“Hello ma’am, is the owner or the gentleman in charge of the purchasing decisions around?”
I have heard from dairywomen on multiple occasions where a salesman who arrived on a farm to talk to the boss refused to talk to them. Many times, I have heard dairywomen note that they are getting tired of being thought of as just the farmer’s wife, not a decision maker or an owner of the farm. The dairywomen I have talked to have been upset at how they were judged in those instances.
Please let me assure you that the folly of the salesman is your biggest compliment.
First, we must think of the frame of mind of the man at fault. The majority of the farms he visits are run solely by men. He recognizes the fact that running a dairy is not for the weak or the faint of heart. He understands that running an operation like yours takes intelligence and dedication. He knows the complexity of the dairy industry and realizes the toll it takes on a person. And from what he has seen, the average woman would not be able to run a dairy. But what he does not realize is that dairywomen are not average.
Dairywomen are meticulous, empathetic, hardworking individuals who somehow squeeze 26 hours into a 24-hour day. Dairywomen can feed the calves, tend to the kids, keep up with the housework and the laundry, and make it back in time to milk in the barn. They make it to recitals and help with homework, and they make sure that everyone goes to bed with a full stomach, a kiss on their head, and sheets up to their chin. Somehow, they are able to fit two full-time jobs into one day. Dairywomen are anything but average.
We have been trained to expect the average and the normal. That is why it is hard for some people to understand the dairywoman. To all the dairywomen, dairy wives, and dairy moms out there — it is a remarkable trait that you have.
Do not let the mistake of the ignorant upset you. You are impressive to him and others like him. They have not yet realized that you are a force to be reckoned with, but they will.
So keep doing you. Keep being impressive. You are the dairywoman.
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.