Teri Walsh was in third grade when she decided she wanted to be a veterinarian. But she quickly changed her mind in college, when she realized she “didn’t like studying as much as a vet probably should.”
But Walsh did really like her nutrition classes (and playing tuba in the marching band), so much so that she went on to earn a Master’s degree in ruminant nutrition. Her first job was managing the goat farm and small farms outreach programs for Southern University in Baton Rouge, and later she became a ruminant nutritionist with a feed company in Minnesota. Walsh joined Kent Nutrition Group (KNG) 11 years later as beef product manager. She oversees sheep and goat products for Kent as well.
“I always knew about Kent because they were a competitor of my former feed company, and just from growing up in Iowa,” says Walsh, who grew up on a sheep farm in Vail, Iowa, and was active in 4-H. “But I didn’t know how research-focused they were.”
Walsh says because Kent “won’t put an ingredient in any feed product until we’ve tested it ourselves,” producers aren’t left to wonder whether a particular line of feed or additive is going to work.
“That’s a huge benefit for our producers,” she says. “Not many feed companies have the facilities to do product development like that.”
Walsh works closely with the sales team to review product offerings and make sure they are the best fit for customers. She also evaluates new products, and studies current events and trends in the beef industry to keep up with “the hot-button issues.”
“It’s important to stay in the loop with industry issues, and be able to have well-rounded conversations about topics that affect our customers’ futures,” says Walsh, who tries to put herself in their position and be their voice when discussing products, plans and programs at Kent. “I want to advocate for the right products at the right price to help them succeed.”
Walsh has been with KNG less than a year, but already has noticed what she describes as a sincere interest in two critical business practices: developing the highest quality product while providing exceptional service – both of which contribute to building trust with customers.
“Producers are sold on a feed company through two things,” she says. “The feed and the people standing behind the bag. Those two go hand-in-hand.”
And the trust part?
“When a dealer or producer calls with questions, they are putting their business in your hands,” Walsh says. “That’s huge. They’re trusting you to steer them right. I’m honored to have that level of trust from our customers.”
Teri lives in Muscatine, Iowa. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, reading, spending time with family and friends, and globe-trotting.