Kevin Leahy, PhD, PAS California Dairy Technical Service Specialist Diamond V

What education are you bringing with you to this position?
I received a bachelor of science degree in animal science and chemistry from Berry College in Georgia and a master of science degree from the University of Tennessee in ruminant nutrition. I also earned a PhD with a major in animal nutrition and a minor in statistics from the University of Tennessee.

Please describe your agricultural background.
Ididn't grow up on a farm butIwas always interested in agriculture even at an early age. At 5 years oldIwould get up at 5 a.m. to watch the Modern Farmer on television.

Ichose Berry College in Georgia to get my undergraduate degree because it allowed me to get hands-on experience in working with cattle and other livestock and forage and row crop planting and harvesting.

What territory will you cover?
California and Arizona


What are your new responsibilities?
My responsibilities will be to support the sales of Diamond V products to dairy producers in California and Arizona. I'llbe working with our regional sales managers to provide product information and services to meet the needs of our customers which include dairy producers, nutritionists and our product distributors in the regions.

What previous positions have you held?
Iworked for 12 years as a large herd field PhD for Purina in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. ThenIserved as director of dairy technical service for what is now called Purina Animal Nutrition. Finally, prior to joining Diamond V in January of this year,Iserved as forage technical manager for Calibrate Technologies, a subsidiary of Forage Genetics International.

What excites you most about working in your new role?
Diamond V has a very knowledgable technical service and sales team.I'mlooking forward to learning more from my colleagues and using that information in the field to help our customers. Ireally do enjoy helping others to succeed.

How will you be of most help to producers in your region or area of expertise?
The dairy business, especially in California, is under cash flow pressures with input costs being high and milk prices being low. Efficiently producing milk to maximize profitability is going to be key going forward for dairy producers.

Understanding and getting the most milk out of the ingredients used in their cows' rations is somethingIhave been involved with my entire career. As an example, during the last two years one of my responsibilities was to help develop NIR calibrations for starch and fiber and their ruminal digestibilities and utilizing this information to improve animal performance.

Ilook forward to providing products and information to nutritionists to support them in making their clients more profitable.

Why did you choose this company?
From a business side,Ihave known Diamond V as a company and their personnel for years. They are a company with high integrity and they hire quality personnel. Their technical support and sales team are leaders in the industry.

From a personal side,I'llbe living in a state that has 1.7 million dairy cows soIwon't be having to hop on a jet as often to see dairy producers or their nutritionists. Also the weather is pretty nice.

What goals would you like to accomplish while in this position?
Obviously,Iand the California-Arizona team have sales goals to achieve. How we attain those goals is whatI'dlike to address. Helping others to achieve their goals is, in my opinion, the best way to achieve your goals.

So, if we can provide industry leading products and services to our customers that allow them to reach their goals, we will do just fine. PD