K-State’s Stocker Unit Facilities Manager Bill Hollenbeck

(Jamie) We’re back with Kyle and Bill as they discuss the on-going updates at K-State’s Stocker Unit.
(Kyle Bauer) Hi, this is Kyle Bauer I have the opportunity visit with Bill Hollenbeck. Is it fair to call you the Facilities Manager for the Stocker Unit at KSU? (Bill Hollenbeck) Sure. I manage the facilities, but all the day-to-day operations too. (Kyle) I’d like to visit today about the changes that have gone on here at the Stocker Unit. Every time I’m out here, significant facilities changes, can you bring us up to speed on that and maybe where you’re going? (Bill) Sure. We started approximately two years ago with the intent of expanding our pen space. We needed overflow from our current pens. We had this grand idea of expanding our pen space, tearing down some older dilapidated type structures. That’s what got us started on this expansion of pens. It just continues when we know we see a need, we roll up our sleeves and try to get something done. It flowed from the pen space to adding concrete to one of the building floors that we are currently hosting several hundred people on today. (Kyle) One thing I think that’s unique is you do supervise and manage a lot of the work yourself with student labor. (Bill) Yes, it’s all done with student labor. Everywhere from whether we’re using equipment to do some grading or our welding, our Kansas high schools and their, I want to say either FFA programs or VO-AG programs, are doing a very good job of sending us students that know how to weld. We take advantage of that and all of our pens were welded up by student labor. We rely very heavily on them. (Kyle) The concrete and dirt and working cattle all that was done with students. (Bill) All of it. Very rarely would we subcontract out or day labor out anybody. (Kyle) Of course, that lowers prices but it’s also part of the education process. (Bill) I like to think so. Anytime somebody can get their hands dirty they’re learning something too. I can’t underscore the importance of a formal education but we also need I feel that’s important to learn how to just work with our hands. We’ve got good student help that really helps out there. (Kyle) You’re not done putting that student work or student labor force to work? (Bill) Not as long as these things [laughs] I guess not as long as I’m at the helm, we’re done at that. I feel like we need to just continue to improve. There’s always room for improvement and that need for improvement leaves opportunity for us to basically give that student worker an opportunity to see something new. (Kyle) We’re visiting with Bill Hollenbeck he is the Facilities Manager, Operations Manager for the Stocker Unit for Kansas State University. This is Kyle Bauer reporting, back to you Jamie.
(Jamie) Thanks Kyle! Folks, come back after the break for this week’s Kansas Farm Bureau Update!

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