Surrounded by dairy her whole life, Tammy Fraze has proven to be an instrumental team member and leader as quality assurance manager at DFA’s ingredients plant in her hometown of Portales, N.M.
Tammy grew up learning about several aspects of the dairy industry, which helps her relate to DFA’s member-owners who she now works for. Not only was she raised on a dairy farm, but her dad was also the area dairy inspector for several years. Between her past dairy experience and her current role at the plant, Tammy knows many of the dairymen who supply milk to the plant. She also understands the hard work that goes into the products she helps produce.
“There’s a work ethic that you automatically have when you’re raised on a dairy farm,” Tammy says. “You’re up early and you’re at it all day, and that was instilled in me from a very young age. I think that’s something I take to my job now. No matter what, the cows have to be milked — they don’t get Christmas off. I understand that aspect of it because I work at a 24-hour plant. I understand that there’s always something to do in the dairy industry and people are always working.”
Tammy’s experience with livestock led her and her husband, Trevor, to raise show pigs for 4-H and FFA. Three of their seven children enjoy showing pigs at fairs, and Tammy says she loves being able to work with young people and watch them show at fairs. Her love for volunteering and helping others reflects in the workplace as well.
“Tammy never walks away from a challenge and is quick to volunteer whenever she is needed,” says Joey Martin, Portales plant manager. “She brings great energy to work every single day and consistently demonstrates a never-quit attitude. I don’t know of anyone with as much passion for their job as Tammy.”
Last fall, Joey nominated Tammy for a Be More Award, which honors DFA employees who exceed DFA’s high standards, stand out from the crowd and make an impact on the Cooperative and the communities in which they live and work. After Tammy received her award, she said Martin and the rest of her team deserve just as much recognition.
“It’s humbling because they deserve the award too,” Tammy says. “They’ve made me better at my job. They’ve provided endless support and an environment where it is safe to try new things and to think out of the box. They’ve always promoted that and still do today.”