July 21 2021 11:09 AM

When the dairy industry isn’t able to come together on important topics, we stand in our own way of protecting our reputation.

Dairy’s biggest hurdle may not be what you might think. It is all too easy to call out nut juices and lab grown proteins as dairy’s biggest obstacles, but you would be wrong. The dairy industry’s biggest hurdle is us.

With so many passionate individuals looking to better not only themselves but the industry, it is no wonder that we have so many different opinions being tossed around. Honestly, that is the best thing in the world to have. It is comforting to know that we have so many talented and passionate people in the dairy industry working diligently for us all. With that being said, sometimes it’s hard to get all the “horses in the same direction,” so to speak.

It really does not matter the topic or the issue, everyone has a differing opinion on how things should be handled. This is great, but when it comes down the implementation and unity in the decision, sometimes it is difficult to stay on the same page.

It is most definitely okay to not agree with each other on everything. It is 100% okay to not get along all the time. However, when it comes down to protecting dairies and holding the fort down in order to accomplish bigger and greater things, setting aside past differences or uniting over a common goal is in the best interest of everyone — even if we don’t all get along.

There is strength in numbers, but if we as an industry continue to quarrel amongst ourselves on a local, state, and federal level instead of communicating until issues or concerns are resolved, we are fragmented. We lose our strength and damage our own reputation.

Communication and patience are two of the hardest skills to practice. However, if we work together on both of these pillars of success, we will be unstoppable.

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.