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Tom Baer

Wendy Fischer

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December 03, 2015


California Dairy

Photo is from the California trip to visit with Dairy Farms, Ranches. October 2015

For Hay Buyers

In my blogs it seems I often focus on the grower, marketing, growing hay etc. Not wanting to forget buyers and their needs I will point my pen in their direction. Lately in my travels, I have been in different parts of the country. I spent a few days in California speaking with many different buyers, largely dairymen but of course ranchers, farmers, and horse hay buyers.  We went over their needs and I learned the challenges they face in the hay buying industry.

One of the things that always stands out to me no matter whether the market is high or low is TRUST, or lack thereof. Buyers often struggle finding the quality of hay they need for the right price and then trusting that the product will be up to standard when It arrives. Many buyers are asked to put money up front without even seeing the hay and completely relying on the grower’s word for what it is, some without so much as lab tests.

Now, even though most growers are honest and want to represent and sell their hay with complete integrity, there is still a huge variation of opinion on quality. So, how do we fix this problem or at least minimize the risks to you as a buyer? Of course the best way is for you as a buyer to travel to the area, see the hay yourself, take your own samples and send them to a lab that you trust. Although this would be ideal, we all know in this day and age of fast paced business and small margins of profit in the AG industry, that this is rarely possible, especially when buyers are having to travel long distances to find the quality you need or the type of hay you are looking for. A few suggestions from me:

- Be very careful who you are sending money to, especially if you have never dealt with the person before.

- Don’t be afraid to ask for references, if the grower is hesitant or seems annoyed at the request, be even more careful! Any grower should be able to provide at least a few references of buyers they have dealt with in the past. Pictures can be helpful but of course are only as good as the grower is honest- it’s easy to take pictures of only the best hay.

Being in this industry and dealing with all types of hay as well as growers and buyers from all over the nation and Canada, I feel like trust and representation is a very real concern and has led me to the creation of American Ag Video Auction. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, here comes the sales pitch. And I can’t blame you but hear me out if you have the time. I think we could all agree, the hay industry severely lacks several things. Marketing, third party representation and a good base market price establishment. Am I wrong? Buyers and Growers alike, how many times have you wished for all of these? I strongly suggest finding a company that you can trust to handle all these needs for you. Honest hay representation, integrity in marketing and above all handling your money! Find a company you can trust, start to work with them slowly and on a few loads, without putting large sums of money out front, as you build that relationship. I truly believe you will find there is no better way to fill your needs as well as continue long term business for years to come!

I mentioned our fast paced business lifestyles and small margins, this is true in nearly all AG anymore. So take advantage of a company that is on the cutting edge of technology and internet marketing to increase your bottom line, represent and deliver what you need, when you need it, without you having to spend countless hours searching as well as worrying whether your money is well and safely spent!

Tom Baer, Owner and Auctioneer