Meet the people who are helping our customers create a more sustainable food future. Today’s post is about Jana Triffon, a Senior Enterprise Specialist based in central California.
Jana has deep roots in agriculture and shares what inspires her to help customers use technology to drive success.
Tell us about yourself.
I currently reside in Sanger, California, in the heart of the nation's largest agricultural producing county. Together, with my husband and seven-year-old son, we run a small cow/calf operation.
I also enjoy working with nonprofits, including the Fresno-Kings Counties CattleWomen, where I was named Cattlewoman of the Year in 2012. My current focus is the Grow the Legacy Project, which builds a foundation in agricultural education for elementary students with state-of-the-art facilities and an ag-based curriculum.
What is your role at TELUS Agriculture?
As part of Client Success on the Agrian team, my role is to understand large client structures and what they want and need from a corporate level down to the field. I have been lucky enough to travel and to meet a diverse group of people to see different retail and farming operations across the U.S. During these travels, I have enjoyed working with clients and learning how each one differs from the next and how software and technology play a factor in their day-to-day success.
What's a typical work day like for you?
Well, I am an email fiend, Google Meet queen and snack-getter extraordinaire! All jokes aside, most of my work days are done from my home, as does most everyone else's at this point. I'm either working through emails, setting goals and applying adoption strategies with my current client or on the phone. Since we work through different time zones, I don't have set hours per se, in that if a client needs help, we will help.
What was your path to work in agriculture?
Because of my family background and participation in 4-H and Future Farmers of America, I quickly decided that agriculture was my passion. After college, I worked for the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, where I took pesticide residue samples across the state and worked with state labs to analyze sample data.
Also, I was an inspector for the Fresno County Department of Agriculture, performing pesticide use inspections, pesticide exposure investigations and commodity inspections for foreign export documentation.
What training prepared you for your role?
I graduated from California State University, Fresno, with a degree in Agricultural Education with an emphasis in Plant Science. I always knew I wanted to have a career within the industry.
When I worked for Fresno County, I used the Agrian platform almost every day – from recommendations that crop advisors had in the field to looking up labels via the label database. My experience in the field and knowledge of Agrian from that field-level use prepared me for where I am today. Being able to understand the field experience and translate that into communication and training has been beneficial.
What philosophy has guided your career?
When working with people regardless of the industry, my philosophy is that it's always important to take an empathetic view. Be mindful of what others are going through and their level of knowledge with what you are working on. In better terms, put yourself in their shoes. Follow the “what do they want,” “what do they need,” “how can I help” mentality.
What do you think the biggest misconception is about agriculture and food?
From plant production to pesticide use to animal production, it’s about education. Many don’t have the opportunity to learn about where their food comes from and how it’s produced. When given, we can take the opportunity to educate and offer information about how food is grown and that food doesn’t just come from the grocery store. Little bits of general knowledge go a long way.
What's the most common question you get from customers and how do you respond?
How is this software supposed to make my life easier? My response is, it won't be easy at first; give it time and I promise it will be worth it. It's like getting a new phone. Explore and learn and you will find your favorite things about it.
What's a fun fact people don't know about you?
I’ve won several All-Around Cowgirl titles. I also despise bananas.
What's your favorite food or recipe?
Teppanyaki/hibachi! Or you can't ever go wrong with chips and salsa with a good margarita.