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Kenyon: The job interview

From the Ground Up with Steve Kenyon

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GPR: Good Morning. Welcome to Greener Pastures Ranching. Thanks for taking the time to come in for this interview.

AMF: Good morning. I was so excited to get your call. I’m sure you had a lot of resumés and a lot of great candidates apply for this job.

GPR: We have multiple positions available so we are doing quite a few interviews. I really liked your cover letter. It shows passion for what you do. You have poor writing skills and your education is minimal but your passion was what got you the interview. My first question for you: Why do you want this job?

AMF: That’s easy, I love building soil. When I saw your ad and how you manage regeneratively to grow soil, I just knew this was the place for me. I loved the line, “Modern agriculture grows plants from the soil, regenerative agriculture grows soil from the plants. Big difference.” I also really appreciate that you want to take care of the environment and build up ecosystems. I believe that the whole ecosystem is important. Every plant, every insect, every bug and every microorganism has a role to play. You don’t do any tillage and you don’t use any chemicals or fertilizers. That is rare in agriculture today and that makes me excited to come work here. It seems like a safe work environment.

GPR: Yes, we do our best to take care of our environment. We are not an organic-certified ranch but we just don’t need to use any chemicals or fertilizers. We work with nature. And tillage is not good for our water cycle. Water is our most valuable nutrient.

AMF: I can’t agree with you more …Water is so important, and I will do everything I can to help build up the water-holding capacity of your land. I understand the concepts of working with the plants to sequester carbon from the air and storing it in the soil. We need to build soil. When we add carbon to the soil, we can create a sponge to hold onto more water. Leaving the residue on the surface reduces runoff and reduces evaporation but the creation of this sponge in the soil allows us to hold onto it.

GPR: Would you consider yourself a team player?

AMF: Yes for sure, 100 per cent. I am a great team player. I work well with my fellow coworkers. I am always eager to share resources and information with other employees. If anyone needs anything, I am happy to help out.

GPR: Can you tell me a little bit about your previous experience?

AMF: In my last job, I was in charge of transportation and distribution of products. If you need something picked up and delivered, I’m your guy. I am very good at setting up and planning out delivery schedules and managing the transportation of many products at the same time. The more complex, the better. I just love a challenge. I am also good at networking. I love to gather information and share it with others. I’m pretty handy when dealing with the web.

GPR: It sounds like you would be a great asset here on the ranch. Are there any other skills that you have that would benefit us?

AMF: Like I said, I like to find, gather and deliver needed resources. The more difficult the task, the harder I will work. Take phosphorus, for example. I know it is hard to find for the plants. I have the knowledge and understanding of how phosphorus works in the soil. Most of the P is bound up and unavailable. In acid soils, P can be tied up by aluminum, iron or manganese. In basic soils, it will bind with calcium. It is just not available to the plants. However, I have the secret to release that P for the plants. I would be happy to help out. Just give me a chance. I can even transport water for you if you need it. When there is a drought, I’m a water hauler.

GPR: As a new employee, what would you be expecting as compensation for your services?

AMF: I work pretty cheap. I only require room and board and a safe working environment. If you provide me with a place to live, plus food and water, I will work tirelessly for you. I will not require any days off. I have never taken a sick day and I will work until I die. And I don’t need benefits or WCB.

GPR: Wow, that is dedication. A safe work environment? What does that look like for you?

AMF: I don’t like tillage as it destroys my home and breaks me up into many pieces. Chemicals and I do not work well together, either. I am allergic to many of the additives agriculture brings into our ecosystem, especially a fungicide. It is deadly to me. I also do not like added fertility as that is detrimental to my working relationship with the plants. If they don’t need my help, I have nothing to trade with them for food. My survival depends on this working relationship with the plants.

GPR: Well, I like what I am hearing. Welcome to the team. We are very excited to have you here at Greener Pastures Ranching. When can you start?

AMF: I already started. Thanks for the opportunity to grow with your business. I will not disappoint you. I already have family that works for you. My cousin is in your decomposition department. His name is Saprophytes.

GPR: By the way, your name seems foreign to me, Arbuscular Mycorrhiza Fungi. Where are you from?

AMF: I’m from down under.

About the author

Contributor

Steve Kenyon runs Greener Pastures Ranching Ltd. in Busby, Alta. You can email him at [email protected] or call 780-307-6500.

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