Cruze Farm

Home of Jersey cows and farm girls

  Working at a fast paced, locally owned dairy farm has been an important experience during my high school career. I started working at Cruze Dairy Farm in 2015. Within the past two years, my bosses and coworkers have seen my leadership skills develop and excel. Manjit and Colleen Bhatti have always encouraged strong work ethic and the importance of education. Their encouragement pushed me to new lengths this summer when Cruze Farm opened a pop-up ice cream shop for the summer of 2016. I was there working everyday: open, serve, close, repeat. After a well received opening week, I gained the responsibility of managing the store, a responsibility that Colleen knew would grow me in many ways. Directing a whole staff at the young age of 17 was crazy to me! It meant learning to delegate tasks, communicate well with employees, and even sometimes playing things by ear.
             A major part in keeping the store running smoothly was making sure every employee had a task. No down time was acceptable, as we could barely keep up with demand. I like the work I do and take pride in it; however, I learned quickly that I couldn’t do it all. I couldn’t scoop ice cream, make waffle cones, and run the cash register all at the same time. My solution was to get organized: list the tasks for each center, make the daily staffing chart, and then make a chart to delegate the tasks. Iwould assign each farm girl a specific station based on their strengths. By focusing on their strengths, it kept business moving forward, and what downtime came available was spent on remitting skills and learning new ones. Divvying up the workload made the products go out faster and more efficiently.
          Communication with the employees could sometimes be hard, especially since most of my co-workers were older than me. To make the employees trust me, I showed them that I too could get my hands dirty, whether it was dealing with an upset customer to washing dishes after a 12 hour shift or even scooping ice cream under pressure with a line around the block. My devotion made them aware of my credibility, and allowed us to work to our utmost potential in all situations. When training new employees, I had to vividly express my vision, with words and physical examples. A simple “single scoop, lemon custard” would not suffice for their first go around. I needed to explain how big a “Cruze Farm single scoop” actually was by scooping alongside them. Giving scooping lessons, as funny as that sounds, set up the trusting foundation for the farm girls to trust me as their leader.
           It was thrilling and life changing to know I had a leadership role in such a flourishing local business. Each challenge came with a new piece of wisdom that I can reuse in many aspects of life, from my Nursing major at UT to other jobs I will work along the way to group work in college classes. I know that this experience had a strong impact on the woman I am today.

Farm girl Gemma Pierce 

Farm girl Gemma Pierce