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Blue Buffalo Champions a Culture of Inclusion and Belonging

Blue Buffalo gives its 187 employees opportunities for growth, a sense of security and belonging.

By Livability on May 10, 2023

Blue Buffalo
Courtesy of Blue Buffalo

Megan Johnson, manager for the General Mills Blue Buffalo Richmond plant, says most businesses have a mission statement that describes what they do.

“When your mission is instead rooted in the how and the why, it fundamentally changes how you show up every day,” she says of Blue Buffalo, which has been a part of the Richmond, IN, community for eight years.

The plant has 187 employees, called the Herd.

“Our mission here at Richmond Blue Buffalo is to love our Herd, our brand and our community like family,” Johnson says. “We just happen to make the world’s best pet food.”

“We are not an idle participant in what it means to be a part of this community,” she continues. “One of our values is ‘champion belonging,’ meaning we intentionally create a culture of inclusion and belonging for all. That means more than just doing it within the four walls of the plant — that’s easy. Where there is an opportunity to be outward facing in our values, we say we get to put a little more Blue in the world.”

For example, the Herd joined other community businesses in a campaign called Wayne County Unites for Pride, creating and distributing 200 yard signs proclaiming Love Is Love.

“Originally we thought people would leave them up for Pride Month in June,” says Johnson. “But even to this day, if you drive from one side of the county to the other, they’re scattered all over. There’s a little bit more Blue in the world.”

The Richmond Herd also created a signing-day ceremony at local high schools in partnership with the Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce, when seniors declare their intent to come to work for Blue Buffalo.

“It’s about reverent gratitude. We think it’s a really big deal that they chose us,” she adds. “And we love celebrating and welcoming new members of our Herd.”

“When people have choices about where they are going to spend their time and money and build their home and life, I want them to choose Wayne County. And then I want them to choose Blue Buffalo,” Johnson notes. “What we have here is a career based in a family environment that provides a ton of opportunities for growth, and gives employees a sense of security and belonging.”

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