Farm Management

Planning for success: Team dynamics and herd management

Prioritize both animal and human welfare to retain great teammates and maintain a high-quality, safe and efficient production facility.

Two basic management practices that impact dairy cow performance and profitability

Regardless of markets or economic conditions in the dairy industry, dairy owners and managers should continually ask themselves these questions:

How can we improve feed efficiency?

How can we increase components and milk production?

How can we decrease feed cost?

How can we minimize stress?

Dairy Farm

Give Your Farm Employees the Boost They Need

Reshaping how we view training can give employees the boost they need. Penn State Dairy Extension encourages producers to view their training programs not as “once and done” and instead take a broader view to reenergize and empower the workforce.

Manager with tablet

Goal-driven management takes dairies to the next level

Using measurable benchmarks; maintaining a goal-driven management culture; and identifying a set of key advisers and employees to regularly review cow health, production and forage metrics are three steps dairies can take to improve financial performance.

What to Do and Not to Do to Endure Financial Tough Times

Producers are challenged paying the bills with the lack-lusting prices that have shown up on milk checks this summer. Independent financial consultant, Gary Sipiorski, shares six tips to focus on during financial tough times. 

Dairy Barn

Progression, not perfection, makes us- and our cows- happy

I had the recent opportunity to team up with a milk cooperative adviser to provide assistance to a member farm. As I finished up and returned home, I sent a short text thanking her for the support. She followed up with a reply that said “Progress, not perfection, makes me happy.”

I’ve ruminated on that phrase lately, and it carries a lot of truth. Dairy farm life is full of daily, weekly, and yearly challenges. Often, these challenges are out of our immediate control.

Mark E. Fox D.V.M

The Little Things Add Up Profitable Dairy Management

If you are managing your dairy herd solely from the farm’s financial statements, you may be missing opportunities to maximize profitability.

“Dairy farm finances come as a result of managing the biology of the dairy cow well,” explains Mike Lormore, head of U.S. cattle technical services for Zoetis. “That doesn’t mean you don’t need to have a good financial plan. In today’s market, you absolutely need to understand how to use risk management tools. Ultimately, your financial outcome is going to be the result of the performance of your herd.”

Three Financial Tips to Capitalize on Record Milk Prices

With near-record milk prices this spring, it certainly appears to be a good time to be a dairy producer. The long over-due market turnaround has dairy farmers across the country smiling, but financial experts advise producers to sit down and look through their profit and loss statements to truly understand the strength of their farm’s financial portfolio.

It’s Not Too Early to Think About Year End

Summer is a great time to do a mid-year check on your financial and business goals.

Its suggested to do mid-year planning in June or July.  You can review the overall performance of your company, progress of your strategies, team development, and plan for a good year end.

On-farm employee trainings available for Michigan dairy farms

The MSU Extension dairy team has multiple employee training programs available for dairy farms in Michigan.

Employee development and education are key components of successful farm management. Training is necessary so new employees learn how to perform their jobs, but re-training of more experienced employees also has benefits, such as preventing protocol drift. Additionally, providing training opportunities for employees can improve the work environment and reduce employee turnover.

Would your dairy farm owner team be a winning sports team?

I am a sports fan. We have season tickets to three University of Minnesota sports (oops, not this year). In addition to enjoying the games, I have the occupational hazard of studying how the coaches are leading the teams.

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P.O. Box 394
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