Hello! This blog post is a bit more personal than normal, as I believe sometimes it's OK to intertwine personal and professional thoughts and beliefs - PLUS it mixes things up a bit!
As an employee at Tyree Ag, I [Kristine Puthoff] often times reflect upon the values and hard work of those individuals who help to make Tyree Ag a successful business. After a long, fast-paced, busy, and sometimes emotional "run" of continuous wheat application we had in April and May, it is especially apparent that the company continues to believe in putting the needs of the growers first. I grew up on a small farm and cattle operation in north east Edwards County. I was taught early in life to work hard and to always ask if anyone else needed help with their chores before I could go play. I saw firsthand (1) the hardships that come with farming, (2) it takes many people working together for it to succeed, (3) financial success is not an every-year concept, and (4) it takes passion and commitment towards what you are doing in order for you to do it day in and day out at the same level of diligence. With all the knowledge and "life lessons" I appeared to be learning while on the farm, it never ever crossed my mind it took those same values to work for an agriculture retailer and service company.
Ag retailers walk a fine line when it comes to working with their customers. On one side, the company needs to be extensions of their customers' farming operations and help those customers be profitable. And on the other side, retailers must keep their eyes on their own profits. Tyree Ag survives and thrives by virtue of repeat business from their growers, as well as new customers as they come. Because of this, Tyree Ag realizes that we need to make investments in providing new technologies, improving facilities, training current employees, retaining experienced employees, and recruiting new employees.
I believe growers develop loyalty for their retailers as long as they believe they are getting value. They must know and feel they are getting more value for their operations from a product or service than what they are actually paying for. What added value means to each grower is different. Some may value in-field problem-solving, while others may find it timely application or delivery. Customers may value ease of communication or tools and information provided by staff members. For some, value may mean agronomic knowledge, picture-perfect applications, or the accurate accounting and billing practices the business can provide. For this reason, Tyree Ag believes that every employee should feel an obligation to develop and nurture relationships with their customers. We understand that growers like doing business with people they like and trust.
In 2012, a small team of Tyree Ag employees began working on a purpose statement for the company. After several meetings and many hours, it was agreed that the purpose of Tyree Ag was "to make your job easier." The employees at Tyree Ag have and will continue to work together as a unified team to provide quality products and services to its customers while maintaining a high level of accountability and reliability. By doing so, Tyree Ag will provide the most value to the operations of its customers. Throughout the year, Tyree Ag has company-wide meetings to make sure departments are running smoothly and that our expectation level remains high for all who work for the business.
In all departments of Tyree Ag, I believe we do just that - our best to make the customer's job easier. It may not be obvious to some on a day-to-day basis, but the gesture is evident and I believe my fellow employees should be recognized for it. Although it is unnecessary (but very thoughtful!), we sometimes receive words of kindness and thanks from our customers. This note was recently received with a customer's bill payment:
"Dear Tyree Ag Staff,
[Customer] wanted to be sure to tell you he was so pleased with the way everything came together
when you took care of him and the "rust problem". From diagnosis to application, everyone seemed to
work well to get the job done. He appreciates being treated fairly by your company even though in the
general scheme of things, he is just a "little guy."
After fifteen and a half years of business, Tyree Ag is continuously in search of ways to prosper and improve our communications and services to our customers, all while striving to advocate for the agriculture industry, promote environmental stewardship, and encourage community and agriculture involvement at all ages. In addition, Tyree Ag offers great incentives and benefits for their employees, as well as opportunities to attend educational enhancement opportunities to stay on the leading edge of technology and to learn the latest agricultural information.
As you can probably sense by now, I have a deep passion for the agriculture industry and I enjoy working for such a well-known family-ran business that continues to break the barriers and further grow their customer-reach. When the busy season is upon us, it is sometimes hard to see past the never ending work orders, the long line of product transporters waiting to unload in the warehouse, and the frustration of depending on the weather; however it is during these times we must remember why we chose our careers and how fortunate we are. I again just want to give a shout out to all the employees at Tyree Ag for a great first six months of the 2016 year! Keep up the good work and let's make the best of the remainder of the year!