of that tied back to the food on your plate?
“I make sure that all processes are functioning behind the scenes properly so that our farmer customers are receiving a high quality seed product.”
Heather’s work with AgReliant wasn’t a big step, considering Heather grew up on a grain farm where her family still grows corn and soybeans and she and her husband currently help. She and her husband even picked up some of their own acreage for next spring. Plus, said Heather, she just loves agriculture.
“I love being part of an industry that impacts everyone’s lives,” Heather said. “I enjoyed the time spent on the farm as a kid and I loved science and my ag classes in school. I love the seasons of agriculture — it’s constantly changing, which make my life and my job interesting! Plus, I have two sons, J.J., who is 2 1/2 and loves being on the farm, and Emmitt, who is 3 months old.”
Don’t forget to check out all the awesome blogs happening this month over at Prairie Farmer.
For the full Faces Behind Your Food Series, check out the links below: