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|0608 EL: Making great herdsmen|
|El Lechero Dairy Basics - Management|
|Written by Tom Fuhrmann DVM|
|Friday, 31 October 2008 17:00|
High-performance dairies have great herdsmen. Great herdsmen know cows and lead workers.Your duties might include breeding, treating cows, milking, calving or moving animals; you’ve got to do those technical things well. But when you are great, you also lead and influence your fellow workers.
Leaders are expected to produce results. Results are goals identified by your owner or manager; they are performance numbers. How do you, your workers, your team members attain these results? In one word, the answer is: “STANDARDS”.
Standards are the “pride level” within each leader, within each individual. Let me explain how your high standards propel you and your fellow workers to achieve the goals set by your owner or manager.
If you are a head milker or parlor supervisor and I ask you to count the number of dirty teats on the first 10 cows in your parlor on the side where machines have just detached, how many dirty teats out of the 40 that you count are acceptable to you? ......10?......5? ........2?.....1?....0? If you accept nothing less than “0”, you have a great chance for you and your team to reach the SCC goal of less than 200,000. But if you accept “5” or “10” because you and your team accept lower STANDARDS, your chance of achieving that SCC goal <200,000 is very poor. Goals are the result your owner or manager want; standards are the performance levels that YOU and/or your TEAM are willing to accept to achieve a goal.
Examples of how your standards as a herdsman impact your results are plentiful. Are you willing to find “every single cow” on the ovsynch list for hormone injections even if the cow isn’t in her correct pen or is in the corral next to where she is supposed to be? Or, will you just let her go? ……………..this impacts the pregnancy rate goal. Are you willing to pick up the foot of that lame cow and diagnose why she is lame so that you can correctly treat her this afternoon or will you wait till tomorrow to do it? Or will you wait until next Wednesday when the foot trimmer comes? Will you walk the close-up pens every hour to watch for signs of labor? And when it’s close to shift change time, are you going to let the night calving technician pull that calf when he/she comes in or are you willing to do it now, before you leave, because the heifer has been in labor too long?
STANDARDS are performance levels within each of you:
Good herdsmen like cows, know their work and are technically competent. Great herdsmen have these skills and high standards which motivate them to high levels of personal satisfaction while leading and helping others to attain lofty goals. You live by your standards. EL
This article topic also appears in Progressive Dairyman. This article has been written specifically for dairy employees. The article in Progressive Dairyman is written for dairy owners and herdsmen.