Appreciation dinner

Farmers Mutual customers Tom Davis, Bob Lee, Bonnie Lee, Richard Clow, Leah Clow and Layna Hauser sit down to dinner on Oct. 4, which marked 30 years since the company started appreciation dinners for their customers.

With an increasing number of choices available for high-speed internet in the Treasure Valley, Farmers Mutual Telephone Company once again thanked their customers for choosing them over all the rest by feeding them on Oct. 4.

Each year, Fruitland High School’s ag classes cook food for the event, with Farmer’s Mutual buying the 200 pounds of tri-tip and 150 pounds of potatoes. In exchange, the local phone company makes a donation to the Fruitland FFA program.

The event also uses 9 gallons of coleslaw, 200 hot dogs and buns and 250 dinner rolls. And there was cake for dessert.

Providing musical entertainment this year was the Barn Kats, the band featuring Payette County Sheriff Lt. Andy Creech, as they performed a medley of classic hits.

“This is something we do every year to show appreciation for our customers who come in and give us their business,” said General Manager Dan Greig. “We really appreciate the fact that they know there’s other choices and appreciate the fact that they come here and do business with us for all their telephone and internet needs.”

Greig believes Farmers Mutual has unwittingly spoiled their customers in this manner.

“We started out thirty years ago serving hamburgers and hot dogs. Then we had a hundred-year celebration and we thought ‘We’re gonna make something special’ that year, so we started bringing in tri-tip steak and potatoes and now everybody expects that, so that’s what we do.”

Nonetheless, Greig says the loyalty of his customers more than justifies the investment Farmers Mutual is putting into its network.

“One of the things that we’re doing right now is we’re putting in fiber-optic cabling to our whole city. That’s a big push right now, we’ve been in a lot of people’s backyards and they’ve been very patient with us, we thank them for that.”

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