March 30 2022 08:00 AM

When making purchases for the farm, the support provided by a company heavily influences my decisions.

I had the unique experience recently to attend the Hoard’s Dairyman DairyXchange program. It really drove home a key point for me that some companies miss the mark on.

If you have never been to DairyXchange, allow me to summarize the experience. Through a thorough process, dairy producers and dairy industry business representatives are matched for one-on-one meetings based on the needs of the producer. For example, if you are raising calves and wish to learn about the latest and greatest technologies or products, you would get matched with at least one business that sold calf products you may be interested in. At any rate, it was like speed dating, but for business . . .

It was probably one of the most beneficial events I had been to in a very long time. By the time I left, I had made a few really great connections.

With that said, it really drove home a crucial part of our business that some fail to see. Every person and their brother has a product to sell that is similar to another product. No matter how convicted one feels about their product, there is always a substitute. The one thing that is hard to replace, however, is the relationship with the team behind the product.

I can tell you right now that I am equally interested in the team behind the product as I am in the function of the product. Because, let’s face it – nothing is perfect. But, if you have a great team that can help support you as you strive to be better, the dairy business gets just a little bit easier.

The flip side of that is true as well. Imagine purchasing a great product, but the support is not there when things go south. I think we have all been in that position a time or two! The stress and anxiety are real when the big talk from a fly-by-night sales team convinces you to buy a product, but then they neglect to provide support after the sale is made.

I can personally say that I made some really neat connections at DairyXchange, and I highly recommend the experience to both producers and potential vendors who receive an invitation to attend. It was truly a great experience that has helped shape the path forward for our dairy.

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.