With a few exceptions, all of the herdsmen and assistant herdsmen at Oord Dairy in Sunnyside, Wash., began their tenure as a milker. Thanks to a strong management belief in promoting people from within the organization, these individuals worked their way up to a management position.

“It’s worked well for us to bring people up through the ranks,” explains Jon Wheeler, herd manager. “There are always plusses and minuses to any policy, but as a general rule, inside promotion has improved camaraderie and teamwork on our dairy. However, our success depends on knowing our employees and what they want out of their job and their life."