Jacinda Trask – Director, Retail Store Division —
Jacinda Trask was just 26 years old when she was hired by Blue Seal Feeds to run 11 retail division stores in five northeastern states. With an MBA, a degree in accounting and years of managerial experience for a big-box retail chain, she began working with the stores to develop business strategies and support sales goals.
She says she quickly learned two things: every store has its own unique market, and every Blue Seal store manager “is simply amazing.”
“They may report to me, but I rely very heavily on them every day,” Trask says of the managers. “I can do an overarching strategy and help create budgets based on forecasts for the year, but all of that still requires me to work really closely with them to make sure we’re doing the right thing for their customers.”
For example, Trask says each store sets pricing that makes sense for their own market, and the managers know which products they need because they know their customers.
All of the stores remained open even through the uncertainty and fear during the COVID-19 pandemic – something Trask says demonstrates their unwavering commitment to service.
“We knew our customers and their animals were relying on us to provide what they needed,” Trask says. “That’s what it comes down to – our relationships with our customers and exceeding their expectations every single day.”
Trask grew up on a potato farm on the Canadian border in Maine, where school let out early during harvest season to allow students to work in the fields. Her first job on her grandfather’s farm was picking rocks when she was nine years old. Even though her family didn’t raise livestock, the Blue Seal name was still familiar to her, she says.
“We have this long legacy in the New England area, since 1868, and it feels so good to be able to say that about your company,” Trask says. “But legacy and loyalty can only take us so far. We have to work hard to live up to our brand promise and protect the Blue Seal reputation that people have come to rely on and trust.”
And that’s much easier to do when you have top-quality products to stand behind, she says.
“We don’t just say, ‘Let’s sell an inexpensive layer feed,’ because it wouldn’t be good enough,” Trask says. “Our nutritionists wouldn’t hear of it. They take the time and care to make the best quality feed with the best nutritional values in order to get the best performance. I’m super proud of that.”
Jacinda lives with her husband, Tony, and four children near Augusta, Maine. She enjoys hiking and distance running, and spoiling the family’s beloved dog, Cooper. There’s a 90-gallon fish tank in their house that Jacinda says she’s “not all that fond of,” as well as a happy parrot named Abu.