We all do it.  Whether we admit it or not, we all approach the New Year with some thoughts of change.  We’d like to save more money, or lose weight, or spend more time with family.  We’d like to buy some new equipment, take a vacation, watch our kids win a show.  Sometimes our resolutions are more specific and often our lists of change are long.  The percentage is low (just 8%) of people actually achieve the resolutions they place on these lists, and that can be disheartening.

A newer trend is for people to pick one word that they want to focus on in the New Year.  I’ve heard people use words like discipline…or adventurous…or respect.  The one word overflows into all areas of life.  For example, discipline can be applied to finances, exercise, working with show heifers, etc.  It’s a great, simple way to remember your resolutions long after the presents are put away and visiting family and friends have gone home.

What does that mean for All West?  Do businesses really set New Year’s resolutions too?  Why not?  Why shouldn’t we want to become better versions of ourselves in 2019?  Before we reveal our word for 2019, we wanted to look back on 2018 and our word for the year, change.

We changed a LOT during the year.  Change can be scary and exciting.  It can cause people to shrink back or leap forward.  The one interesting thing about change is that it’s a noun and verb.  It’s a statement and an action.  We experienced change and we encouraged change.  We watched some prominent, well-loved members of the All West family hang up their hats for the last time and begin new chapters of their lives.  You’ll read about our latest retiree, Allan Cossentine, in this issue.  We also changed many new job roles in and around All West.  You might not notice them from the outside, and if that’s so, then we’ve done our jobs well!  We changed the way we provide training to our new hires and team members who want additional knowledge, and will be starting our All West Academy in early 2019.  We’re excited to see how this fully-immersive program will enhance our team members’ knowledge and bring the team even closer together.

We introduced the new OGP program and have met with many customers throughout the year to talk about herd management, breeding goals, sire selection and more.  We’ve used technology more and built an extensive list of videos that are available on our You-Tube channel.  We’ve continued to train our technician team through on-farm work sessions with reproductive specialists and/or through our ProTECH training program.  We’ve also streamlined many of our business practices to become more efficient and economical.  It’s been a necessity for us, just as it’s been a necessity for you.

Many of you commented on our editorial in the November issue of DiamondCuts and also commented that you’ve been making changes this year.  One of our favorite responses was from a customer in Washington:

Ranie and Jackie Rupard Ephrata, WA

This may be an obvious thing, but the one change we made (or better stated, we focused on) was being frugal! No frills!  The way we normally operate, we have feed to carry us over when times are lean, so we haven’t had to make drastic feed changes. We are able to get alfalfa haylage from local farmers, that last cutting before winter, and that helps in a big way. If we could change anything it would be the cost of production and the increase in income! But even if we had those things, we’d still continue to focus on being frugal.  Every bit helps! Jackie Rupard, Ephrata, WA

The one thing that you focus on doesn’t have to be painful, but often times when the word change is used, there is some discomfort.  Just ask a few members of our salesteam who have adapted to an electronic version of invoicing!

Maybe “change” is your word for 2019.  Maybe it’s a year for the noun version of the word AND the verb version.  Maybe you’re tired of status quo and this is the year you’re going to do something about it, whether that’s introducing new technology like installing a robotic milking system or finally getting that CowManager system up and running.  Maybe change is in your job title, and you share some of the responsibility on your dairy/ranch with another team member.  Maybe change is in the way you’re selecting sires to use and the way you’re looking at your herd.  Should you really embrace this “quartile evaluation?”  We think so!  Why not have an OGP expert over for a visit?

What’s our word for 2019?  Hero.

What qualities do heroes have?  We looked up the actual definition and terms popped up like: strength, ability, an illustrious warrior, great courage, a person admired for outstanding achievements.

Aren’t those things you’d want in your A.I. industry’s representatives?  We want to go to battle helping you be profitable.  We want to introduce you to tools, programs, bulls and products that can help you become a hero in your own business.  We want to learn more, do more and serve more…all with great courage and nobility.

May this be the year that we are empowered, ourselves, so that we can empower you.  With milk prices, environmental concerns and consumer mistrust, we’re really in the fight of our lives.  We’re anticipating that 2019 will make superheroes out of us all!

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