Dairy producers expect to receive quality semen and service when they hire an AI Technician. All West/Select Sires Professional AI Technician Tom Frisbee often exceeded customer’s expectations by adding a warm smile, a heart of gold, and great conversation to his technician service. This unique passion for cattle AND the people who raise them is what made Tom’s nearly 26-year career so special.
Tom’s love for livestock grew in high school when he began showing beef cattle in FFA and working at a local dairy. He continued working for the dairy after graduating from high school until the business sold.
Several years later in 1983, Tom found his way back in to the industry and was hired as a herdsman for a local dairy. Once he was needed to breed cows, the dairy producer sent him to an All West A.I. Training School to learn the true professional techniques of the trade. This is where Tom first met Herald Catlin, who was serving as All West’s General Manager at the time, and Pat Brown, who still serves as our Washington Distribution Manager. Tom continued working as the herdsman and breeder of that dairy for ten years before officially joining the All West team on September 30, 1993.
From the beginning, Tom was known for going above and beyond his job duties as a professional A.I. technician and could often be found in the warehouse after his early morning route, helping Pat Brown unpack semen tanks that had arrived from Select Sires Inc. He even took on various roles around the office, such as mowing the lawn!
This month, Tom Frisbee officially retired from the All West team, after providing nearly 26 years of exceptional service to our Skagit County customers. Although Tom does plan to possibly help with breeding part-time in the future, he is currently treating the beginning of his retirement like a “vacation”. He plans to spend most of his time with family and is looking forward to being more involved in his grandson’s football and baseball seasons.
Fellow All West team member and friend Pat Brown commented, “Without a doubt, Tom was as reliable as any All West employee has ever been. He was also a friend to everyone. The most important thing to Tom from day one until the very end of his career was his customers. We are happy that even in retirement, Tom will be visiting our office often, especially during football season! Thanks for a great job, Tom.”
As Tom begins to enjoy retirement, he also reflects on his time as a professional AI technician. Although the technical aspects of the job are very important to each breeder’s success, Tom noted that one of the most important parts of the job is building trust with each customer.
Tom recalls being told by producers several times, “You treat my cows like they’re your own!” This is what he describes as the best compliment he could receive. Many of Tom’s customers trusted him as not just a technician, but an adviser of their genetic programs as well, and would often trust him with the important responsibility of making decisions for the future of their herds.
“What I enjoyed most about my job was the dairy producers. Gaining their trust was so important. I thrived off of getting to know customers and the camaraderie we shared with each visit. It was always interesting to learn the dynamics of a new dairy and how each producer wanted their AI work done. My relationships with my customers were special. Of course, I loved being around the cows, too!”
Tom not only had high respect for his customers, but for the All West cooperative, as well.
“Over all of my years with the company, it always seemed like a big family. Everyone got along and it was a great place to work,” said Tom. “I appreciate the opportunity I received to spend my years at All West. I will miss working with cattle, but I will miss the dairymen and people of All West the most. It was a great time!”
We are sure our customers will miss Tom, too! We thank him for his many years of dedication to their success and all of the hard work he so graciously devoted to our cooperative! Congratulations and best wishes for a happy and healthy retirement, Tom Frisbee!