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Thursday, November 5, 2015

FirstFruits NEWS - November 2015 Issue

FirstFruits NEWS
November 2015 Issue
"A Quality Fruit Company Committed To Bearing Fruit...Fruit That Will Last"  
(John 15:16)

End of Harvest Thank You  

Each year brings with it blessings and challenges, and this year was no different.  As most of those working in the orchard know, the weather was unusual and it pushed harvest earlier than we have ever had it.  Apples seemed to ripen all at the same time.  On some days, up to four different variety of apples were being picked simultaneously.  

As with all harvest years, we had heavy traffic, problems with bin tickets, miscommunications and more.  Even with these challenges, all of you working in the warehouse, field, schools, community and office did an excellent job and showed a care for your fellow worker and patience with us.
As this harvest year comes to a close I am drawn to these words:

 12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. [Colossians 3: 12-15]

We have deep appreciation for each and every one of you, further I take these words as inspiration as I appreciate your contributions. We are blessed by your hard work, sacrifice for your families and enduring spirit.

Thank you and may God bless you,
Ralph Broetje

Servant Leaders Among Us:
Home Sweet Home

Many visitors from all over the world come to visit Vista Hermosa and Broetje Orchards every year. Quite often, they are the leaders of some of the most well-known companies and humanitarian organizations such as Costco, Starbucks, Pepsi-Co and World Vision.

Recently, I was feeling a little badly about the fact that our management team is not always able to meet with each and every one, but then I felt better when I heard the feedback from two companies who had recently visited. The employees of Broetje and Vista Hermosa had given them such good tours, were so attentive, skilled and 'joyful', that one of the companies signed a contract with us even before leaving that day!

When people want to know what the secret ingredient is that keeps our company and community going through the many challenges that life brings, we say:  "it's our people"! You not only show up every day, but you take responsibility for and pride in the work we share-just like you would do in your own home. And, you reach out to care for one another in ways that help inspire them along the way-just like you would do in your own family. That caring also reaches out and warms the hearts of those who visit us!

As Thanksgiving season comes around this year, and you gather with your loved ones around the table, please say a word of thanks to God for the sense of 'home' we share through the work we do together here at Broetje Orchards and Vista Hermosa..  
-Cheryl Broetje


Employee Spotlight: Carmelo Diaz
Carmelo has proudly worked for Broetje Orchards for 29 years. His employment began in 1986 when he was 36 years old. Carmelo came from Mexico, La Colonia Alvaro Obregon in the state of Guerrero to be exact. He lived there with his mother and 11 siblings.

Life for his family was hard, so hard that he made the decision to come to the U.S. in 1973. He is now a proud home owner and a proud grandfather, who's dream is to continue working for Broetje Orchards because he loves to be with his friends. He also loves to visit his 97 year-old mother and siblings in Chicago more often.

Thank you Carmelo for giving us the joy of meeting you and for being such a great role model with our younger working generations.
-Laura Perez 

What are you thankful for?
In the spirit of Thanksgiving and being thankful for loved ones, we asked students and staff at New Horizons Early Learning Center to answer the question, "What are you thankful for?" Here are some responses from the students (ages 3-4) and staff members.
"For Amira" (a classmate) - Daniel, age 3
"Because I am happy and sleeping by myself"     - Amira, age 3
"Because my dad took me to the Trac to see the Dinosaurs" - Axel, age 3
"Because I have all my family" - Darina, age 3
"For God"- Yelitze, age 4
"For all the children"- Jimena, age 4
Edith, Torin, Ian, Aurora, and Elizabeth (all age 4) were also thankful for their families being in their lives.
Our center director, Elvia R., also shared words of thanks. "New Horizon ECEC staff has been working really hard for the last two years, preparing ourselves to start a new challenge under Early Achievers."
Early Achievers (EA) is a quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) in Washington State. It is a voluntary system for licensed child care providers and early learning programs. It helps connect families to child care providers with the help of an easy-to-understand rating system.
EA provides coaching and resources for child care providers to support each child's learning and development. Research shows that this kind of assistance helps providers improve the quality of their programs. And when more young children are ready for school, we all benefit.
Thank you staff at New Horizon Center for your continued commitment to providing quality care for our children.
-Karen Baker

Puente a la Salud Comunitaria, Oaxaca

Since 2003 Puente a la Salud Comunitaria has worked with rural Oaxaca families on the consumption, farming, and commercialization of amaranth to support community health and wellbeing.
In the summertime, they ran a nutrition program with 300 children, during which volunteers facilitated educational activities with children while their mothers learned to cook different recipes with amaranth, beans and corn. The children and their mothers learned about health, nutrition and community.
Last month, they hosted a very successful Amaranth Day. More than 300 small scale amaranth farmers and 7,000 people from different regions of Oaxaca and other states of Mexico attended the event. It was a day to celebrate the work of Oaxacan communities to sustainably produce healthy and culturally appropriate foods such as amaranth, and demonstrate the great variety of ways to prepare it to the Oaxacan public.
Forty allied NGOs with complementary missions shared their work with the public and, with the help of farmers from seven Mexican states, the record for the biggest alegría (amaranth granola bar) in the world was broken!
Congratulations to Puente and all involved on such an exciting achievement!

-Melanie Lopez-Grewal

Employee Matching Fund Update 

In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, we wanted to share how proud and thankful we are for our employees and their generosity in helping their neighbors and co-workers during times of need.

So far this year, Broetje Orchard employees have donated a total of $13,268.25 through the Employee Matching Fund! The company matched these donations for a total $26,536.50, which helped to meet a variety of needs, including funeral costs and medical expenses for at least 16 families.

Funds were also donated to help with earthquake relief in Nepal.
This program is a wonderful testament to our employees' compassion. Thank you everyone for your contributions and generosity this year. Let's continue our team effort.

-Matching Team Committee

November: Upcoming Events
4 & 5: Warehouse Safety Meeting: 7:00am 
7: Harvest Party: 11:30am
9: Prescott School Parent Teacher Conferences
26-27: Thanksgiving Break-Schools Closed
26-27: Thanksgiving - Broetje Orchards Closed

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