We’ve heard the buzzwords over and over in recent years. Consumers want producers to be “fully transparent.” They want to know the when/where/how/why their food was produced and THEN they’ll make a buying decision. Mike McCloskey, CEO of Select Milk Producers and founder of Fair Oaks Farms, talked about this in a recent article in Progressive Dairyman (see March 12, 2016 issue). “…in the 2000s we farmers had to pull our heads out of the sand and realize we had a responsibility to communicate with the consumer. We could no longer just assume that the consumer had faith in our practices and products.”
We’ve been mulling this idea over in our minds at All West. What is our obligation to you, our consumer, in being fully transparent? Haven’t we always been? Isn’t that a BIG bonus of being a member of a co-operative? Don’t you see the financial transparency in patronage payments?
It might be time to make sure we’ve been fully transparent and you know where we stand as employees of your member/owner cooperative.
1. We won’t apologize for spending the extra time and money to research fertility and provide customers with the highest fertility rankings in the industry. It might cost a little more up front on semen cost, but what’s that compared to repeat breedings and more days open?
2. We are proud to offer an industry-leading lineup of Holstein bulls and even more excited to provide diversity and more choices in the Jersey breed with River Valley Sires and Jerseyland Sires. What’s not to get excited about? We’ve got some great new bulls and programs and PEOPLE to work with!
3. Our team considers their customers priority #1. It’s not about making goals and increasing market share, although those are great numbers to have. Bottom line, it’s about delivering the products and services you need, when you need them. And it’s also about exceeding expectations when you get results.
4. We’ve never missed patronage payments, which means, when we’re doing good, you’re doing good! Part of the pioneering spirit of a co-operative is that you share in the successes we have because this is your company. You see the financials and you see the patronage checks that are mailed every March and September. In fact, this month, we mailed out $262,000 in patronage monies.
5. We’ve focused on improving reproductive results in our herds through extensive technician training. The better informed, trained and confident our staff is, the better results you see on your preg rates.
6. We will never lose focus on genetics. No matter what your personal interest is in cow families, daughter performance, longevity, etc…we’ve got your back. We believe in strong cow families. We believe that health traits matter. We believe that functional type isn’t enough – great type is; but that doesn’t necessarily mean showring type! We believe that we have a battery of bulls and cow families that truly can meet every need out there. And we’re not one bit sorry about that.
As we continue celebrating our 75th anniversary this year, we’ve watched several video interviews online (www.allwestselectsires.com) where past presidents and managers have said that the key to All West’s success has been its people. All West is a family. All West has worked side by side with breeders through good times and bad.
In short, All West has always been transparent. And we don’t intend for that to change.
If you’re looking for the when/where/how/why you should work with All West as your AI supplier, we hope that you’ve gotten a brief look into what we do and why we do it. And we’d love for you to be part of the ongoing story for future generations of transparency.