Acting with Integrity
November 4, 2017
Written By Adam Buckallew
There is no gray area when it comes to MFA Oil’s stance on ethics and corporate citizenship in the company’s guiding principles: “When in doubt, do the right thing, ethically and morally.”
Those words set forth an unequivocal directive for the cooperative to operate with integrity, fairness and respect in all its dealings. No matter the relationship—whether it be with owners, customers, employees, vendors or communities where the company does business—the principles set clear expectations for how MFA Oil interacts with its stakeholders.
The goal of these standards is to ensure the cooperative’s farmer-owners and employees can take pride in being a part of MFA Oil. One of the ways the company seeks to do right by its patrons is by striving for win-win solutions to problems, issues and negotiations.
“We stress fairness in all our business dealings,” says Wayne Wright, a farmer from Cincinnati, Iowa, and a member of the MFA Oil Board of Directors.
“The cooperative’s actions reflect back on everyone who is affiliated with it. The board takes this to heart and works hard to make certain the company is acting in accordance with our ethical expectations.”
One of the ways the company endeavors to be a good corporate citizen is by giving back to the communities where it does business. Wright sees this as an integral part of the cooperative’s culture.
“We give to a number of communities every year with grants from the MFA Oil Foundation and through corporate donations,” Wright says. “It’s nice to be able to show people we care about their community and remind them of our presence and support.”
The MFA Oil Foundation awarded nearly $300,000 in grants to 81 nonprofit organizations throughout the company’s trade territory, in 2016. Since its inception in 1998, the foundation has given out approximately $1.5 million in grants to support youth, education, human services and civic projects. The grants are primarily funded by pre-tax, non-member income.
“I’ve been able to attend several of the grant presentations, and the recipients are always so thankful for our assistance,” Wright says. “It’s really a win-win situation for everyone involved. The nonprofits get financial assistance, the members get support for their communities and the cooperative benefits from building stronger relations in the area.”
Additionally, the company provides scholarships through the MFA Foundation, a nonprofit organization jointly administered by MFA Oil and MFA Incorporated. The scholarships are given to high school seniors in the companies’ trade territories. The majority of the scholarships are for $2,000, and all may be used at any college or university. Last year, the MFA Foundation awarded $680,000 in scholarships to 342 students.