Gary came to our team with many years of experience as someone who had owned, milked and shown cows himself. His father, uncle and whole family had been in the dairy business since before he was born and Gary recalls rising before the sun to work on the farm ever since he was just a kid.
In 1991, the family stopped farming. With nothing left for Gary to do on the farm, he helped a friend move from Washington to Texas. That’s when he decided to go to work for Tony Bos in El Paso, Texas. This proved to be a big move for his wife and their four daughters, all under the age of 14 years old at the time, but was a very rewarding experience for his family as they stayed there for the next fourteen years. With their children grown, Gary and his wife then moved to Indiana where he continued to work for the Bos family on what would become one of America’s largest dairy farms, Fair Oaks Farms, for the next 10 years.
Gary enjoyed working for the Bos family and the many skills he learned as the herd grew from just 2,000 cows when he was hired to over 40,000 cows and counting. Yet, he longed to be back in his home state of Washington where his parents were aging and his children had returned and blessed him with grandchildren, as well. He and his wife made the decision to move back to Washington state just ten years ago, but they did not leave alone. They brought with them several cows from Tony’s herd that are still being shown by their grandchildren in Washington today!
Of course, Gary couldn’t stay away from cows for long. He was hired by All West/Select Sires on October 23, 2013 as a professional A.I. Technician and quickly became a customer-favorite in Whatcom County. He may have been one of our quieter team members, but one full of knowledge who others always benefited from visiting with! Gary made extra effort to educate fellow team members on how to evaluate and breed cows, and even passed his skills on to the next generation by often taking his grandchildren along to help on his breeding route. “When I breed a cow, if I cannot get the semen where I need to put it, I call that losing,” said Gary. “I play that game with every cow I breed. I don’t like losing.”
Click here to see an example of a training video Gary and fellow team members made several years ago.
Gary’s grandson is seen here learning from him on his local breeding route.
For the next generation of professional A.I. technicians, Gary’s advice is simple, “Be humble. Listen to what people tell you. Keep your heart right.”
Gary officially retires on September 30, 2023. He and his wife, Sharon, look forward to celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in December 2023 and spending more time watching their grandchildren play sports. Gary is still unsure if he’ll ever be able to sleep in past the internal alarm clock that has been waking him to work on a dairy since his youth, but he does look forward to slowing down and enjoying his time.
His strong work ethic, passion for cattle, and jolly laugh will certainly be missed by our customers and team members alike. Watch the video below to hear from Gary himself!