For one dealer, keeping education at the forefront of its customer service is key. Earlybird, with three Illinois locations and one in Missouri, has a sales and marketing team of individuals who grew up in the livestock industry and know the importance of youth programs. That is why it is imperative that they continue to provide education, training and support to their young customers today.
“No question is a bad one. We encourage you to ask us all the questions about your livestock. It is our job to do everything we can to get you on the right track. Nutrition, animal management and prepping for a show all goes hand in hand, and how you handle one or the other will affect your outcome,” said Codee Schmidgall, Marketing Specialist at Earlybird. “The beauty about our team is that they grew up raising and showing livestock and many of them go home and put the exact same efforts into their own. They live it, breathe it and know what it takes to be successful. All you have to do is ask!”
In addition to answering customer questions, Earlybird takes a proactive approach to educating its customers and supporting the youth. They have conducted and sponsored several multispecies clinics and shows around the Midwest. Recently, they conducted a show pig clinic in southern Illinois where a few of their feed specialists talked about “how to take care of and manage show pig projects from the time they enter the barn to the time they reach their target show.”
“When we do host a clinic, we encourage the whole family to come especially if the kids are just starting out! Showing livestock is a family affair and we think that if everybody has a little insight on what to do then it takes the pressure off just one family member,” Schmidgall said.
Creating partnerships with companies like BioZyme, helps Earlybird when it is time to provide educational opportunities. BioZyme will help sponsor an Earlybird show or donate products for events like the Illinois Beef Expo and other shows.
“Not only do we enjoy working with the BioZyme team, but we believe that their products work! Vita Charge® HydraBoost™ has been an absolute HIT with many of the pig breeders around Illinois and has become more and more popular with our out of state customers. Around this time of year, many families walk away with products like Vita Charge® Liquid Boost®, Climate Control Gel, and the Stress Tubs because that is what they use to #preptowin,” she said.
And, what sells their Sure Champ and Vita Charge products? Amaferm®, of course!
“The Amaferm Advantage is key! BioZyme has done such a great job at pushing information out there that backs these products up which makes our jobs easy. I cannot speak for all the feed specialists because they have their own preferences and experiences, but I know my family does not leave for a show without a bag of Sure Champ Cattle in our trailer,”Schmidgall said.
Earlybird is around for the long haul, for its seasoned customers and for its younger customers who are just getting started in the show industry. In addition, they offer two summer internships to students interested in youth and the feed business. According to Schmidgall, the interns are also great at interacting with the youth at as many events possible and help promote their customers’ successes via social media.
“The Earlybird mission has been based on providing a variety of highquality feeds that exceed the needs of our large customer base, but most off all we have put a strong emphasis on our service, and our ability to help families achieve their goals. This family-owned business has always had its sights set on supporting and promoting the next generation of the agriculture industry; and we will continue to make it a priority!”
That’s care that comes full circle.