Jan. 24 2018 08:00 AM

People from our past have a way of sending gentle reminders from time to time as voices in our heads

It sounds like the start of a horror film, I hear voices . . . but it’s true!

The voices I hear echo wisdom and knowledge from generations before me. Many of us have grown up working side by side with a grandparent, parent, or mentor that has directly affected our lives in one way or another. It is thanks to these people that we are who we are today.

My grandfather was a second-generation dairyman who had a way with words. Many of his most notable “quotes” were politically incorrect or a bit insensitive to today’s standards, but the majority of the time his words contained wisdom passed on from previous generations. However, his presentation is what left a lasting impression.

For example, one day he stumbled upon an employee inside our feed mixer without disconnecting its power supply. He could have scolded him for forgetting and walked away, but that was not in his character. Instead he, in detailed form, explained the mess it would make if someone accidently flipped the power on to the mixer while the said employee was inside. My grandfather then explained all the work that would have to be done in order to clean the mixer before the next feeding.

He continued to explain how irritated he would be because he did not have a hose long enough to clean the mess nor the time to explain to the employee’s spouse what an idiot their spouse was for jumping inside a mixer with the power left connected. He would then end the conversation with, “ . . . it’s not that I care, but it would just screw up my whole day.”

>He truly cared about that person’s safety, but he knew how to leave a lasting impression in a short time period so that they would think twice before attempting that again.

Sitting through a lecture like that was like sitting on hot coals. You knew he was right, you knew how it was going to end, and more than anything else, you knew you weren’t going to do that again!

Have you ever really thought about what you know and how you learned it? A lot of times there are voices from our past behind it.

Tyler Ribeiro

Tyler Ribeiro is a fourth-generation dairy farmer born and raised in California. He is currently partners with his father at Rib-Arrow Dairy in Tulare where they proudly ship their milk to Land O’Lakes. Tyler is actively involved in the dairy industry, holding leadership roles in various organizations locally and across the United States.