After graduating from Michigan State, Charlie Rawlings was hired by the same feed mill that Evan Barton and Nathan Kiefer were working. “Evan was actually my trainer when I first started,” Charlie says. After three and a half years with his old company, Charlie noticed a lack of customer focus and decided to leave for a position at his former co-workers’ company. “I didn’t like working at the feed mill, because I wanted to work directly with farms and not have any hidden agendas,” Charlie adds.
Now, at Barton Kiefer Dairy Consulting, covering Michigan dairy farms, Charlie gets to work from his own agenda, which is putting the clientele first, always, and having a dialogue with the farm staff. When Charlie goes out to farms, it’s not just surveying the livestock and discussing numbers with owners. “I get to the farm and I try to meet with the herdsmen and feeders, as many people as I can,” Charlie says. While Charlie enjoys working with farms and helping them meet their goals, he emphasizes the companywide continuous stride towards being great. “I tell [clients] average is easy. I don’t want to be average. I want to be the best,’” Charlie adds.
And for Charlie, the independence Barton Kiefer Dairy Consulting provides him, as a consultant, is something that makes the job great. “They don’t care about how many tons of feed I ship, because it’s not about that,” Charlie says. “It’s about figuring out ways for our customers to be profitable and helping them be that.” He also acknowledges the mantra Barton Kiefer Dairy Consulting instills into its consultants. “It’s almost encouraged to think outside of the box,” Charlies says. “Everybody understands that there is more than one way to accomplish something. We’ll sit in meetings with each other and argue over different things, but at the end of day, from Michigan down to Florida, we know there are different ways to get to the same goal, and we all help each other do it.”
That mission wonderfully embodies the group Barton Kiefer Dairy Consulting is continuing to build, and it is constantly falling back on the long, qualified list of consultants the company has put together. “You’re going to these farms by yourself,” Charlie adds, “but you have a great support group behind you. That’s going to continue, and it’s just going to keep getting better.”