She is the helpful voice you hear when you call All West/Select Sires.
She is the smiling face you see when you enter the All West/Select Sires office in Turlock, California.
Her dog, Brooke, is the reason you are greeted with puppy kisses and tail wags each time you visit us.
Rene Meyers has been our Administrative Assistant for the past 36 years, but to the All West Family and the history of this farmer-owned cooperative, she has been so much more!
Rene did not grow up on a farm. In fact, she had no dairy or beef experience when she stumbled upon the job opening with Superior Sires after attending Stanislaus State University in Turlock, California. At the time, Superior Sires was a distributor of Select Sires Inc. semen in California, owned by Tom Olson and Lloyd Vierra.
Rene recalls arriving for her job interview at the three-car garage which was then used as the Superior Sires headquarters. That is where she met Tom Olson’s wife, Sandy, and their office staff member, Teri Rodrigues. Tom, however, had forgotten about his appointment with Rene and was out of the office. Later that evening, Tom called to apologize and get to know Rene and hired her right away over the phone.
When Rene showed up for her first day of work two weeks later, Lloyd Vierra exclaimed, “Who are you? I had no idea we were hiring anyone!” Little did he know, he and Tom had just hired one of Superior Sires and then All West/Select Sires’ most valuable assets.
Rene is pictured here in 1986 at the All West Selections Sale in Fresno, CA, shortly after she was hired by Superior Sires.
With her accounting and computer skills background, Rene was originally tasked with organizing and establishing their accounting system, inputting their inventories on to a computer, coordinating accounts payable and payroll, and keeping track of the financials of Superior Sires. Tom later taught Rene how to do the set program for all of the bulls that they were proving through Superior Sires.
“I needed to learn a lot,” admitted Rene. “I would spend a great deal of time during my lunch breaks reading trade magazines, collecting product brochures, and asking a lot of questions.”
Nonetheless, Rene fit in to the early All West Family well and enjoyed how different the job and this industry were from anything she had ever done before. “There were always new things, whether it was sexed semen, or the sets, or something else, said Rene. “I like doing lots of different things, so it kept the job interesting and fun.”
Rene is one of the most dedicated employees in the Select Sires federation, with her name inscribed on a brick in front of the Select Sires Inc. Kellgren Center, for surpassing 30 years of service to this cooperative in the year 2016.
Rene believes the biggest lesson she learned during her career with All West/Select Sires was to stay open minded to new concepts and ideas as the industry changes rapidly, and to learn as much as possible with the resources provided. “Your role in this industry may suddenly change and it is helpful to have a little information about everything so that you can be moved around based on what All West needs from you as an employee,” advised Rene.
Rene has seen more change in this industry than most. She recalls the days when they would have “proof parties” following the sire summary evaluations. “Tom Olson would get phone calls from Select Sires Inc.’s Dick Chichester during sire summary time. He would be writing down the information he heard about each bull as fast as he could and then run out to where we would all be enjoying Lloyd’s wife RoseMarie’s beautiful tri-tip lunch to tell us about the latest results. We thought we were so cool when we got our first fax machine and the information could be delivered to us directly. Teri Rodrigues would sit there and diligently type each bull’s data on a typewriter to create our price list.”
On July 26, 1993, All West Breeders purchased Superior Sires from Tom and Lloyd to create one All West/Select Sires organization. With this purchase came Superior Sires employees Marvin Correia, Allan Cossentine, Dutch Aldrich, Don Davis, Denis Curtin, Teri Rodrigues, and Rene.
Superior Sires / All West team members Ken Rowley, Denis Curtin, Allan Cossentine, Lloyd Vierra, Marvin Correia, Don Davis, Rene Meyers, and Greg Silva
Rene looks back at the Superior Sires days with great fondness, but appreciates how the culture of All West/Select Sires has remained family focused. “When we get together as a group and we get to see each other and talk about what’s going on at work and also what everyone is doing in there personal lives with kids, and baseball, and all of that, it reminds me what All West is all about. It’s the people and how we all are family. I am grateful for the entire organization, the support, the people involved, and everything they did because they made coming to work fun.”
In her most recent years on the job for All West/Select Sires, Rene has kept busy answering customer’s questions, taking semen orders, helping team members solve problems, and assisting with pricing, payables, purchase orders and more. She has also spent a great deal of the past several years training an additional Administrative Assistant, Toni Duralski, to take over many of her tasks once she is retired. Rene’s loyalty to her fellow team members, as well as her dedication to always doing what is best for our customers has been praised throughout the years.
Administrative Assistants Toni Duralski and Rene Meyers in the Turlock office with Rene’s dog, Brooke.
“I definitely want to thank Lloyd Vierra and Tom Olson, even though he is no longer with us. Thank you for taking a chance on a non-dairy person and hiring me at Superior Sires. They were very supportive and helped me learn a lot,” said Rene. “Once I became part of All West/Select Sires, I owed a lot of thanks to Bill Genasci. It was a lot of hard work, but we always had fun! I’d also like to thank Karen Wheatley for the good times we shared in the Turlock office while she was part of our team. We made every day in the office joyous with laughter and fun.”
Rene in the Turlock office with team members Lloyd Vierra, Don Davis, Bill Genasci, Tony DeMello, Dustin Whipkey, Rory White, and Jake Van Vliet.
Rene is now looking forward to concluding her successful and “fun” career on December 31, 2021 and beginning her well-deserved retirement. Although Rene is a self-proclaimed “homebody” and enjoys spending time at home with her beloved dogs, she is looking forward to doing some traveling with them. “I have two dogs that I do training and competitive trials with so I will hopefully be doing more travels to new locations with them for that hobby. Beyond that, I am not really sure. I have a pretty long ‘Honey Do List’, and since I am single, I get to do the list! I look forward to spending more time at home with my dogs and visiting my daughter in Los Angeles more often,” Rene shared.
Above all, Rene is very appreciative of the major role that All West/Select Sires played in her life. “I get to retire comfortably and I have had a great life working here. They were always generous with employees whether it’s on a personal level, time taken off, pay, or 401k. It all makes it possible to do this. I don’t think there are a lot of companies out there that support their employees the way All West does. I think it’s unique and I really want to make sure everyone realizes I have had a wonderful life because of it and I really, really appreciate it. I just want to thank All West for giving me a great life.”
Rene, we thank you for your dedication, friendship, and passion over the decades and wish you the best health and the most happiness in your years of retirement. Please enjoy the praise from your fellow All West family members below.
“There are so many words that I could use to describe Rene, but the first that come to mind are honest, reliable, blunt, and high integrity. She was a very bright, computer savvy lady from the beginning and I am not sure what Tom and I would have done without her! All West/Select Sires was very lucky to have her for many years after our careers. Thank you for everything and congratulations on your retirement.” – Past Superior Sires owner, Lloyd Vierra
“I first met Rene in the three-car garage that was the Superior Sires headquarters and had no idea how many years would follow with us working closely together. Rene dedicated so much time and energy to this cooperative. She was always willing to do whatever it took for us and our customers to be successful. Rene became more than a coworker, but also a loyal friend, to so many including myself and I wish her all of the best times of life in her upcoming retirement. Thank you for all you did, Rene!” – Fellow All West Legacy Retiree, Bill Genasci
“Rene worked hard and was always willing to help us (the sales representatives) out. She took care of business at All West/Select Sires as if it was her own and was very dedicated to serving others. Thank you for the great times, Rene. Congratulations!” – All West/Select Sires Sales Representative, Marvin Correia
“Rene corrected a lot of mistakes over the years. Anything that I requested she do for me, she did it amazingly well and with care. She was easy to work with and was always very attentive to what needed to get done. Best wishes in your retirement, Rene!” – All West/Select Sires Sales Representative, Denis Curtin
“Rene thought very similarly to me. She always put the customer first, no matter the situation, and wanted to make things right. I admired and appreciated her for that. Thank you and congratulations, Rene!” – Agent Representative, Mark Wood
“I want to congratulate you on a very well-deserved retirement, Rene. Thanks for always being so helpful, even with many tasks on your plate. She was always there to help from the start back in 2016 when I started as a relief breeder and helped me in my transition to a Dealer/Technician position, and finally to an Agent Technician. She is always lending a hand and answering all of my questions. She will definitely be missed, but I couldn’t be happier for her. Cheers to you on this next adventure with your pup!” – Agent Representative, Jorge Mendoza
“Thank you for your dedication and years of service, Rene! I appreciate you welcoming me in and showing me the ropes when I first started with All West. Whether it was helping with customers or just picking up the phone and figuring things out, your kind gestures and helpful ways did not go unnoticed. Congratulations and enjoy your retirement!” – All West/Select Sires Dairy Program Specialist, Brian Nelson
“Congratulations on your retirement. You’ve definitely earned it. I so appreciate all your help and guidance and all you have taught me since I’ve been here. You are a wealth of knowledge on everything about All West and I know I will continue to contact you with questions. I will miss having someone here to chat with every morning and Brooke’s happy greetings! You will be greatly missed by everyone!” – All West/Select Sires Administrative Assistant, Toni Duralski
“Rene welcomed me in to the All West Family with open arms from the first day of my internship as a college student. Over the first five years of my career, she has always been a teacher about the ways of the cooperative, a reliable source of All West history information, and a listening ear when I had any issue or problem to solve. I appreciate all of the time she took to make me feel like I was at home and more importantly, how much dedication she put in to doing what was best for our team and our customers. Thank you, Rene! I wish you many years of retirement adventures, good health, and puppy cuddles!” – Manager of Communications, Mackenzie Yerian