Hitting the Ground Running with Sunrise University

Jun 03, 2022

Career paths and learning expectations may differ, but one thing remains consistent – a desire to work in agriculture. Sunrise Cooperative is set to embark on its third class of new hires through its RISE FFA Career Program and the future of these recent high school graduates is bright.
Slated to join the Sunrise team this month are Vivian Barnett, Kayla Cummins, Blade Hale, Chris Hiler and Gavin Sexton. After completing new hire safety training, all five are ready to begin their professional careers.

The RISE FFA Career Program was developed based off the FFA vision of Growing Leaders; Building Communities; Strengthening Agriculture. As Sunrise looks into the future, we want to ensure a strong cooperative, which is built on a strong employee base that strives every day for the success of our customer-owners. Through development of the RISE FFA Career Program, we have branched into the next generation and those that want to hit the ground running on their career.

In 2019, the program was developed and is committed to hiring high school seniors who are active with their FFA chapter and looking to enter the workforce after high school. In addition, Sunrise provides the Ohio FFA with a new pick-up truck for the state president to drive during their year of service. As a signing bonus, one new employee would receive the year-old pick-up truck that they state president drove. In addition, all new hires earn a $250 chapter donation, with one top selection garnering $1,000 for their respective chapter.
The RISE FFA Career Program is a four-year commitment. You will be part of what has been Sunrise University. The first two years will be spent rotating around the entire cooperative. The last two years will have more focus on a specific area of interest for the individual. The ultimate goal after four years is continued employment at Sunrise. Vivian will start her career at our Crestline Agronomy facility, while Kayla will provide support at Uniopolis Agronomy. Chris is headed to Bucyrus Energy, with Gavin and Blade joining the team at Norwalk Agronomy.

Pictured from L-R around George D. Secor: Kayla Cummins, Chris Hiler, Blade Hale, Gavin Sexton and Vivian Barnett.

Annually, Sunrise hires new employees through the RISE FFA Career Program. The application process includes an online application, as well as a short essay focusing on the how FFA has provided you with a foundation for a job at Sunrise. The Ohio FFA Foundation handles the job application process and reviews all applicants, conducts interviews, and finally provides its recommendations on what future leaders would be a great fit for full-time employment at Sunrise.
“The values students learn through their agricultural education classes and participation in FFA is invaluable,” said Morgan Niedermier, Vice President of Marketing at Sunrise. Morgan works closely with the program and ensures everyone gains valuable experience. “The RISE FFA Career Program allows us to reach our future leaders and help foster their career in agriculture, while ultimately enhancing our employee base through a different channel.”
The pathway you choose for your career is one that fits your needs. At Sunrise, we are proud to be able to offer opportunities for multiple career paths, including full-time and part-time employment, the Sunrise Internship Program, college scholarships, to go along with our RISE FFA Career Program for active FFA members. Check out our Student HUB for further details.
To learn more about opportunities at Sunrise visit our website at www.sunriseco-op.com/careers or contact Morgan at (419) 332-6468 ext. 222 or via email at morganniedermier@sunriseco-op.com.

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