During its monthly all-day long session, Ottumwa Leadership Academy focused on local business, industry, and agriculture. The Academy was able to talk with General Manager Randy Zorn of Cargill Meat Solutions and Plant Manager David Bradford of John Deere Ottumwa Works and learned more about the history of the companies, what their current production volumes are, and also more about their workforce. Participants then got to see first-hand the work done in these facilities with tours.
“The tour was fascinating,” stated one participant about the Cargill tour. “It was interesting and we saw how hard the employees work!”
In addition the Academy heard from representatives of Rippling Waters LLC, Ottumwa Economic Development, Ottumwa Chamber, and Main Street Ottumwa before going downtown for a small business tour where they met with business owners.
One of the favorite stops was at the new frozen yogurt shop Polar Xpress where owner Sandra Hendred passed out samples and shared how she worked with local organization SCORE to develop the business plan.
Along with the tours, the Academy had the opportunity to hear from Andy Hansen, Plant Manager at John Deere Des Moines Works and formerly of Ottumwa Works with his discussion on “Leadership vs. Management.”