Dollars and Sense: ‘Teachable Moments’ Training Opportunity

September 8, 2015 02:51 AM
Dollars and Sense: ‘Teachable Moments’ Training Opportunity

Katrina Curti Rainey
Tulare, Calif.

The Raineys milk 550 Jerseys at Rainimade Dairy. Katrina helps her dad at his 2,800-cows at nearby Curtimade Dairy.


We have a team of five employees. Three have been with us from day one and the other two since July 2013.

Fortunately we don’t spend a lot of time training new employees. Since we are not on the dairy full time because we manage more than one business, we look for ways to manage our current employees more efficiently.

We rely heavily on being impactful during our infrequent touch points with them. We conduct random stops to check on employees including night visits. We hold team meetings once a month and emphasize the importance of everyone’s role in executing the mission of the business.

Employee staff training and development starts with us as owners. We engage in leadership training and mentorship with a non-dairy affiliated leadership coach. Edge of Eden consulting has provided us with simple management tools.

DS_Rainey_pricesBecause we are considering adding another employee, our skills coach, Tony Rubino, has most recently focused on how we hire, where we find employees, looking for “red flags” in hiring and ensuring we don’t just hire “people with a pulse”. Tony’s non-ag background and extensive training in people development add a different perspective which we don’t tend to obtain elsewhere.

When it’s time to train and re-train employees, we take initiative to undergo “teachable moments” on the spot. We reiterate items including new training and reviews with the assistance of DairyWorks management consulting.

Together we have developed and posted visual management tools. Milking routines and proper silage management techniques for feeding from silage bags are two examples.

Brian’s education and experience has included extensive animal care training and he will again look to DairyWorks for any assistance needed to train employees in this area. 

The dairy is certified under the FARM program and we have a zero tolerance policy on animal abuse. Any employee found to neglect, mistreat or in any way abuse an animal will be terminated immediately.

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