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Author - Bamert Seed

Manuel Cardenas Interview

Introduction of Manuel Cardenas

Brett Bamert: Hello, I’m Brett Bamert with Bamert Seed Company, and today we have Manuel with us. Manuel, would you like to introduce yourself?

Manuel Cardenas: Well, I’m Manuel Cardenas. I’ve been with Bamert Seed for almost going on six years, previously, to being here. I did uh, about 10 to 12 years of the, mayor rights experience and welding and uh, a lot of maintenance work. So that’s what’s led me to, to hear where I am at today.

How Much Down Time Did You Have Last Year?

Brett: Boy, all that experience over those years certainly have, paid off out here. That’s in a, earlier today we were talking about how when you got here, it seemed like the, older cleaner was down more often than it was running. And you got here and got it all lined out and it’s last year. How much downtime did you have?

Manuel: We, we hardly run into any downtime and that’s cuz we’ve have, uh, become and established great communication within everybody and, and, and taught everyone the correct, preventive maintenance and and so on. 

Brett: Yeah, Yeah. Pretty big, leap you made there over the last six years, it seems like with your team in, going from a, a lot of downtime, a lot of maintenance to a well oiled machine.

The Challenges To Make A Big Transition With The Team

Can you talk a little bit about, you know, the challenges and, and how you were able to make such a, such a big transition with the team?

Manuel: It, it was more making, the transition was more of the people understanding the machinery and knowing the machinery, you know, from, you know, everything that’s turning and everything that makes it turn, everything that makes it work actually. And them having a better understanding of all that has made ’em a better, better person and more accountable to take care of the machinery that they’re working on. 

Brett: Yeah, Yeah. You’ve seen a lot of changes in machinery since.

Manuel: Yes sir. We have.

What Are You Most Proud Of?

Brett: You talked a little bit, what are you most proud of?

Manuel: Oh, I’m proud of the whole thing. Yeah. The whole, I mean, we have all the new stuff that, that we’re getting, but that, that one cleaner, that old cleaner still, still keeps us going on strong. So just keeping that old cleaner running is, is what I’m most proud of. Yeah. Yes sir.

What Year Is The Old Cleaner?

Brett: That’s awesome. So I don’t, do we know what year model it is?

Manuel: Oh, I think it

Brett: Sixties

Manuel: I think sixties or something like that. Yes, sir.

Brett: So prior to, 2011, every pound of seed that we sold ran through that cleaner. And it’s still going today.

Manuel: Yes, sir. And it, it’ll still hold any seed that we grow out here or harvest. Yeah. We can make it go through that machine

Challenges Associated With New Technology / Automations

Brett: 50 years worth of seed through one machine. Yes. It’s amazing. And then there’s been a lot of technology and technical improvements out there with automation and, the new lines. Can you talk a little bit about the challenges that were associated with that and

Manuel: Well, I think that all the steam machinery coming in with us, prior, you know, learning from that cri learning from that old machinery and understanding it maintenance wise had made it easier for us to understand everything that we coming that we have coming our way and that we’re still getting coming our way because the, our coworkers, our employees are more focused learning of what, what we’re expecting for us to be at the top. Yeah. Yeah. So that, that’s made them better. 

Brett: Yeah, absolutely. And seed quality and seed testing has certainly improved, and taken large strides since you’ve, since you’ve been here and how y’all look at those samples.

Decision Making Process

Brett: Before we decide to bag seed, can you talk a little bit about, you know, how clean is clean enough and how much effort gets put into selecting the right screen sizes and, and then how you make the decision that this is, this is good enough to put in a bag with the Bamert Seed Company stamp of approval with Manuel stamp of approval.

Manuel: No, sir. It, it’s, it’ll be a Bamert stamp of approval. Like I said, I mean, I just can’t, it’s a standard that, that we got set out there, you know, trying to be and do the best that we can all the time. You know, that just opens a mind up from, from the leadership all the way to the, I don’t want to be, I don’t wanna say the lowest guy because we’re all, we’re all equal, but they’re all willing to put their part in to make us successful and to make us be where we’re at. So the selection of the seed the selection of the screens, I mean, it, we’re, we’re challenged every time, every year cuz it’s gonna be different. We do have a starting point by documentation of our processing records, which, allows us to start and then as we getting into our seed, we’re allowed to see what is, what challenges we are having at that time to, to make it better. So.

Brett: Yeah. And you’re to the point where today before you bag, you’re looking at this seed under a microscope. Yes sir. And looking at any impurities and, making a decision not based on your, on your naked eye, whether or not that seed looks good enough, but, you take it all the way down to the individual seed level.

Manuel: Yes sir. We have to. I mean, cuz like I said, I mean it’s just, every year it’s a different challenge. It, every year it might be harvested differently so the cleaning process is gonna change prior to what we’ve had in the past. So, you know, having everything under the magnifying glass surely does help us a lot. Yeah.

What Do You Enjoy Most About What You Do Everyday?

Brett: What do you enjoy most about what you do out there every day? 

Manuel: You know, coming up and, and knowing that every day every person out there is becoming a better, better person, uh, better employee. That’s what I enjoy the most at. I know that every day that we’re, we’re getting better every day. Yep.

What's The Most Common Question You Get?

Brett: So when you talk to people around and you tell ’em you work at Bamert Seed Company and y’all do native seed, what’s the most common question you get?

Manuel: The understanding of a native seed? Yeah. Yeah. The, everybody’s really on, big on lawns, so I mean that’s their, their first question about, you know, what seed they need and for lawn and stuff like that. And they really don’t know a whole lot about natives.

What's Your Favorite Species?

Brett: Yeah. Yeah. And, what’s your favorite species?

Manuel: My favorite species? Oh man. We keep on adding species <laugh> every year that I, I mean there’s, there’s, I would say, the whiplash, you know, it cleans out pretty nice. It looks pretty. White Triads was one of my first favorites cuz that was one of the first that, was able that when I got here. We got, that was new. So, you know, there’s, there’s lots.

What Excites You About The Future Of Bamert

Brett: Yep. Yep. Yes sir. What excites you for the future of Bamert Seed Company and your role and your team’s role in, in the future of what we’re trying to do?

Manuel: Growth. Yeah. Yes, sir. Growth as a company and, growth as a, as a team, and growth as an individual. Yep.

Brett: Awesome. Well, Manuel, we’re all very proud to have you and your team here making sure that we’re putting out the highest quality seed. And, uh, I appreciate you being here today and, wanted to say thank you.

Manuel: Yes, sir. Appreciate it. Yep. Yep.