Cedar City IFA employees answer co-op’s call for ‘100 Hours of Service’

Cedar City IFA Country Store employees achieved the co-op's goal of marking its 100th anniversary by amassing 100 hours of community service, date not specified | Photo courtesy of IFA Cedar City, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY  In commemoration of its 100th anniversary, Intermountain Farmers Association dedicated the milestone year to a noteworthy program of community service. Each IFA branch aimed to volunteer for 100 hours throughout 2023, contributing more than 3,500 hours to various community service projects throughout the Intermountain West.

File photo shows Cedar Livestock and Heritage Festival’s annual sheep parade, Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 30, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

IFA employees in Cedar City partnered with local families in need, as well as the Southern Utah Fish-n-Fun event and Southwest Junior Livestock Show to make their service hours happen.

“One of our core values is to be a visible and desired member of the community,” said Adam Fox, IFA creative director, in a news release. “This ‘100 Hours of Service’ initiative was instrumental in helping our employees embody that value and give back to Intermountain West communities that have supported us over the past 100 years.”

These hours represent far more than statistics; they tell stories of lives touched and communities strengthened. Here are a few examples of the diverse ways IFA employees in Cedar City served their neighbors:

Restoring a single mother’s backyard

Along with the Southern Utah Agronomy Center, the IFA Country Store in Cedar City worked for more than 200 hours to renovate the backyard of Heather, a single mother of three. Severe flooding had ruined the yard, but the team of 42 IFA employees and their families worked together to plant grass seed, lay gravel and more.

“Outside of her two jobs, Heather is a pastor who volunteers her time by visiting with the elderly on hospice. She has always given back to others, so it was great to give back to her in this way,” said Sam Mortensen, branch manager of the Cedar City IFA Store.

File photo shows Cedar Livestock and Heritage Festival’s annual sheep parade, Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 30, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Nurturing young producers

In 2023, the Cedar City IFA Country Store contributed over $25,000 to young producers and participants in the Southwest Junior Livestock Show in Iron County. Their commitment extends beyond state lines, as they also assist participants from neighboring Utah counties, as well as Nevada and Arizona.

“The entire team at Cedar City IFA Country Store is deeply honored to help in fostering the growth and success of young producers,” Mortenson said. “These young participants play a pivotal role in shaping the future of both the community and our company.”

Bringing joy through fishing

The Cedar City branch donated the use of stock tanks, hats and a boat to support the 17th annual Southern Utah Fish-n-Fun Event. Employees enthusiastically volunteered at the event, which offers a day of fishing to special needs individuals, followed by a BBQ and awards ceremony.

“Our special needs friends look forward to this event every year. It not only provides them with a day of joy but also shows them how much the community cares about them,” Tanner Runolfson said.

The Cedar City Branch was a key pillar in IFA’s effort to serve in 2023, surpassing their “100 hours of service” goal.

As an entire company, IFA also wanted to give back: it contributed $267,000 to local organizations, community events, and youth livestock shows.

File photo shows Cedar Livestock and Heritage Festival’s annual sheep parade, Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 30, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

“Junior and local livestock shows play an integral role in providing hands-on educational experiences and opportunities for youth within agriculture,” said Tyler Stinson, IFA associate vice president, Farm Supply Marketing. “Recognizing the impacts of local livestock shows on young producers, IFA is proud to contribute to both the youth and our local communities through generous sponsorships and contributions at these events.”

As IFA enters its next century, the spirit of service in 2023 reflects the company’s ongoing dedication to fostering positive change in the communities it serves, the news release said.

According to the co-op website, “Intermountain Farmers Association (IFA) has been helping to grow the things you love for more than 100 years. The company’s roots date back to Gunnison, Utah, in 1923 when farmers organized a marketing cooperative to distribute surplus eggs in the region. Years of growth followed; the company’s name was formally changed from Utah Poultry & Farmers Cooperative to Intermountain Farmers Association in 1961. Today, IFA is a locally-owned farm and ranch cooperative that proudly supports all those who live and love the rural lifestyle. We provide expertise and experience to deliver the tools and services that people need in farm supply, agronomy and feed.”

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