Farm Credit Company Earns Kudos For Guard, Reserve Support
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 23, 2006 A Fargo, N.D., business that provides loans to farmers and ranchers has received Defense Department recognition for its support of employees in the National Guard and reserve.
AgCountry Farm Credit Service is one of 15 U.S. businesses chosen to receive the 2006 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award for outstanding support of employees in the Guard or reserve. Employees who are members of the Guard or reserve nominate employers for the award.
“It’s quite an honor and a privilege to receive such a distinguished award. We were absolutely thrilled when we got the news,” said Diana Huseby, AgCountry Farm Credit Service’s marketing director. Huseby said her company employs about 230 people.
When Sgt. Scott Moser, a company employee and branch manager in Jamestown, N.D., was deployed to Iraq in 2004 with his Army National Guard unit, he received full pay and benefits during his 13-month tour, Huseby said. Moser nominated his company for the DoD employer-support award after he returned.
That goes beyond federal requirements regarding benefits guidelines businesses are to follow when members of the reserve components are called up for training or assigned to extended active duty.
The company’s chief operating officer, Eugene Smestad, is to accept the DoD award at a special ceremony Sept. 21 in Washington, D.C.
The Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award recognizes U.S. employers that rise above the requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. The National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a DoD agency, manages the award process.
ESGR helps Guard and reserve members and their employers understand employee eligibility and job entitlements, employer obligations, benefits and remedies under the act.