Name: Philomena Morrissey Satre
Title: Director of Diversity-Equity-Inclusion & External Strategic Partnerships, Land O’Lakes
What is your background and how did you find your way into the ag industry?
I previously worked in financial services for 29 years in HR, work life and wellbeing, community outreach, and diversity and inclusion. I was excited to move to Land O’Lakes when they were looking to hire their first full-time DEI leader five years ago. I also felt like it was destiny — my mom grew up on a small dairy farm in Ireland before immigrating to the United States, and I still have a large extended family that lives there!
Why is diversity important to you and your organization?
Diversity-Equity-Inclusion (DEI) is important to Land O’Lakes from a recruitment perspective in attracting top talent to our organization. We also know that we will not be successful unless we have an inclusive culture for our employees to retain talent in a competitive marketplace. We continuously look for ways to integrate diversity into our business and assess how we best understand our changing consumers and adapt to their needs. We are committed to giving and volunteering in communities across the country.
What current diversity initiatives do you have planned or ongoing?
There are so many, so I will highlight a few:
- Recruitment: Our team works closely with the Talent Acquisition Team in identifying sources for hiring and building relationships with those organizations. A great example of this is our partnership with the MANRRS organization, who is also a member of TWG. With MANRRS, we are a sponsor, we participate in conferences across the U.S., we hire interns and look to transition them into full-time hires.
- Employee resources groups: We have eleven employee resource groups (ERGs) that support our DEI initiatives with over 1,400 employees actively involved.
- Learning: We are focused on creating a learning culture for DEI with quarterly learning opportunities for all employees. We also have rolled out bite-size learning for our plants and facilities. Once a year, our eleven ERGs co-sponsor a summit to promote involvement, to offer on-site volunteerism opportunities, and to provide a learning program. We had over 1,500 employees participate virtually and in-person! We have also completed our first leadership program to apply cultural awareness to bridge divides and manage intercultural conflict. We have recruited DEI champions to create ownership mindset of DEI within the business.
- Suppliers: We launched a supplier diversity program and have developed a board called DIB (Diversity Impacts Business) to provide cultural insights and market-backed insights from our ERGs to the businesses.
In your opinion, what is the most exciting thing happening in the industry currently?
I am most excited about Together We Grow with the opportunity for us as an industry to partner, learn from each other, and share best and promising practices.
What is your vision for the future of agriculture?
When applicants think of where they want to work, they will say agriculture to work for an innovative and inspiring industry that is inclusive of all.
Is there anything else you would like people to know about your organization or the agriculture industry?
Land O’Lakes, Inc. is such a unique organization. We’re a 100-year-old farmer-and retailer-owned cooperative originally formed with the purpose of working together to create new market opportunities. Fast forward to today and we’ve built on that uniting spirit, developing a comprehensive and leading view of agriculture while maintaining an unwavering commitment to delivering strong annual performance and long-term, shared success with our member-owners. Land O’Lakes believes farmers are the entrepreneurs who truly change the world for the better for all of us.