Job Title: Custodian Job Status: Full Time
Department/Group: Staunton, VA Office Reports To: Store Manager
FLSA Status: Non-Exempt Travel Required: None
Job Category: Laborer Positions Supervised: None
Work Schedule: 40 hour week. Monday – Saturday 8-5, alternating Saturday with a day off during the week every other week.  One-hour lunch.  Hours are flexible and may vary depending on staff and customer needs.
Job Summary:
Provide a safe clean environment for customers and staff by performing custodial tasks in the retail store, office, and outside.
Job Description
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Reasonable Accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Essential Functions

·         Follow scheduled cleaning outline and checklist.

·         Clean and sanitize restrooms/bathrooms.

·         Clean, dust, and wipe furniture; sweep, mop, or vacuum floors; empty/clean wastebaskets and trash containers; replace light bulbs; refill restroom dispensers.

·         Assist with the setup of facilities for meetings and events.

·         Strip, clean, buff, and apply floor sealer and floor finish to hard surface floors.

·         Use and maintain assigned power equipment and hand tools: buffers, high pressure washers, vacuums, brooms, mops, etc.

·         Follow instructions regarding the use of chemicals and supplies.

·         Perform cleaning and related activities such as removing snow or debris from sidewalks and stairs.

·         Wash accessible interior and exterior windows.  Clean blinds

·         Notify management concerning need for major repairs.

·         Follow company safety procedures and policies.

Qualifications and Education Requirements

·         Must be able to speak, read, write and comprehend English.

Preferred Skills

·         Communication skills to communicate with staff.

·         Manual skills to perform cleaning and grounds keeping tasks.

·         Mechanical skills to operate cleaning equipment and to make minor repairs.

·         Ability to understand and follow simple oral and/or written directions.

·         Safety/Security – observes safety and security procedures; reports potentially unsafe conditions; uses equipment and material properly.

Additional Notes

This job description reflects management’s assignment of essential and central functions of this job; It does not restrict management’s rights to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time; Changes to this job description should be expected to meet the changing needs of the business and its customers.

Physical Demands:
Equipment used includes vacuum cleaner, floor buffer, weed eater and other standard cleaning/grounds keeping equipment; ability to carry equipment up and down two flights of stairs.   Work involves standing, walking, crouching, crawling, climbing, lifting, carrying, pushing, and pulling.  Push, pull, and/or carry up to 50 lbs. regularly and up to 75 lbs. occasionally.
Work Environment:
Inside and outside during warm and cold weather.

Show horses are expected to be trimmed for competition to look their best. Doing so helps to create a sharp, streamlined appearance that is ideal for shows. Here are some tips to help you make sure your horse looks its best in the show ring.

Grooming: It’s best to start grooming early to give yourself plenty of time to get the horse looking its best. A sleek, short, glossy coat is best because a horse’s coat reflects the attention he is receiving, both from what he is being fed and how much grooming he receives. Make sure you are feeding your horse the best diet possible and brush religiously. Brushing his coat will stimulate natural oils that help his coat look shiny.

Trimming and Clipping: When trimming your horse, it’s usually best and easiest to use electric clippers. The areas that are typically trimmed are: the legs, trimming the “feathers” that form at the fetlock, which is the bulb at the bottom of a horse’s leg; the bridle path, which is the area of the mane right behind the ears; ears; muzzle; and any long eye whiskers. Take great care when clipping so you do not injure your horse, especially around the eye area. Using a size 10 or 15 blade for the legs will produce a great trim, while using a size 30 or 40 blade for the face will provide a close shave. Take care when using a blade that produces such a close shave, especially on the face. You may want to practice quite a few times before trimming for a show to fully get the hang of it.

Bathing: The best time to bathe your horse is the day before the show. This allows natural oils in his coat to return and make his coat shiny. Most likely you will have to touch up any white legs on the day of the show. Use a gentle scrubber pad to clean off all the dirt from your horse’s feet. Make sure to wash your horse’s mane and tail, and apply a polish to it such as ShowSheen.

Shawna grew up in Bath County where her family operates a commercial beef cattle and sheep operation in both Bath and Highland Counties. A portion of the farm has been in continuous operation by the Bratton family since the 1760’s. Agri-tourism has become a recent addition to their agricultural operations.

Shawna graduated from Virginia Tech University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Science and a minor in Agricultural Economics. She participated on the livestock judging and the national agrimarketing teams and entered the animal health industry upon graduation.

In 1997, Shawna accepted a position in field sales with Augusta Cooperative.
After three years in the field, she moved into various management positions in
purchasing, advertising and website development with Augusta Cooperative.
Last year, she moved back into the field as a Beef Specialist. Shawna also
maintains certifications as a Nutrient Management Planner and Certified Crop
Advisor. As a Beef Specialist, Shawna focuses on beef cattle nutrition, forage
management, cattle reproduction and animal health needs with her customers.

In addition to her duties at Augusta Cooperative, Shawna is actively involved
in the management of her family’s farm operation where she focuses on AI
breeding, replacement heifer development, ration development, crop rotations
and just about anything else associated with the farm. When not spending time
on the farm, she enjoys travel, hiking and exploring the mountains.

Contact Shawna to discuss any beef related needs at SBratton@AugustaCoop.
com or (540) 448-3665.

Corn, like many crops, has specific needs that must be met in the first 30 days to maximize production.  To maximize your crops potential, here are some tips to keep in mind to improve or change for next year and to help you understand what may be going on in your field now.

  1. Assess your current stand - Check your corn crop for doubles, skips, and depth and make note so you can make any adjustments for your planter for next year.
  2. Do a population count - Many factors, besides your planter, can affect your final emergence count, such as insects, cold soils, wet soils and dry soils.  To do a stand count, refer to a chart for how many feet of row to measure for 1/1000th of an acre.  In general, most corn in planted in 30 inch rows; therefore, you would need to measure the number of plants in 17.5 linear feet of row.  Then, multiply the number of plants emerged by 1000 for your stand count.  Ideally, you should be within 5% of your target population.  Be sure to note what percent of your crop is late emerging.  Plants that are more than 3 days later than their neighbors will likely not reach their full potential.
  3. Weed Control - Corn is very sensitive to early weed competition.  A pre-emergent herbicide application is needed to keep weeds at bay while the corn plants get off to a solid early growth start.  Then, fields need to be monitored for an additional post-emergent weed control application as the plants approach knee-high height.  Consult with the Augusta Cooperative Agronomy department for a comprehensive program for your corn crop.
  4. Frost Damage - With the wide range of topography and micro-climates in the western and central sections of Virginia, a late frost is always a concern for corn producers.  Corn can withstand some early frost (before 6 leaves) as the growing point of the corn plant during this stage is still below ground.  Corn that is subject to a frost event before the V3 growth stage (about 12 inches tall) can still pull energy reserves from the seed to help its recovery.  If your crop has experienced a frost event, wait 3-5 days to allow for regrowth or decay to become visible.  Regrowth appears as lime green tissue close to the soil surface.  To check the growing point for damage, split the seedling in half lengthwise.  If the growing point is turning a brownish color, chances are the seedling is going to die.  The corn seedling's growing point is located 3/4 of an inch below ground until corn reaches the V5-V6 growth stage at which point it starts to move above ground.  Even though the leaves will have sustained significant damage, the crop can still recover and achieve normal productivity.

If you suffer frost damage and are concerned about your corn crop, contact the Augusta Cooperative Agronomy Department or your field representative

− some information for this article provided by DuPont Pioneer

What to Do Before the Vet Arrives

One of the most stressful situations for a horse owner to be in is waiting for a veterinarian during an equine emergency.  With some preparation and basic first-aid knowledge, the time spent waiting for a vet can be effectively utilized to assess the horse's condition and limit any further harm and discomfort to the horse.  A few of the common emergencies a horse owner may find themselves in include a horse with colic (abdomimal pain), bleeding laceration, swollen eye, puncture wound, recumbent horse unable to rise, foaling difficulty, and a horse unable to walk on a leg.  It is important to remember than an equine emergency can be a dangerous situation, and the safety of all people present should be the first priority.

An equine first-aid kit, of varying sizes, should be accessible during all equine situations, including trailering, trail rides, foaling, shows, and at home.  The first-aid kit should be kept in a container that can keep out dust and water, such as a tool box or plastic box with lid.  Some basic instruments in the kit should include bandage scissors, stethoscope, and thermometer.  Supplies for bandaging should include Coflex bandages, non-stick Telfa pads, and duct tape.  An antiseptic scrub such as Betadine Surgical Scrub can be used to clean a laceration or puncture, as well as a medicated ointment to coat a wound under a bandage.  Depending on the level of experience with administering medications, a first-aid kit may also contain an injectable sedative such as xylazine and an anti-inflammatory injectable such as flunixin meglumine (Banamine).

While waiting for a veterinarian, a horse owner can assess the horse's condition and provide valuable information once the vet arrives.  In certain medical emergencies such as colic, profuse diarrhea, inability to rise, and a young foal not nursing a basic Temp-Pulse-Respiration and assessment of the horse's attitude can be used to inform the veterinarian of the severity of the emergency.  A horse with colic symptoms - curling upper lip, pawing, or rolling needs to be evaluated by a veterinarian.  Once it has been determined a horse is showing signs of colic, all grain and hay should be removed from the stall.  It can be helpful to walk a horse that has abdominal pain in order to keep them from rolling and increasing the severity of their condition.  A horse with colic can be dangerous and people should stay clear if the horse's pain cannot be controlled.

An important skill for horse owners to be able to perform is a proper leg or hoof bandage.  When the proper care is given to a wound prior to the veterinarian's arrival, the chances of a successful outcome are increased.  If a horse has a puncture wound or laceration, it is important to clean the wound and prevent further contamination before the vet can attend to the horse.  Often times a gentle cleaning with an antiseptic scrub and rinsing with water from a hose can be helpful steps for the horse owner to perform.  Once a wound is clean a simple bandage can ensure the area stays clean before it can be assessed by a vet.

Normal vital signs for a horse:

  • Rectal Temperature of 99.5 to 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Resting Heart Rate of 28 to 44 beats per minute
  • Respiration Rate of 10 to 24 breaths per minute
  • Capillary Refill Time of 1 to 2 seconds for gum color to return to pink after pressing and releasing with thumb