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20 years of selling semen and nothing’s a problem

For Immediate Release
18 December 2014

20 years of selling semen and nothing’s a problem

Te Aroha local, born and bred, Butch Coombe celebrates 20 years working with CRV Ambreed as a field consultant.

Starting out part-time to supplement the income on his 110-acre farm, his sales patch grew and grew and enabled him to buy extra things for farm like a new four-wheeler with his ‘top up earnings.’ When his area grew to the point where it could support his family, he decided to sell the farm and join CRV Ambreed full-time.

It was a big move for Coombe and his wife Heather, who had been farming their whole married life – some 30 years – but he was pleased not to have to leave the industry or cattle completely.

“I enjoy my job on a daily basis. Having been brought up in Te Aroha, I am often working with people I know, many I have known all my life; friends,” he says.

“It’s a job I know I can do and I think I do a pretty good job of it.

“Doing something you enjoy is very important. In the 20 years I have been with CRV Ambreed, I have never woken up thinking ‘Oh I better get up – oh no, here we go again’. CRV Ambreed has been very good to me and are a good company to work for.”

“Butch has shown longevity in a role where you are judged on the results of your advice,” says CRV Ambreed Eastern Region sales and services manager Bill Mclean.

“He enjoys taking new entrants to the industry under his wing, sharing his knowledge, and takes delight in seeing great cows doing the job for his farmers.”

Now in his sixties, Coombe has a simple philosophy on successful farming and some advice to his young clients in this low payout.

“I’ve always said, even in a downturn, never stop putting manure on and never stop AB. I’m a great advocate for manure and AB.

“Through experience of my own, farming through times when the payout was low and we were finding it hard to make ends meet, it’s common to save money on these parts of farming.

“You can spend money on all sorts of things and your return on investment is zero. Your hedges might look nice trimmed and the new pipe gates look very smart, but they won’t put money in your back pocket.

“Put the manure on - the grass will grow, and continue with AB - those are the two must-dos. If you’re not growing grass and haven’t got a quality cow eating it, you’re not putting milk in the vat. And AB is one of the cheapest things you can do on the farm for a guaranteed return on investment.”

Keeping up with the technology required in today’s world of farming business is something that Coombe says has taken a little time, but he now takes it in his stride.

“When I first started with the company, I was only selling bovine semen. The company has expanded its products immensely over the years, but in the end, my focus will always be on selling semen.”

Coombe said he has found a way of doing his job that has worked for him over the past 20 years and that he plans to continue along the same vein for at least the next five with CRV Ambreed.

“I’m hoping that I remain in good health and can keep doing what I’m doing. I’m a bit old fashioned and big change isn’t for me. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it - that’s my philosophy.”

He says that is why he will keep treating his clients the same way he always has. That is, all his clients are unique.

“With so many different farming practices out there now, one Bull doesn’t cover all, so it is very important to fulfil customer needs.

“They all have different breeding philosophies, so I have adapted to working with them in the way they prefer, and I think they appreciate that. My clients generally know what they want and it’s simply a matter of sorting out a team of bulls that best suits their farming business.”

And the secret to getting clients and keeping them happy for 20 years? Sell yourself first, then sell a quality product.

“Selling is the first hurdle – then you have to deliver what you’ve sold or next year you’re history. I have never had a client wait more than a day. Service with a smile and nothing’s a problem – that’s the trick.

“Never let your client be able to say you didn’t provide the service you sold them.”


About CRV Ambreed

CRV Ambreed was established in 1969 by a group of farmers with a core business of dairy semen production, sold only within the New Zealand market. In 2003, Ambreed was sold to CRV Delta and began operating under the global umbrella as CRV Ambreed.

CRV Ambreed is uniquely positioned in New Zealand to be able to leverage off a strong international brand while keeping hold of the traditions and values that have always driven the company’s success in this country.

The company is proud to be leading the way in innovative herd improvement in New Zealand and is continuously developing new ways to provide services and products that benefit our farming clients and the New Zealand dairy industry as a whole.

CRV Ambreed currently has about 25% market share in New Zealand an exports to countries where grazing dairy operations exist and grazing genetics can be placed, including South America, South Africa, Australia, parts of North America, and UK and Ireland.

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